Father Hamel’s Last Words


This. Commentary to follow.

Martyred Priest’s Last Words to Jihadists: ‘Be Gone, Satan!’

Tax a Year of an American’s Life

Using 2014 data, the average American tax payer is single, with no children, and has an annual income (pre-tax) of $50,084. This person pays 15.7% in income tax and 15.9% in payroll taxes, for a total of 31.6%, or an annual amount of about $17,372. This means that the average take home pay of the average American making just over $50,000 is approximately $32,712.
You may think that the next step is to decry this stripping of the average American from the hard-earned fruits of his or her labor, and you wouldn’t be wrong. We are all well aware of this and are justified in our disappointment.
Progressives and politicians will remind us that this money is gathered for the common good. This includes roads and schools (although American drivers pay exorbitant tolls and gasoline taxes, ostensibly for road maintenance, and American homeowners pay ridiculous school taxes every year, both part of the myriad taxes not valued above). But there’s another way to look at what the American taxpayer is getting in terms of bang for the buck. Here it is.

Based on the information above, just how many of us, on average, are needed to keep progressives and politicians happy?

When President Obama secretly paid $400 million for the release of American citizens kidnapped and abused by Iran, the ransom was actually paid by one year’s tax servitude of 23,026 average Americans.
The travel expenses of the Obamas’ 2014 Christmas vacation in Hawaii (one of three such trips) was paid for by the 2014 taxes of 211 average Americans. Were you one of them? By the way, while you chipped in your $17,372, the average American family of 4 in 2014 was spending $4,580 on their own Christmas gifts, dinner, and all the trimmings!

The average U.S. Senator’s salary is paid for by ten Americans. It takes one more American to pay for a year’s worth of Harry Reid.
It also took the work of eleven average Americans to pay for each year of the Secretary of State’s salary from 2009 through 2012. In that time, another 345,383 were needed to provide the $6 billion in funds she “misplaced.” But at this point, what does it really matter?

The Beckoning Bees

3 trees

I walked up the little hill with the grass
washed away by the gray rain and the brown mud
under the threatening sky that followed the steps of my journey,
to the crooked, tangled grove at its crown,
three trees I had seen from the path in the valley,
bare and sere despite the torrents and the torments of the day.

In languorous strides I had walked for so long,
walked, from sun to sun, not noticing the way,
but feeling the breeze on my damp cheeks,
how it passed through my skin like fishnet sails
or the murmurs of another’s sadness to the sad,
to seek warmth in futility from the hollows of my heart.

They stood on the hill like priests at rites,
awaiting the horizontal supplicant at last;
a blackthorn, a birch, and the oak between.
So I left my unknown road for the mire of many feet
to climb this insignificant rise as the clouds
spoke to the world in rumblings.

At the top the blackthorn beckoned with wind-whipped arms
towards me and soft meadow, small at its feet,
but clean and whole, and I thought once to lay
there but then heard the whistle through its sprigs;
the song made my skin scream and seek to turn me
inside out, so I turned instead to the birch.

A blanket of bark, white and gray, lay about the roots
of the generous birch that, leafless, stood on the mud
on the hill in the rain on that day, but too late was its gift
as in rivulets ran on its own shredded skin the soil like a blood
that is too old to clean. But I watched, and droplets
of water rained down from the branches of oak and
the birch shone.

As I turned to the tree that stood in between
at my feet I could see a sliver of white and gold
that seemed to hum and quiver. A branch of birch
I lifted, and it held seven bees, asleep in the bitter wind.
So I tucked it into the oak’s sheltering bole;
there I rested in the mud and was washed on the hill.

I have walked many places since that day;
seeing wonders and life along my path;
hearing the songs of the world,
but I never stray far from the hill
where it rains on the churned turf
and the bees call to me from the oak.

Alive Again in 5 Steps


Alive again? If you were Lazarus, what would be the first thing you would think of  as you peek out of your dark tomb into the light outside? Would you ask, “What’s going on?” “Do I deserve this?” “What do I do now?”

But, you know, we don’t need to be Lazarus, dead for whatever number of days, to find ourselves on the verge of being alive again. It doesn’t happen too often. Most of the time, we get caught up in all the worldly things and habits that make us seem to race toward our own end. Job, family, finances. We find ourselves moving so quickly, getting so tired, stumbling as we go. We’re afraid that any attempt to stop or to veer from our course will cause us to fall and that will be that. But sometimes, our headlong race is interrupted by a blessing in disguise: an injury, an illness, a collapse, a family event. Even finally growing up can do it, at whatever age that happens. Some people might even call it a conversion.

Whatever does it or whatever you call it, at that point, like Lazarus we can’t help but look at the world around us as a new place. We, too, are new. And so we realize that we’re required to begin anew to nourish this new life. We need to run version 2 so that it beats the heck out of version 1.

Here are five things that I think might help a slightly confused Lazarus come forth.


Alive Again and Disconnecting to Reconnect

Look at technology and the Internet. These are great things, great advances in the ability of humans to communicate with one another. But we still have to remember that everything we do is done with an element of concupiscence, that consequence of the first sin in Eden that has disordered our appetites. This is why we so often take something that’s good and use, exaggerate or embellish it in a way that turns it into something harmful. Eating is good, but then we eat too much and we eat too much of the wrong things. We are supposed to feel good about ourselves, but we allow that to become a feeling of pride that leads us to think that we are better than others. We take gifts from God, and turn them into things that take us away from godliness.

Because of sin, the things meant to feed us, eat us.

Technology created by the human mind allows us to communicate across boundaries that were heretofore uncrossable. But now we find ourselves attached to our cell phones. We are constantly receiving and making calls about the most insignificant things and in the most inappropriate places. This is not better communication, it’s mediocre communication. And then, we don’t even use our voices over this technological miracle. We text. All of these advances in communication, and we text with a few words and more than a few symbols, like writing in an ancient cave. Beyond this, we even lose our contact with the world around us as we wander through our days with these gadgets pressed against our ears or wrapped around them. Texting while driving causes accidents. Texting while walking causes us to miss the world. We are already becoming robots or “techno-zombies.”

The Internet gives us access to educational resources we could never have dreamed to have used and experienced in the past. We can contact every corner of the earth instantly. We can read any book, listen to any song, see any artwork, virtually visit any place. That is, if we didn’t spend most of the time on the Internet at social media sites. Yes, it’s a way for family and friends to keep each other up to date about important events in their lives, to share photographs and interests. But is there anyone who has never hit that point where he or she has been disgusted by it all? People at their worst, new bits about a river of terrible things. One of the great negatives of the Internet is that it allows us to be anonymous, and sinfulness rejoices in anonymity. We say things to people that we would never say to their faces. We revel in being able to do harm while avoiding seeing its results on another person’s face, in their eyes. We find ourselves doing this with people we don’t even know. The lack of personal responsibility afforded to us by communicating over the Internet can bring the worst out in us.

Finally, if we’re not updating statuses, tweeting, or texting, we’re watching programs on television that present to us the most base examples of human living and experience. This fascinates us. Reality shows of people driven to desperation, experiencing injury, revealing secrets that no one should know. Court shows where mothers sue daughters and sons sue fathers. What do we expect to get from this flood of negativity? A good feeling about ourselves?

Wallowing in someone else’s dirt does not make you cleaner.

If we want to be alive again, like Lazarus, we must first disconnect from these things. Put down that mobile and look around at all the wonderful things there are to see and hear. Revel in the silence and in being alone, because if you can’t stand being with yourself, how could anyone else want to be with you? Reconnect in a human way. Talk to people face-to-face, write a letter they can hold and treasure. Swim in the goodness of humanity. Enjoy nature. Talk to your love, to yourself, to your children, to God. Play with your pets. Connect with everything by looking at the blue or starlit sky. Walk barefoot in the grass. And then, when you have to or want to be connected by technology, do it, knowing that you have made that decision and that decision hasn’t been made for you. Then it will become a real connection through which you are fed and not consumed.


Alive Again and Rediscovering Humility

A few months ago, I asked some of my students if there might be any benefit in caring about other people before yourself. One of them responded with astonishment, “But loving yourself is the most important thing!”

I can understand that student’s response. For a long time now we have been equating the idea of loving yourself with feeling good about yourself. The idea even has its own anthem. “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.” But it’s not.

Think about it. I know it’s a very beautiful song. But can the “greatest love of all” be a love that you have for yourself? I don’t know about you, but I see a very big and not so subtle problem in that idea. My first thought is, “What about God?” Considering that the fallen Angel essentially spoke, and speaks, about the greatest love minus God, that lyric can actually be pretty scary.

Loving yourself no matter what is the beginning of narcissism, which is pride to the Nth degree.

As sinful people who are yet the children of God, it is healthy to remember that we aren’t perfect, that we make mistakes, and sometimes very serious ones. Many of those aren’t even accidental, but intentional. That is until we are caught and face consequences. Loving ourselves cannot erase that. We can’t mint our own worth that we have thrown away. It is the love of others that is the coin that redeems our flaws. It is the love of God, unearned and unconditional, that re-establishes our value and makes it possible to love ourselves. Humility is knowing that your worth is granted to you, not assumed by you, and so it is free of the dangers of pride.

Humility lets you love your self truly.

This is a very big task for anyone. Most fail. But when we find ourselves alive again, we are in the best possible state of mind and soul to accomplish it.

alive again-breathe

Alive Again and Breathing Your Dignity

Hovering over any discussion of the meaning of “human” is the cloud of human dignity. It’s a cloud because it contains a storm of contrary interpretations.The legal interpretation of human dignity usually goes something like this: human dignity “is an individual’s or group’s sense of self-respect and self-worth, physical and psychological integrity and empowerment.”

I think my previous reflection on humility gives my thoughts on the true source of self-worth and self-respect. The stress on the individual and group seems to me to be contrary to the “human” part of “human dignity.” Shouldn’t human dignity be the same for all humans?

This last question becomes the centerpiece for the alternative definition. Because “God created man and woman in his image,” (Genesis 1:26-31) all human life is sacred. The dignity of humans reflects the dignity of God. Therefore, human dignity is the foundation of every human society and person equally.

If only that storm cloud would dissolve and let the sun in!

But let’s get back to the human dignity of the one who is alive again. It’s an amazingly personal thing for something shared by every human who is, was, and will be.

Do this. Step outside. If you have to, go to some nice outside place. Walk around noticing as many little details as you can: how the leaves play on the breeze, how the animals go about their business with industry and playfulness. How that little chickadee is watching you and what could he be thinking? Close your eyes and listen to it all. Try to hear something you’ve never heard before. Soak it in with all your senses. And when you’re ready, open your arms and look up at the sky.

Child of God, this was all made for you. Here. Now. Prepared for you from the beginning of time.

In Eden, God walked in the garden, too. That garden is the whole world. And now it’s your turn. What things would He have done while enjoying the garden He made? Do them.

In and out. Breathe your human dignity.


Alive Again and Finding Your Meaning in Serving Others

All cultures have, at the root of their traditions and practices, a view to the existential questions of humanity. These questions include, “Where did I come from?” “Where will I go when I die?” “Who am I?” “What is the purpose of my life?” Because most of this type of question cannot be answered through experience, we need to look elsewhere for the answers. That is why the word “culture” has as it’s root the Latin word “cultus,” that is, worship or religion.

Of those first two questions, one has to do with what is past and the other has to do with what will eventually come. The second two questions directly invoke our every day understanding of our identity and meaning. These are the two with which we constantly struggle. And yet, in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the answers are simple, abundantly stated and restated, both directly and figuratively. Our human dignity answers the question, “Who am I?” So let’s look at the answers we have been given for the question “what is the purpose of my life?”

Most theologians would tell us that the purpose of our life is to serve God and to praise him. As we gradually come to understand more deeply who exactly we are in creation, we begin to see the profound implications of that theology. In Judaism, and so in the Hebrew Scriptures, God is often described and addressed as “father.” This title is used metaphorically in the sense that God fathered all creation, he sets the rule for his chosen people, his covenant with them is like that of a father and child. He refers to Israel as “My son,” he is the father-protector, the father of the poor, of the orphan and the widow, the father of the King. In the New Testament, the image of God as father becomes a central theme. He is loving and caring, interested in the lives of His children. His fatherhood is sacrificial, and He sends his only Son into the world, a Son from whom he is distinct and yet one with. And that Son makes the ultimate sacrifice for the salvation of the Father’s children.

The father is the role model for the children. Simply put, when Jesus says, “the Son of Man has not come to be served but to serve,” we have been told what is the meaning and purpose of our lives.

The meaning of life consists in this, “I have come to serve, not to be served.”

Will this be a hardship for the one who is alive again? Not at all, because it embodies the other ideas we have already explored.

When we live our lives in the service of others, we make real connections with people. Meeting someone else in their need and helping them out of our need means that we are building a relationship based on what really is and not on the façades that wealth and health can construct. When we live our lives in the service of others, and do so with humility, we ask for nothing in return. There can be no payment for an act of charity. That would erase the purity of the charitable deed. The one who is alive again, having no one to thank but God who needs nothing, knows that any recognition, sticker, ribbon, or luncheon, tries to make a lie of the love which must be unconditional. And when we do all things for others rather than for ourselves, others will do for us rather than for themselves.

There are no slaves where everyone comes to serve rather than to be served.

alive end

Alive Again and Preparing to Die

Surprised? Don’t be. You’re already doing it. After all, what’s the point of being alive again if you can’t use the time to get ready for that next step? You’ve already stepped out of the darkness, so you know what the darkness is, or could be. You have an experience of the edge of earthly existence which most people don’t have. And you know that the tomb really isn’t the final resting place it pretends to be.

Reconnect with what’s really important. Rejoice in new-found humility. Let your dignity be your very breath. Find every opportunity to serve, starting at home, by the way. You’ll be more than prepared.

Then Lazarus will wonder, “Why did I wait so long?”


Fatherhood and Saint Joseph

josephs dreamAfter three days they found him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions,
and all who heard him were astounded
at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him,
they were astonished,
and his mother said to him,
“Son, why have you done this to us?
Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
And he said to them,
“Why were you looking for me?
Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
But they did not understand what he said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth,
and was obedient to them.

(Luke 2.46-51)

What sort of man wins the obedience of God?

St. Joseph’s is a story about fathers — divine fathers, human fathers, good fathers, and not-so-good ones. His story, so brief in the New Testament, holds in its brevity and simplicity the golden key to the mystery of fatherhood, a treasure lost more deeply in the mist of mediocrity every year.

Mary’s story is, of course, far better known and understood, and certainly for good reason. It is on her word that God is born and humanity reborn. When she is addressed by the archangel Gabriel at the Annunciation, she replies, “Let it be  to me according to your word,” (Lk 1.38) granting human permission for God’s miraculous work. When she and Joseph find their 12-year old in the Temple, Mary is the one who scolds out of love, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety!” They can’t understand his answer, but what parent has never struggled to understand the mumblings or ramblings of their 12-year old? When she is with him, alone, at the wedding at Cana, she basically tells him that the time of his public ministry has come, and instructs the others to “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2.5).

Mary speaks in these instances because, by doing so, she is reversing the actions and words of Eve. Where Eve followed her own will, Mary gives herself over to God’s. Where Eve hid from God, Mary expresses the feelings of a parent in search of a lost child. Where Mary told Adam to do what the serpent told her to do, Mary tells the sons of Adam to obey the Son of Man.

Joseph does none of this. It is not his role. He is the silent saint. His responses don’t come in words. They come in immediate and obedient action.

When he plans to send Mary away quietly after learning she is pregnant, the angel comes to him in a dream to explain what is happening and what miracles are to come. “When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him” (Mt 1.24). When he is told to take his family into Egypt to escape Herod, “he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt” (Mt 2.14). After Herod’s death, Joseph again immediately follows instructions to return, through one detour, and settles his family in Nazareth (Mt 2.19-23). Joseph is the masculine model of obedience to God.

Apart from these little scriptural vignettes we know almost nothing of Joseph. Yet, this very fact evokes his greatest role as the model of fatherhood.

From the first time we meet him, agonizing over Mary and her supposed shame, Joseph is torn between obedience to God and compassion for his betrothed. Mary could, on his word, face a deadly consequence under the law of Moses. Joseph opts for compassion even before the angel comes in the dream. He shows himself to be a servant of God by being a servant of those given to his care. He will take Mary into his house, feed her, forgive her, and protect her, the three things their son will teach us to ask God to do when we pray to Our Father. He will protect mother and child like a dedicated soldier, focused on his duty, obeying orders unquestioningly, to Bethlehem, to Egypt, to Nazareth. They come before him and all of him is given for them. And when his mission is done he is seen no more except in the lives they carry on.

The man who wins the obedience of God is a father.

Contrary to what the world teaches, real fatherhood is the fullness of manhood. Jesus expresses this poignantly when he announces to his disciples, “The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mk 10.45). What person’s life could be worth that of many, apart from the person from whom the many have come to be? In serving his family a man earns his greatest worth since his selfless service is their greatest need.

Of course, the world hates this, like the serpent who has resented, from the beginning, God’s choice to be Father to humanity. The destruction of the family in modern times has gone hand in hand with the corruption of fatherhood and its subsequent transformation into a bad joke, at best. Still, it is impossible to find a report on society that does not credit good fathering with children who thrive and meet the world on their own terms.

Where there are strong fathers, there are strong children.

We hear stories of those who understand this and make sacrifices to be the best fathers possible. They are usually met with skepticism, analyzed for ulterior motives, dissected to reveal a lack of reason. Most recently, 36-year old Adam LaRoche of the Chicago White Socks gave up his great love, baseball, for his greater love, his son Drake. Given the choice not to bring his son to work everyday and a $13 million contract for 2016, LaRoche gave up the contract to be with his son.

Music legend David Bowie put his career on a 10 year hiatus so that he could watch his daughter Lexi grow up, something he regretted not doing for his son, Duncan. He completely changed his rock star lifestyle and habits, adopting a private life with his family and becoming what he called “a clean machine” free of drugs, alcohol, and poor diet. Family and friends have shared that his motivation was to live as long as possible for the sake of his daughter. There can be no doubt that this simple wish has motivated millions of fathers to make the sacrifices called for by their fatherhood.

A man leaves his childhood to give life and love unconditionally and becomes a father. He bestows a fatherly providence that answers today’s needs and looks to those of the future. A father demonstrates by word and example and so becomes his learning son’s master. The master sees his son take all these things to heart, and becomes his friend. The friend rejoices when his son becomes a father, and the two become brothers.

And so God is our Father, creating, providing and protecting. When we are ready to learn, He is Jesus, our Master, demonstrating by word and deed what it is to be fully human and so a child of God. His spirit enters our hearts to be the friend of our souls. And when we truly become fathers we are brothers of Jesus.

Saint Joseph, Patron and Protector of the Church, by your example and prayer may God raise up strong fathers for His children!

John 8:1-11 The Adulterous Woman, the Cross, and the Axis Mundi

From Northern Antiquities, an English translat...

From Northern Antiquities, an English translation of the Prose Edda from 1847. Painted by Oluf Olufsen Bagge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the midst of metaphysical questions in which all cultures find their motivating force stands a symbol of the connection between the world of humans and those above and below: the center, or axis, of the world, the axis mundi. It represents the relationship between heaven and earth, eternity and time, Creator and creation. It expressly embodies the connection and communication between God and His human children.

As an idea of multiple and substantial notions, the axis mundi can be perceived in various places at the same time without contradiction. Being the link between concrete and abstract, time and timelessness, place and omnipresence, means that it is not limited to the restrictions of time and place we cannot escape.

In the Bible, we can see the axis mundi in the trees of knowledge and eternal life in Eden, in the pillar of fire, in Jacob’s ladder. In Judaism, it is principally seen at Mount Sinai and on the Temple Mount. In Christianity, it is the Cross at Calvary. It is also the Mount of Olives from which Jesus descended on his way to Jerusalem, at the base of which lies the Garden of Gethsemane, and from the top of which he ascended into heaven.

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area, and all the people started coming to him, and he sat down and taught them. (John 8:1-2)

One important description of the axis mundi is that, wherever it may be, it is the center of the world. In the words of the founder of analytical psychology, Carl Jung,  “No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.” The axis mundi stands in the midst, and all things around it. It pierces the earth at the midpoint between life and death, existence and non-existence, light and darkness. Because it is the middle of things and the link to the God of life, it is often described as the omphalos, the navel of the world. The image of the umbilical cord then enters and we often find a woman at the axis mundi.

Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the midst. (John 8:3)

In Eden, at the Tree of Knowledge, it is Eve to whom the serpent speaks. It is Eve who decides to do the reverse of God’s will, and it is Eve who is addressed by Him. Before the angelic axis mundi of the annunciation, it is Mary who reverses Eve’s decision. At the Cross, it is the women who stand in witness as God reverses the consequences of Eden.

They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. (John 8:4-6)

We like to wonder, “Where is the man caught in adultery with her?” If this is indeed an event at the axis mundi, then perhaps he may be busy being fitted with a fig leaf. The accusation is being made by scribes and pharisees. Yet, who is it who is most famous for putting Jesus to the test from the beginning to the end of his ministry? Since Eden, where he portrayed himself as an insider, an advisor, and a friend, the serpent has been humanity’s accuser, its Satan, trying to force God to destroy his children for the sinfulness he himself tricked them into.

Then we like to wonder at what it was Jesus wrote on the ground. But this same gospel begins, “In the beginning was the Word,” and it continues “and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” God, who walked in Eden with Adam and Eve, has returned to his garden and, at this place of contact between heaven and earth has signed his Creation again, and validated his deed. Jesus is ignoring Satan; Satan cannot ignore the Word.

We are certainly witnessing an event at the center of the world.

But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he bent down and wrote on the ground. And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. (John 8:7-9)

What is happening here? Is it really just the description of an event during which we are taught about human hypocrisy and the forgiveness of God? It is that. In the midst of this solemn and serious activity, we find a moment of humor, as we imagine these hypocritical men consider Jesus’ offer and then, one by one, drop their stones and wander off. Of course, nothing tells us that they had actually picked up stones in the first place, but our imaginations will have their way. But, if we consider this to be an event at the axis mundi, then the humor of it blossoms.

Satan makes his accusation about this fallen child of God, then, as he repeatedly does to this day. At first, Jesus ignores it. After all, considering that this fallen angel has made his one-time, irrevocable decision against God, what really does Jesus have to say to him? But the accuser persists and Jesus gives him his answer. This answer amounts to Jesus reminding Satan that, since he led all humanity into sin, there is no sinless human to cast the first, or any, stone. Satan, the fallen angel of light, being a dim candle at best, in his attempt to destroy humanity, has made possible humanity’s redemption. The surprise is, in the end, that the crowd departs one by one without an infernal howl.

So he was left alone with the woman before him. Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, [and] from now on do not sin any more.” (John 8:9-11)

This is not a lesson about personal repentance and the sacrament. The woman has not asked for forgiveness, she hasn’t expressed regret.  She says only three words in response to Jesus’ question, “Where are they? Has no one condemned you?” The truth is that, at the navel of the world and above, those below have no light, have no power, have no existence. They are ignorable. Had the serpent been ignored, there would be no sin. When Satan is ignored, we sin no more.

All of God’s children are the woman caught in adultery, standing at the axis mundi to hear the Word from above that informs us of the world below. From here, from this place, we walk to that other and stand with Mary and the women at the Cross where the Word directs our eyes upward to himself and heaven.


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Victimhood motivates Lucifer, too.

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Hidden Ourselves
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In the Garden, the serpent taught us to fear who we really are.
Since then we have hidden ourselves in that liar’s light.

Hidden Ourselves
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Pastor in New York

Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran theologian who stood against Hitler and was executed by the Nazis at Flossenbürg concentration camp two weeks before it was liberated by the Allies, had this to say:
Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer


“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”


I recommend the following article as a reflection on the pastor’s words on facing evil and corruption. I wonder what he would think of us.

Why Corruption is so Rampant in New York Government
By Bob McManus, New York Post, February 2, 2016

Bonhoeffer was probably executed by hanging and re-hanging over a 6 hour period. Yet today we willingly hang ourselves and our futures for a handful of Silver.

Ah. What would Bonhoeffer think of us? I suppose he would fall to his knees and pray for our salvation.

Tomorrow, February 4, 2016,
will mark the 110th anniversary of Bonhoeffer’s birth.


Pastor in New York
Dispensed : Canon 976
February 3, 2016

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A Reminder List For Ever

Be joyful.
Don’t complain.
Think of others first.
Bear suffering with dignity.


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