Today is Birthday Eve, the one day of the year you get to do what you want and stay
up as late as you like…
there’s even a party of celebration today….
Tomorrow’s big day will be a simple and joyful family day…
Happy Birthday Eve!!
For happily the government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction,
to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean
themselves as good citizens…
May the children of the stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land,
continue to merit and enjoy the goodwill of the other inhabitants.”
(excerpt is taken from a letter written by George Washington to the Hebrew Congregation
in Newport, Rhode Island)
Okay—long story short…
I began this post day’s ago…when I caught a news story about a letter from,
a soon to be President Washington, expressing his belief in God…
or who Washington so often referred to as “Providence” (’twas the times).
It coincided with the news story regarding Representative Ilhan Omar’s disparaging remarks
concerning Israel and Jews.
Shame on you Ms. Omar….but more to you later.
I have many other choice words to say to our new dear darlings of the House,
as well as some not so new senators and congress folks, those who are jumping on the intolerant bandwagon
of antisemitism, anger, and ignorance all while hiding under a Mr. Rogers-like engulfing sweater of all
things equitable, fair and tolerant…those who flock to the altar of Socialism while pretending to
be all things welcoming, inviting and dare I say, American.
They do not ask “would you like to be my neighbor?”… preferring rather to eradicate any and all who
continue to cling to and adhere to the tenants of a Judaeo/ Christian culture—that which our
Nation was actually built upon.
I will save those choice words for another day.
However, with all the current talk and a seemingly nefarious push to eliminate our
Judaeo / Christian foundation by an uber progressive radical culture, finding
a letter by a soon to be President Washington praising God for the ratification of our constitution
Wednesday evening I sat down to finish the original post.
I wrote all evening until it was time for bed.
I saved everything and thought I was good to go.
The following day there was no finished post but rather only the original post…
sitting there as if I’d never touched it since I started it.
It wasn’t in my history on the computer or in WP.
Odd…to say the least.
So I’ll try to recall what I had to say…maybe it will be better.
Plus this is not to be an in depth thesis on the “faith of our fathers” but rather
a tantalizing morsel to whet your whistle.
There has been a growing debate for years concerning the religious beliefs of our Founding Fathers…
A debate now rapidly growing and gaining in interest as many folks now wish to expunge all
references to God from our founding documents, our pledge, our historical architecture,
our books, and even our currency.
It appears that many non-believers and progressive provocateurs look to Thomas Jefferson when they wish
to begin an argument about God’s presence, or lack thereof, in this Nation of ours…
as Jefferson’s personal beliefs have always been a bit grey and convoluted given his keen interest in science
as well as theism and deism.
Jefferson was a devout theist, believing in a benevolent creator God to whom humans owed praise.
In an early political text, he wrote that “The god who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time;…”
He often referred to his or “our” God but did so in the language of an eighteenth-century natural
philosophy: “our creator,” the “Infinite Power, which rules the destinies of the universe,”
“overruling providence,” “benevolent governor,” etc.
In 1823, he wrote to John Adams referring to
“the God whom you and I acknowledge and adore” while denouncing atheism.
Jefferson said that Christianity would be the best religion in a republic,
especially one like the United States with a broad diversity of ethnicities and religions.
“[T]he Christian religion when divested of the rags in which they [the clergy] have
inveloped it, and brought to the original purity &; simplicity of its benevolent institutor,
is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, & the freest expression of the human mind,”
he explained. It was a “benign religion…
inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude and love of man,
acknowledging and adoring an overruling providence.”
Based on these understandings, Jefferson demonstrated a deep, even devout, admiration of Jesus,
“the purity & sublimity of his moral precepts, the eloquence of his inculcations,
the beauty of the apologues in which he conveys them…
It was in this context that Jefferson said that
“I am a Christian,” a quote which is often repeated or referred to without context.
What he said was “I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he [Jesus] wished anyone to be;…”
And speaking of John Adams…probably my favorite president as well as favorite Founding Father,
it seems we glean much of our knowledge of both Adams and Jefferson, along with their feelings and thoughts
regarding the Christian faith, from their correspondence between one another.
“Much of what we know of Thomas Jefferson’s religion comes from letters he wrote from 1811 to 1826
to John Adams. Much more of what we know about John Adams’ views on religion comes from
his letters to Jefferson.
Religion was important to John Adams
“From early entries in his diary to letters written late in life,
Adams composed variations on a single theme:
God is so great, I am so small.
Adams never doubted who was in charge of the universe,
never viewed himself as master of his, or anyone’s destiny.”
There was a strong Puritan strain to Adams’ morality even when he strayed from Puritans’
Adams wrote at 21 “that this World was not designed for a lasting and a happy State,
but rather for a State of moral Discipline, that we might have a fair Opportunity
and continual Excitement to labour after a cheerful Resignation to all the Events of Providence,
after Habits of Virtue, Self Government, and Piety.
And this Temper of mind is in our Power to acquire,
and this alone can secure us against all the Adversities of Fortune,
against all the Malice of men, against all the Operations of Nature.”
Like Jefferson, Adams was a child of the Enlightenment.
The future president brought to religion a lively interest in science that he developed at Harvard.
Steven Waldman wrote: “Like [John] Locke, Adams believed that since God created the laws of the universe,
the scientific study of nature would help us understand His mind and conform to His wishes.
Like Benjamin Franklin, John Adams believed in the utility of religion even when he had doubts
about religious beliefs themselves:
“Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite society, I mean hell.
So as we turn our sights to Washington and his personal views…
We know that the General and future President remains a bit of an enigma when it comes
to our understanding anything truly personal within Washington’s true beliefs.
Washington remains a larger than life figure in our Nation’s history
and yet he was a very private man…
probably more so than his fellow fraternity of Founding Fathers.
The Lehrmaninstitue offers this: George Washington worked hard to keep separate his public and
private views on religion.
History tells us that Washington’s life-long love was his dear Mt Vernon, farming and family…
Following his departure from office, disappearing into obscurity at Mt Vernon was most welcomed.
In most later paintings of Washington, we see an often dour man…particularly emotionless.
Some historians credit chronic mouth pain due to, yes, wooden dentures, to Washington’s pained and
At the same time, we know that Washington had been raised an Anglican.
Anglicans by nature, both then and now, are characteristically reserved when it comes to their faith.
They are not as demonstrative nor vocal regarding their belief in God or that of their faith.
I know because I was raised under a similar umbrella.
The Mount Vernon Organization shares a private insight with us…
Looking at Washington’s theological beliefs,
it is clear that he believed in a Creator God of some manner,
and seemingly one that was also active in the universe.
This God had three main traits; he was wise, inscrutable, and irresistible.
Washington referred to this God by many names, but most often by the name of “Providence.”
Washington also referred to this being by other titles to infer that this God was
the Creator God.
This aspect of his belief system is central to the argument about whether or not
Washington was a Deist.
His belief in God’s action in the world seems to preclude traditional deism.
Washington believed that humans were not passive actors in this world.
However, for Washington, it was also improper to question Providence.
This caused Washington to accept whatever happened as being the will of Providence.
Notably, Washington did see God as guiding the creation of the United States.
It is also possible that Washington felt he needed to discern the will of Providence.
These facts point to belief in a God who is hidden from humanity,
yet continually influencing the events of the universe.
This does not illustrate conclusively that he was a devout Christian, however.
Washington never explicitly mentioned the name of Jesus Christ in
The only mentions of Christ are in public papers, and those references are scarce.
However, Washington’s lack of usage may be due to the accepted practice of his day;
Jesus was not typically referenced by Anglicans or Episcopalians of Washington’s generation.
Mount Vernon Organization
And whereas each man had his own personal and private thoughts and feelings regarding a Divine
Omnipotent Creator…each man, however, was very much convinced that this Creator was pivotal
to laying the foundation of the new fledgling nation.
He was intertwined within her birth, invited to play a key role and intentionally injected into
each part of her birthing fibers.
History teaches us that each man agreed that God and the Christian faith were vital
to the birth of the young nation. A unifying base.
And each man demonstrated a unique humility with regard to that which was greater than themselves.
These Founding Fathers provided us with a foundation as well as a guidepost.
It is my hope that we will not depart from the very foundation that our earliest architects
found necessary to our survival as a viable and functioning nation.
May we continue to humble ourselves to the one true Creator who is far greater than ourselves
and may He continue to shed his Grace on us all.
“Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in a love in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything.
It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings,
what you will do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends,
what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.”
Pedro Arrupe, S.J.
I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day—that being the made up “holiday” and not that of the real person.
And yes, St Valentine was a real person.
I never had a traumatic incident regarding the day for all things amóre–
in fact, my grandmother use to love telling the story of how I once received roses
from 5 different suitors on a Valentine’s day long, long ago.
My cousins still enjoy reminding me of that story as my husband casts a sideways glance my way…
he wasn’t one of the suitors…
I just have never cared for the exploitation of the life of a person who was not about all things
marketing but rather more about the sacrifice of self for his faith and his fellow man.
It’s that whole notion of the ultimate gift of self…
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
I had labored all last evening on a post about our Founding Fathers.
I spent most of the evening writing it.
I saved it.
Oddly it wasn’t there this morning…just the initial post I had started several days ago…
None of the additions or the final completed edited post…
the completed edition that was to be posted this morning.
I went in via my phone this morning to publish the post and realized, after posting it,
that what I posted was not the completed post I had thought I’d finished late last night–
a post that was good to go, but rather just the initial incomplete writing.
Odd and frustrating to be sure!
What happened you ask?
I don’t know…
But my witness, my husband, was equally baffled as we had chatted a bit about what I had
found regarding the “faith of our fathers”—which was the gist of the post.
I did, however, have a nagging thought all evening that, whereas I wanted to write about the faith of
President Washington and his fellow founders, perhaps I should be writing about St Valentine.
So be it by Divine Providence or some sort of nefarious act—the President will have to wait
until I can rework him and try to remember what I wrote…
and no, it’s oddly not in any of the history on the computer or WP.
So here is my Valentine day offering—what perhaps should have been my initial offering
on this day of Love.
A reminder that our love for one another is to be the greatest gift we can give one another…
because the ultimate example was given to us on Calvary.
According to Church lore,
Saint Valentine lived in Rome in the third century and was a priest who helped the martyrs
during the persecution of Emperor Claudius II the Goth.
The great virtue and catechetical activities of the Saint had become known.
For this he was arrested and brought before the imperial court.
“Why, Valentine, do you want to be a friend of our enemies and reject our friendship?”
asked the Emperor.
The Saint replied: “My lord, if you knew the gift of God,
you would be happy together with your empire and would reject the worship of idols and
worship the true God and His Son Jesus Christ.”
One of the judges stopped the Saint and asked him what he thought about Jupiter and Mercury,
and Valentine boldly replied:
“They are miserable, and spent their lives in corruption and crime!”
The judge furiously shouted: “He blasphemes against the gods and against the empire!”
The Emperor, however, continued his questions with curiosity,
and found a welcome opportunity to finally learn what was the faith of Christians.
Valentine then found the courage to urge him to repent for the blood of the Christians that was shed.
“Believe in Jesus Christ, be baptized and you will be saved,
and from this time forward the glory of your empire will be ensured as well as the triumph of your armory.”
Claudius became convinced, and said to those who were present:
“What a beautiful teaching this man preaches.”
But the Mayor of Rome, dissatisfied, began to shout:
“See how this Christian misled our Prince.”
Then Claudius brought the Saint to another judge.
He was called Asterios, and he had a little girl who was blind for two years.
Listening about Jesus Christ, that He is the Light of the World, he asked Valentine
if he could give that light to his child. St. Valentine put his hand on her eyes and prayed:
“Lord Jesus Christ, true Light, illuminate this blind child.”
Oh the great miracle! The child could see!
So the judge with all his family confessed Christ.
Having fasted for three days, he destroyed the idols that were in the house and
finally received Holy Baptism.
When the Emperor heard about all these events,
he initially thought not to punish them,
thinking that in the eyes of the citizens he will look weak,
which forced him to betray his sense of justice.
Therefore St. Valentine along with other Christians, after they were tortured,
were beheaded on 14 February in the year 268 (or 269).
Apart from the historical data we have for Valentine’s life,
there is accompanied various legends,
such as from those who say he is the patron saint of lovers.
The Saint had a reputation as a peacemaker, and one day while cultivating some roses
from his garden,
he heard a couple quarrel very vigorously.
This shocked the Saint, who then cut a rose and approached the couple asking them to hear him.
Even though they were dispirited, they obeyed the Saint and afterwards were offered
a rose that blessed them.
Immediately the love returned between them, and later they returned and asked the Saint
to bless their marriage.
Another tradition says that one of the charges against Valentine was that he did not adhere
to the command of the emperor which stated that men who had not fulfilled their military
obligations were not allowed to marry;
meanwhile the Saint had blessed the marriage of young Christian soldiers with their beloveds.
Besides all this, the likely choice of him as the “saint of lovers” is to be associated with
the pagan festival of Lupercalia, a fertility festival, celebrated by the Romans on February 15.
Others connect the celebration of this feast with the mating season of birds during this period.
Certainly, however, the Saint has nothing to do with the commercialism (marketing) of flowers,
gifts and secular centers which trivialize Eros, this great gift of God.
St Peter’s Orthodox Church and Mystagogy Resource Center
“There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
To spit or not to spit, that is the question…
Or actually, it was my question.
I initially had a different post I wanted to offer today, but I caught a story on the news the
other evening that preempted my plan.
About a week or so ago I wrote a couple of posts referencing the Governor of Virginia,
Ralph Northam’s notion that legislation should be created allowing third-term abortions.
I won’t rehash all of that with you but if you’re interested, you can find those links here:
And yet the irony in this is that the Governor’s potential questionable “racist” past has now
all but smothered his comments and views on third term abortion.
An observation that leaves me more than troubled with our culture’s priorities.
And whereas the Governor has since backed off from his initial wording used during
that fateful interview…it matters not…because more and more states are showing a keen
interest in such an “allowance.”
So lets back up a tad…
I am adopted.
Many of you already know this little fact.
I’ve written about it and shared tales about such since the inception of this little
blog of mine…
so this post is not so much about that…and yet partially…it actually is.
About two weeks back, a fellow blogger shared with me the fact that she had been adopted
as a baby.
She is a wife and mother as well as a wise Christian warrior here in blogville.
I shared with her the fact that I was adopted as well.
She continued her tale…
She shared the fact that she had found her birth mother.
It was somewhat by happenstance.
Her young sons were showing a deep interest in wanting to learn their family’s genealogy…
but my friend knew that her “tree” was rather incomplete.
She didn’t know her “true” heritage…
Her tree, like mine, was dormant.
So she really had nothing she could concretely share with her boys.
Let alone the importance of knowing their family’s true medical history.
And so my friend explained that she bought one of those DNA kits that are so popular
She decided it was high time to learn about her “real” roots.
Once receiving her results, alerts began coming her way.
The alerts were from folks “out there” who had some sort of genetic connection with her…
as in being related.
Alerts that one may opt to connect with or not.
My friend was now piecing her puzzle together slowly one piece at a time.
And one of those alerts, it turned out, was a person who my friend had the gut feeling
was actually her birth mom.
Through correspondence, her birth mother shared that she had always prayed for her
unknown daughter…praying that she would be raised up as a Christian…
of which she was.
A prayer answered and eventually Divinely revealed.
I told my friend that I’d email soon as I wanted to talk further about all of this…
I was curious because of my own questions.
But life, that being my current life, being what it is, we’ve not had the opportunity
to talk further.
But since our conversation, thoughts nagged and tugged at my brain.
I had never once considered my adopted parents anything other than my parents.
And yet, I’ve always had those nagging holes in my life’s story.
There has always been a feeling of disconnect with my “family”
Their heritage is truthfully not my heritage.
Their roots are not my original roots.
Their health history is by no means my health history.
Yet as long as my Dad was alive, I vowed I’d never search.
I feared, given our dysfunctional family mess with my brother who had
also been adopted, it would break my dad’s heart thinking he might lose me after having
lost my brother due to his angst, dysfunction, and inability to deal with his adoption…
all of which lead to family violence, my mother’s death, and his eventual suicide.
(I’ve written many a post regarding my troubled childhood in our
very dysfunctional family so now is not the time for all of that)
So along with the holes to my past, questions have always loomed large regarding
my health and that of my son’s and now that of my grandchildren…
I do know that my birth mother hid her pregnancy, moving to a city far removed
from family and friends.
She sought no prenatal care despite being a nurse.
She delivered her baby (me), a bit prematurely, and shortly following the delivery,
walked out of the hospital.
Later, the young adopted me struggled academically throughout school.
Those who read my posts often note my typos and mild dyslexia with certain words.
I was never diagnosed but I always knew something just wasn’t right.
Yet I persevered, I worked hard and yet I never felt any sort of peace of success
I imagine my son’s lifelong struggles with ADD, a Learning Disability, as well as Dyslexia,
are rooted somewhere in my own unknown genetic make-up.
He was diagnosed in both Kindergarten and 1st grade—early enough for us to seek help—
allowing him to work toward success.
He worked, struggled and persevered— doing more with his life now by age 30 than
many of his teachers ever imagined he would or could.
There have been medical struggles as well for both of us.
Discoveries that have come mostly by happenstance.
My thyroid disorder—Hashimoto’s Disease…which was discovered by routine bloodwork.
Migraines since I was 12.
IBS, as well, since I was 12, that was pegged as simply a “nervous” stomach.
Despite my realizing it, I even struggled with infertility.
We had our son 5 years into our marriage yet we never had another child…
it was something that just never happened.
Due to health issues, I had to have a hysterectomy at age 35—
doctors told me then that they didn’t know how we had actually ever conceived our son
let alone the likelihood that we never would have been able to conceive again.
It was after another routine blood test that I was recently diagnosed as a
a carrier of Hemochromatosis Metabolic Disorder who has bouts with Reynaud’s Syndrome.
Something passed on to my son and possibly
All of which points to some sort of autoimmune issues as the list of discoveries
continues to grow.
Knowledge is a powerful tool—especially when dealing with one’s medical history.
A tool I want for my son and his children…a tool I’ve never had.
So as my husband and I both worry about what we don’t know…
what we don’t know that could affect our son and his health and now the health of his
children, our grandchildren…I therefore finally made my decision.
Rather than reaching out to the Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry,
paying a fee for some sort of search with a potential meeting, or perhaps worse,
a denial of any sort of meeting…should anyone still be living…
I opted for a more broad source of information…albeit actually a bit detached…
A benign pie chart of heritage and a litany of genetic health information.
I ordered the tests from both 23 and Me as well as Ancestry.
I spit in the collection tubes, sealed everything up and shipped them off.
And so now we wait.
In the meantime, upon learning of my offering up a little spit, aka DNA,
my son was actually more reserved rather than excited.
“Mother you have just put the family’s DNA out there for every Governmental
agency to access…”
And it turns out he is correct.
However, my word to him has been… stay on the up and up and it’s all good.
And I suspect once we learn our true course of both past and future…
he’ll be a bit more curious.
But what does my adoption issues have to do with my worries over third term abortions
and of those who are thinking that such actions would be a good choice to offer…
It is the very fact that I was not aborted.
It also runs counter to my Christian faith.
Despite my biological mother’s obvious angst and crushing strain that she was
to then live with…
she still opted to give me life…despite this heavy burden carried alone.
She afforded me the gift of life…the gift of loving and being loved…
The eventual gift of my precious granddaughter and soon-to-be grandson.
Relationships and connections that may never have been…
And for that, I am grateful.
So the other evening while I was doing the dishes I heard Fox New Host Martha McCallum
talking about the latest state who was showing interest over third term abortions.
I put down the dishes, turned off the water at the sink, grabbed a dishtowel while
drying my hands as I raced into the den to hear her story.
She was interviewing a young man named Daniel Ritchie.
Ritchie was born without arms and has become an outspoken opponent to the
idea of abortion, especially third-term abortions.
His was a birth of extreme alarm.
He was delivered without arms and without actual vital signs.
It appeared he would not probably survive and since there was such deformity,
the doctors began explaining to his parents that to just let him “go” would be best.
But his parents, to the surprise of doctors, did not think such a decision was wise nor right and
thus encouraged the doctors to do their best to revive their son—of which they did.
Man might think he knows what is best based on clinical observations and deductions…
however, none of us can tell the future with any real certainty.
Our hypotheses of life can be, more or less, whittled down to nothing more than a 50 50 crapshoot.
Ritchie shared with Martha his challenges growing up learning to do everything with
his feet rather than what others were doing with their hands and arms.
But Daniel told Martha that it was at age 15, that pivotal age in adolescents,
that the real turning point in his life arrived…he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
The choice to live with bitterness over a life of challenge, difficulty, stares, and rejection
or the choice to choose something bigger and greater than self…to seek a life even greater
then what he currently knew.
Daniel came to understand that God had a plan…
a bigger plan than he could have ever imagined.
A plan that would never have been had his parents opted to follow the doctor’s
suggestion in that delivery room that fateful day…
the medical suggestion to allow their newly born son,
a son without arms, to die.
Remember—God affords man choice…
A choice to allow a baby to live or a baby to die…
Despite our smug arrogance, man’s earthly vision is limited—
what we see as a burden, hardship or hindrance often has far-reaching and
reverberations that have the potential to change the lives of those we have yet to meet.
Hear and read Daniel’s amazing story.
Meet his wife and children…and hear his testimony to God’s amazing Glory.
The choice to spit or not to spit pales in compariosn to the choice to live or not live…
May we choose to live…may we choose life.
“Totally love Him, Who gave Himself totally for your love.”
St. Clare of Assisi
“Consider not only that God your benefactor is present but also that He acts continuously
in all His creatures.
And for whom is this continual action, this work of God in nature?
Thus, He lights you by the light of day;
He nourishes you with the productions of the earth;
in a word, He serves you by each one of the creatures that you use;
so that it is true to say that at every moment the bounty,
the wisdom and the power of God are at your service and are exercised in the world for
your wants or pleasures.
This conduct of God toward man should be the model of your conduct toward God.
You see that the presence of God in His creatures is never idle;
it acts incessantly, it preserves, it governs.
Beware, then, of stopping at a sterile contemplation of God present in yourself.
Add action to contemplation; to the sight of the Divine presence add the faithful
accomplishment of the Divine will.”
St. Ignatius, p. 182
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
“If a tiny spark of God’s love already burns within you,
do not expose it to the wind,
for it may get blown out…
Stay quiet with God.
Do not spend your time in useless chatter…
Do not give yourself to others so completely that you have nothing left for yourself.”
St. Charles Borromeo
True knowledge is being struck by the arrow of beauty that wounds man: being touched by reality,
‘by the personal presence of Christ himself’, as [Nicholas Cabasilas] puts it.
Being overcome by the beauty of Christ is a more real, more profound knowledge than mere rational deduction.
Of course we must not underestimate the importance of theological reflection, of exact and careful theological thought;
it is still absolutely necessary.
But to despise, on that account, the impact produced by the heart’s encounter with beauty,
or to reject it as a true form of knowledge would impoverish and dry up both faith and theology.
We must rediscover this form of knowledge—it is an urgent demand of the present hour.
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
from On the Way to Jesus Christ
“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”
St. Catherine of Siena
“Love is a strong force — a great good in every way;
it alone can make our burdens light, and alone it bears in equal balance what is pleasing and displeasing.
It carries a burden and does not feel it; it makes all that is bitter taste sweet. …
Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing higher, nothing stronger, nothing larger, nothing more joyful,
nothing fuller, nothing better in heaven or on earth;
for love is born of God and can find its rest only in God above all He has created.
Such lovers fly high, run swiftly and rejoice.
Their souls are free; they give all for all and have all in all.
For they rest in One supreme Goodness above all things, from Whom all other good flows and proceeds.
They look not only at the gifts, but at the Giver, Who is above all gifts.”
Thomas à Kempis, p. 108
An Excerpt From
The Imitation of Christ