Saturday, January 3, 2015


The 4 cornerstones of learning

Ideas                                    Information

Falsification/                   Willingness
Experimentation            to admit

The most important truths are the ones you learn after being sure that you know it all.
I have been thinking about this for a long time.  Several years ago, (? 1957 +/-?) as I was  beginning my junior year in college, one of the subjects was "Introduction to Philosophy."  The main topic for the first quarter was the apologetic of philosophy as a science.  As I remember it, I was mesmerized by the discipline of the definitions that were proposed to us.  The tight-knit reasoning was fascinating to me.  It was one of the most gratifying semesters of instruction that I remember having in my life.
It still lives with me.  In fact, I have to admit that I still have a lot to learn when it comes to the tight knit reasoning part of what it is that I admire so much.  
Every now and then when I have nothing better to do, I go back in time and read some of the gibberish that I have written on these and other pages.  Boy, some of it is really bad.  I ask myself, "Why aren't you ashamed of this stuff?  You'd better write an apology for the stercus that you put out to your friend and family.  So today I want to give you a look at what makes me tick with regards to learning and to sharing what it is that I know, and that which I am convinced that I know

I can't complain about IDEAS.  Of those I have a good store and they are generally fairly close to the surface.  The part that really gets to me is the tail-swishing loose logic that creeps into the piece.  I say to myself, "How do you expect anyone to make the connection between A & B in that last paragraph?  Do you expect them to have read your brain between the lines?"  I scold myself a lot about that.

INFORMATION  and outformation are friends of mine.  I am also tight with this sweet, well put together street-walker, MISS INFORMATION.  Do not ask me why I am so attracted to that chick.  I look at some stuff and I say, "You can't send that to the world." I no sooner get the thought done that I hear her say, "Don't be stupid, they'll think it's a joke."  Sometimes I let it go because of her intimate approach and then as I get a few lines down, I notice that the logic has slithered away in the oily regions of Miss Information's sinfully slinky wiles.  So, I have to go back and see what I can do to rectify the consequences of my dalliance.  You know, for a guy who knows something about Adam and Eve and original sin and all, the one thing that I have come to in my life is a deep appreciation of why Adam bit into the apple.  My close working relationship with the serpentine Miss Information has been an invaluable learning experience...on-going, I might add.

FALSIFICATION/EXPERIMENTATION are nothing but life experience.  It's like I mentioned in my previous post about learning something.  Sheesh, that's easy.  Just look out the kitchen window.  Or, in the case of the average church going pew-sitter, sit there and actually listen to what is being read.  Lately, I see more and more people following along on their smart phones so that they don't have to struggle with the cheap sound system that was donated by the tax dodger and installed by the free-bee volunteer student from the vocational school.  The "falsification/experimentation" part of learning means that the learner has to invest some effort into the process.  I love it when the "I have to learn more about the Bible" crowd says that incessantly and then never, but NEVER shows up for the Bible study and never, but NEVER studies the Bible readings from the Sunday Mass.  That, my brothers and sisters, is all FALSIFICATION and zero EXPERIMENTATION.  Under those conditions,my dear, you ain't gonna learn nothin'!

Finally, to learn anything a person has to be READY AND WILLING TO CHANGE VIEWS. Let me give you an example.  If you are not willing to believe that Leif Ericson was fishing off the coast of North America some 1,000 years ahead of when Columbus came aground in what is now Latin America, you will always "know" that Columbus "discovered" America.  
Now, let me go back to the slinky, serpentine one who is telling me, and rightfully so this time, that I am not 100% pure in the "willingness to be wrong" department.  She does have some things right.  That's what makes our relationship so insidious.  So, yes, I do have a hard head and even though I know that learning must include that essential element of willingness to admit to being in error, I admit that the warm, soothing embrace of Miss Information is sometimes too comfortable to wiggle out of.
So, I don't know everything.  But, because Miss Information has me well ensnared in the comfort of her generous bosom, I am surely not going to disclose to you what it is that you might be able to teach me..."No sireee, no, no, no not me" as the song goes.

So,at my age I am comfortable with what I know, and equally as comfortable with what I think I know, and indifferent to what it is that I flat-out do not know.  I also can say that I am going to my grave happy as a clam.  I tell you that, so that you will realize that I speak the truth when I tell you, "Do not Cry at my Funeral."

Thursday, January 1, 2015


Belle and I borrow the words of the Sacred Scripture for our first prayer in your favor.
Belle et moi empruntons la parole de l’Écriture sainte comme notre première prière pour vous tous.
Belle y yo prestamos las palabras de la Sagrada Escritura como la nuestra primera oración para el vuestro bienestar en este año.

The LORD said to Moses: 

“Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them: 
This is how you shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them:
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and
give you peace!
So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites, 
and I will bless them (Numbers 6; 22-28)

22 Yahvé dit encore à Moïse, 23 pour qu’il le répète à Aaron et à ses fils: Voici comment vous bénirez les fils d’Israël. Vous direz: 24 “Que Yahvé te bénisse et te garde! 25 Que Yahvé fasse briller sur toi son visage, qu’il te prenne en grâce!  26 Que Yahvé tourne vers toi son visage et te donne la paix!” 27 C’est ainsi qu’ils mettront mon Nom sur les fils d’Israël, et moi, je les   bénirai.”  (Nombres 6: 22 - 28)

22 Yavé dijo también a Moisés: 23 «Di a Aarón y a sus hijos: Así bendecirán    a los hijos de Israel. Dirán: 24 “¡Yavé te bendiga y te guarde!  25 ¡Yavé haga resplandecer su rostro sobre ti y te mire con buenos ojos!  26 ¡Yavé vuelva hacia ti su rostro y te dé la paz!”  27 Es así como ellos pondrán mi Nombre sobre los hijos de Israel, y yo los bendeciré.»   (Numeros 6: 22 - 28)

And we add the blessing from the Psalms: (67, 2 + 3)
Nous ajoutons la bénédiction des psaumes: (67, 2 + 3)
Juntamos la bendicion de los salmos: (67, 2 + 3)

May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.

2 Que Dieu nous prenne en grâce et nous bénisse,
et qu’il tourne vers nous la lumière de sa face !
3 Alors la terre connaîtra ton chemin
et toutes les nations ton salut.

2 ¡Que Dios tenga piedad y nos bendiga,
nos ponga bajo la luz de su rostro!
3 Para que conozcan en la tierra tu camino,
tu salvación en todas la naciones.

Sunday, December 28, 2014


I heard the question posed for the first time at the children’s Mass, to the children eight hours before the hour at which Santa Claus was scheduled to arrive at their home.  Yes, they managed to bring him up in the same breath as Jesus.  But that is another story that has been told by me before, at least twice.

Nevertheless, when the priest threw the question out to the children gathered at his feet, there was a sense in the nave that the adults felt the depth of the challenge of the question.  Yes, why did Jesus come as a baby and not as the great king that he was, in fact, and for whom the world was waiting?  I for one hardly listened to the answer to what had turned out to be an oratorical question.  The children had some answers that the greater audience could not hear and that the priest did not repeat. 

Some five minutes later, I came up with my answer.  I sprang into action.  Tore my pen out of my shirt pocket, took up the parish bulletin that I had next to me and began to write furiously so as not to let the thoughts slither away.  I then folded the notes carefully, slid them into my back pocket and continued to participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Christmas Mass. 
Now, you understand that at Christmas, there is much personal time allotted to family people who are the elders and have certain social and religious responsibilities to fulfill.  There is not that much time for exclusively personal pursuits.  It is therefore a good thing that Christmas is a ^season^ not a day.  So I have decided to be sure that what I give you will be as close to the exact enlightenment that came to me at 6;00 PM on December 24, 2014 as is possible, given the circumstances.  So, be calm, sit tight, relax and put yourself in the presence of the Good Lord. 
These are some of the answers that I have discovered as given by other people.  Some of them experts in Theology, Some are pastors, preachers and teachers.  So, here we go.

)          The cuddly baby theory
             The reality of new birth astounds us
        This is our future in the flesh before our very eyes
        This is THE amazing gift of life
        Joseph and Mary had to admit that here was a baby who seemed, at first glance, like any                        other newborn child.
                  He cried in the middle of the night.
                  He hungered for milk.
                  He needed fresh "swaddling clothes" every now and then

t    The growing child theory
The infancy of the Child is the sign of his humanity
He grew through the years as any other child (The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; Luke 2; 40)

     The witness theory
His infancy is a sign of his humanity
His growing pains are a sign of his humanity
His growth in knowledge in the family through education are a sign of his humanity
His interpersonal relationship problems are a sign of his humanity
His suffering through moral temptations are a sign of his humanity
His physical suffering is a sign if his humanity

Given all of the above, it is good that Jesus came to us as a baby.  All of these statements are true and valid, as far as they go.  I have the one that is different and divergent from all of the above.  I am convinced that I have the teachings of Sacred Scripture as the foundation of my opinion.

I think that Jesus came into this world as a baby because God the Father has a long tradition of directing his creatures to collaborate with Him. From the first pages of Genesis and through the entire collection of Sacred Scripture, God directs His creatures to be productive.  He directs Adam to name the animals, he accepts the sacrifices of Abel, He directs Noah to build the ark, He calls Abraham forth from Ur, He recruits Moses for the purpose of leading His people out of Egypt and to publish the Divine Law, He expects the people to fight for the land that He promised them and He uses the prophets as spiritual guides of His people.  The whole history of salvation is a history of a relationship of collaboration between God and His creature, the human being.
For that reason, His Son, Jesus was sent by Him to earth through one of His creatures, Mary.  Thus, it was the responsibility of Joseph and Mary to nurture the baby son of God in His early stages of being on earth.  It was up to the Elders and priest of the Temple to instruct Him in the Law and to teach Him the spirituality of the Jewish way of life.  It was up to John the Baptist to introduce Him to the religious community.  It was up to the people of the nation to relate to him as their culture and traditions demanded.  Yes, Jesus had to have a complete human existence in the human, cultural environment that would make him effective in the spreading of His message.  He had to be exposed to the religious living of the tenets of the Law, He had to be taught the spiritual traditions of His people, who happened to be the Chosen people of the Father.  He had to live in the midst of people who were living the teachings of the prophets under the influence of the Law and in the spirituality of the Temple.

Jesus was formed in His life by the multicultural social environment of Galilee and the religious convictions of His parents.  This formation was according to the Will of God and it prepared Jesus to be open to obeying the Will of His Father.  Jesus was immersed in the Faith Tradition of His Father’s Chosen People.  It was in and through this deep familiarity of the people that Jesus was able to bring the authority of His closeness to His Father to bear in His teaching of the people.  Jesus taught and lived the Faith in the midst of controversy.  Even this controversy was formative, not only of Jesus but to the apostles who were closest to Him.  Without the completeness of the cultural immersion that He could only have if he was a complete Jew could He have accomplished the Mission given Him by His Father.

That is why, in my opinion, Jesus came to this earth as a baby.


Pourquoi Jésus est-il venu comme un bébé?

J'ai entendu cette question posée pour la première fois à la messe des enfants, pour les enfants a huit heures du soir avant l'heure à laquelle le Père Noël devait arriver à leur domicile.  Oui, ils ont réussi à le mentionner dans le même souffle que Jésus.  C’est la une autre histoire another story que je vous ai raconté déjà à deux fois. at least twice.
Néanmoins, quand le prêtre a présenté la question aux enfants rassemblés à ses pieds, il y avait un sens dans la nef que les adultes estimaient la profondeur du défi de la question.  Oui, pourquoi Jésus est-il venu comme un bébé et non pas comme le grand roi qu'il était, en fait, et pour qui le monde attendait?  Moi, par exemple, écoutai avec peine a la réponse a une question qui s'était avéré être une question oratoire.  Les enfants ont eu des réponses que le  public en général ne pouvait pas entendre et que le prêtre n'a pas répété. 

Environ cinq minutes plus tard, je suis arrive a ma réponse.  Je sautai tout de suite a me mettre en action.  J'arrachai ma plume de ma poche de chemise, pris le bulletin paroissial que je avais à côté de moi et commençai à écrire furieusement afin de ne pas laisser les pensées glisser trop loin de ma matière grise.  Ensuite, je pliai attentivement mes notes, les glissai dans la poche arrière de mon pantalon et continuai à participer au Saint Sacrifice de la messe de Noël. 
Maintenant, vous comprenez que, à Noël, il y a beaucoup de temps personnel alloué aux personnes de la famille qui sont les aînés et ont certaines responsabilités sociales et religieuses à accomplir.  Il n'y a pas beaucoup de temps pour les activités exclusivement personnelles.  C’est donc une bonne chose que la Noel est ^une saison^ et non un seul jour.  Donc, j'ai décidé d'être sûr que ce que je vous présente sera aussi près à l'inspiration exacte qui me est venue à 18:00 heures du 24 décembre, 2014 qu'est possible, étant donné les circonstances.  Donc, soyez calmes, bien calmement assis et mettez-vous dans la présence du Bon Dieu. 
Voici quelques-unes des réponses que je ai découvertes qui sont proposées par d'autres auteurs.  Certains d'entre eux sont experts en théologie, Certains sont pasteurs, prédicateurs et enseignants.  Alors, on y va.

       La théorie bébé câlin
La réalité de la nouvelle naissance nous étonne
                C'est notre avenir tout vif sous nos yeux
                C'est le cadeau extraordinaire de la vie
Joseph et Marie ont dû admettre qu'il y avait là un bébé qui semblait, à première vue, comme n'importe quel autre enfant nouveau-né.
Il a pleuré dans le milieu de la nuit.
Il avait faim pour le lait.
Il avait besoin de "langes fraiches" de temps en temps

      La théorie de l'enfant qui grandit
L'enfance de l'enfant est le signe de son humanité
Il a grandi au fil des années de même que tout autre enfant (L'enfant grandissait et se fortifiait, tout rempli de sagesse; Luc 2, 40)

     La théorie des témoignages
Son enfance est un signe de son humanité
Ses douleurs de croissance sont un signe de son humanité
Sa croissance dans la connaissance de la famille à travers l'éducation est un signe de son humanité
Ses problèmes de relations interpersonnelles sont un signe de son humanité
Sa souffrance travers les tentations morales sont un signe de son humanité
Sa souffrance physique est un signe si son humanité

Compte tenu de tout ce qui précède, il est bon que Jésus est venu chez-nous comme un bébé.  Toutes ces déclarations sont vraies et valables, dans la mesure où ils vont.  J'en ai une qui est différente et divergente de tout ce qui précède.  Je suis convaincu que j'ai les enseignements de l'Ecriture Sainte comme fondement de mon opinion.

Je crois que Jésus est venu dans ce monde comme un bébé parce que Dieu le Père a une longue tradition de diriger ses créatures à collaborer avec lui. Dès les premières pages de la Genèse et à travers toute la collection de la Sainte Ecriture, Dieu dirige ses créatures vers la productivité.  Il dirige Adam de nommer les animaux, il accepte les sacrifices d'Abel, Il dirige Noé a la construction l'arche, Il appelle Abraham d'Ur, il recrute Moïse dans le but de le faire conduire son peuple hors d'Egypte et de publier la loi divine, Il s'attend que son peuple se bat pour la terre qu'il leur a promis et il utilise les prophètes comme guides spirituels de son peuple.  Toute l'histoire du salut est une histoire d'une relation de collaboration entre Dieu et sa créature, l'être humain.
Pour cette raison, son Fils, Jésus a été envoyé par Lui à la terre moyennant une de ses créatures, Marie.  Ainsi, c'était la responsabilité de Joseph et de Marie de nourrir le bébé, fils de Dieu, dans ses premiers stages de vie sur la terre.  C'était aux aînés et aux prêtres du Temple de l'instruire dans la Loi et de lui enseigner la spiritualité du mode de vie des juifs.  C'était l'affaire de Jean-Baptiste de le présenter à la communauté religieuse.  C'est au peuple de la nation de lui raconter ce que leur culture et leurs traditions exigeaient.  Oui, Jésus a dû avoir une existence humaine complète dans l'environnement humain, culturel qui le rendrait efficace dans la diffusion de son message.  Il a dû être exposée à la culture de la foi religieuse des principes de la loi, il devait être enseigné dans les traditions spirituelles de son peuple, qui se trouvaient a être le peuple élu de son Père.  Il a dû vivre au milieu des gens qui vivaient les enseignements des prophètes sous l'influence de la loi et dans la spiritualité du Temple.

Jésus a été formé dans sa vie par l'environnement social multiculturel de Galilée et les convictions religieuses de ses parents.  Cette formation a été selon la volonté de Dieu et elle a préparé Jésus a être ouvert à l'obéissance à la volonté de son Père.  Jésus a été immergé dans la tradition de la foi du peuple élu de son Père.  C'est dans et par cette familiarité profonde du peuple élu que Jésus était en mesure d'apporter l'autorité de Sa proximité avec son Père à son peuple.  Jésus a enseigné et vécu la foi dans le milieu de la controverse.  Même cette controverse était formative, non seulement de Jésus, mais des apôtres, qui étaient ses plus proches.  Sans l'exhaustivité de l'immersion culturelle qu'il n'aurait pas pu avoir a moins d’être un Juif complet, aurait-il pu accomplir la mission que lui avait donné son Père.

C'est pourquoi, à mon avis, Jésus est venu sur cette terre comme un bébé.

Monday, December 8, 2014


I have been on this earth for going on 78 years now.  I guess I still have a lot to learn. Since when are church pews qood advertising venues for those who want to make a mark for themselves, or should I say a mark of themselves?  I really should not be surprised since this is the crowning glory in a long history of immorality in this neighborhood.  

Ten years ago we came to this parish of St. Christopher upon the request of the priest who was then the pastor.  He said that he needed help.  That, as it turns out, was an understatement.  The amount and quality of help that was needed was more than one couple could begin to supply.  Not only was the functioning of the organization in need of great improvement, but the city in which the church is located needs more help than the church does.

Over the ten years of our stay here we have learned that anything that is not anchored to the core of the earth or locked deep into a mountain cave somewhere, will disappear. Simple locked doors and bolted collection boxes are not sufficient security.  There is nothing that can be protected from theft in this neighborhood.  Nothing.

Now it appears that the inside of the church is going to have to be guarded by trained Kodiak Bears living inside.  Looking at the name on the pew it looks like metal detectors and body X-Ray scanners are next.  Naturally, since this is a church, we have to expect things like this.  After all, we have been warned by the Apocalypse that there are places like this on the way to the Pearly Gates.  You just have to make it through and hope that the mighty angel will scoop you up and swish you away from the evil malefactors. 

23 DANI (or is it DONI?) is in fact making it challenging for us to try to find the key to the path leading to the way how to make any good come out of this hideous vandalism.  So far, it has been 12 or 14 hours since I have been trying to find out where the good thread is to be found in order to weave a nice warm blanket out of this Bison Mane hair.  Maybe ol' DANI was just devising a new prayer scheme; maybe working on some new runes that would make it easier for God to decipher when we earthlings need to communicate; it might be possible that he/she(?) was in practice mode to be the next Mr.Buonarotti. That may be a little far fetched because the Pietà moment is gone and Moses is no longer in style.   I have a clue that indicates that DANI has high ambitions.  Notice that the "i" has the dot on top of it?   This individual was in no way being rushed.  This bit of meticulosity shows that there was plenty of time and that the art was the true object.  So look for some good in all of this we must, but for the time being the one good that I would like to find is the neck of the buffoon who vandalized the church pew.

Despite my boiling blood, I nevertheless urge you to pray for the witless specimen who defaced the furniture and pray for me because I am still looking for the good that is going to come out of this.  

I have to find it if I want to be sure that you won't cry at my funeral.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


The other day I heard someone tell me with a straight face that the Bible is perfect.  I told him that the Bible is not perfect.  I also told him, Bible Christian that he is, that he would be a long time searching for the Bible verse which said that the Bible is perfect.
Since this was in an adult faith formation session, we let the discussion end there and he left saying that he would research my position and be ready with an answer for the next session, fourteen days henceforward.

I suppose that there are many cute, chapter and verse ways that I could employ to prove that the Bible is not perfect. But since I abhor proof texting I will dive right into the philosophical explanation of why the Bible is not perfect.

First, I am stipulating that the only perfect being is God Himself.
Second, since that is true, then no other being can be perfect.
Third, since the Bible is a being separate from God, then the Bible cannot be perfect.
Fourth, if the Bible cannot be perfect since it is not God, the Bible is therefore not perfect.

Some may say, “The Bible is the Word of God.  Since it is the Word of God and God is perfect then the Word of God is perfect.”
The Word of God, even if not captured in the Bible script, is not God.
The Word of God is from God, but is not God Himself.
Since the Word of God is separate from God, it cannot be perfect.
So, the Word of God is not perfect.
Therefore the Bible is not perfect.

El otro día escuché que alguien me diga con toda seriedad que la Biblia es perfecta.  Le dije que la Biblia no es perfecta.  También le dije, cristiano Biblico que es él, que iba a ser una larga estancia buscando el versículo de la Biblia que dice que la Biblia es perfecta.
Como se trataba de una sesión de formación en la fe de adultos, dejamos la discusión terminarse ahí y él se fue diciendo que iba a investigar mi posición y estar listo con una respuesta para la próxima sesión, catorce días a partir de ahora.

Supongo que hay muchas maneras, buscando capítulos y versículos que podía emplear para probar que la Biblia no es perfecta. Pero como yo aborrezco "proof texting" como una prueba fiable, voy a bucear inmediatamente en la explicación filosófica del porqué la Biblia no es perfecta.

En primer lugar, tengo que establecer que el único ser perfecto es Dios mismo.
En segundo lugar, ya que eso es cierto, entonces ningún otro ser puede ser perfecto.
En tercer lugar, puesto que la Biblia es un ser separado de Dios, entonces la Biblia no puede ser perfecta.
En cuarto lugar, si la Biblia no puede ser perfecta ya que no es Dios, la Biblia, por lo tanto no es perfecta.

Algunos pueden decir: "La Biblia es la Palabra de Dios.  Dado que es la Palabra de Dios y Dios es perfecto, entonces la Palabra de Dios es perfecta”.
La Palabra de Dios, aunque no sea capturada en el guion de la Biblia, no es Dios.
La Palabra de Dios es de Dios, pero no es Dios mismo.
Dado que la Palabra de Dios está separado de Dios, no puede ser perfecta.
Así, la Palabra de Dios no es perfecta.

Entonces, la Biblia NO es perfecta