Outdo God?

Did you ever try to outdo God in generosity?  You give away all your money, and then when you’ve failed, loved ones support you and cover for your misfortune.  It’s called the community of saints, and some of us have the good fortune to live in such a community.

I don’t advise seeing if that works, but I do believe if I try to give away all my money for God, He’s already given me more than that.  I mean, who can put a price on life?…on an American public school education?…on an American Catholic school education?…on parents who stay with you?

I’m not saying don’t give away your money for God.  Mother Therese, Edith Stein, Padre Pio and countless others have already done this.  And it worked!  The point is, following Christ’s admonitions can be the road to personal  success.  But you have to believe in eternal rewards.


As my father-in-law used to say, I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but providence, fate, chance, of which God is the sole ruler (certainly it is not humankind, for we have not yet made sense of Quantum Mechanics or why the Robin sings) has, yes, turned that statement into the truth.  I want to sing therefore, the praises of God’s munificence to me and Loretta despite the two great sorrows that visited us.  People say one such is worse than the death of a beloved parent.

And then came the recovery.  It took years.  But as only He who made that healing heart could do it, we received not silver spoons but days of joy as our third son married a veritable princess.  Soon came a granddaughter, lovely to contemplate, and we gloried in our only son’s march through the corporate world of finance into a daring entrepreneurship.  That’s it—I rest my case that providence is the best name for fate.

Western Civilization — Triumph and a Failure

Today, 9/6/19,  marks the beginning of a triumph in the third world, and a lapse for Western Civilization.  In the country of India, their Western-trained scientists and engineers landed a moonshot, the fourth country in the world to do so.  The benefit to the world will be more information about the moon and tangential knowledge like the powdered orange juice from one of the American moon probes.

            But in Africa, Zimbabwe, people mourned or celebrated the death of Robert Mugabe, the dictator who took over after England’s colonial stay in that country.  Both of these events are a copying of Western Civilization’s leadership, the one in India a proud feat learned from the West, the one in Africa a despotic financial catastrophe, where Robert Mugabe learned the wrong things from his successful forerunner, Britain, to feed his greed for power and wealth to the bankruptcy of his people and nation.

            Western Civilization has itself not always adhered to the precepts of its teacher, Jesus Christ, but it has done so enough to become the world’s foremost civilization, and though human diligence and human frailty contributed to the two aforementioned opposite results, we’d still best learn and profit from this fresh history.

The Source

What made me what I am?  It was the same source that made Western Civilization what it is—the man who spent three years teaching us.  And then he died, terribly.  Some of my students discovered this source, and went on to alleviate their lives wonderfully, though as a public school teacher I’d never mention this source directly.

            One girl I tutored went on to rise above the course she’d been on with a child out of wedlock.  She married, and though things were not perfect, she had more wonderful children.  I came to admire her as only a teacher comes to admire and love his students.

            Another student missed what moved me.  I had him in class, and he was so impressed he asked me where I went to college.  He was, I believe, Muslim, and had assimilated so well I took him for a student no different from the others.  I met him years later, and when I asked him, he said he was so disappointed in St. John’s University.  I was greatly saddened.  He had missed the source.


I did the unforgivable.  On Sunday, after church, I offered to take Loretta to the diner (It was our anniversary) for breakfast.  She never thought I’d later also offer to take her out to dinner, so she blew up.  It was a horrific explosion, at least for a man who doesn’t remember everything anymore.  I’m happy if I get Tuesday right.  Never mind anniversaries.

Life still has its consolations.  There are the longtime memories of past triumphs, past victories, and just the other day I sent out an article to a magazine.  Do that if you can.


I have a twinge of conscience, right now.  Having taught all my life in public school and ten years in private school, I think I know now what education is all about.  I realize that in the heyday of Catholic Education, I had, because of the sisters and brothers, the best public or private education available in the most advanced nation in the world at a cost to my parents of $5.00 a month (I have two brothers).

What am I doing for payback?  There are a few charities available like the American Indian schools, but my pension is not built for a philanthropist.  I look to the Father who provided for me so munificently, and at the very least, every day I say thank you.

Pure Socialism

When Toussaint L’Ouverture took over the slave revolt in Haiti in 1791, they won, and the white, French plantation owners who survived fled back to France, which was having its own rebellious troubles.  Be that as it may, the victors actually did what the communists we know only talk about doing, share the spoils equally. To do this, the Communists under Lenin established the dictatorship of the proletariat — no freedom there.  But the slaves of Haiti definitely wanted to stay free, and they preceded Karl Marx and Lenin by approximately 100 years.

Everybody would get a fair share, and nobody was to be richer than his neighbor.  That is almost true of Haiti today, Catholic Communism, but who would want to be as poor as the average Haitian?  If you are from a communist country, or at least one that has sneakily permitted select capitalist procedures, you want no part of Catholic Communism.