Sunday, December 16, 2018


Russian proverb:  "It is better to be slapped by the truth than to be kissed by a lie."
The two year old boy on his grand father's lap has already been told that it is not OK to lie.  He hasn't yet had to suffer the consequences that visit people who do lie.  Later on, in not too many years he will come to know what happens to those who lie and get caught in the falsehood that they proclaimed.  He has grown to be the 82 year old author of these simple lies and is telling you now, that Camay bath soap sure tastes BAD.  As I write this, the sensation of the Camay memory is actually bringing goose bumps to the nape of my neck.  It was my mother's favorite punishment against lying and swearing.
That should have been bad enough, but being the stiff necked, proud, I'm "smarter than you are" kid, I can still feel the pain of a well planted right hook from the kid down the street who caught me lying to him once.  I also remember the edict from my father that I had to submit one half of the money that I might receive at Christmas to the offering basket at Church one year when he caught me lying.
Now, here's why I am telling you this.  There is a high placed political operative by the name of Michael Flynn who lied to the FBI, who is now in court over the facts (the true facts) and his defense is, "The FBI didn't warn me not to lie."
What?  Have you ever heard such a heap of stercus taurorum in your life?  Does a successful(?) 60+ year old man have to be warned not to lie?  Can such a person be so naive and daring as to try to defend himself by blaming the FBI for not warning him that lying can bring on much greater punishment?  Sheeesh!
As it turns out, he is not the only one who downplays the value of the truth.  The president of the country and his flacks are all afraid of falling into "perjury traps."  What?  How can you perjure yourself if you tell the truth?  If you don't want to tell the truth because it would incriminate you, plead the 5th to protect yourself.
Frankly, it is shiveringly disgusting to hear such immoral expressions taking root in our society.  Jesus had to put up with the distortion of the truth, so we are not experiencing anything new.  All we are left with is the famous question, "Quid est veritas - what is truth?"
Finally, if you don't agree with me, just Don't Cry at My Funeral

Thursday, November 1, 2018


Here we are, at the end of another liturgical year.  It is November and we are living in the commemoration of those who have gone before us.  We Catholics are sure that every year we will spend a month of our lives preparing for the birth of Our Lord and Savior by reflecting on the mystery of the spiritual life for which we are all preparing.  We pray for our own understanding of this mystery by offering our own joys and sorrows to those who have already reached the rest of their existence in eternity. 
We lift up our hearts and souls to God in a search for deeper personal understanding of the Crossing, all the while asking Him to burnish those who have died and are still in the process of being purified for their entry into the final, glorious and everlasting face-to-face beatific vision.  With our soul and heart reaching out to Him, we take the opportunity to thank Him for the grace of purification, purgation if you will, so that our beloved who are in Purgatory being prepared for their entry into His Divine Presence can "graduate" as quickly as possible.
This period of our life on earth is also a moment of "Purgatory".  It is a moment when we fearlessly look death in the eye and ask God to teach us about it.  It is our opportunity to prepare ourselves spiritually for the inevitable experience.  It is a moment that the Church provides for us every single year, just one month before we get to prepare ourselves for the arrival of the One who is coming to assure us that Eternal Happiness is in fact, possible for us.  Every year, for as long as we live, we are taught by our Faith that the beginning always starts with our heart and mind focused on the end.  Not just with what regards heaven, but for anything that we do in life.  Anything that we do, we do because we desire the result.  
Therefore, let us spend this time in the company of the souls of the Communion of Saints, praying and suffering along with them.  This way, we will all share in the cleansing preparation required for the entry into Eternal Glory in the Divine Presence of God.  
Along the way, remember, there is to be no crying at my funeral.

Nous voici à la fin d'une autre année liturgique. Nous sommes déja au mois de  novembre et nous vivons la commémoration de ceux qui nous ont précédés. Nous, catholiques, sommes certains de passer a chaque année, un mois de notre vie à nous préparer à la naissance de notre Seigneur et Sauveur en réfléchissant au mystère de la vie spirituelle à laquelle nous nous préparons tous. 
Nous prions pour notre propre compréhension de ce mystère en offrant nos propres joies et peines à ceux qui ont déjà atteint le reste de leur existence dans l'éternité.
Nous élevons nos cœurs et nos âmes vers Dieu dans la recherche d'une compréhension personnelle plus profonde de la Traversée, tout en lui demandant de polir ceux qui sont morts et qui sont encore en train d'être purifiés pour leur entrée dans le monde final, glorieux et éternel. La vision béatifique, face-à-face. Avec notre âme et notre cœur, nous saisissons cette occasion pour le remercier de la grâce de purification, de purgation, si vous le souhaitez, afin que notre bien-aimé qui se trouve dans le Purgatoire soit préparé à son entrée dans a la Présence Divine aussi tôt que possible.
Cette période de notre vie sur terre est aussi un moment de "purgatoire". C'est un moment où nous regardons sans peur la mort dans les yeux et demandons à Dieu de nous apprendre ce qu'elle signifie. C'est notre opportunité de nous préparer spirituellement à l'expérience inévitable. C’est un moment que l’Église nous accorde chaque année, un mois avant que nous puissions nous préparer à l’arrivée de Celui qui vient nous assurer que le bonheur éternel est en fait possible pour nous. Chaque année, aussi longtemps que nous vivons, notre foi nous apprend que le commencement s'engage toujours avec notre cœur et notre esprit concentrés sur la fin. Pas seulement avec ce qui concerne le ciel, mais pour tout ce que nous faisons dans la vie. Tout ce que nous faisons, nous le faisons parce que nous désirons le résultat.
Par conséquent, passons ce temps en compagnie des âmes de la Communion des Saints, priant et souffrant avec elles. De cette façon, nous participerons tous à la préparation de la purification nécessaire pour entrer dans la Gloire Éternelle dans la Présence Divine.
En chemin, souvenez-vous, il n'est pas permi de verser les larmes a mes funérailles.

Friday, October 5, 2018


Adieu, cousin Joe.

The Good Lord has decided to let one of his friends come into His Palace.  This is not a judgement on my part, just an opinion.  From what we (Belle and I) could see, the Lord and Savior of us all would not leave the door shut after having his loving servant in grace-filled agony for so long.
I am not given to eulogy because I know that it does not form part of my purview before the Eternal judge's seat, but I am allowing myself this one dare when it comes to Joseph Bachand  MS.
There are very few people to whom you extend the invitation to be a relative rather than just a friend.  Joe fell into the category of "cousin" shortly after we had come to know one another a little while.  Since my paternal grand-mother was a Bachand, Joe and I decided that we were cousins.  So we lived for the short time that we knew one another.  I was honored that he agreed.
Belle and I are blessed that our last moments with him were spent on the Holy Mountain of La Salette where we were serving as volunteers.  Not long after we left we received the news of Joe's diagnosis.  I knew then that we had said our last human, cousin to cousin good-bye.
Today Belle and I are quietly lifting our spirits up to the heavenly abode in the hope that together with our cousin Joe we can enjoy the Divine Presence even if
Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror dimly, we humbly await the time when  we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, 1 Cor 13;12

May God bless Joe with eternal bliss.


Le Bon Dieu a décidé de laisser un de ses amis entrer chez-lui dans son palais. Ce n'est pas un jugement de ma part, juste un avis. De ce que nous (Belle et moi) avons pu voir, le Seigneur et Sauveur de nous tous ne laisserait pas la porte fermée après avoir soumi son serviteur dévoué à une agonie remplie de grâce pendant si longtemps.
Je ne suis pas un partisan des éloges funèbres parce que je sais que cela ne fait pas partie de mes attributions devant le siège du juge éternel, mais je me permets d'oser celui-ci quand il s'agit de Joseph Bachand MS.
Il y a très peu de connaissances à qui vous faites l'honneur  d'être un membre de la famille plutôt qu'un simple ami. Joseph est tombé dans la catégorie de "cousin" peu de temps après que nous nous ayons connus.  Comme ma grand-mère paternelle était Bachand, Joseph et moi avons décidé que nous étions cousins. Nous avons donc ainsi vécu pendant le temps très court où nous nous sommes connus. J'ai été honoré qu'il a accepté.
Belle et moi sommes heureux que nos derniers moments passés avec lui se soient déroulés sur la montagne sacrée de La Salette, où nous étions bénévoles. Peu de temps après notre départ, nous avons reçu la nouvelle du diagnostic de Joseph. Je savais alors que nous avions dit notre adieu, cousin à cousin.
Aujourd'hui, Belle et moi élevons tranquillement nos esprits vers la demeure céleste dans l'espoir qu'avec notre cousin Joseph, nous pourrons jouir de la Présence Divine même si
Nous voyons actuellement de manière confuse, comme dans un miroir ; ce jour-là, nous verrons face à face. Actuellement, ma connaissance est partielle 1 Cor 13;12.  Ainsi, humblement nous attendons ce jour-là, quand nous le connaîtrons parfaitement, comme nous avons été connus.

Que Dieu bénisse Joseph avec le bonheur éternel.

Sunday, August 26, 2018


It has been quite a while since I have opined on this space.  The life and death of John McCain bring to mind a dictum that I have carried with me from the moment that I first heard it some 60+ years ago. It is the title of this reflection...Our death defines who we are.  It is a mystery that we all have to live and a truth that we can easily find within ourselves.
I spent a lot of my earlier years in a family that experienced a period of two decades during which most of my closest first degree relatives died of acute heart attacks.  In fact all but my sister Jeanine and my God-Mother Grace died that way.  Nevertheless, the dictum applies to them as much as to anyone else. The lives that they lived before the final event is graven in our memories by the mysterious chisel of the process that leads to death.
Consider John McCain.  Two or three days after he terminated the medcine that was keeping him alive, he died.  He decided that the artificial life that he was experincing through the effects of modern medicine was not true to the life that he had lived in the natural environment of pain and suffering that he had inherited from his war time experience.  He must have decided that if his internal bravery was not enough to keep him upright, he would detach himself from the pharmeceuticals and accept to battle on his own.  This time, as he was sure would happen, the attacker won.
I dare say that there are precious few of us who will forget the definition of self that is graven into our own beings.  Some for good and some for less than good, but each and everyone bright and long lasting.  Each and everyone of us is introverting our image of ourselves and asking ourselves and wondering if our death will be kind to our biography or not.
So, fear not the death that will define you.  Challenge the evil potter and give yourself over to the potter who fashions beings who are kind and loving, generous and brave, just but mercifully forgiving.  Now that's a definition that will get us somewhere.

Finally, remember that you are reading the thoughts of the one who reminds you that there is to be no crying at my funeral, no matter what the definition turns out to be.

Saturday, August 18, 2018


What?  interesting, but, see below ...
Now that you have looked at your hands and verified that you are among the normal participants in the human genome, let me get to what started this in the first place.
It all started when I was having one of my numerous altercations with my computer.  It was one of those moments when the results I was getting pursuing the commands that I was entering were not what I wanted.  Of course, they were the logical results of something that I had done earlier.  BUT, I was of the opinion that what I had done earlier should not have caused such pain.  I delved into the actions that could have caused this uncomfortable back and forth between man and machine.  It cost me about 30 minutes of "delving" which, truth to say, at some points was more"deviling" than "delving."  Along the way I took a five minute coffee break during which I let my brain fish around for some tactical actions that I could try in order to solve the machine's problem.  It worked!  I tried something that led me to the logical action that thawed the cyber freeze between my "bits" and Lenovo's "bytes."

Along the way, this happened in the attic of my grey matter.  I realized that I have zero comprehension of how the electronic tools upon which I lean so heavily and, for the most part, comfortably.  I realized that I am totally at their mercy.  I wondered how anyone could have figured out how to make this stuff work.  I wondered about how many "languages" the masters of these inventions know in order to make so many different levels of  logic serve us humans.  At that moment and in some following ones over the last two days I came to the conclusion that have come a long way in the years between my youth and my present state in its antonymous definition = senility!

I now move on to another realization that has dawned on me - that the people whom I know and who check in to the Heavenly Hotel are by and large younger, much younger than I am.  It happened again just the other day and I am very sure that it will continue being that way for many more sunrises.  It just so happens that along the road of life I have come to know many, many people.  I have even come to like some of them.  Furthermore, I still remember some of them by first name, middl initial and last name. Really!  They are not even relatives.  Yet, they have the same end that we all do...except that I wonder why 95% of them do it while they are still so young.

In the meantime I have come to have a couple of inspirations that I will be sharing with you all.  Of course one is about death and dying.  The other is about doing something that you think will kill you but brings nothing but hapiness and satisfaction.  Stay tuned as you enjoy the palindrome at the top of the page,  It will keep you from crying at my funeral.

Saturday, March 17, 2018


I have been unnerved quite a bit by the presence of Donald Trump in my life.  However, never as much as this time.  I think it's because that it is so electrifyingly close to home.  This is not because I am personally involved.  It is because it is so disgustingly, animalistically cruel.  It is totally unconscionable that Donald Trump should put the Guillotine to the pension of a dedicated 20 year professional career a mere 26 hours before the eligibility was rung in.  
It is also monumentally disgusting to think that there was someone at his service who did not have the morally founded courage to oppose the president's order.  Jeff Sessions is just as crassly culpable in this matter as Donald Trump.
This inhuman decision strikes home to me because I was a human resources director for three decades and I saved a few pensions in my life.  There is absolutely no reason in the world that 26 hours of delay would have caused the end of the world as we know it.  Andrew McCabe had already tendered his resignation.  The act of cutting his tenure short was nothing but a crass attack on a career professional for no other reason than to exercise dictatorial power over an available object of irrational hatred.  It is meant to serve as a slaker of a demonic thirst to demonstrate a selfish desire to tread heavily on the lives of those who force Donald Trump to see realities that he doesn't want to recognize as part of the moral norms which guide most humans.  
I remember at least five or six people whom I terminated in the name of the company.  I remember these in this context because in each case those of us in the board room protected the start date of full vesting of the pension benefits.  In all cases the time between termination and vesting was less than one month.  None of them was 20 years into the process.  What Trump has done is life crushingly immoral. 

What he has done to Mr. McCabe is as bad as shooting someone in the middle of 5th Avenue, New York in broad daylight.  It will be seen if he gets away with it.

Whether he does or not, don't cry at my funeral because I'll be checking to see if I can find Donald Trump's carcass somewhere in the garbage heap of eternity.

Sunday, March 4, 2018


Image result for 81st birthday images
Notice it says "mostly" original parts.  Original tonsils are gone.  Original eye lens are gone.  I'm only 4% Jewish according to my DNA, but I lost that original part in the early 1970's or so.  I don't have as thick a head of hair as I used to have and the original dark color has given way to grey.  I don't know how many teeth I have left, but whatever the number is, only 50% are original but even then they are only about 50% natural.  Have my original mind, but only half of its memory.  I have both original languages from way back when, but like my teeth the others are far from being original but when I get hungry on travel they do come in handy.

This morning after Mass about five of us declared that we were celebrating birthdays this week.  It was quite interesting to note that I was far from being the eldest.  
So here I am wishing you all a good life.  I pray that we will all be blessed with the kind of loving friendship that God gave to Moses along the way.  Of all the people who crossed the Red Sea out of Egypt, only Moses lived all the way through it and got to see the Promised Land before he died.  Then, some time later he got to accompany God to Mt. Tabor in a glorious victory celebration  with the Transfigured Lord, His Father and The Holy Spirit.  

That's what I'm shooting for, 120th birthday celebration with Moses and Our Heavenly Father.  Plus, I also expect that not a single one of you will shed a single tear at  my funeral.

This is the time when I had a REAL Thibault face!

Sunday, February 11, 2018


Image result for amoris laetitia images
I have read the papal encyclical "Amoris Laetitia" and I have to say that there are many beautiful things that are said here about conjugal love.  The first seven chapters are not an easy read for a lot of reasons. My greatest difficulty was that it was hard to get by what struck me as the constant reach for another way to say the same thing.  In term of encyclical writing 101, this particular effort does not shine very brightly.

I have to say that it is perhaps that I was reading in anticipation of meeting what I had been told were serious difficulties with the orthodoxy of the letter that I was already being critical of what I had before me.  Maybe yes, maybe no.  My jury is still out on that.

Chapter 8 struck me as the one where the pope steps in “it.”  I have to say that the sacrament of matrimony is an extremely complex reality.  It is a mixture of secular requirements and ecclesiastical ones.  It is a contract and a spiritual vow.  It engages the conscience in challenging ways. Marriage is marriage for the whole of humanity but it is in the Catholic Universe that it is defined as a sacrament – a divine grace handed down to us by Jesus Christ.  It is the sacrament for which the ministers are the two spouses.  The people who give themselves to life in matrimony live in a world that tests the grace of matrimony in many changing ways every single day.  Every single day the sacramental grace of matrimony is tested in the vastly demanding and dynamic reality of the world.

It is my opinion that in this encyclical the pope tried to do something that none has every tried before. He tried to make public what is impossible to make public.  The conscience of human beings does not lend itself to the public square.  There is no human being who can judge another human being’s conscience through direct knowledge of it.  All any human being can do for another is to offer the measures of the boundaries of right and wrong. The exercise of the behavior is always under the control of the one who is behaving.

The pope in this letter waded into conscientious personal behavior territory at a level that is impossible to legislate or even to regulate with any hope of success.  The realities that one confronts in a myriad of matrimonial “situations” are too convoluted and too personal to be the object of absolute rules and regulations. The behavior that they call forth can only be judged between God and the “actors.”

I spent many years working in the marriage tribunal of the Catholic Church in two dioceses.  I cannot begin to recount the human entanglements to which I was privy and expected to untangle.  I cannot tell you how many “impossible situations” I had to consider.  In the end, I don’t know how many, if any, of the believers who were living these “situations” decided to participate fully in the sacraments (Eucharist) as a matter of conscience after they left my office unrequited.

I have not spent any serious time reading the oceans of “ink” that have been spilled in the discussions about this encyclical.  It is my guess that many of the discussions revolve around the absolute requirements of the Gospel and the attendant documents of the Church through the ages.  I have not spent any time studying the impact that the Church’s exercise of the annulment process has felt due to the reaction to the encyclical. 

Finally, I reiterate, the pope tried to answer the question, “Who among you whose animal had fallen into a well on the Sabbath not work to free it from death?”   There is also the consideration that tending to bloody victims of crime on the Sabbath is left to the occasional Samaritan who happens by.

Yes, Francis, some things are better left alone.   Matrimony x 2 is one of them.
I tell you all that if you enjoy love to the hilt, you will not be close to crying at my funeral.  

Monday, February 5, 2018


I was asked this question the other day.  It came from a person whom I respect and so I know that it is not troll bait, or chum as it is sometimes called in the "trade."  
I must say that the question caught me by surprise.  I had to admit that I have but one final, do not pass "go" source, The Bible and the Intellectual and Spiritual Treasury of the Church.  From there I use the dept and breadth of the Internet to feed myself, and there through the use of print media as it appears electronically.  I am an habitual reader of
Those are for current events.
Customary research sources are

I am also accustomed to perusing the writings of the ancient Greek Philosophers, especially Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates.
I like William of Ockham and finally I admit that Karl Marx is someone whom I admire, especially his theory of material dialectic.

I am a free thinker and I do not identify myself as a liberal (leftist) or a conservative (rightist) and  do not align myself with any of the contemporary talkers and thinkers.  I allow myself to question the positions of those who have them and posit them in the public square.  I am convinced that my opinions and convictions are every bit as valid as anyone else's and I am not afraid to express them.  I do not align myself to  an existing political party or social movement.  

I do not consider myself a relativist but I strive to keep myself in the dynamic center of the truth.  I am convinced that it is in the center where the truth is in constant dynamic development toward its inevitable final absolute and eternal reality.  I identify that with the one real absolute in which I believe and to which I cling.  To wit, the transition from this life to the next and the effort that it takes to live up to the expectations of the Eternal God.  

Oh, and the last absolute, there is to be no crying at my funeral.

Thursday, February 1, 2018


John the Baptist is a person who was totally dedicated to God as a Nazirite.  This dedication required that he not shave or cut his hair, that he not imbibe any alcohol and that he refrain from sexual congress.  There were Nazirites who could maintain that level of sacrifice for a year or two but very few of them ever made it a way of life until the day they died.  As we know, John spent some time in the desert and then he staked his mission claim on the banks of the Jordan in order to prepare the chosen people for the coming of the Messiah.  John, the bridge from the Old Testament to the New, spreading the word of God at the very place where God led His people into the Promised Land.  The description of his physical appearance is not that complimentary.  Wrapped in sheepskins, eating wild honey and whatever other edible wild thing he could grab.  He's a person who must have been ugly just from the odor that exuded from him.  But there he was, testifying to the world that the Messiah was in the area, just as the patriarchs and the prophets of old had promised.  Despite his appearance, he was a powerful force for God.  He had a following, and a devout one at that.  One day, some people came at him with a desire for answers  Three questions came at him from three different slices of the population.  All three of his answers were cut and dried and all three should have been known by those who ventured to ask them, because all three were, and still are, expressions of basic morality as foreseen in the Law and lived out by John and Jesus and their followers until this very day.
You know how people are.  They just have to ask.  So the questions come from
1. good people
2. tax collectors
3. soldiers
Whose missing?  The politicians

Those people didn't ask because they didn't have to ask.  They already knew.  Hey, they knew everything.  Did you ever meet a politician who didn't know everything?  That's why they miss out on so many good things.  They miss out on seeing their children grow in age and in wisdom and in Grace.  They miss out on seeing the smile of new immigrants who are making giant steps in the ability to speak a new language.  They miss out in the learning of the precious gentle and gentile behaviors of their new neighbors in the neighborhood...But then again, because they already know everything, they don't miss out on these things because they are convinced that these are the behaviors and talents that they have to measure, to control, to regulate because they know better than anyone else what is good for the world.

As for me, along the years I have come to know and love the song of David that goes,
LORD, who may abide in your tent?                                                                        Who may dwell on your holy mountain?

Whoever walks without blame, doing what is right,
speaking truth from the heart;

Who does not slander with his tongue, does no harm to a friend,
never defames a neighbor;

Who disdains the wicked, but honors those who fear the LORD;
Who keeps an oath despite the cost,
lends no money at interest, accepts no bribe against the innocent.

Whoever acts like this shall never be shaken.

Don't cry at my funeral

Friday, January 26, 2018


Image result for new year's day 2018 images
This is the first sign that we get that time goes by.  It used to be that here in San Diego there were many guns being shot into the air at midnight to celebrate the advance of the calendar.  This practice has just about disappeared.  First it was outlawed several years ago.  I remember that it did not pass away very quickly.  We were absent from San Diego for several years, so we were not aware of the slow disappearance of the practice.  My experience of the first moments of the New Year, 2018 was very quiet and I remembered the noisier times of the past.
This was but the first sign of my on-going accumulation of youth.
The second major event is on the way...
Yes, in the corner of San Diego that we call home, everyone gets to celebrate the Lunar New Year.  In our neighborhood, where English is not the dominant mother tongue, this is a big season.  When you get beyond the entrance features above, this is what you see...

The "stands" for all the flowery plants are containers of seasonal treats.  When the potted fruit trees come on display, I'll click on them for you.
Thirdly, February 28 and March 6 and April 1 are all reminders of an extra year added to my calendar. 
Left to right:  April 1, March 6, No comment, February 28
This was at Christmas, 2017
So, when you live in San Diego, the calendar is a frightening tool to have on your wall.  But...
Every time you look at it and every time the clock rings and you hear it, every time to awaken in the morning and the ceiling is still where it should be, you know that it is time to render thanks to God once again. So, may God drag all of us across these "memory lanes" one more time so that we can spend more of His time together with one another in the warmth of His loving embace.
Let's keep that in mind along with the reminder that there is to be no crying at my funeral.