Thursday, August 17, 2017


The Assumption of Mary at the threshold of the harvesting of the first fruits 
This is a homily that was delivered by Father Lauro Minimo, the vocations director of the diocese of San Diego, California on August 15, Feast of the Assumption.  He has graciously allowed its publication on my original blog.  May God bless you all with a deep appreciation of this invitation to understand one of the many facets of the spirituality of the mystery of the Assumption. 
Thanks, Father.  Don't forget, No Crying allowed at My Funeral.
August is a strange month. The summer is waning yet fall is not quite here…vacations are spent but school has yet to begin. This is also the month when we celebrate victory; we commemorate the end of World War II and so we celebrate peace. Yet August is also the month of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- perhaps the greatest symbols of the carnage of war and of the inhumanity with which people…that we sometimes inflict on each other.
In the midst of this month of opposites we celebrate the Assumption of Mary, the dogma that solemnly decrees that, at the completion of her earthly life, Mary was taken up, body and soul, into heaven. We should be clear about what is so important about this feast.  The key is found in the second reading wherein Paul calls the Resurrection of Christ the “first fruit of those who have fallen asleep.”  This “first fruit” is actually a Jewish ritual term that signifies the custom of offering the first sheaf of the harvest back to God, and this first sheaf is considered a symbol of the entire harvest. So when Paul speaks of Christ as the first fruits to rise from the dead, he is saying that the whole crop will follow.   Mary is the first of this “whole crop” to follow Christ. Each of us, in turn, is called to the same.
So from this flows one very important lesson: when God glorifies the body of Mary and allows her to share in the victory of his Son, God also teaches us how sacred and how important our own bodies are. God teaches us that the gift of life is very precious, and that life should never be taken for granted, destroyed, or wastefully used. Whether the issue is war or destruction, abortion or embryonic stem cell research, the death penalty, insensitivity to the handicapped or prejudicial behavior…our response must always be the same: Life is so very sacred that it must be respected and honored, treasured and revered no matter what the surrounding circumstances might be.
The Feast of the Assumption of Mary teaches us that life is so precious that God does not want it to decay away forever…God calls it back home. But until God does that, we can only treasure life for the great gift that it is. May we do so with the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother…through her intercession, by her example, and with her love.
Join together in a loving Hail Mary…

La Asunción de María en el umbral de la cosecha de las primicias
Esta es una homilía que fue pronunciada por el padre Lauro Minimo, director de vocaciones de la diócesis de San Diego, California, el 15 de agosto, Fiesta de la Asunción. Él ha permitido graciosamente su publicación en mi blog original. Que Dios les bendiga a todos con una profunda apreciación de esta invitación a entender una de las muchas facetas de la espiritualidad del misterio de la Asunción.
Gracias, padre. No te olvides, No es permitido Llorar en Mis Funerales
Agosto es un mes extraño. El verano está menguando pero el otoño no está totalmente presente ... las vacaciones se acercan al vencimiento, pero la escuela todavía no ha comenzado. Este es también el mes en que celebramos la victoria; Conmemoramos el final de la Segunda Guerra Mundial y así celebramos la paz. Sin embargo, agosto es también el mes del bombardeo de Hiroshima y Nagasaki - quizás los símbolos más grandes de la carnicería de la guerra y de la inhumanidad con la que la gente ... que a veces nosotros mismos infligimos unos a otros.
En medio de este mes de contrariedades celebramos la Asunción de María, el dogma que decreta solemnemente que, al completar su vida terrenal, María fue llevada, cuerpo y alma, al cielo. Debemos tener claro lo que es tan importante en esta fiesta. La clave se encuentra en la segunda lectura en la que Pablo llama a la Resurrección de Cristo "el primer fruto de los que han dormido". Este "primer fruto" es en realidad un término ritual judío que significa la costumbre de ofrecer el primer haz de la cosecha de vuelta a Dios, y esta primera gavilla se considera un símbolo de toda la cosecha. Así que cuando Pablo habla de Cristo como los primeros frutos para resucitar de los muertos, está diciendo que toda la cosecha seguirá. María es la primera de esta "cosecha entera" para seguir a Cristo. Cada uno de nosotros, a su vez, es llamado a la misma.
Así, de esto fluye una lección muy importante: cuando Dios glorifica el cuerpo de María y le permite participar en la victoria de su Hijo, Dios también nos enseña lo sagrado y lo importante que son nuestros cuerpos. Dios nos enseña que el don de la vida es muy valioso, y que la vida nunca debe darse por adquirida, destruida o usada inútilmente. Si la cuestión es la guerra o la destrucción, el aborto o la investigación con células madre embrionarias, la pena de muerte, la insensibilidad a los discapacitados o el comportamiento perjudicial ... nuestra respuesta debe ser siempre la misma: la vida es tan sagrada que debe ser respetada y honrada, Reverenciada sin importar las circunstancias ambientales.
La Fiesta de la Asunción de María nos enseña que la vida es tan preciosa que Dios no quiere que se desintegre para siempre ... Dios la llama a casa. Pero hasta que Dios haga eso, solo podemos atesorar la vida por el gran don que es. Podemos hacerlo con la ayuda de la Santísima Virgen María, nuestra Madre ... por su intercesión, por su ejemplo y por su amor.
Únete en un amoroso Ave María ...

Monday, August 7, 2017


Christine Jorgensen 1954.jpg
Christine Jorgensen - 1954
I was 17 when this hit the front pages
This is a reflection about the topic of human beings who are in this world because God has put them here. Because they are His creatures, they are the objects of His everlasting love.

I start here:    I know what sex is - Male and female
                      I know what gender is - Masculine and feminine
Where I get lost is when people, human beings, start asserting that they have "gender" as though that noun makes them other than male or female.

I have been trying to get my head and my heart wrapped around the reality that is being described when I hear that someone cannot identify with the physical configuration of the body into which the individual has been "poured."  I often wonder if the difficulty that I have in understanding that discomfort is a shadow of the puzzlement that the "gender misunderstanding" of the ambivalent individual has to endure.  I do wonder about that.  I have to admit that when it comes to sex, I am a rather earthy individual.  From age 11 on I was comfortable with my identity as a male.  There was never any doubt, not even when I had some homosexual dalliances at one short period of my "coming of age."  So, that's who I am.  Dyed in the wool male.

Now, that dyed in the wool being is also one who has no trouble respecting and consorting with homosexual and "Q" people as well as those who have decided to transition to a sexual identity other than that into which they were born.  I have never experienced any discomfort around such people.  I once worked in a Catholic parish where the pastor was a nice old guy.  When he discovered that I was friendly with a homosexual young man and the man's mother, he forbade me to ever visit them again and to end the friendly relationship.  I told him "No."
He was not happy with that, but he did not fire me.  Good thing that he did not know that  I was counseling a female who was in the process of gender transition from female to male.
I think of these two individuals a lot, but because I left the service of the church in that jurisdiction, I have never had further contact with these two friends (and others).

I know that we are all God's creatures.  I am convinced that if I respect and love humans of every description, I stand a chance of being loved and accepted as well.  I am also convinced that the Father Creator of us all expects us to respect and love our fellow humans as He does.  To fall short of that is to fall short of what the Father Creator expects of us.  This expectation was declared to us by His Only Begotten Son.  That is our call.  What our answer is will be evaluated at the Pearly Gates.

When I leave you for the Pearly Gates, remember that I have forbidden you from crying at my funeral.  I know that my LGBTQ friends won't.