November 25, 2015

Time to Pause, Take a Break and Give THANKS to GOD


by Larry Peterson

Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.  ~ Psalms 50:14-15

The simplicity of the Thanksgiving Holiday captured my spirit decades ago. This is the one day of the year where we, as Americans, just stop everything and take a breath from the year gone by to say THANK YOU to God for all that we have. We gather with family or friends or maybe even with strangers in a food center who become our new friends, and share the bounty He has so graciously bestowed upon us. All we have to do is "show up". You do not even  have to bring gifts. Just bring a thankful heart and a smile on your face. It doesn't get any better than that. It is a beautiful thing.

So I would like to wish anyone who might read this a God filled and beautiful Thanksgiving Day. I am posting two Thanksgiving prayers that fit the occasion.


by  Walter Rauschenbusch
O God, we thank you for this earth, our home;
For the wide sky and the blessed sun,
For the salt sea and the running water,
For the everlasting hills
And the never-resting winds,
For trees and the common grass underfoot.
We thank you for our senses
By which we hear the songs of birds,
And see the splendor of the summer fields,
And taste of the autumn fruits,
And rejoice in the feel of the snow,
And smell the breath of the spring.
Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;
And save our souls from being so blind
That we pass unseeing
When even the common thornbush
Is aflame with your glory,
O God our creator,
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

 From Living God’s Justice: Reflections and Prayers, compiled by The Roundtable Association of Diocesan Social Action Directors:

Thank you, Father, for having created us and given us to each other in the human family. Thank you for being with us in all our joys and sorrows, for your comfort in our sadness, your companionship in our loneliness. Thank you for yesterday, today, tomorrow and for the whole of our lives. Thank you for friends, for health and for grace. May we live this and every day conscious of all that has been given to us.

                                  ©Larry Peterson 2015 All Rights Reserved

November 20, 2015

In the War on Terror: Time to Say "NO" to Political Correctness and "YES" to Prayer


By Larry Peterson

“I asked the Lord, with the help of all my faith, to come to my aid, to come and help us forgive you.”

The quote above comes from an 18 year-old student who lives in Paris. I do not know her name. On the Monday morning after the Friday of Satan, she left class and stopped at a cafe for a cup of coffee. The headline of the newspaper read, Sorrow and Rage. She thought, "What should I do?"

So she wrote this  beautiful letter and I believe her words and actions flowed freely from  the very depths of her God-filled heart. (Please click on the link (letter) and see how God's grace can move a person, any person, to shout His message to the world.)

I also believe she has unintentionally demonstrated to the entire peace-loving world that our most powerful weapon available in the war on terror is prayer. I know we pray for world peace in our churches on Sundays and in our homes, or maybe by ourselves; but this weapon is available to us all. It costs nothing, requires no munitions factories or raw materials, and does not have to be safeguarded or transported carefully. Where weapons of destruction are designed to destroy and obliterate lives prayer has the power to change, transform and convert bad to good and hate to love. Prayer can conquer evil....bombs, bullets and chemicals CANNOT

The secular world has been rejecting this most potent weapon as outdated and a relic of the past. It is NOT. This is what we must pull back to the forefront, not randomly or incidentally or alone when we can, but together. We need a unified and all out assault on Satanic fueled terrorism and evil using prayer as the infantry rifle in the hands of every believer all over the world. This is how we can help to crush the serpent's slimy head. This is the answer to peace. Prayer--followed by physical action if necessary.

Leadership for this new D (Demonic)-Day should start with Pope Francis who can instruct the bishops the world over to orchestrate simultaneous prayer events around the planet every day. The Bishops can instruct their parish pastors and priests to gather their flocks together. This prayer assault can be taken up with all Protestants and Jews and even the "nones" who do not recognize any religion. If the secularists object---too bad.

A bit of history relating to the power of prayer. On October 7, 1571, the most significant, crucial and profound naval battle ever fought took place. Known as The Battle of Lepanto, this is the battle that saved the Christian West from an impending defeat by the Ottoman Turks. Vastly outnumberd with ships and men, the victory at Lepanto prevented the Christian world from being taken over by Islam.  So how does prayer fit into the Battle of Lepanto?                                     

Pope St. Pius V had formed what is known as the Holy League, combining  the maritime nations of Europe so as to be able to defend themselves against the Ottoman Turks. Prior to the Battle of Lepanto the Holy Father ordered the rosary to be said throughout Europe. The Pope led a candlelight  rosary procession through Rome the night before the battle. In addition, all the men with the fleet prayed the rosary. The resulting victory was attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To this very day October 7 is celebrated as The Feast of the Most Holy Rosary aka The Feast of Our Lady of Victory.

Unfortunately, most Americans have not even heard of the Battle of Lepanto. The possibility that the West could be under  Islamic rule today was just one day and thousands of prayed rosaries away. It never happened. It seems that some serious prayer might be once again in order. Political correctness be damned--The power of prayer is the key to crushing ISIS, Boko-Haram, Al-Queda, Hezbollah and all the rest of these Satanic fueled barbarians. We ALL need to get busy praying.

                                            ©Larry Peterson 2015 All Right Reserved

November 11, 2015

MORALITY; DECENCY; DIGNITY; RESPECT: Words Unrecognizable to Many


By Larry Peterson

The title of this column refers to words which  (depending on how they are used) have lost all purpose if they do not fit into the PC mentality of  the day. For example,  MORALITY means, (from the dictionary) conformity to the rules of RIGHT conduct; moral or virtuous conduct or virtuous in sexual matters; chastity.  DECENCY means, conformity to the recognized standard of propriety, good taste, modesty, etc.  DIGNITY means a sign or token of RESPECT (if you do not know what the meaning of the word RESPECT is, please look it up.)

The United States Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, imbued with the  secular wisdom of the 21st century, has decided that a suburban Chicago High School is denying a "transgendered" student his/her rights because it does not provide "full access" for him/her in the girl's locker room. (I am using the pronouns, he & she or  him & her because the individual who insists he/she is a female has male genitalia.)  And, just so you know that I sympathize with "Gender Identity Disorder" , the highlighted link is to my post on the subject from July of 2014.

The student in question is allowed to use his/her's gender-identified locker.  He/she is simply asked to shower behind a curtain in a shower stall provided for his/her use. It seems to me this is as accommodating and as reasonable as you can get. The person has decided that they are a girl but has a man's body parts. The student in question stated, "The district policy stigmatized me, often making me feel like I was not a "normal" person." Sadly, my friend, even though the Government of the United States of America has decreed you are "normal", you are NOT. Therein lies this great dilemma. Why should  teenage girls be subjected to being exposed to this aberration?

After the individual complained  that he/she was not treated fairly, the Feds stepped in and decided that his/her Title IX rights were violated by not allowing him/her "full access" to the locker room. It followed that the school district has been threatened by the Feds and, if the district does not comply with their "non-discrimination" rules, it could face a criminal investigation and lose up to $6 million in federal money. This is where we see MORALITY, DECENCY, DIGNITY, and RESPECT washed down the drains of those shower stalls.

  Is there not common decency in play here? Is there no "two-way street"? Is everyone who claims some kind of anatomical, sexual or gender-preferred existence a VICTIM? Do not these other girls deserve the right to their own personal dignity? Where is the simple thread of common decency? It is obvious that the U.S. Department of Education's Civil Rights Office has thrown the word Respect onto the trash heap of words abhorred by the PC community. How easy will it be for some teenage boys to get together and decide that one of them should claim "transgenderism", dress up like a girl and demand to go into the girls' locker room and get naked. The guy could slap on a wig and claim he is "transgendering". It would be their greatest prank of the school year. Also, are not these young women being put at risk to become victims of sexual deviancy and/or abuse whether it be emotional, psychological or physical?

This entire concept of "me, me, me" and  "my feelings" has somehow captured the imagination of the fools in power who never looked in the dictionary to see what the word NO meant. Either that or they do not give a damn because the only thing that matters is their ideology. A person who is a male is NOT a female and a person who is a female is NOT a male. Just saying so and expecting others to accept it is unreasonable, to say the least.

Gender Identity Disorder (now called Gender Dysphoria) can be a serious problem for those who truly have this condition. If they are having a problem understanding the gender they have been born into, there are medical and psychological pathways available to help guide them on their transformative journeys. The federal government, under the Obama administration, cares nothing about all the other Americans boys, girls, men and women who consider themselves boys, girls, men and women...oh yes, and also identify as heterosexual. The fact is, we all have rights, each and every one of us.  The heavy handed methods of persuasion that the Feds are using is opening up an entire pathway for the abusive and deviant to ply their evil.

All the school wanted the student to do was shower behind a curtain. They reasonably addressed a complex situation and dealt with it in a logical and understanding manner. Then the federal government got involved.

                                   ©Larry Peterson 2105 All Rights Reserved

October 30, 2015

Meet "The Doorkeeper", Solanus Casey, The Man with No Ego


By Larry Peterson
Venerable Solanus Casey, "The Doorkeeper"

The 2016 election (more than a year away) has already worn me down. The pundits include the greatest thinkers of our time. I know this because virtually all of the TV and radio commentators, campaign officials, editorial writers, government officials, TV talk show hosts, comedians and, of course the candidates are always saying , “I THINK…this" or I THINK …that.” Those folks sure do a lot of thinking. And I know it must be important thinking because the ones doing all the thinking are doing it on TV, radio, in print  or somewhere in cyber-land. It MUST be important, right? Wrong!

They are all experts in everything you can think of and, filled with their own sense of grandiosity, vilify, name call, and besmirch those with an opposing viewpoint or philosophy.They even attack their opponent's families. Then you hear the great Machiavellian disclaimer of, "Hey, that's politics". You know what, I have my own phrase for all of it, rude, obnoxious, self-gratified Egomania. I’m so over it.

I decided to begin a search for someone sans EGO. I was sure it would be almost next to impossible. But guess what, it was not.  We Catholics celebrate the great feast of All Saint’s Day on November 1. The saints are members of the Catholic Hall of Fame (I call it that). They are the best of the best, the crème de le crème, the most selfless of the unselfish. These are the people who loved God unconditionally and, in some cases, failed many times before they got it right. But they all invariably emptied themselves for others before they died, many times giving their lives in doing so.

Let me tell you about one of them who was a quiet, uncomplicated  man who never aspired to be anything more than a simple priest. His name was Bernard Francis Casey and his family and friends called him Barney. There are many guys and gals like Barney in our Catholic Hall of Fame and they, like Barney, were ‘ego-less’. This was not a birth defect. Their secret simply was knowing how to love God with all their mind, heart and soul. That led them to love others more than themselves. It was NEVER about them.

Barney was born in Oak Grove, Wisconsin back in 1870. He was the sixth of 16 kids of Irish immigrants. When Barney was a boy he contracted diptheria and it left him with a permanently raspy sounding voice. (Barney would never have qualified for American Idol). Barney felt the call to the priesthood but, at the age of 16, he hit a detour. He had to go to work to help the family and worked at jobs in Minnesota and Wisconsin as a lumberjack, a prison guard, a streetcar operator and a hospital orderly. 

Barney Casey always did whatever job he had to the best of his ability wanting to serve his God in all things. Five years later he was able to enter St. Francis High School seminary in Milwaukee. He spent five years there before being able to move on and join the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. Upon his acceptance he took the name of Solanus after St. Francis Solanus, a 17th century missionary.

Solanus Casey was finally ordained a priest at the age of 33. He had to study extremely hard to reach that goal and when he was finally ordained he was given the title "Sacerdos Simplex" which means "simple priest". This meant he was not permitted to preach or to hear confessions. He never complained and took joy in just being a "simple priest".

Father Solanus Casey's lived in Detroit and his main job at the monastery was that of "doorkeeper". Father Casey, wanting to the absolute best at whatever God chose for him, became the finest doorkeeper that ever lived. He did this for well over 20 years and also became known for his service to the sick and the advice and consultations he would have with visitors. People began attributing cures and other blessings to his interaction with them or others.

Father Solanus Casey, a man who opened and closed doors for people. A man who had no ego and was happy to serve God in the simplest of ways. A man who, because miracles have been attributed to his intercession, was declared "Venerable" by Pope John Paul II in 1995. This is the first step toward canonization as a saint. Father Solanus Casey died in 1957.

Father Casey is the first man born in the USA to be on the road to full sainthood. And all he did was humbly and happily open doors for people and talk to them if they wanted. A Catholic Hall of Famer for sure and quite the contrast to the gaggle of egotists that bombard us daily with their "I think" wisdom. Solanus (Barney) Casey has re-charged me. It might be nice if all of today’s bloviating pundits could hear or read his story.

                                      ©Larry Peterson 2015 All Rights Reserved

October 28, 2015

Halloween and the Legend of the Jack-O-Lantern (one version)*


By Larry Peterson

Long ago in Ireland, the land of shamrocks, leprechauns, soft winds and smiles, there lived a man named Jack. Jack was quite lazy and did not like to work. But he had the gift of "blarney" and could talk the peat off the moss. 

He would tell wondrous tales about his adventures as a world traveler and the people in his village would be held spellbound by his golden tongue. Alas, Jack outsmarted himself when he stole money from the townsfolk. He thought that they were not very smart and would never find out. But they did find out and began chasing him down the streets of the village.

 As Jack ran down the road as fast as he could he rounded a bend and ran smack into the devil. The devil smiled at Jack and told him it was time for him to die and that he was there to take his soul. Jack quickly convinced the devil that if he would let him go and promise to never take his soul he would give him all the souls of the folks who were chasing him. "And how do you plan to do that, Jack?" the devil asked.

"Well now, all ye have ta do is turn ye-self into a pot of gold coins. Then I will give the coins to the people and you will be in all of their pockets. They will be yours."

Since many souls were better than only one, the devil readily agreed and turned himself into a pot of gold coins. Jack gave the coins to all the people and they went away smiling never realizing that they had given themselves to the devil in return for money.

So Jack lived on, grew old and, like all mortal men, finally died. His life had been so sinful on earth that he could not get into heaven and since the devil could not take his soul, he could not get into hell. He had nowhere to go. He asked the devil how he was supposed to see because he was in complete darkness. The devil laughed and tossed Jack a burning ember from the fires of hell, an ember that would never burn out.

Jack, using the ember to guide his way, found a pumpkin patch (some say it was turnips) and carved out a pumpkin. He put the ember inside and began carrying it around so he could see where he was going. To this day he wanders the earth seeking a resting place. And that is why he is known as "Jack-O'-Lantern" or "Jack of the Lantern".

"HAPPY HALLOWEEN"               photo courtesy of                                  

*Posted by Larry Peterson on Halloweens past

                                  Copyright 2015 Larry Peterson All Rights Reserved                                                 

October 16, 2015

Remembering the "Prison Angel", Mother Antonia Brenner: On the 2nd Anniversary of Her Passing

(Except for some minor minor edits and photo additions, this is the same blog post from last year written on the first anniversary of Mother Antonia's passing. It is still as timely today. She was and still is a shining example for all of us as to what it means to take up one's cross and follow Christ.) 


by Larry Peterson

This is a love story. No, it is not about romantic love. Rather, it is about the love of Christ exploding in the soul of a woman who ran with her God given gift and did her best to shower it upon some of the meanest and worst criminals in Mexico.

This is about Mother Antonia Brenner, who was born in Beverly Hills, CA, married and divorced twice, had seven children and ultimately became known as the "Prison Angel" of La Mesa Prison, the worst and most dangerous prison in all of Mexico.  Mother Antonia died two years ago on October 17. On the anniversary of her passing I just thought I would remember her with a few words.
Mother Antonia praying with the convicts
 Mary Clarke was born in Beverly Hills on December 1, 1926. Her dad, Joe Clarke, was a successful businessman and Mary and her two siblings grew up surrounded with affluence and the glitz of the movie world. One thing was certain about Papa Joe. No matter how good life was for his family he made sure his kids were always taught to help the less fortunate. The desire to help others would blossom in Mary and was one day, destined to explode. However, before the "explosion" Mary embarked on a circuitous life journey.

Mary married at 18 and had three children. The first died shortly after birth. That marriage ended in divorce and then Mary married again. The wedding took place in Las Vegas and it was to a man named Carl Brenner. She and Carl had five children together but ultimately, that marriage also ended in divorce. Mary had somehow distanced herself from her strict Catholic upbringing. No matter, it seems that the Holy Spirit had his eye on Mary Clarke her entire life. It was time for Him to shower His grace on His daughter.

Mary became more and more involved in charity work and has her seven children got older she began to visit La Mesa Penitentiary to deliver donations such as  food, medicine and clothing to the prisoners. The plight of the prisoners at La Mesa began to impact her greatly and as time went by her growing compassion and love of neighbor would become focused on these people. They would become her specialty, her ministry, her purpose in life.

In 1977, after her kids were grown and her second divorce was final, Mary gave away her expensive belongings, moved out of her home in Ventura and headed to La Mesa. She had received permission to move there. Her new home was to be a 10' by 10' cell. She would live as any other inmate, sleeping in her concrete cell and having only cold water and prison food. The amenities in her room included a Crucifix on the wall, a Bible and Spanish dictionary nearby and a hard, prison bed. In the morning she lined up with the other prisoners for roll call. This was to be her home for the next thirty years.

The story of how this twice divorced woman and mother of seven kids from two marriages was accepted by the Catholic Church as a Sister and founder of a new order can be found at the links provided. Suffice it to say that as time went by Sister Antonia became "La Mama" (Mother Antonia) aka The Prison Angel,  She moved freely among the drug traffickers, thieves, murderers, rapists and others touching cheeks and offering prayers. Many of these people were among the most violent and desperate of men. Yet she happily walked with them and comforted and consoled them and held their heads between her hands as they were dying.
Mother Antonia comforting an inmate

Mother Antonia Brenner truly saw the face of Christ in each and every prisoner she came in contact with. She loved them all. Why else would hardened criminals, some who had never loved or been loved, call the diminutive woman who hailed from Beverly Hills, "La Mama"? They loved her in return.

I believe that one day Mother Antonia Brenner will be canonized a saint. She was an example for each and every one of us showing us how to selflessly "love our neighbor" no matter who they might be. Her life also shows all of us that no matter who or what we are or where we have been or what we have done, God is always calling us. Like Mother Antonia, all we have to do is listen to His call.

Mother Antonia, please pray for us.     Please remember her followers, The Eudists Servants of the Eleventh Hour  and consider donating to their prison ministry.

                               ©Larry Peterson 2015 All Rights reserved

October 12, 2015

Euthanasia: The Catastrophe of Honoring "Non-Life"


By Larry Peterson                                                                                    

Euthanasia is upon us. And, like an insidious, unstoppable virus it spreads and spreads. And it kills. And the true vaccine that can conquer this madness has been rejected by those who embrace this practice. Yes,  God is not in that syringe. How far we have come as a civilized people.

Life and its creative mystery and beauty was officially relegated to second place back in 1973 when the United States Supreme Court voted 7 to 2 that women had the right to abort their pre-born children. The Roe vs Wade ruling by the SCOTUS was the rock dropped in the pond of Sacred 
Life that created ripples so intense that they became waves of  death for millions of the pre-born.  The decision was all clinical and legal. The fact that the country which they were chosen to represent was founded on the Judeo-Christian principle and Natural Law never entered into their deliberations. The tsunami that followed their decision now has given birth to a false wave of 'pretend' compassion and dignity. Camouflaged inside that relentless and deadly wave was something called euthanasia 

Back in 1787, our Founding Fathers adopted a Constitution. It was going to be different. It was going to respect individual life. People would come first and the government would be subservient to them. (see Tenth Amendment) It took time and the nation suffered through a bloody and horrific Civil War and two World Wars. But we did do better. The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s came and  transformation  began in race relations. That took time too, but it truly began to work. It was never perfect but it was always a work in progress showing improvement. 

The years passed by and we became smarter. More years passed by and, as we grew even  'smarter', we decided it was smarter to be more "more-free". Then there were those who decided they wanted to be "me-free". Meism grew and self-gratification became the rallying cry for the 'meists'. Religion became an albatross around the necks of many. Why? Because religion had rules and among those rules the word "NO" was used. Freedom was being transformed from self-sacrifice into self-gratification.  Eliminating respect for others began to wane and freedom was hijacked by the self-serving.

As time went by, those who dared say they objected to the world of the 'meist' were classified as haters. bigots, racists, and even homophobes. Today we have become so civilized and sophisticated that the courts in Oklahoma have ruled that the Ten Commandments must be removed because they violate the Constitution (doublespeak for "offending non-Christians"). The original rules used by the Founders in their American creation were tossed out by the same court system they had started. Ah yes, there is some serious "tolerance" going on in America.

Today the word "freedom" is missing its most vital ingredient. The freedom that made us truly free was filled with a common respect for others and especially for the lives of others. The primary ingredient within that respect is a love and honor for our Creator, who gave us all of this to begin with and without whom there would be nothing. Our Founding Fathers knew this. They were not adherents to any particular religion but they were Deists. They understood that we did, in fact, have a Creator. And to Him they showed all the respect they could muster.

Image result for brittany maynard
Brittany Maynard  1984-2014
So the great American experiment, where people would be free and government would be subservient to the people has become a "reverse" experiment where even the most vulnerable lives are subject to the mindset of others. Without the God factor, (and God had to be removed from the equation to accomplish these goals), individual freedom has become an illusion. Over 50,000,000 pre-born children have been killed in utero. Think of the doctors, and scientists and musicians and great writers and leaders and others who never saw the light of day. And now, with the need to be 'compassionate' we are embracing the 'dignity' of euthanasia. 

Belgium passed their euthanasia law back in 2002. Last year they passed a Childhood Euthanasia Law with NO AGE LIMITS. A predominantly Catholic country, Belgium's bishops railed against this law. Two-thirds of the population ignored them and approved. What does that tell you about "meism"? Of course, in the Netherlands, doctors euthanized 650 babies in 2013.  I mean babies and even toddlers who were alive. Why?  The parents could not "deal with their suffering". Whatever does that mean? There is so much quality palliative care available today. How can doctors go along with this? 

Brittany Maynard (pictured above) lived in California and had a brain tumor. California did not have a euthanasia law and could not get one passed. Brittany moved to Oregon where they have the Oregon Death with Dignity Law. With her family wishing her "adieu" she ended her own life. Compassion & Choice made a video showing her last days and promoted it all over California TV. California then passed a euthanasia law and Governor Jerry Brown, a Catholic and former seminarian, signed it into law last week. (go here for euthanasia laws nationwide)

Today, California, Oregon, Vermont, and Montana have euthanasia laws. Yes folks, you can go there and end it all. First it was Roe v Wade and now it is euthanasia. Belgium is killing children, living children, who are ill. All they need is their "permission" along with the parents. How hard is it to convince a child that dying is a "good thing" because you won't hurt anymore. 

This is what happens when you take God and His love and goodness out of life. You wind up with NOTHING. "Non-Life" becomes a dignified goal to seek. People like myself, who are against the assault on the sacredness of God given life, are now deemed "intolerant" and "hateful".  How sad this all is.

                               ©Larry Peterson 2015 All Rights Reserved

October 2, 2015

Euthanasia--Celebrating the Destruction of God's Greatest Gift--Life

Milou de Moor, dead at 19

By Larry Peterson       

Euthanasia (aka assisted suicide), is a pathetic concept promoted under the guise of compassion, mercy and kindness. It is no such thing. Euthanasia is not compassionate. It is not merciful. And---it is not kind. It is an abomination because it celebrates  the destruction of the greatest gift each and everyone of us has been given by God, the gift of life. 

Enter the glorification of this process via legalization. The "muckety-mucks" and sophisticates who know what is best for everyone have succeeded in having this practice legalized in Belgium, the Netherlands, the states of Oregon, Washington and Vermont and one county in New Mexico. In the state of Montana they have what we would call "de facto' euthanasia. There is no law on the books. They "just do it"---no problem. The twisted logic in this narrative called euthanasia or assisted suicide is nothing more than egotism and meism stretched to its secular limits. The fact is this; every human life is sacred unto itself. It is a gift from our Creator and we are each responsible for how we treat this gift. It is NOT up to governments and people to decide who should live or die.

Look at the photo above. Her name was Milou de Moor. Milou was stricken with lupus when she was 12. The course of the illness caused her not only pain but also mood swings, blackouts and depression. By the time she was 16 she requested to be euthanized. Life had become too hard and painful to bear any longer. And her own mother and father and sister, encouraged her to do it.

It makes sense to me that if a teenager is afflicted with an auto-immune disease and is severely depressed and requests to end her life, all she might need is the encouragement of her parents and sibling(s) to push her to finalize that request. If her doctors are telling her how painless her non-life will be and how easy it is to arrive in non-life, how easy does it become to go there. People who encourage another who is weak and vulnerable to begin with, to take his or her own life and help them to do it,  have entered into a dark celebration of nothingness. They have joined forces with others who rejoice in choosing death over life. How utterly sad that is.

There is such a thing as palliative care which  includes end of life care rather than the option of ending life. There are medications, and counselors and treatments for all types of illnesses and disabilities, Drugs for depression and severe pain are available. But what is always most important is the great intangible that you cannot see or swallow or touch. This I can attest to from experience; that  the love and support of family and friends combined with an abiding faith in the Creator of the true power that transcends any celebration of nothingness.

There is a strange irony in the tragic saga of Milou de Moor. Apparently her date to be euthanzied had been set. Then at the last minute her general practitioner decided that he could not go along with her dying. When Milou heard this she ran off to her family's apple orchard and hanged herself. The parents are outraged at the doctor and are suing him for NOT killing their daughter. Think of the long term ramifications of such a thing. Will doctors now be told that they MUST take lives to spare their own careers and futures?   California is next up to bat. Their euthanasia law has been passed and it awaits Governor Brown's signature. Whatever have we wrought?

                          ©2015 Larry Peterson All  Rights Reserved

September 28, 2015

Pope Francis: Pride, Humility and the Gospel of the Day After


By Larry Peterson

Pope Francis has gone back to Rome. Sigh--I miss him. I live in central Florida so the closest he ever got to  me was probably about 330 miles away and that was in a foreign country, Cuba. The closest I got to him in the United States was when he traveled to Washington, D.C. which is over 900 miles away. No matter, I do miss him. His gentle, kind and loving face was all over the TV screen since last Tuesday. I have been among his captive audience. It was so uplifting and refreshing watching this apostle of Christ and descendant of St. Peter do his thing and, on TV no less, for all the world to see.. Yes, I miss him.

The Pope left last night at about 8 p.m. At 8 a.m this morning I was at morning Mass. The gospel reading for the day blew me away. This reading was not in place to reflect his visit but it did. The  reading was scheduled for today and put in place on the universal church calendar several years ago. So, it is pure coincidence this gospel reading and his visit overlapped. If not, it was inspired from above. (That one works for me).

This is from the Gospel of Luke; Chapter 9: vs 46-50
An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest.
Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child and placed it by his side and said to them, "Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. 
For the one who who is least among all of you is the one who is greatest."

This gospel reading is all about the greatest of all the 'deadly' sins, Pride. It is also about the greatest of all 'heavenly' virtues, Humility. This is a "clash of the titans" of evil vs Good. And Pope Francis, without trying and by just being who God made him to be, wore the mantle of humility without fanfare, showmanship, pretentiousness or anything that might be self-serving in any manner. Yes, he wore that mantle and it was fastened to his shoulders with the clasp of Love. In so doing he showed  the whole world what it means to think of yourself last before all others.  (Was that a Fiat Hatchback?)

Jorge Mario Bergoglio never asked to be a bishop or a cardinal. He never "lobbied" for these positions or  sought them out in any way. He did not have "super-pacs" at his beckoned call when the vacancy for Pope opened. He simply loved being a priest, working with the poor and homeless and doing his best to follow God's call so he would make his life pleasing to Him. Make no mistake, God called him to the papacy. The secular world would mock that concept but that is why they cannot experience the joy so many millions of faithful experienced in America over the past week. If they could only swallow their damn pride a bit and open their hearts they may find the elusive peace that evades them.

Pope Francis is filled with the Holy Spirit. That Spirit leads him to stop his motorcade and wade into a crowd of children and hug them and kiss their foreheads. It compels him to embrace the crippled, the disfigured, the mentally challenged, the homeless as well as the "uppity-ups". He has no qualms about walking into a prison and embracing hard-core murderers, rapists, thieves, and drug dealers.

After seeing President Obama and offering Mass during his stop in Washington, D.C. he made a point of going to the offices of the Little Sisters of the Poor. He had to send a message to the entire world about the solidarity that exists within the Church when it comes to respect for life, ALL life. That message required no words---just action. The Pope gave that message by meeting with the Sisters who take care of the elderly poor, free of charge and have been doing so since St. Jeanne Jugan founded the order back in 1841 .

Pope Francis has left our country. He has left it a more contented and inspired nation. He has reached out to everyone and many have responded. He represents the Goodness and Love that Jesus Christ brought to us. He is His ambassador on earth. He did his work well. If this had been a baseball game it would have been called "Perfect". But now it is over and the Prideful will resurface.

Thanks for the grace, inspiration, love and memories Holy Father. We have to get you back here more often.

                                    ©2015 Larry Peterson All Rights Reserved

September 23, 2015

Redux from June, 2015: Laudato Si is a Spiritual Document for Everyone; It is NOT Political

As I watched Pope Francis on the tarmac at Andrew's AFB being surrounded by all the smiling, back-slapping secularist driven politicians who have been spitting in the very face of so many (myself included) intolerant, homophobic, hateful and mean spirited, Catholic/Christians, I knew I was viewing nothing more than "smiling" hypocrisy being confronted by a man filled with Love, Kindness, and a bit of Innocence. Anyway, I thought I would repost my blog on Laudato Si from June of this year.


By Larry Peterson

"Laudato Si" is here and I think many people are thinking/suggesting,accusing/ (pick your own medicine)  that Pope Francis has turned into a "pol". Yup, he is just another politician on the world stage trying to advance an ideology. So everyone had better take a deep breath. Pope Francis has released a magnificent piece of work that demonstrates how WE (air/water/ trees/marine-life/plants/animals and human beings are all interrelated and depend on each other. Think how true that all is.

The earth is, in fact, our primary home. The sun and the rain nourish the earth's soil and it gives forth food for animals and people. Some animals eat only plants and then other animals may feed on them (ie: Impalas feed on plants and grass while lions are carnivores and eat Impalas). People feed and survive from the plants and the animals. There is a magnificent balance in nature and we human beings are the most intricate part of it. That is because we are not only the ones who can nurture it, we are also the ones who can harm and destroy it. This is what the Holy Father is telling us. Start taking responsibility for our primary home, the planet we live on.

Pope Francis has nailed it. We are all an extension of each other in this world. Laudato Si reflects the very first chapter of the Bible: The Story of Creation (Please, before reading Laudato Si, re-read the first Chapter of Genesis).
           At the end of the first chapter, v28-29; God blessed them saying: "Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth."  God also said: See, I give you every seed bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed bearing fruit on it to be your food; and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that  crawl on the ground, I give all the green plants for food." And so it happened, God looked at everything He had made, and He found it very good. Evening came and morning followed, the sixth day.

Pages and pages have already been written about this encyclical. It is being torn apart and analyzed by many and then all of these folks are offering their opinions as to what the document REALLY says. Naturally, almost all viewpoints differ. How fortunate we are to have such a wide variety of "expert" opinions to choose from. Well, here is an opinion no-one really gives much credence to--my own.

My opinion is simply this--Laudato Si is foremost a spiritual document reflecting the Word of God as set down in the very beginning of the Bible. God's primary creation, people, were given dominion over all things on Earth. The Pope is reminding us that we are all connected and all depend on each other and have to nurture and look out for each other. The plants, the animals, the air, the sea, all do what they have to do without reason. They just DO.

On the other hand, we, the people, reason and think. We have pride and ego and greed infiltrates many of our species. We have poured poisonous chemicals into our pure waters, we have polluted the air and sea and lakes, we have destroyed the rain forests. I need not go on. Laudato Si tells us to take care of our primary home, Mother Earth. It is the responsibility of all of us. It is not political but that it is how it will be viewed.

I, for one, wish to thank Pope Francis for "smacking us upside the head" and reminding us that our planet is more than a big blue marble. It is our primary home. Therefore, it is our God given responsibility to keep our home neat and clean.

                                        ©Larry Peterson 2015  All Rights reserved