Monday, December 31, 2007
But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief; for you are all children of the light and children of the day. We are not of night, nor of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as do the rest, but let us be wakeful and sober. For they who sleep, sleep at night, and they who are drunk, are drunk at night. But let us, who are of the day. be sober. Let us put on the breastplate of faith and charity, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
But now they hold me in derision who are younger in years than I; whose fathers I should have disdained to rank with the dogs of my flock. To me the strength of their hands meant nought; their vigor had perished through want and hunger. They fled to dry and barren ground, a land of waste and desolation. They plucked saltwort and shrubs; the roots of the broom plant were their food. They were banished from among men, with an outcry like that against a thief, to dwell on the slopes of the wadies, in caves of sand and stone; among the bushes they raised their raucous cry; under the nettles they huddled together. Irresponsible, nameless men, they were driven out of the land.
And those who disbelieve say to those who believe: Follow our path and we will bear your wrongs. And never shall they be the bearers of any of their wrongs; most surely they are liars.
And most certainly they shall carry their own burdens, and other burdens with their own burdens, and most certainly they shall be questioned on the resurrection day as to what they forged.
It is God's will that people know who he is, and so he sent the Prophets, and it is also God's will that people have freedom of choice in their own conduct. God wants people to live full and complete lives, guided by love for him and charity for each other, but he is not going to impose it. People have somehow fallen into an incorrect pattern of thinking which is that the way society and the world is now is an inevitable path through history. It is not. I can assure you that God "hoped" for a much better place on earth based on human's own choices than there is now. This has nothing to do with "obedience" by the way, but rather, whether or not people choose to live in a world where Godly morals, guidance and charity are the bedrock and foundation that informs all else.
I recently used an analogy of two walkers on different terrain, both going to the same destination of God, but having to deal with rough terrain with ample resources or smooth terrain but few resources. While their methods may differ according to their terrain they both understand God's will and seek to arrive at the same destination of God.
This analogy can be used in a different way, to describe how I view humanity on earth. I can see in the distance, though no one else can, the path that God wishes that humans took, particularly over the past fifty years. It shows a way that is above the ground, with progressing prosperity of faith in God, charity for others, and technology improvements apace with moral and ethical boundaries. While there are social ills and sorrows like disease and natural disasters, humans had used their technology and communication advances to be globally supportive and proactive in the mentoring and stewardship of all people in bettering their lives holistically and simplistically. Families would have remained the nucleus and bedrock of humanity, and healthy babies everyone's joy.
Instead humans have dug themselves a dark and twisty path in the ground. They have dug so low and so dark that they think that is the natural way of evolution of their great mentality and technical prowess. The rich and environmentally conscious have personal fluorescent lights. Those who are sad by the dark take drugs. Children do not thrive in the dank and dark so they are aborted, or not had, or left behind to fend for themselves. People who point up at cracks in the earth where the light comes in and say, "Let's find God again in the light" are smacked in the heads and called dummies, and mocked in the media. People write books that of course the path of humanity must be underground because Pluto once went through Scorpio. They buy many scented soaps and antibiotics because it is dank and rank down there. When the tunnel is too narrow and people get stir crazy they pull out a gun and shoot the people who are too slow or blocking their way. Because it is always dark people think it must always be time for sex. Pimps turn into tour guides.
People did not have to choose that path underground. There is nothing in people's genes or "fate" that made that choice inevitable. The temptations, yes, they are inevitable, because that is the broken and flawed condition of human nature that only worsens when piety diminishes. God is the source of all strength and goodness, and when people turn away from God (real God, not self help New Age book gods and goddesses) then humans are losing the strength to resist the cracks and flaws in human nature. When God is not their first focus together with charity of neighbor, technology and societal "advances" that were not in God's plan or inevitable become inevitable, because humans then actually narrow rather than broaden their choices. Within God all goodness is possible. Without God, soon the only place to live is in the dank dark underground because without the light of God humans can no longer think outside the dirty tunnel and their choices have become narrowed into a kind of law of underground jungle. Even good deeds and donations to good causes backfire because everyone is trapped in the tunnels and there is deadly ricochet.
I have to be honest, it is too late to be where humans should have been. But it is never too late to resolve to make a difference and find a better path above ground. If people could come to their senses and realize that the depressive and exploitative mindset of society is not inevitable, and could get themselves back in the light of God's day to day influence, they could get above ground again and see in the distance the path that was not taken. I can assure you that seeing the path and modeling what you can do after what should have been would have miraculous feeling restorative qualities and alleviate future suffering, even while the past cannot be changed. People who harp on the tragedies of the past are nuts. Temptation to do evil will never go away, and studying past examples just increases the inevitability of it, as people forget how to think and live differently than those who had erred in the past. You don't fix a car engine by studying many examples of broken parts that were not fixed.
Focusing on God's "rules and regulations" and life as a "dungeon" over which there is a "master" is like being a young scholar new to earth who wants to learn about water. He immediately transports himself to a room in a building where there is an active faucet. He seals the doors and windows so he never leaves and he never looks out. The room is also sound proof. He then proceeds to study the faucet. His entire life becomes studying that one faucet and thinking he is learning about water on earth.
How does studying the operation of one faucet teach one about the rain? About the water droplets in the clouds? About the streams? About the swamps? About the lakes? About the ocean? About the composition of one's own body that is water based? About the sounds that running water or falling water makes? About the way plants require water to live? About the plants who store water when they do not have it? About how animals greet each other at the watering hole? About baptism? About the cleaning of water when it is polluted? About the different tastes of public water in different cities? About how people have made money from the sale of water in plastic bottles? About water pressure and how it is maintained in public facilities? About how salty water tastes, and that it is easier to float on salty water? About how to operate the car wash? About whether you prefer a bath tub or a shower (and how both are OK)? About how water can be in three forms, the air, liquid, and frozen as ice or snow... and what they look and feel like? About how substances dissolve into water, some quickly and some over eons of time? About how there is water on other planets? About the need to provide drainage in gardens and fields? About how tricky it is to water one's houseplants properly? (A little humor there, that is a skill that sometimes vexes me personally heh heh). About the beauty of a waterfall? About the foam on the waves?
Trying to understand God by his "rules and regulations" and by viewing him as a dungeon master is like trying to understand the life giving grandeur, and sometimes challenge, of water on earth by sealing one's self in a room with a faucet for life. That is a sad and terrible thought and certainly not "God's rule" nor his plan for anyone's life. That is being one's own dungeon master and slave.
Sunday, December 30, 2007
That evening, lines of people waiting patiently along the river bank for the Virgin’s casco (boat) stretched to as far away as Lemery.
It is called the hila (pull) because the women pull the lights that originate from the Virgin’s carossa.
Santa Lucia well
The miraculous water from the Santa Lucia well behind the church in Labac is helping a lot of people get well. The image of the Virgin of Caysasay was reflected in the water hundreds of years ago.
Two women were collecting water from the well when they saw the face of the Virgin. When they looked up, they saw the Virgin on a sampaga tree with a kingfisher or casay-casay flying above her.
This is a short article about a 16 year old young man who was killed as a result of being struck by a car, while crossing a road, on Christmas Eve. He died in the hospital. His family issued a short statement that the above article quotes. In it the young man's family speaks of how he followed Jesus and loved God, and also remarked on his sense of humor.
People who are not faithful by nature sometimes do not appreciate the gift that a family like this is giving to others when they speak of their child's faith even as they have tragically lost him. So many people measure God's goodness by the length of life they have or the ease with which they pursue what they crave. So they do not understand people who love God even when they did not live a long and full life, receiving a pension and owning two homes.
Also, many parents writing about their child who passes use that space to talk about their love of life, their hipness and their many friends, but omit their relationship, if any, with God.
This family used their time of grief and space to publicly comment on their child to praise and remember his love of Jesus and following his way. This is a generous gift to the reader and should be appreciated as such. They could have written about how popular he was, what a good son he was, what sports or music he liked, but instead, even losing him during Christmas time, they magnify and highlight this young man's love and trust in Jesus. They are sharing a last gift from the young man, and from their reservoir of faith, for everyone else's benefit, not their own (their marvelous faith and example is its own reward and they can be assured of that). God bless and console them and may they look forward to seeing their young man, and Jesus, again in due time.
For example, one of the people I most dislike in the world is Kony of LRA who claims to be Jesus yet causes the torture, rape and murder of thousands of innocents. However I have never once even had a thought of ill toward him, only that he receive justice or extreme conversion. I've never even had a thought of wishing diarrhea on him, say nothing of taking God's place and thinking I can wish harm to his body or mind in some sort of judgment.
People must emulate my model, but they do not. God has no tolerance for voodoo type of mindset and he will punish not only the thinkers of it, but God will not step in to save people from the unintended ricochet consequences on the innocent or associates of the perpetrators. This is because God has repeatedly said that people have to learn to be decent and charitable people among themselves to merit salvation. God is not going to be the master robot programmer and impose decent thoughts and charity on people for them, for what would be the point of letting them live at all?
An overnight house fire has clamed the lives of 3 young children.
Firefighters were called to 2222 Bragg Street, around 1:30 a.m., where they found the victims, ages 4, 3, and 2 years old.
Their names still haven't been released.
Investigators say 6 kids had been in the house, 3 of them staying with an aunt.
She and her fiance were able to escape, along with 3 of the children, but the others, including one of her own, didn't make it.
Investigators say the fire apparently started in a back bedroom. They say it may have been caused by a child playing with a lighter, but that hasn'e been confirmed.
A 6-year-old girl clings to life Saturday night after being struck by at least 7 bullets, while she was at home in bed. The young girl is currently in very critical condition at Arkansas Childrens Hospital and officials do not expect her to make it through the night.
(Lt. Terry Hastings, LR Police Department) "I've never seen a house that's had that many rounds shot into it at one time."
Police say at least two individuals used at least two different guns as they put over 50 rounds of bullets into 2715 Martin Luther King Dr., hitting the 6-year-old, Weathersby at least 7 times.
(Hastings) "To wound an innocent child and to see a six year old who has been shot that many times is disturbing to everybody. I've been in law enforcement 32 years and it's very disturbing to me to see a small child injured that severely."
Saturday, December 29, 2007
The Lord bless and keep the young lad.
GRIFFIN, Ga. — A sport utility vehicle speeding down a muddy road slammed into trees and exploded, killing four people, including two children, and injuring two others, authorities said.
Investigators believe alcohol, recent rain and reckless driving may have been factors in Friday night's crash of the Ford Bronco, which burned completely, state Trooper J.T. McMillan said.
The SUV was traveling around 70 mph at impact, and the occupants weren't wearing seat belts, he said.
The Georgia State Patrol had not released the victims' names but identified them as a 24-year-old woman who was driving, a 36-year-old woman, a 2-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl. The children were riding in the back seat.
Holman, who received his master's degree from Stanford, retired recently as president of the Scottsdale Republican Forum, his wife said.
“His integrity was exemplary,” Elizabeth Holman said. “He was just a good, honest person.”
Police said drivers Robert Van Brakel, 42, and Travis Aronica, 25, may have been speeding before the accident around 12:45 p.n. Friday.Van Brakel, driving a white Mercedes sedan, and Aronica, driving a black Ford Mustang, were traveling north on Scottsdale Road when they struck Holman's vehicle facing south on Scottsdale Road and turning east onto Eastwood.
The impact ejected Holman from his car, killing him, and caused the Mercedes to come to rest about 75 feet away from the intersection, police said. The Mustang was sent over a sidewalk where it landed upside down in a ditch along Scottsdale Road.
The Kalsis were killed just after 9 p.m. Thursday, as they were closing Sahib Indian Restaurant, which they'd owned for five years, at 12221 San Pablo Ave. Two suspects, whom police described as Asian or Latino, approached the restaurant door and shot Ravinder, 30, as he let them in. The suspects then chased Paramjit, 42, into the rear of the restaurant and shot him before fleeing.
The restaurant was not robbed, and police do not think the incident is linked to a recent string of armed takeovers at East Bay Asian restaurants, Gagan said.
The East Bay Sikh community was stunned and enraged at the news.
"These were the most gracious, hardworking, spiritual guys," said Gurman Bal, the brothers' former roommate in Berkeley and a fellow member of the Sikh temple in El Sobrante.
"If the police can't capture the monsters who did this, they should just dissolve the police department and let people fend for themselves."
I can't say I know any Sikhs but they own a gas station near where I used to have my house.
Friday, December 28, 2007
I’ve written in the past about this Commandment, mostly to educate people that “bearing false witness” not only means a direct lie, but also includes deceptive information, including intentional omission of correct and full information. I’m not going to work on that dimension of education in this blog posting, about what the sin encompasses, although it will be obvious as I discuss the pervasiveness of the problem. Rather I want to instruct you as to why “not telling lies” and “not intentionally providing incorrect or incomplete information” is a Commandment and therefore one of the basic instructions by God to humanity, upon which you will be judged.
First I must emphasize that the Commandments are for people’s benefit, not for God’s. God does not need the ego trip of worship, obedience, or more souls in heaven. There is an abundance of angels and saved human souls in heaven and it is not like someone is “missed” if they are not there (if they are in the other place, the one that is eternally hot). Notice that Jesus said there is more rejoicing over a soul that repents and gets to heaven than there is over people who are naturally good and have achieved heaven; Jesus did not say that those in heaven are bummed out over those who don’t make it. There is no sadness or sense of loss in heaven because the concept of loss or lacking does not exist in the presence of God. Even the closest of people, such as a parent and child, or a romantic couple, do not notice the lack of the other person if they are split due to sin, where one is in heaven and one is in hell. The one in heaven does not notice the lack of the one who is in hell. Being in the presence of God is simply too powerful and complete an experience to notice any lacking at all. This does not mean that people are not “with” their loved ones in heaven, but they feel total completion with the people who are there with them, and do not notice the ones who are not. For example, even the loneliest orphan on earth, with parents bent on going to hell, is surrounded in heaven by a host of company and will not notice the absence of the biological parents who, for example, sold him or her into child slavery. The orphaned child will be with the generations of righteous people who are their ancestors who have achieved heaven and, of course, the angels. So God does not create a Commandment because he needs the attention or because he will be bummed to the max because someone does not make heaven, or because someone in heaven “needs” even the direst of sinners because of some earthly blood or romantic relationship.
So why would God have a Commandment prohibiting false witness? The fact that it is one of the fundamental Commandments means it is an enormously important prohibition. It’s not in the “Gosh it would be nice if you all did not bear false witness but hey, boys will be boys and girls will be girls, wink list.” Moses did not seem to get a list of “minor stuff” that it is “frowned on but hey, God knows it’s hard for people to be good.” God gave THE list that is essential for 1) humanity’s physical survival, 2) humanity’s spiritual survival and 3) salvation of the soul to heaven.
Humanity’s physical survival
In case you all haven’t noticed each person gets one life and at some point that person perishes. People, and animals, live on a world that is full of abundance of food, water, and opportunity for shelter. However the world is a dangerous place due to both the realities of existence and subsistence, plus the actions of other human beings. By the first point I mean that people who do not have food, water, protection from disease, shelter and a means of support die. It’s a physical fact of living in a fallen (flawed) world that people are not in glorified bodies sipping nectar out of the clouds. People have been given a fertile and forgiving earth, but it is an earth that has limits on what it can provide. Through the centuries millions have died in times of drought and famine, for example, or disease. This differs from the lot of animals in one way and that is that humans learned to collaborate for their existence. If an animal lacks food it and its offspring perish without a chance of animals in the next town sending Care packages, or telling them of better food opportunities thirty miles in “that direction.” Animals have lived for hundreds of millions of years, though, because they adapt to what is available where they can thrive, and develop patterns of migration where necessary. When people split away from the animals due to their developed means to communicate and be self conscious evolution and adaptation virtually stopped and collaboration began, within families, between families, and eventually clans and tribes, and increasingly sophisticated social groupings.
At the most basic level, hunter and gatherer people had to be very precise and accurate in order to survive. In fact, skills such as mathematics developed from the need to be accurate for survival (for example, knowing how many bushels of grain were stored for the winter). It would not even occur to early humans to lie. In fact, early humans evolved toward increasing precision because their very survival depended on the accurate sharing of information. Who would be the idiot to tell people that they should go a hundred miles through the snow because there is a magic field full of food there, and when they get there yell “April Fool!?” It would not even occur to the early humans to lie. And even today you can see what happens when there is a lack of information. The tsunami wiped out hundreds of thousands of people because a warning system was not in place. So if you think about it, you can imagine how important it was for the earliest humans to be absolutely precise and as honest as possible in their collaboration and sharing of information.
The trouble began when humans became competitive. There is a temptation to endanger and lead astray someone who is perceived to be a rival, or to cheat in order to “get one over on someone” in order to obtain a financial or power advantage. The illusion that this was a conquered and well understood world broke down the natural lack of motivation to lie in early humans because lying no longer conferred an immediate penalty such as a lost hunting party, or a starved populace. Once there is enough abundance and knowledge people start to feel that they can lie in order to manipulate circumstances to suit their own interests. And this is a huge danger. Look at the toxic materials that enter into toys and household items. Look at the outbreaks of bird flu, food contamination, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, just as three examples of health threats that are exacerbated by lying or withholding information. There is still a fundamental survival penalty for individuals, groups, nations and humanity as a whole for lying or withholding vital information. I am boggled when I see how virtually no one seems to understand that.
Humanity’s spiritual survival
By spiritual survival I refer to both sound mental health and fulfilled religious/higher power requirements of humanity. It has been demonstrated in decades of study that the unpredictable is the most potentially mentally destructive force on both individuals and groups of people. Babies who receive abuse are the youngest victims of unpredictability. Parents should be consistent, present nurturers. When they are not the baby’s mental wiring is damaged.
Humans need structure and predictability in order to be sound of mind. Yet somehow there has developed a worship of the unpredictable, the “me first,” the overstimulation of adrenaline and outrageous “surprise” in even the most innocent of entertainments. Somehow society thinks it is good and desirable to be unpredictable and outrageous. I have argued for decades against babies and the youngest children even watching anything on TV, for example. Young babies are busy learning predictability when they first learn to trust that when mom or dad leaves the room that they will come back. Toddlers are still learning what is real and what is not real (see survival reasons discussion above as reminder why that is important). TV is too strong a medium for children because it is over-stimulated short bursts of activity of artificial circumstances taking place with sounds and motion that are not even three dimensional in the room. TV and so forth, no matter how “well intentioned” or “educational” blows the brain circuits of babies, toddlers, and the very young. And as children grow to be adults they have an array of choices that they have never had before, due to the general prosperity of humanity. Yet their very ability to make good choices is compromised by societal lying. There are lies of fact and lies of “spin” and there are lies of illusion. I don’t even have to go into them in specific because you all know what I mean. But in general, young people and adults are saturated in false scenarios with every moment on TV and in the movies. The false scenarios are both too rosy and too gloomy. People are swimming in vats of false witness. At the extreme you have child predators disguising themselves on the Internet. As a baseline you have people who manipulate your feelings, moods, thoughts and actual economic security by direct and indirect lies. I cannot think of a bigger potential for a huge fall of humankind than the fact that there are no longer facts and reality as the baseline of a human’s existence, at least in the prosperous Western secularized culture. And like I said, the false scenarios of entertainment and social pressures are both too rosy and too gloomy. People no longer remember what it is like to be a person, are not allowed to grow serenely from child to adult, and no longer remember how to even have a neighborly discourse without lying and spinning. I wish I was exaggerating but I am not.
The second part of this concern is the ability to relate to God. God speaks only the truth, and is the truth, as God is all knowing, and all of the material and spiritual world are under the purview and part of God’s infinite boundlessness. In addition to the needs for humans to be honest in order to maintain physical and spiritual health, humans need to be able to understand the not-lie when it is spoken to them. And God only speaks the truth. When people lie to each other constantly, they no longer can hear God. Lies are like actually putting sealing wax in each ear. This is because lying (including the omission of truth) is motivated by self interest, even if it is as silly as being amused and entertained in front of the TV. That is why there is the expression “suspend reality.” People used to watch an hour of TV knowing they were “suspending reality” but then they would get back to reality of home, family, job, the future, and their faith. This is the World War II generation I’m mostly speaking of. There was no blurring of TV, for example, and reality. My dad was a night watchman and a deputy sheriff who was a World War II vet. He could watch an hour of “Have Gun Will Travel” or “The Untouchables” and it was just an hour of suspended reality. He did not change how he spoke, what he did, who he socialized with, how he treated his family, how he thought of himself, what products he bought as a result of watching an hour of TV. Now that separation is unthinkable. One cannot listen to an hour of radio or watch TV without being worried about being fat, broke, smelly, unloved, not cool (or as they say today, being “hot”) and without having one’s values and very existence constantly challenged, lied about and spun. So with that as context, how can a human today who is saturated in lies and omission of truth hear God in prayer? God only tells the truth, even if the truth at that moment is just to comfort a person and let him or her know they are not alone. When one has ears that are filled with lies and spin, one listens only for lies and spin. People start treating God as a consumer choice. They look for flash and spin. They “evaluate alternative products.” They tell God, if they even speak to him at all, what is what, but all based on a life that is filled with lies and omissions of truth. Truth sounds suspiciously boring and oppressive. As the Pope recently said, even the prospect of eternal life sounds like a bore to modern humans. Egad, if you are going to be bored by eternal life and bliss at least please don’t ruin it for everyone else, for the children, for those who yearn for their time in paradise in due course of their life’s time. But by constantly lying, spinning, providing false promises implied in entertainment and advertising, and even by painting such a dark world through gothic, conflict ridden portraits of life, one can no longer hear the author of life, God, when he speaks. One can no longer believe what is written in clear language in the holy books to understand.
Not only is one’s ultimate salvation imperiled, but even while alive the absence of being able to hear God threatens one’s spiritual survival. Humans were meant to know God (though not necessarily to understand completely), and God has made himself abundantly clear and accessible in the Bible and in the Qur’an. When people were more whole than they are now, and when much more of their daily existence was predictable and secure (if not strictly speaking safe, for example war or disasters) the reading of the Bible or the Qur’an was a pleasurable treat, their touch with God and knowing him, understanding him. People did not hold “Tomb Raider” in one hand and the Bible in the other and go, “Gosh I need some entertainment.” The Bible, and the Qur’an, was like nourishment and their treat. This is also the place that people could be sure of the truth. Nothing is in the Bible or the Qur’an that is put there to make you uncertain about your goodness, uncertain about life, uncertain about your appearance, or to sell you a product or service. In fact, you read about people who paid for your security and peace of mind with their lives, and of God’s love for all humanity, despite many disappointments. So when the Bible was in the home and in the school, kids and adults could “suspend reality for an hour or two of playing cowboys” or whatever, because they had the foundation of reality that allowed them to have fun as a treat. Life was not the self gratifying distorted freak show that it is today. Without God and the truth there is a void that is filled with cheap lays, drugs, alcohol, behavioral addictions and increasing perversion. It is not so much that drugs take a person away from God, in fact, but it is the lack of God that creates a gaping hole that is tempted to be filled by drugs. As people are increasingly living in a world where the “norm” is to have people constantly lie to each other, withhold or manipulate information and perception one can no longer hear the truth when it is spoken to them, because it seems almost too simple and dull.
Salvation of the Soul to Heaven
Whether you are a Jew, Muslim or a Christian you have an abundance of accurate information available at your fingertips to live in hope of eternal paradise upon death. Like I said, it is all there for your benefit, not for God’s.
God knew that bearing false witness not only imperils human beings physical and spiritual survival but also their ability to achieve heaven, avoid hell, and be “saved.” During Biblical times, and the time of the Qur’an, contracts and writing were virtually non-existent. People dealt honorably with each other via oral “witnessing.” I’ve written a goodly amount on understanding witnessing and how witnessing is one of the many ways that the accuracy of the Bible and the Qur’an are attested to. But to summarize God taught humans how to make agreements with each other based on several people coming together, recognizing the truth, and attesting to it. One of the earliest examples is the purchase by Abraham of land for the burial place of his wife Sarah when she had passed on. There was no bill of sale, and there was no advertising of funeral parlors. Abraham desired a specific piece of land and with witnesses acquired that land, following rules and procedures that God had taught people to do. I cannot describe the peace of mind that has been lost by humans from those times when honest verbal attestations of truth were the process of both business and social life. When people lost the ability to honorably witness with each other they lost the ability to understand God’s very instructions to them. The insidious concept of “agenda” has polluted virtually every modernized person’s thought process and perception. When people lost witnessing with and to each other, in the Biblical sense, they lost the ability to understand and believe the people who witness to God in their fullness. At “best” people cherry pick the Bible and Qur’an to seek false justification for their agendas. At “worst” they do not recognize the witnessing of God at all. Rather than study the entire body of witness to God that is presented in the Bible and the Qur’an (though in Islam they do not call it witnessing as often as in the Bible, but they do affirm witnessing in the Qur’an) people ignore it since it is no longer a concept humanity understands or they read it with shaded glasses seeking justification of agenda (whether Islamic terrorism or self congratulatory Christian sects). People who no longer live in a society of witnessing cannot understand the truth of the holy people who witnessed to God in the ancient times. Worse, people assume that the authors of the holy books are wired the same mentally as people today to be self seeking advocators of agenda and spin. They do not understand that truth telling, full disclosure and witnessing are directions given by God for day to day living as an entire way of life. Thus the Eighth Commandment is not about avoiding telling one lie. It is saying that people should live via the process of witnessing and that the witnessing must always be truthful.
A big light bulb ought to be going off in people’s minds right now. Modern people forget their roots. The roots of this commandment was a society whereby witnessing was a day to day process followed by rich or poor, pious or less religious, in both religious and secular matters. Witnessing was the pen, paper and SPEECH of Biblical (and Qur’an based) times. It was the way of life and the outlook of people. You can see remnants of it when in old books and movies people spoke of “a gentleman’s word” or “word of honor.” But already then it was not the way that God intended. Just as Jesus said that where several people gather in his name, there he is found, God taught that humans should regulate themselves in both their discourse and agreements via the witnessing of several people, in truthfulness and honorable intentions (intentions are “covered” in the Commandments about not coveting). The light bulb that should be going off in each reader’s mind is that this Eighth Commandment was based on instructions that God gave (both in the Bible and the Qur’an) for witnessing as the process by which people spoke to each other and reached agreement.
This is why the entirely false society humans have forced each other into has divorced people from even understanding the Eighth Commandment and its purpose, and put humanity in a dire position. There is not a day that goes by that I am not worried, disgusted, alarmed and repelled by how far people have fallen away from God just on this one Commandment alone and on their own basic self understanding of it and lack of mutual respect. It literally nauseates me as I see what alienation from understanding and following the Eighth Commandment has done to humanity as a whole. I fear for the souls of everyone involved for surely you must now understand that this is not a matter of “venial” sins, “white lies,” “marketing,” “spin,” or “entertainment.” People are not only “false witnessing” but they are no longer “witnessing” at all in their lives in the way that God instructed them for their own survival. It is an unbelievable and dire peril that I cannot over emphasize. Deception, illusion and the abandonment of true witnessing has already lost many uncounted souls and threatens literally millions today.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
I scanned the other headlines and saw the sad news that five farmers had committed suicide. There was no detail, just the usual cause, which was unbearable debt. Many Indian farmers commit suicide because they do not receive enough money for their food, the cost of farming has gone up, the risk is always high (weather and so forth), and they often have dowry costs for marrying off their daughters that they cannot afford. So they take out loans from the bank and eventually it all comes crashing as they cannot pay. So these poor men commit suicide. These are farmers... men who know how to grow food that is desperately needed and if anything they should be extolled and supported. Yet of course even here in the USA many farmers can also tell a sad story of debt and despite subsidies, no real assistance of the sort that would allow family farms to survive. Farmer suicide is not unknown in the USA. But in India the suffering is enormous. I wish India could, with foreign help, implement some sort of rural farm protection and financial cultivation, something like what Roosevelt did during the depression. Not the same, of course, but you know what I mean... a way to help farmers with loans, credits and real assistance (that they don't have to pay back) in order to preserve an essential part of the social fabric and economy. And it is so unfair that people who till the land for others have to suffer so much.
I just had an idea. Someone ought to create a fund, structured the way retirement funds are structured, except it would be dedicated to the poor who must provide a dowry. When a girl child is born she is enrolled in this fund, receiving "shares." This would take the temptation away to harm the baby girl or not let her thrive during her childhood out of fear that the parents cannot afford a dowry, because they have the shares that are receiving interest and maturing along with her. So when she is of marriage age the funds in the account should have yielded a sufficient amount to pay all or most of her dowry having earned interest from the time she is born into her teenage years or even twenties. Depending on a means test the parents could contribute to the fund, and it is matched, but for the most poor they should not have to pay more than a nominal few cents amount so that they have fulfilled dowry by buying the shares, but not actually having to pay more than a symbolic amount. Parents could then just love their baby girls without fear that the dowry will crush the family.
Their tongues ought to be stuck to the roofs of their mouths. What a disgrace.
In Biblical times "prosperity" meant, in an agricultural economy, that you could grow enough food and tend enough livestock that 1) your family never lived in want or need 2) your family itself could 'prosper,' which means your children could marry well and have children of their own 3) you could sacrifice better quality and quantity to God and give to the Temple and 4) you could have foods such as milk and honey that are not only nutritious but a pleasure to eat. Prosperity was SELF EARNED, not taken from the faithful as "donations."
No honorable Jew or early Christian would take from a believer any more than was necessary for sustenance and to spread the word of the Lord and perform good works in his name.
There simply was not the economic equivalent then that exists today. People in Biblical times did not "become rich." They were either born to wealth, the very few in number, or they lived ordinary lives by the work of their own hands (including the early Christians) and sought to establish prosperity, as I outlined above, for their family. Prosperity sometimes meant you had earned enough money to purchase members of your family from slavery and redeem captives. NO ONE in Biblical times considered "prosperity" the taking of money from the faithful in order to buy a jewel encrusted chariot.
Oh my God, give me a break from such profane exploiters.
Being wealthy is a matter for one's own life circumstance and one's own conscience. But there is NO SUCH THING as "prosperity gospel." King David lived in prosperity, but he almost lost it all when he decided to do an inventory of his possessions without having permission to do so from God. He nearly brought disease, ruination, invasion, and the loss of his kingship upon himself by being self satisfied in what God had allowed him to have. How much more so do you think God will judge so called ministers and preachers who take money from the faithful so they can wallow in their lavish lifestyle and ATTRIBUTE it to GOD?
No, it ain't God they hear whispering in their ears and giving them jollies when they look at their bank accounts.
So in saber anything above the waist is a target, since saber replicates the fencing done on horseback where courtesy of the days past prevented a gentleman from striking below the waist where the horse might be harmed. I met my ex husband at the fencing club. He was proficient in all three weapons. Since I was a beginner we could never really fence, as any attempt would simply turn into a lesson for me. One day I kept bending my sword hand in a way that exposed the wrist as a target and he, of course, zeroed in on it repeatedly. Bored and exasperated he said, "You know, if you keep exposing your wrist I'm going to keep hitting it!" So I worked to correct that problem.
But at the same time I thought to myself, "Hmm."
So when fencing an older man who was a mean arrogant lout at the club, I would let my wrist be exposed just a little, like I was being sloppy and sure enough, I'd see his weasel eyes darting in that direction. I'd add a little drool and my best dunce cap idiotic expression and sure enough, he would go for my wrist. But I'd act like I suddenly noticed and sloppily parry his attack. This would set him up for thinking that I wasn't aware of what I was doing, and to scorn me as an opponent.
With cunning and persistence I was able to score a lot of points with this gambit. I'd leave my wrist open for bait, and then parry in a way that looked a bit desperate, but then I'd immediately riposte for the kill. I could do this a few times in a row and they'd never learn.
(By the way, years later I was taking lessons with a prominent coach who was a family friend. I could even get away with it with him, and that was the only way I could score points on him, his being a former Olympian and Pan Am champ. But boy when he'd catch me doing it he'd whallop me with his moves outside my gambit ha ha ha. Yet I could still get him to fall for it every once in a while so I'd get at least one point in one of our practice bouts. He was so skilled and so fast, that I was a genius if I just succeeded in parrying him until I was backed up to the wall. He dressed all in black and was like a nice Jewish older man ninja ha ha, coming at you like a black cloud at full speed, and that wasn't even him trying hard ha ha. What a champion he was.)
Also, anyone who works in a zoo, from top job to bottom cage sweeping is there because someone put in a word for them, whether they know it or not. It is brown and green patronage through and through. So you get people who can't measure. In my hometown highly paid zoo people let a newborn elephant baby drown (something that scarred the people of that city deeply) because they were too stupid to realize a baby cannot go into a deep adult pool. And they made sure to fence part of the pool so that the adult elephants could not go in any direction to save the baby. These are the morons who run zoos and other conservation centers. It's the brown and green patronage.
And now they have published the names of the victims. While doing a search, since the name rang a bell from my Indian lore days, I found a hilarious article by someone with the same name about being the hot stallion man of the house and how that's what women really want. If you want a giggle read this, from last year:
The author writes about combative sex on the couch and calling her bad names.
Uh oh... I hope the visitors at the zoo were not trying to do that with the female tiger....
I know tigers pretty well and they hate being disrespected...!!!
I guess they should know if you are going to taunt and fondle a female tiger they ought to make sure she is knocked out on the operating table or something like that.
When I was young three political figures of the USA were assassinated in rapid succession. President Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and presidential candidate Robert Kennedy were assassinated in a time of tremendous political turmoil in the USA. President Gerald Ford, rest his soul, also narrowly avoided assassination.
What if during this time of turmoil, when many mentally unstable people had guns, and there were rumors of organized crime, racist and other plots, a country such as Pakistan wrote how sad they were because "Robert Kennedy was their candidate" or "they had been in discussions with President so and so to power share with presidential candidate such and such."
Today I read the flagrant characterization of her being the USA and other country's favorite in Pakistan's elections and own political affairs in the same breath as mourning former president Bhutto's assassination. What kind of democracy is that? When the USA openly pushes a candidate that has a known history in her own country (both good and very bad). How would the USA feel if when President Ronald Reagan was nearly assassinated if Pakistan or another country said, "Yeah, he was saved" or "Boo, darn it, wish they had gotten him" because they were openly election influencing in our country? The USA would be outraged, of course.
I remember when she was elected and I was gladdened that she was the first Muslim woman leader in such an office. Yet I wondered when some Western materialistic attributes of her and her family were so obviously manifested if she would really last in the office, leading a country of devout and poor people who also did not need an additional budgetary and moral burden of financial corruption.
When will the USA and other countries learn that this is no longer colonial times? That their Western values do not necessarily fly in countries that have other priorities in order to survive and thrive, both spiritually and materially? That people who already elected her once don't need a big brother nation pushing for her one way or the other? That empire building never works, especially in countries that have a different cultural, religious and economic milieu?
So while I condemn the assassination fully and completely, I would have to be a fool to be surprised, and I ain't a fool.
When will countries learn that to promote democracy you teach a people to fish instead of providing the fish that you have selected for their "own good" and pushing the fish on the people?
I've read she even claimed that the rains came at her bidding. I think the USA and other nations, terrorism concerns aside, need to focus on their own elections and their own moral compass. It is one thing to be a diplomat and wise counselor, and that role by the USA would be welcome. It is another thing to pressure and root for "a team" like this is the Superbowl and not a nation's future and soul.
I offer comfort to those who suffered a loss from her passing, but I urge people to be calm and sober about the steps going forward. There is always something of value to be learned in tragedy (I'm still waiting for people to learn from the Iraq experience) and I urge them to be more diplomatic and wise counselor and less nation engineers and peanut gallery. The USA in particular, despite being a nation of formidable individual faith, does very poorly at assessing the needs and priorities of a faith based state.
Literally, I observe people and fill out a mental "time sheet" of how they spend their time, mental, and spiritual energies. You would be shocked by how much time the average person spends on diminishing the happiness of others. If that time was devoted to mindful charity (not write a check into a rat trap of wasted funding) the world would have been a drastically different place by just that change alone. Lots of water over the dam these past thirty years, not to be recovered.
Named for the man who requested Jesus’ body from Pontius Pilate for a proper burial, the Joseph of Arimathea Society grew out of the work of the Christian Action Team, the umbrella organization for service activities at St. Ignatius High School. “We wanted to have service in place that accomplishes all the corporal works of mercy,” explains Ed DeVenney, campus minister.
Various programs feed and clothe the poor, tend to the sick and visit the lonely, but team leaders wanted to do more.In 2003, St. Ignatius was the first high school in the country to provide the pallbearer service. It has necessarily grown to become the largest extracurricular activity at the Near West Side school.
“It’s even bigger than football,” DeVenney says.
Open only to juniors and seniors, students are restricted to serving one funeral per semester to limit time out of the classroom. The society averages about two funerals per week and has upwards of 300 members.
In service to God
Five of student pallbearers gather in the office of campus ministry for last-minute instructions. It is their first time as pallbearers and they are quiet.
“I want you to pray and remind yourselves what it is you’re doing today,” DeVenney says. “You’re in service to God and to Mrs. (Marian) Lombardo. She has no one left in her life and there will probably be very few people at the church.
“Be prayerful, participate in the Mass and remember that sometimes your voices are the only voices in the congregation,” he says.
As the navy blue St. Ignatius High School van pulls up in front of St. Stephen Parish on West 54th Street, the boys face the reality of their advisor’s words. With the exception of a Greek Orthodox bishop, they are the only ones in attendance at this funeral.
Read this whole article, you will be inspired, as I am, with the maturity of these students. They truly are serving God and exhibiting marvelous qualities and deeds of charity and dignity.
People of all walks of life could read this quote every day, whether Catholic, Christian or not, and gain from comprehending, living, and being comforted by this message.
My reply: Don't count on it LOL.
When Howard Stern wore a wedding dress he got closer to being a June bride than this travesty who claims to be faithful to Jesus Christ ever will be.
Family members of Gary Joy, Janet Jorgensen, Dianne Trent, Angie Schuster, Maggie Webb, John McDonald, Beverly Flynn and Gary Scharf spoke at wake services and funerals last week in Omaha area churches.
Icy roads and wintry weather couldn't stop thousands of mourners from gathering to remember the innocent victims.At funeral services of the four Catholics who were buried in the Omaha area – Jorgensen, McDonald, Trent and Schuster – the message was the same: hope and God's power over death.
Do read the article. It's a reminder of what the "average Joes and Marys" of this country are like, and how great they truly are without being secular stars...
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
They are not the type to gripe to if you don't want some dramatic fixing to take place, settling some people's hash, as we used to say. (By "you" I don't mean you, dear reader, I mean "me." It's a bad idea for me to gripe to angels because they tend to be very attentive and "go to fixer types" for me).
(For younger folks or non Americans settling someone's hash is not a drug reference but from innocent days, referring to a common meal of diced potatoes and meat).
I've met a few people who are OK, but it is always in a customer-seller type relationship.
And of course I've known for years that anyone who talks to me is working off of a script. I imagine I'd have to go to Darfur to meet someone who is not pseudo-Hollywood. No one there is pretending to suffer in order to scam me. Actually there are two types of scripts, in general. One is to pretend to be in trouble, afflicted, or suffering to see what I will give them. The other is to rub my face into their prosperity, and they "season" it with referencing past relationships of mine and so forth, to try to probe for unhappiness or shame.
I've always had trouble with remembering names, not because I am inattentive, but because I tend to be relating to the person's soul and personality and what they are saying/thinking, and so I tend not to absorb meaningless labels like names.
Course nowadays, since I have trouble remembering names, I tend to think of each person I meet as "Probably Going to Hell." That's what I'm thinking as they recite the lines of their script. Honestly, that is the name I've given to most people, that I'm thinking as I speak to them.
If the report mentions forced marriages as a cause for some of the suicide cases, the story published in the Arab News about Fatima, the woman who was forcibly divorced from her husband, makes the point clearer. It was reported that Fatima told a friend that she was considering suicide as she “can’t take this anymore”.
For those who are unaware of the case, Fatima’s tragedy began with her half-brothers objecting to what they considered her husband’s low tribal background. They asked a local court to divorce the couple even though they had been happily married for over two years and had children.
The judge agreed. The couple fled and were later arrested in Jeddah where they were seeking help from officials. Fatima and her children spent some time in a women’s prison and when she refused to go back to her family, the state sent her to the women’s shelter.
This is a disgraceful situation. If the facts are known to the newspaper how is it that a higher judge with serious responsibility for Islamic morals and principles has not intervened and reunited the forcibly divorced couple?
I wondered the first time I read this and now I am tapping my foot with impatience.
Where in Islam does it say that greedy or snobby relatives can split apart a marriage, especially one WITH CHILDREN. What a shame for everyone involved. I do not know how judges can view themselves honorably with allowing this situation to happen in the first place, and to continue, especially so soon after Haj, when this should have been rectified in front of God.
I want to point out a few things to reflect on. Stephen would have been one of those who received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, as he would have been one of the disciples who were present with the Apostles and the Virgin Mary.
The Apostles gave him the "assignment" of collecting food for the poor. It is while doing that charity that he came into conflict with "The Synagogue of Freedmen, Cyrenians, and Alexanderians, and also people from Cilicia and Asia," (Acts 6, 9) who challenged him. It was not the collection of food that concerned them, but they envied the spirituality of St. Stephen because since the Pentecost he was a miracle worker (Acts 6:8). This is an example of one of the grave sins against the Holy Spirit, which is to envy someone else's spirituality and goodness.
I also can't help but point out that it sounds like a "gang" that assembled directly after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus to refute him and his Apostles and disciples. For history buffs, if something "did not happen" then why did such a motley gang, such is spelled out in such detail in the above passage, wander the streets to hunt down charity and miracle workers, hmm? Yet so soon after the death and resurrection of Jesus there just happened to appear such an interesting array of people, led by members of one synagogue, to hunt down his followers. "Things that make you go, hmm." In fact if you study Acts you will read how for years people gathered in "gangs" to hunt down Apostles and the people that they ministered. So the first days of Christianity was not, despite what today's so called intellectual "talking heads" try to say, "just another Jewish cult." Jewish cults were tolerated by other Jews; they certainly were not hunted down by gangs of people from as far away as Asia, recruited by synagogue members. Where there is smoke there is fire. And two plus two equals four. The evidence is there for anyone who reads and comprehends the witnessing of events recorded in the New Testament.
I also want to point out that it was the Holy Spirit who enabled the Apostles and some disciples to perform miracles in the name of Jesus. The receipt of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost is not the same as people who think they "have" the holy spirit today. This was a one time sending of pure grace and charisms by God through the intercession of Jesus Christ. This was why Peter and the other Apostles and disciples were able to perform miracles. Remember that Mary received this too, although her activities are not recorded because she was "family" not a worker of the early Church.
I also want to point out that it was this Holy Spirit that allowed the heavens to actually open up and St. Stephen to see heaven as he was about to be martyred:
But he, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, 'Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God' (Acts 8: 56-57).
In fact it was seeing heaven that infuriated his persecutors even more and it was at that time they dragged him out of the city and stoned him. Again, this is why envy of someone else's holiness is such a grave sin against the Holy Spirit.
Remember though that with God all is never totally lost. Saul stood by and watched the persecutors cloaks for them while they stoned St. Stephen. Saul would fall on the Road to Damascus when the resurrected Jesus Christ confronted him, and thus Saul became St. Paul.
St. Paul received "Pentecost" directly from Jesus, by the way, which is the reason that St. Paul could work miracles of the level of the Apostles themselves.
St. Stephen was also the first martyr to pray for and forgive his persecutors as they killed him. This is not a requirement, by the way, but shows the exemplary grace that he contained within him.
And it's a nice personal touch at an emotional time, to remember that your loved one has a guardian angel right next to him or her at all times, who can sometimes "work the angles" of a situation if they can, God willing and if circumstances allow. Guardian angels mostly work to prevent the situation by being the voice of grace and good decision making in one's ear.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
(12-25) 18:34 PST San Francisco - -- One San Francisco Zoo visitor was killed and two others injured early this evening after a tiger escaped from its cage.
The tiger that got loose was fatally shot while it was attacking a patron, said San Francisco Fire Department spokesman Lt. Ken Smith.
The attack happened shortly after the zoo's 5 p.m. closing time at a cafe on the east end of the zoo, officials said. The tiger cages are located near the center of the zoo.
This is a year after a tiger killed a keeper who was like leaning on the cage or something like that and the zoo was found negligent. If you read this article you'll find that at one point it was possible that ALL FOUR tigers had gotten out.
Having expressed sympathy for the victims, now I must ask.
Do the zoo keepers have too much vaseline and KY gel on their hands to properly lock up the tigers?
Did that 60's song really go:
If you go to San Fran sicko
Be sure to wear some ketsup in your hair
If you go to San Fran sicko
You're going to meet some hungry tigers there...
I hope the zoo patron was not one of the ten righteous people still remaining in SF.
Now, our dear Pope Benedict XVI, not only do I fervently love him, but I am busting my buttons with pride over him. I would be the annoying mother with a wallet full of pictures of her "favorite child," pigeon holing anyone passing by and forcing them to look at pictures of him, ha ha! "Isn't he the best of all?" I would say, pointing out the day's events and all that Pope Benedict XVI says and does. He is putting in much wise love and maintenance to the building of Christ's Church. Maintenance work is as important to a building as new additions and fancy architecture. He is teaching, he is forming the faith anew with stories and writings that all can understand. He is that marvel, a prodigious scholar who can explain God to a child. He is honest and he knows his job as Vicar of Jesus Christ, yet he ponders and wishes to address every problem of the world, Christian or not. He shows people how to pray and love God simply by doing it, as he does with his whole heart and soul. There is nothing like a man who is an exemplary example of being a man. And he is restoring the Church to the words, rites and atmosphere of faith that it was intended to have all these years. Remember that a Church building is an enclosure around sacred space. It is what happens in that space that is the communion with God. I hope he kicks liturgical dancing and new age garbage out of the Church and right to the rings of Uranus where it belongs. See? I could go on for quite a long blogging, extolling his praises and sharing mama pictures ha ha.
God bless Pope Benedict XVI and may all his prayerfulness prosper not only Catholics but all people worldwide.
Rather than rant more about the lack of spirituality demonstrated by this sector of Evangelicals I will point out some religious theology.
People who assume they "know" "when" or "what signs" point to the end of time are cutting off their own (and other people's) noses, by "pulling the trigger" before God even intends it.
These stupid people who think they will be raptured (at all) say nothing of thinking it is in the foreseeable future are causing trouble in the world that God does not intend.
How do they know that what they "think" are "signs" is not God giving people a chance to take hold of their own faiths and be reborn for a new period of peace on earth? That is God's plan, you fools. God will not "end times" until it is pointless for humanity to try to continue and flourish. You people are so mean and stupid that when God grants many "second" chances (that's second chance, not Second Coming) you poop all over the chances at the cost of lives, health, and yes, souls for Christ
Rapturists are such a disgrace I'm ashamed, deeply ashamed, that they use the word "Christian." The average Muslim who believes that God wills what he wills and is all merciful is more a Christian that you so called rapturist Evangelicals. What a disgrace. You embarrass me.
During the Haj many Muslims explained, correctly, that while God wants devotion and correctness, he also does not want people to suffer needlessly in the carrying out of their devotions. How beautiful that insight is. Compare that to people who like gory gamesters count down military conflicts and natural disasters, drooling that this is the "sign" that they will be raptured and God will rip new *holes in the people left behind. Who has the Charity? Who has the faith in this comparison, by truly understanding God?
rapture theology = dog vomit
When eating a piece of meat, whether steak, lamb, or so forth, usually you can see the tenderest and best part of it, and cut away the grizzle and so on. I grew up poor, though we did not lack in food, but I know well the unconscious thought process when eating something special that you don't normally have. Do you eat the best part of it first, or save it for the last bites?
It probably does not matter and is a matter of personal choice except in one area. That is, it is unwise to cut off the best part and then put it aside for last. If you cut away the best part then it is going to cool off on the side of your plate before you get to it. That just does not make sense. If you value the best part of the meat and want to save it for the last and best mouthful, why would you slice it off of the part you are eating and put it on the side where it would congeal and grow cold?
So it is with faith, charity, and good deeds. It is never wise to "wait" for the "best time" and "save for last" what you know to be necessary to remedy a situation. It will be cooler and less tender when you finally get around to it.
On the eve of the auspicious birthday of Jesus Christ (PBUH) when all Muslim and Christian believers extend best wishes to each other on the onset of the New Year, IRNA colleagues also wish peace and prosperity for the world community in New Year 2008.
We hope the new year will be a peaceful year devoid of conflict, poverty, suffering, and disputes among different religions.
It is hoped that the world community can coexist peacefully irrespective of caste, color, religion, race or nationality and the world would benefit from the spirit of kindness contained in the teachings of Jesus Christ (PBUH) and other divine prophets to promote peace, stability and tranquility throughout the globe.
Click on the link to see the nice picture too. These greetings are much appreciated! God bless.
Through her virginity and her obedience to God she became the pure vessel to contain God’s most beloved Jesus.
Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit overshadowing her. She was the first and only in history to receive a pure infusion of the Holy Spirit, which changed her very being.
Because she remained humble and mostly silent, many miss that Mary became herself a speaker of prophecy by grace of the Holy Spirit. She said:
My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
Because he has regarded the lowliness of his handmaid;
For, behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed;
Because he who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is his name:
And his mercy is from generation to generation
On those who fear him.
He has shown might with his arm,
He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And he has exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich he has sent away empty.
He has given help to Israel,
His servant, mindful of his mercy-
Even as he spoke to our fathers-
To Abraham and to his posterity forever.
I am astonished when non Catholic Christians gloss over this mighty prophecy by Mary.
She is the terror of all heretics not because she pounds them into the ground of her own power.
She is the terror of heretics because she speaks clearly what the Lord wills to happen, and what will happen. Her very body and her modesty are proof of all that will happen, of the downfall of those who are cruel and who do not believe, and the rise of the humble and pious. And she spoke this immediately upon conceiving and traveling to her relative Elizabeth, before Jesus was even born. How can people not see that the Holy Spirit moved her to make one of the greatest prophetic speeches of all time? Because this is a canticle many think this is a Paul Anka “I am having a baby” song, I seem to think sometimes. But good Lord can anyone not read what is being said by a virginal Jewish maiden? “He has put down the mighty from their thrones.”
So heretics through the ages fear Mary (and defame her) not because she is going to “do” anything to them, but because she is the living proof of God’s will, and these words ring in the inner being of all who defy God and defame the faith of “Abraham and…. his posterity.”
Remember that Mary is not only transformed by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit once, to bear Jesus and thus also deliver him and this prophecy, but a second time, in the midst of the Apostles and disciples, during Pentecost. Mary is not to be worshipped but she is to be heeded at people’s great peril if otherwise as she proclaims God and his will through both words and her own body’s temple.