indifference

“The most deadly poison of our time is indifference.
And this happens although the praise of God should know no limits.
Let us strive, therefore, to praise him to the greatest extent of our powers.”

St. Maximilian Kolbe


(a lost moth wing / Julie Cook / Julie Cook /2021)

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.
The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference.
The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference.
And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”

Elie Wiesel

Incarnation

The fact that theology also considers the body should not astonish or
surprise anyone who is aware of the mystery and reality of the Incarnation.
Theology is that science whose subject is divinity.
Through the fact that the Word of God became flesh,
the body entered theology through the main door.

St. John Paul the Great


(bumble bee on sunflower / Julie Cook / 2021)

“Christ took upon himself this human form of ours.
He became Man even as we are men.
In his humanity and his lowliness we recognize our own form.
He has become like a man, so that men should be like him.
And in the Incarnation the whole human race recovers the dignity
of the image of God. Henceforth, any attack on the least of men
is an attack on Christ, who took the form of man,
and in his own Person restored the image of God in all that
bears a human form.
Through fellowship and communion with the incarnate Lord,
we recover our true humanity,
and at the same time we are delivered from that individualism
which is the consequence of sin, and retrieve our solidarity with
the whole human race. By being partakers of Christ incarnate,
we are partakers in the whole humanity which he bore.
We now know that we have been taken up and borne in the humanity
of Jesus, and therefore that new nature we now enjoy means
that we too must bear the sins and sorrows of others.
The incarnate Lord makes his followers the brothers of
all mankind.
The “philanthropy” of God (Titus 3:4) revealed in the Incarnation
is the ground of Christian love towards all on earth that bears
the name of man.
The form of Christ incarnate makes the Church into the Body of Christ.
All the sorrows of mankind fall upon that form,
and only through that form can they be borne.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

How do you forget our Nation’s greatest sacrifice? You don’t! Inexcusable Mr. Biden

“Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor,
a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization,
and to set free a suffering humanity”

Franklin D. Roosevelt


(American cemetery/ Normandy, France / Julie Cook / 2018)


(Utah Beach coastline / Julie Cook / 2018)


(Utah Beach coastline / Julie Cook / 2018)


(Utah Beach coastline / Julie Cook / 2018)


(Bullet marks / Normandy /Julie Cook / 2018)


( all images /Julie Cook /Normandy, France / 2018)

How does President Biden forget to commemorate the 77th anniversary of D Day???

There is no excuse.

He shouldn’t have forgotten…his administrative staff shouldn’t have forgotten…
and in turn, we know without a doubt, we have grave problems.

“You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have
striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The
hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.
In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on
other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war
machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of
Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well
equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of
1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats,
in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their
strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home
Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions
of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men.
The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to
Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in
battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great
and noble undertaking.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower

President Biden, this is on you

The border is a crisis—plain and simple.


(ABC)

President Biden and VP Harris may opt to ignore it all..
They may opt to pass the buck…
They may opt to blame their predecessor…
but it remains, none the less…a problem on their watch.

Children left alone by both their coyote handlers charged with moving them across
the border as well as by their own parents…parents who make personal choices
that do not hold their own children’s safety and care as a key paramount priority.

Many of these children will fall victim to either drug smugglers or
sex trafficking.

Unacceptable Mr. President.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/migrant-boy-abandoned-along-us-mexico-border-video

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially
for members of his household, he has denied the faith and
is worse than an unbeliever.

1 Timothy 5:8

Memorial Day 2021

“But freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.
We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream.
The only way they can inherit the freedom we have known is if
we fight for it, protect it,
defend it and then hand it to them with the well-thought
lessons of how they in their lifetime must do the same.
And if you and I don’t do this, then you and I may well spend
our sunset years telling our children and our children’s
children what it once was like in America when men were free.”

Ronald Reagan


(the mayor enjoying a face painting / 2021)

This new community that we now call home hosted a Memorial Day family
community pool party and cookout bash.

And so naturally we had our son and daughter-n-law bring up the Mayor
the Sheriff for the festivities.

There was great food, good music, face painting, balloons along with a much
cooler day than desired in order to spend one’s time in the pool
with the grandkids.
But we do what we must right?!

Last night I noted out loud how much I had enjoyed this year’s Memorial Day…
the other most memorable Memorial Day was the time when we went to Savannah
to scope out our son and at the time, future, daughter in law’s wedding.

This weekend was actually what I would call normal.
Meaning, I readily and unconsciously fell into a sense of what we call
normalcy…life as we once knew it to be.
There were no masks, no social distancing…no limitations…
only kids and parents enjoying a kick-off day to summer.
There were real visible smiles.

Kids lined up to get their faces painted.
Adults stood in line to ‘build’ their burgers and hotdogs.
Balloons were shaped into animals.
Ice cream was plentiful.
The sun peeked in and out from behind the clouds.

And whereas our family celebrated like many American families celebrated
this opening weekend of a new summer…celebrating with cookouts and dips
in the pool…the real meaning of this day has not been lost on my heart.

Years ago when I was teaching, our high school usually had graduation on
the Friday night of the Memorial day weekend.
We’d then start our post-planning on Monday…the official day for Memorial Day.
The nation was observing Memorial Day while our faculty was busy closing
out the school year.

We had a football coach, a man who I still consider myself very fortunate
for having had the opportunity of calling colleague, who was a former
Army officer.

I can remember this ball coach standing up to address the entire staff
on that somewhat fateful Monday morning following graduation…
that Memorial Day morning that we, as a school system, was gathered
together working verses celebrating.

He offered a blistering admonishment.

Many of us had groused at not being able to spend the day
being with our families to help usher in summer…
however this football coach, this former Army Officer and West Point
graduate, took his colleagues and administration to task.

He reminded us why we really should not be at work this particular day.

That our being at work was rather a slap in the face of every armed
service member who had ever served our Nation.

What was wrong that we could not pause for a single day
in order to simply say thank you….

Suddenly it seemed as if the air left the room.
It was a struggle to breath the heaviness that hung in the room.

There was a sense of guilt racing through the room.

Whereas the teachers felt badly for simply wanting to be off with their families
to enjoy a day of cookouts and swimming…I could only imagine that our
administration team was really feeling a sense of oppressive guilt.

Needless to say, for as long as I continued working at the school, we
never worked another Memorial Day.

My daughter in law sent me this lovely reminder of where our thoughts
should actually be on Memorial Day….

John Guy writes:
“What God did at Pearl Harbor that day is interesting and I never knew
this little bit of history.

Tour boats ferry people out to the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii
every thirty minutes. We just missed a ferry and had to wait thirty minutes.
I went into a small gift shop to kill time.

In the gift shop, I purchased a small book entitled,
“Reflections on Pearl Harbor” by Admiral Chester Nimitz.

Sunday, December 7th, 1941— Admiral Chester Nimitz was attending a
concert in Washington, DC. He was paged and told there was a
phone call for him. When he answered the phone,
it was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the phone.

He told Admiral Nimitz that he (Nimitz) would now be the
Commander of the Pacific Fleet.
Admiral Nimitz flew to Hawaii to assume command of the Pacific Fleet.
He landed at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941.
There was such a spirit of despair, dejection and defeat–
you would have thought the Japanese had already won the war.

On Christmas Day, 1941, Adm. Nimitz was given a boat tour of
the destruction wrought on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.
Big sunken battleships and navy vessels cluttered the waters
everywhere you looked. As the tour boat returned to dock,
the young helmsman of the boat asked,
“Well Admiral, what do you think after seeing all this destruction?”

Admiral Nimitz’s reply shocked everyone within the sound of his voice.
Admiral Nimitz said, “The Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes
an attack force could ever make, or God was taking care of America.
Which do you think it was?”

Shocked and surprised, the young helmsman asked,
“What do mean by saying the Japanese made the three biggest mistakes
an attack force ever made?

Nimitz explained:

Mistake number one:

The Japanese attacked on Sunday morning.
Nine out of every ten crewmen of those ships were ashore on leave.
If those same ships had been lured to sea and been sunk–
we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.

Mistake number two:

When the Japanese saw all those battleships lined in a row,
they got so carried away sinking those battleships,
they never once bombed our dry docks opposite those ships.
If they had destroyed our dry docks,
we would have had to tow every one of those ships to America to be repaired.
As it is now, the ships are in shallow water and can be raised.
One tug can pull them over to the dry docks,
and we can have them repaired and at sea by the time we could have
towed them to America.
And I already have crews ashore anxious to man those ships.

Mistake number three: Every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater
of war is in top of the ground storage tanks five miles away over that hill.
One attack plane could have strafed those tanks and destroyed our fuel supply.

That’s why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest
mistakes an attack force could make or, God was taking care of America.

I’ve never forgotten what I read in that little book.
It is still an inspiration as I reflect upon it.
In jest, I might suggest that because Admiral Nimitz was a Texan,
born and raised in Fredericksburg, Texas — he was a born optimist.

But any way you look at it —
Admiral Nimitz was able to see a silver lining in a situation
and circumstance where everyone else saw only despair and defeatism.

President Roosevelt had chosen the right man for the right job.
We desperately needed a leader that could see silver lining
in the midst of the clouds of dejection, despair and defeat.

There is a reason that our national motto is, IN GOD WE TRUST.

Why have we forgotten? PRAY FOR OUR COUNTRY! IN GOD WE TRUST.”

Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox…it matters not

“Give that child to me. I want it. I will care for it.
I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted and to
give that child to a married couple who will love the child
and be loved by the child.”

Mother Teresa

‘What really is at play here, dear family,
is that other shepherds are offended because I simply state
the fact that they abandoned their sheep in a time of need.
If this alleged virus was allegedly a fraction as dangerous
as they said it was, it was all the more reason to keep our
churches open and get you the sacraments so that you
stayed in a state of grace.
They put your eternal souls at risk!’

Fr. Altman

Recently I’ve been following a story about a Catholic priest who made
a comment during the past 2020 election that if one was a professed Catholic,
one could not also be a democrat.
The priest made this comment based upon the two leading democrats at
the time, who were Catholic but who were also very outspoken
regarding abortion.

At the time, the priest was obviously referencing candidate Joe Biden
and Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi…both professed Roman Catholics
who were each touting a ‘woman’s right to choose’—a woman’s right to
use abortion as a means of birth control or a means to end something
that might just be more than one wishes to bear.

The priest also had qualms with not being able to administer
Communion to parishioners who wanted to partake in Holy Communion during
the pandemic quagmire we all endured.

Well, not being Catholic, I actually whole heartedly happen to agree
with this priest.

As in I don’t know how one can be Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian.,
Methodist, Anglican, Orthodox, etc and calmly proclaim from the roof tops
that abortion is certainly fine and dandy.

It is an abomination to God.
Plain and simple.

Our burdens that we bear on this earth are all known by the Father.
Believers know that the gate will be narrow…not wide.
Many will opt for the wide gate…wide is easy yet it is a gate
that will lead to one’s demise.

The narrow gate leads to Salvation…a simple fact.

Our perceived burdens are not meant to be isolated.
Our very lives are tools for teaching.
Our lives, our actions, teach others.
How we opt to handle our burdens is paramount to others.
And yet we don’t or can’t grasp that small fact.
Everything we do has a direct impact upon another…
be it for good or for bad.

Our culture prefers easy and calm…heck, who doesn’t
But that is not what life is all about…easy and calm.

The disciples were each called by name and it was made clear
up front that their opting to follow Christ would not be
a cake walk. It would not be an easy journey.
Choose or not to choose.

However the disciples knew that to not follow would be the lesser
of the two choices…it would equate to death.

He requires a great deal of us.
Plain and simple.

Pick up your mat and walk, He commands us.
Sin no more.
Go forth and proclaim the greatness of the Lord…

BREAKING: Fr. Altman’s bishop has asked him to resign

Shockingly, Fr. Altman announced this past Sunday that his bishop,
Bishop William Callaghan, has asked him to resign for being
“divisive and ineffective.”

Fr. Altman is the priest who said,
“You can’t be a Catholic and a Democrat” in 2020,
and who, more recently, has been strong in his criticism of the
pro-abortion Biden Administration and, separately,
has admonished the U.S. bishops for denying the Sacraments to church-going
Catholics during the COVID crisis.

After delivering a powerful Pentecost Sunday homily, Altman explained:
“I regret to inform you, they want my head on a platter.
They want my head now for speaking the truth.
I apparently have created enemies in the hierarchy.”

“To paraphrase the great, great Cardinal Burke,
‘When I die, I will stand in judgment before the Lord,
not any Bishop of the church, nor as the great Cardinal Burke
specifically said, the USCCB,’” said the embattled priest.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-fr-altmans-bishop-has-asked-him-to-resign?utm_source=UPDT5_ALTMAN&ct=t(UPDATE-SUPPORT-FR-ALTMAN-5-25-21)

Who do you want to love…

“Oh, my soul, how much longer do you wish to be so stingy with Jesus?
Why so negligent towards Jesus who made You?
Why so lazy towards Jesus who redeemed you?
Who do you want to love, if you do not want to love Jesus?”

St. Gemma Galgani


(a beautiful day / Julie Cook / 2021)

“Solomon prayed for prudence and wisdom so that he might govern
God’s people rightly. Because his request was unselfish,
God granted what he sought.
When we pray, we should make sure that our desires are not motivated
by selfishness.
We should only want those gifts that help us most to serve others.”
Rev. Jude Winkler, p. 105
An Excerpt From
Daily Meditations with the Holy Spirit

it about broke my heat

Through prayer you will receive the strength to resist the
spirit of the world.
You will receive the power to show compassion to every human being—just
as Jesus did. Through prayer you will have a part in salvation history
as it unfolds in your generation.
St. Pope John Paul II


( a three legged doe / Julie Cook / 2021)

Driving along a lonely back road in an eastern Georgia National park,
we weren’t really surprised to suddenly spy a deer meandering down a bank…
ready to cross the road in front of our car…
But the problem was that this deer was not exactly meandering.

The deer was oddly and slowly coming down the bank.
There was something odd about her gait.
Struggling with each step…up, down, nearly collapsing,
up down, nearly collapsing…and that’s when we saw the reason
for the odd cadence of walking.

She did not have a left front leg.
The leg was missing clear up to her torso.

This deer had two hind legs and only a single front right leg.
We pretty much figured that she had either been shot in the left leg
or perhaps hit by a car…
she had lost the leg and yet she managed to survive.

Naturally we stopped the car, allowing her to slowly navigate
crossing the road.
By the time she hobbled up and down across the road, she simply stopped…
resting, while taking the opportunity to nibble
on some nice green grass.
I think she knew we’d respectfully wait on her.

Her ribs rippled underneath her sagging skin,
but we know this is the season that deer tend to be
the most lean.
She seemed to be keeping her own.

I wanted to take a picture and yet, I didn’t.
I wanted to respect her dignity along with her struggle.
I was slow to get the camera, capturing her only after she had
traveled across the road and was already headed back up the opposite bank.

So far, she’s managed to defy the odds.
Be that for good or bad.

Crippled yet persevering.
Hanging in and on despite the odds being stacked heavily against her.
A wild animal, who depends upon running and jumping in order to avoid
predators while managing on only three legs, is not high with the
odd makers.

And yet, here she was.

Believer…be encouraged!
Broken and wounded, yet we are still here.

We persevere just as He persevered before us for us…

Odds are not in our favor yet Hope always prevails.

“On the whole, God’s love for us is a much safer subject to
think about than our love for Him.
Nobody can always have devout feelings: and even if we could,
feelings are not what God principally cares about.
Christian Love, either towards God or towards man,
is an affair of the will.
If we are trying to do His will we are obeying the commandment,
‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.’
He will give us feelings of love if He pleases.
We cannot create them for ourselves,
and we must not demand them as a right.
But the great thing to remember is that,
though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not.
It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and,
therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination
that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us,
at whatever cost to Him.”

C. S. Lewis, p. 132
An Excerpt From
Mere Christianity

do not lose courage

“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.
Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections,
but instantly set about remedying them, every day begin the task anew.”

St. Francis de Sales


(a lovely red zinnia / Julie Cook / 2021)

“Let us not fancy that if we cry a great deal we have done all that
is needed—rather we must work hard and practice the virtues:
that is the essential—leaving tears to fall when God sends them,
without trying to force ourselves to shed them.
Then, if we do not take too much notice of them,
they will leave the parched soil of our souls well watered,
making it fertile in good fruit; for this is the water which
falls from Heaven.
I think it is best for us to place ourselves in the presence of God,
contemplate His mercy and grandeur and our own vileness and
leave Him to give us what He will, whether water or drought,
for He knows best what is good for us;
thus we enjoy peace and the devil will have less chance to deceive us.”

St. Teresa of Avila, p.147
An Except From
Interior Castle

Stir up the waters

Matthew: I have a question though.
Jesus: Yes Matthew…
Matthew: Waiting 30 more minutes would not have mattered to that man,
why did you do that [heal him] on Shabbat?

Jesus: Sometimes you have to stir up the waters.”

The Chosen Season 2 Episode 4


(Jesus speaking to the man at the pool of Bethesda—“Do you want to be healed?”)

Have you seen it yet?
It’s finally out!!!
Season 2 of The Chosen is slowly beginning to air.
There are 4 episodes already waiting to be viewed.

I know that time is not always on my side when I want to
sit down to watch an episode—
yet when I can, I do so on my phone as I watch it on the app.
I imagine a larger screen might allow for a more powerful impact
but no matter, large or small, the emotional impact is pretty palpable.

Sometimes I’ll start an episode then have to stop part way through,
resuming at a later date as time allows.

It can be a bit choppy and disconnecting to the emotions
but this series seems to be able to coerce every ounce of emotion
out of one’s psyche no matter the viewing format or time allowed.
A small taste only whets a hearty appetite.

With each episode, I am miraculously transported to a different
time and space.
It is as though I am there, one of the players perched on the
periphery of something greater than that which is held down
by gravity…

In episode 4 of season 2 Jesus asks a man whose legs have been paralyzed
for nearly 38 years, nearly his entire life,
if he wants to be healed.

He has spent the majority of his life laying by a pool
that purportedly had healing powers.
A pool that was considered to be pagan.
Meaning, not a place an observant Jew would seek out.
Yet what we know as humans, desperate times require desperate needs.

Now I imagine that most all folks who suffer from a traumatic bodily injury or
impediment want to be healed.
They want to be made whole.
To walk, talk, see, hear, feel, breathe, live…
Just like those who suffer from internal impediments.

Think addiction, think obsession, think anger, think jealousy,
think envy, think ego, think pride, think weight, think resentment,
think anything that stands between you and the Savior of Peace.

There are visible traumas and there are internal traumas.
And yet it seems that those internal illnesses are the more
sinister.

The hidden tends to eat at us more so than the obvious.

And so Jesus asks us…He asks you and He asks me,
do we want to be healed?

Well the obvious answer would be yes.
However we human beings tend to be more complicated than that.

We tend to cling to our hinderances.
We tend to embrace the impediments as they become
a calling card and a label—they become our identity…we allow them to define us.
It, whatever the ailment is, is woven into who we are.

We say that we want to be healed.
We claim that we want to be free of the chains
of our paralyzing traumas— yet we are actually reluctant
to let them go.
We make excuses.
We stammer.
We are more or less codependent upon our own ills.

And we should note that this is not always some sort of conscious dependency– it’s just that the letting go is often much harder than we could ever imagine.

So the question remains, do you want to be healed???

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool,
in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades.
In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.
One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there
a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?”
The sick man answered him,
“Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water
is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.”
Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.”
And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath.
So the Jews
said to the man who had been healed,
“It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.”
But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me,
‘Take up your bed, and walk.’”  They asked him,
“Who is the man who said to you,
‘Take up your bed and walk’?”
Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was,
for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place.
Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him,
“See, you are well!
Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.”
The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus
who had healed him.
And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because
he was doing these things on the Sabbath.
But Jesus answered them,
“My Father is working until now, and I am working.”