Alone in a Church

Up, near the front, where years ago there was a rail, flickers a lone candle in a red glass, indicating what Catholics call the real presence, the consecrated bread. It is the only place, I feel, where I can touch infinity.

I pray, simple words of a one-sided conversation, but I do listen. I made such a visit before every major decision of my life, and I can’t say they turned out bad — rather, overpowering — I hardly knew how to deal with them.

I am surrounded by stained glass windows, depicting scenes from the well-documented life of the man who most changed Western Civilization, and the woman who raised him, a favorite of Catholic Christians; his minions were everywhere, all over Europe, starting from Rome. And thence, they went to every corner, from the Arctic to Africa.

People reacted differently, as people do. But that was all right; like me, they touched infinity.

Pres. Trump

The Democrats, and some Republicans, against Pres. Trump criticize mainly his speech, his vocabulary and manner of talking. When you speak to me, realize your audience. I am a male of the species, and to me, ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS. You don’t have to compare me to my more primitive ancestors and call me an alpha male, but be conscious of the modern, Judeo-Christian male of Western Civilization.

Trump a racist? You are apparently unaware that he has done more for blacks (not ego-wise, like his two-term, one-time forerunner, Pres. Obama) in the way of employment and a place in society. That includes the reservation of jobs for Americans by the protection of our borders.

As I implied, I can put up with overuse of the word “fantastic,” and a tendency to brag. But he’s serving us, the people, and that’s where I like to see deeds, effort, action. And I have.

Battle of Lepanto

If the Christian West under Spain and Venice hadn’t won this naval battle involving at least 400 ships, you’d be reading the Quran today instead of the Bible or this blog. England, Germany and other Europeans were too involved in the Protestant revolution to take part, and didn’t seem to realize Europe was about to be at the mercy of the Ottoman (Muslim) Empire.

It was the last great naval battle fought in galleys, Roman style ships propelled by rowing slaves. When the Christian slaves were freed from the Ottoman ships, they were quickly armed by the Spanish and Venetians, and fought on the decks to assure victory for the Christians.

Yes, there are many events in this universe we know little about because of one-sided reporting (witness China and Russia) and I am happy to let you know about this one.

Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia

Those three children, the oldest no more than ten, impressed me, an eighty-six year old teacher who taught children his whole adult life. They were the three visionaries of Fatima, who stuck to their story despite the horrible threats against them (You’ll be boiled in oil till you recant). The communists of Portugal would not stand for the communist message to be slighted on the same day, Oct. 13, 1917, that atheistic Communism had its triumph in Moscow as it took power. Where is that power today?

Yes, those three children withstood the greatest threat to Western Civilization since the Crusades, standing there in their bare feet in the grass on the mountain of Fatima. People now speak with more reverence of them than of Stalin, Lenin, and Marx.

I love the surprises and pleasant upsets of this world, the tables turned. Don’t tell me life is boring!

Balance

I remember when I chaired my son Paul’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor. I ended my encomiums with a reading of the Prayer of St. Francis. After all, I had taught him application, diligence in pursuing a goal, and a certain amount of risk taking, and I wanted to balance that with a thought that has helped form Western Civilization. I did right.

Today I read a review of The Adventurer’s Son in which the father memorializes the son who died crossing into Colombia over wicked jungle where drug gangs were rampant. There are some risks not worth taking. This is true of the psychic as well as the physical world. It’s no good to love danger.

Even though we want our sons and daughters to live their own lives, we can’t help but cry when they suffer dire consequences. Somehow, though, it’s all part of a magnificent panorama.

Portuguese Defeat of Communism

John Haffert, in his book, Meet the Witnesses of the Miracle of the Sun, states flatly, “It was the Miracle of the Sun which defeated the Red Star in Portugal.” The year was 1917 (significant in Russia), and the date, October 13, also significant, rattled the Communist government in a small country of Europe. Western Civilization prevailed.

Briefly, the Miracle of the Sun was performed for the benefit of three shepherd children, who said the Lady predicted it, and was the central miracle (though not the only one) of the visions of Fatima. It was a little over 100 years ago, and while Communism has been defeated in the West, we are now dealing with an Asiatic export, the coronavirus.

It looks like we have that under control, now, but I still think we could use some divine coincidence to help us.

Mahatma Gandhi

It is said that Gandhi kept the Old and New Testaments within easy reach of his sleeping place, and read from one of them daily.  He was once asked why he didn’t become a Christian.  He is said to have answered, “Because I never met one.”

When I read that, I couldn’t believe he would say something so stupid.  Of course he never met a perfect Christian!  Christ said he didn’t come for the perfect, but for “the lost sheep of Israel.”  He paid special attention to sinners like Zacheus, the tax collector, and the unnamed woman by Jacob’s Well.  I believe he came for me, too, and I am far from perfect.

Apparently Gandhi was among the imperfect.  I am sorry that shut him off from the joys of Christendom.