Archive for June, 2016

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALife on Earth is a serious thing. It matters in the long run. But it won’t last for any of us.

And of course, we don’t know when we will leave our lives here. Young or old, we’re always just a breath away from Heaven’s door.

When we get there, some will have already experienced many life-threatening situations. For example, those positions taken on for a greater cause: the men and women who have served in our armed forces, policemen, or firefighters; all who put their lives on the line for others.

When we get to Heaven’s door, each of us will have lived through personal difficulties and disappointments. For the majority of us, our Faith in God will have carried us through those difficulties and disappointments. We will have grown stronger in our everyday lives because of them, and when we stand before the door to Heaven we will be welcomed by loving arms.

Today though, our Faith–I’m talking about the Faith of Catholics, Protestants, and Jews–is the strength that keeps us going. And it is being maligned. No, not just maligned; it’s being attacked by those who would have things ‘their way,’ a selfish way not based on the Truth. These are the faiths of those who founded America, and their principles are those upon which our Constitution and Bill of Rights were written. Some deny that—-but in doing so, they deny the Truth.

Today, all over the world, we see Catholics, Protestants, and Jews viciously and mortally attacked in an attempt to extinguish their Faiths by ‘getting rid’ of the people who hold to them. And now, the same destructive germ is growing in America, and killing Americans.

And still, we can’t pray or say God’s name in schools. In many places “Under God” has been left out of the Pledge of Allegiance. If we work in public buildings, we can’t wear a Crucifix, or T-shirt with a Menorah, or anything else that proclaims our Faith. For goodness sake, we can’t even say ‘Merry Christmas’ in some places! So, the germ is growing, bolstered by the stupidity of political correctness.

If that sounds ‘intolerant’ of ideologies that would love nothing better than to take hold and destroy our country, who cares! There’s something much bigger here than political correctness.

Yes, life on Earth is a serious thing. What’s at stake is at the heart of humanity and personhood itself. We were created with God-given intrinsic rights as human beings, and when we leave this planet, when we inevitably knock on heaven’s door, those inherent rights will still be valid—-even if no one here on Earth recognizes them anymore.


infidelity-379565_960_720Most of us believe we are good people, moral people. We also believe cheating on a partner is wrong.

So, how do cheaters reconcile this with their behavior?

They do this by justifying and deceiving themselves into thinking that their behavior is absolutely right even when he/she is fully aware that it is wrong.

One of the more common justifications, and one of the cruelest, is blaming the one who’s been cheated on. Cheating is NEVER the victim’s fault. It is just a way for a cheater to self-justify and feel better about what he/she’s done.

So, from the Cheating Wife Survival Guide, here are three ways a cheater comes to self-justification:

1.The way you have treated me lately is the reason I began cheating on you.

Translation: We have been fighting lately and instead of talking to you about it, I took the easy way out and fooled around on you. Now I feel really guilty and can’t stand it so I am taking the easy way out again and blaming you.

2. I did it because I thought you were cheating on me.

Translation: I saw a phone number on your cell phone that I did not recognize, so I started to assume things. Instead of asking you about it, my jealousy and frustration got the best of me. I jumped to a conclusion and slept with someone to hurt you, before you hurt me.

3. You don’t love me like you used to.

Translation: I don’t love you like I used to. We have been so busy with our lives that we have neglected nurturing our marriage. Instead of working on things, I sought out comfort from someone else instead.

. . .

All three excuses are simply that–excuses. A person cannot control the actions of someone else, and there is never an excuse good enough to justify cheating on the one you love. After all, what pain could be worse than knowing that the person you love, was in bed with someone else?

Marriage is a sacrament. There is a promise, a covenant, a bond.

In a sacramental marriage, God’s love becomes present to the spouses in their total union and also flows through them to their family and community. By their permanent, faithful and exclusive giving to each other, symbolized in sexual intercourse, the couple reveals something of God’s unconditional love. — An initiative of the National Council of Catholic Bishops.

As it is with every decision we make, there is a choice. And the responsibility for making the choice lies only with the decider. Once the wrong decision is made, the next time becomes easier and the erroneous self-justification even stronger.

The first question in a deliberation about cheating should be: Will I be okay with the awful hurt my unfaithfulness will cause my spouse and children? Because the repercussion to both is great, and often lifelong.

Do Something!

Posted: June 28, 2016 in World On The Edge



We are all great complainers. We like to point fingers. We like to see something wrong in a person we disagree with, even if he/she’s trying to solve a problem that could beneficially affect us. We can’t admit that there may be a benefit to us, because we have personal agendas, too. We have a set of behaviors we don’t want anyone to fool with. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter if our agenda is right or wrong. It matters only if we think it’s right or wrong. And we love to talk about it.

This is usual human behavior. But is it intelligent human behavior to only talk, point, and criticize?
Shouldn’t we do something?

And shouldn’t we, also, put study into a situation before we decide what we are going to do, or who we’re going to put our faith in?

To do something means to act on our beliefs, and that often requires blood, sweat, and tears–a lot of trouble that will cost us, and those we care about, if we’re wrong to start with. So, shouldn’t we look at past results before we decide? For example: in choosing a president?

I’m an author, but I’m also the owner of a small business. The past result of the last eight years of the present administration has been horrific for small business. Obamacare, unfair taxes, and regulations have sapped the life from American businesses. Not something I’d like to see continue.

In fact, this present administration has been on the wrong side of life in general. It’s great at talking about what’s best for America–without listening to Americans. It sits on the sidelines pumping agendas such as feminine rights while over 50 percent of aborted babies are female. It condones selling aborted body parts, and then supporting those who have profited from those heinous, barbaric, and inhuman business deals. Why would anyone want this to continue?

Why would anyone want to see our public education system to continue its steep, downward trend? Why would anyone want to see the expansion of our already tremendous national debt? Or our weak economy that has the middle sector descending lower and lower while the self-esteem of the poorest in our country is practically destroyed by having to depend on government assistance when all they want is a job? Why do we want the present establishment, hanging like ticks sucking blood from the American people, to accomplish only their own agendas without consulting the American people who elected them? Why would anyone want more watering down of our military when, today, we are flatly not safe and being threatened? And why do we want a follow-up president to the one we have now? Because this may be where we’re headed.

The United States of America needs a truly great leader, someone who’s tough, but fair. Someone who’s empathetic, but decisive. Someone unafraid, and yes, defiant when it comes to those who threaten America’s safety.

Americans need someone who listens to the voice of the people. Americans need someone unafraid to face radical Islamic terrorism, those killers of men, women, and children of the wrong religion, or the wrong lifestyle—not only those in the Middle East, but also Americans. Remember James Foley, San Bernardino, Orlando, and others? Remember when four of our fellow citizens were murdered by Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists in the tragic terrorist attacks in Benghazi?

America needs a huge change from the same old policies of the present administration. Haven’t we been drug down and around enough?

I’d love to see a woman as president of the United States—but certainly not a chameleon who turns the color of whatever brick she crawls across. I do not want another corrupt politician who says one thing and does another. I do not want someone who lies, and apparently sees no wrong in lying as long as it suits her purpose. And I do not want someone who’s anxious to follow policies that have already failed Americans.

America needs a president with a genuine concern for people, a president with real knowledge of what makes our economy tick, a president who values—honestly values–each of our God-given lives.

We, the American people, are tired of being drug down and around. We’re ready to dance to a brand new beat. And to dance as a majority on our own terms.

So, we will do something about it. We will look at past results. We will choose wisely.

good-1123013_1920Recently, I put up a post about making personal decisions, and another about who in the world we are actually in charge of. Now, I want to talk about both those things under the headline of RESPONSIBILITY.

WE are responsible for ourselves and what we do.
We cannot play the victim when we make wrong choices. We cannot walk away from them.

We are responsible for the choices we make, not the wrong choices of others.

Though we are called to forgive wrong actions by loving every person as a human being and as the child of God which he or she is, and though we are called to point out to them that sin is sin–still, we are only responsible for what we do.

There may be people we know casually, or people we are close to, who have made or are in the process of making wrong choices. Those choices are theirs, not ours. A person who willingly chooses a path for himself–one we think/know is wrong–is the only person responsible for the result of that choice.

This does not mean that his/her choice will not affect us physically or emotionally, but it will not affect us spiritually. However, it will spiritually affect the one who made the decision.

If the person is not close to us, we may not care. If he or she is close to us, we maybe heart-broken. But we are never able to get into the skin of another and act for them.

Again, responsibility for their action belongs to them, and them alone. Each of us has been given the gift of Free Will by God. If it is used well, or if it is used badly, the buck stops with the person who made the choice.  And that is the person who will ultimately pay the price.

diceIn some situations, things are said by another that might bother us, or even go against our deep beliefs, but we let them go, and keep our thoughts to ourselves. Is it because we’d rather not create a fight, or do we just plain lack the courage to address an issue out loud?

There times when we ought to have courage enough to draw the line on what we know is wrong. Times when we just have to say, “Whoa–I can’t go for that!”

Courage, or fortitude, is another of the virtues. It takes courage to stand up for what you believe in. It takes courage to face the ridicule of others. It takes courage not to hide within the skirts of the crowd, but to put yourself on center stage if that is needed. does not take much courage when one’s only intention is to simply be obnoxious.

Today, I need to draw the line, and ask a question.

As many of you know, I’m a Catholic, but this blog is not intended only for Catholics. It is intended to address God’s children, which all of us are. And since, I have many wonderfully faith-filled Protestant friends and family, as well as followers of this blog, I joined a social media site for Catholics and Protestants, a group with the purpose of—well, I don’t know what it’s purpose really is, although I did ask the question after I saw what was going on. But I got no answer because the participants were just too busy snipping at each other like unruly second graders. Several participants in the conversation were so full of venom for the other’s religion that I was really amazed.

And I ask why? Why now? Why in a time when people of faith need to bond–and when we have so much in common–do some delight in maligning the other’s faith (which is never going to change anyhow) with the same old hard-shelled, antique arguments. Why? Why? Why–when we have the capability to accomplish miracles together as a unified people of God.

I just can’t go for that.

Need a Fix????

Posted: June 21, 2016 in World On The Edge

computer-repairsCertain people are natural fixers—people who can fix anything, a broken drawer, a leaky radiator, a downed computer. Anything. Except themselves.

These are people who sense nothing wrong with themselves, until catastrophe shakes their lives and they’re knocked to their knees. They look up and wonder what happened. They look for the screwdriver, or the hammer and nails. But the situation they’re in can’t be fixed with those sorts of tools.

These are the people who have lost a child, or a spouse, or a parent. These are the people who have been fired from a job, or told they have cancer or some other disease. These are the people who go to fight wars and lose legs and arms, and more. These are the people who must care for someone with dementia, or have it themselves. These are the people with every sort of addiction they can’t get rid of.

These are the people who think one lie won’t matter–they’ll never get caught. These are the people who salivate over someone else’s good fortune to the point of jealously that spins out of control. These are the people who con others out of what is rightfully theirs. These are the people who cheat, murder, sell drugs to children for money to buy a pair of expensive shoes. These are the people with vendettas against those who have hurt them. These are the people who kill, or abuse their own children, or terrifically wound them with poisonous words and language. These are the people in fat positions who climb up the ladder on the slender backs of others.

These are the people. And those people are us.

We are, all of us, imperfect people in an imperfect world. Our individual vices abound. But also, within each of us there are virtues. The virtues of faith and hope and love. These are the spiritual tools we have been given by our Creator.

Can we use them to become different? Can we change? Can we be fixed?

Absolutely. Ask for it.

What’s Hurting YOU???

Posted: June 20, 2016 in World On The Edge
By jclk8888, 2015,

By jclk8888, 2015,

We’ve all had days when everything seems to go wrong.

Maybe we’ve had years when we think everything goes wrong.
And when it does, maybe we constantly cry, or grumble, or act like toddlers–because what else can we do? We can’t change it.

Maybe we can’t change it. Many times that’s true. But can we change our ways of looking at it? Absolutely!

If we are going to try to view our situation differently, that means something deep within us will need to change first.

And that something is our faith.

First: Realize that every situation on earth is temporary– our joys and our pain.

Second: Realize we are not alone.  Everybody Hurts. And each one of us on earth is meant to feel another’s pain through empathy, or compassion. Some people, of course, have more compassion than others, but we need to try to think of others as we would think of ourselves.

Third: Place our faith in someone much bigger than us–God. And then, give our pain to Him.

Here’s what God says about that:

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
–Isaiah 43:2

When Is It FAMILY???

Posted: June 17, 2016 in World On The Edge
Photo by quicksandala, 2015,

Photo by quicksandala, 2015,

Starting this blog post, I looked up a general definition for ‘family.’ Well, most of those definitions stretch the gamut of credulity to the point that the entire world can impersonally be called one’s family.

But the entire world is NOT my family–because I am not personally responsible for it. I cannot feed the world. I cannot advise the world. I cannot hold the world in my arms. I am not responsible for when that large entity makes less than good decisions and goes astray. And I’m not held accountable for it.

Love begins by taking care of the closest ones-the ones at home.
–Mother Teresa

I am, however, seriously accountable for those God has seen fit to put under my care. In that I must feed them, advise them, love them, and provide for them as best I can, I am responsible for my children, my spouse, my parents, my other relations, and to a certain extent, those I call my friends.

I am in charge–for a while–of love and peace among a few precious people I relate with every day. I am not in charge of the world. I am not in charge of love in the world, or peace in the world. God is in charge of that. And He may use my heart and hands in particular situations to facilitate that kind of love. But my first priority is my family.

Peace, like charity, begins at home.–Franklin D. Roosevelt

Are all human beings family? Only in that God created us all and called us to care about each other. This is agape love, meaning sacrificial love and an act of the will. And that concept is huge. But in order to accomplish it, we must start small; at home, with family.

If we do not provide for and love our own family first, we certainly will not love our fellow human beings in a sacrificial way–not genuinely anyway. Only if we accomplish love at home are we prepared to accomplish it elsewhere.

river bend

A truly decisive moment? We all have at least one of great importance, in which the consequences of deciding wrongly can affect our entire life.

I’ve come to see life as like a river–its waters can be calm and serene, but also raging and terrifying–especially where the river bends. And there will always be a bend in the river of our life. Decisive moments when a deliberate decision must be made–a decision with consequences. Which way do we go?

Don’t we want our choice to be a good one?

Decision making is something we do constantly as we are faced with various courses of action in our lives. Some of our decisions are relatively minor ones, but some are major. These are decisions that require thought: What are the pros and cons? We must use reason and logic to choose correctly.

BUT Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber published a paper in 2011 that concluded many of us use our reason and logic, not to get to the truth or to make good decisions, but primarily to strengthen our position and persuade other people that we are right.

In other words, we are faking it when we selectively choose data to support our decision.

And we do this selfishly, sometimes without realizing it. When we decide selfishly, our choice rarely makes us happy, and can truly hurt others. In these situations, can we turn instead to the unselfish spirit within us for direction?

We must pay attention to what the true good is in order to make an informed decision. If we’re not after truth, but only after pumping our personal agendas, then our decisions are sideways, and often terribly wrong.

When we make decisions we should consider their affect on others, too. Because after traveling the long river of our life, our own eternity depends upon it. Bad choices and decisions–yours and mine–make our redemption necessary.

Creation itself began with God calling life out of the water. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Genesis 1:2

The water of a river is symbolic of our relationship with God, carrying the image of renewal, promise and hope. It is through water that we are baptized into the community of the church, and of course Jesus Himself was baptized with water in the River Jordan. It was the day he began his ministry, his loving, sacrificial choice to redeem us.

So, let’s notice the times in our lives when the river bends, those times when real truth, not fake truth, can impel us to decide the right way to go.

Close, But No Cigar???

Posted: June 10, 2016 in World On The Edge

Golf ball at edge of holeWhen I was a student at Spring Hill College in Mobile Alabama, I was taught by many wonderful Jesuits. One that I will always remember was Father Alfred Lambeau, who taught French.

He was small and wiry, had a glass eye, and a unique, sometimes biting, sense of humor. His method of grading papers began at the bottom with a failing grade, “Egad!” Next up from that was “Close But No Cigar” and upwards again was “So-So,” and finally, “Lollipop!”

“Close But No Cigar” was my favorite. It meant that I was at least on the right track, and with a little more effort I might finally get to “Lollipop!”

To put it into context for this blog–Life is surely like Father Lambeau’s grading system, isn’t it? Life is hard, but something–some spark–within us keeps us going, and trying, and sometimes succeeding.

What is that spark?

In one word–HOPE.

Hope makes us more human than anything else. It gives us wings, so to speak. It draws us closer to who we are created to be. This is not to say we will achieve material success because we’re hopeful, but we will achieve a peace and because of that peace, happiness, even joy.

Without hope, we’re spiritually dead. Hopelessness is the cause of an enormous amount of personal misery, and our hopelessness affects others. How many criminals act from a sense of hopelessness? Hopelessness often makes us feel alone and alienated from others. We may feel powerless, or even have a sense of doom.

So the term, “Close But No Cigar” used by Father Lambeau actually was a challenge for most of us. Keep going. Keep trying. And you’ll get there.

How would any of us get through difficult times without that hope–the language of God, eternally calling to us?