Monday, September 28, 2009

"Don't Swear Like That!"

Following up my last post.

Recently I found a booklet titled “Don’t Swear Like That!” by Daniel A. Lord, S.J. Inside the cover I found The Imprimi potest, Nihil obstat, Imprimatur and Copyright 1943.

First of all, when using the word curse, we have to remember the definition of the word. It is an action or desire of bringing evil or misfortune on someone.

Now to the booklet! I was surprised to find the following statement on page 12. “As a matter of fact the constant use of the oaths and curses have resulted in their losing all meaning.” I didn’t realize so much cursing was going on in the 1940’s. But this is a true statement. The more a word is said the more it is accepted. Even the word “pregnant” was taboo. My grandmother was horrified when she first heard it said in general conversation. She was accustomed to “expecting” or “in the family way.”

This booklet also covered the use of the name of God and Jesus Christ alone. How often do we hear or say “Oh my God!” Someone once told me; when we say this, think of it as our lips to God’s ear. The point is, don’t say His precious name in such a frivolous manner. On page 14, “Such usage is the sign of a complete lack of faith. God means nothing…Christ has lost all value in their eyes. So the Holy Names are tossed about in careless indifference.” It further states even gee whiz is a parody on Jesus Christ, and the origin is soon forgotten.

Words full of meaning become meaningless, page 16. “G-d damn you!” or “G-d damn him!” say the thoughtless modern man and woman. If we…thought of what the phrases meant, we might drop them forever from our vocabularies. And on page 19…It was left for thoughtless people of succeeding ages…to take that horrible curse and make it part of the most commonplace speech.

Finally, why don’t we use the reverse? Why don’t we say “God bless” instead of “G-d damn?” Or we could say “Go to heaven” instead of “Go to hell!” Maybe we don’t say the kind words because of the impact we desire.

There is more, and I will continue on my next post. But here is something to think about. This is basically covering curse words! What about those words that don’t carry a curse, but fall under the title? What about words which should really fall under obscene or vulgar?

Note: I have a real problem with GD, but I was typing from the booklet.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What is Your Take on Cursing?

I found an old booklet on swearing, and I've been reading it when I get a chance. I plan to post some of what I find when I finish it. But, I'm curious or nosey...

What do you think about foul language?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Thankful for His Thoughtfulness

This weekend the thought that came to me and stayed with me was the blessings I've received. You've heard the song about thanking God for unanswered prayers! Well this is thanking God for the answer to prayers I've never prayed. That is a testament to the love of our Father. He gives without ceasing, and He gives without request.

Thank God for loving us!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Do You Know About The Living Ark of The Covenant?

As I’ve stated before, one blog posting can lead to another. Recently I posted on the Nativity of Mary. In that post, I remarked about Mary’s participation in the redemption of man in relation to Eve’s participation in the fall of man. (Gen 3:15) This post is about the Ark of the Covenant. Mary is known as the living Ark of the Covenant. When I first learned of this, I remember being delighted.

The earliest prototype in the Old Testament is the Ark of Noah. Then there is the Ark of the Covenant made of the finest Gold which contained the Ten Commandments, some of the manna that fell from heaven for the Israelites wandering the desert and the staff of Aaron. So what does this prototype have to do with Mary? Well let’s take a look! Remember God had the Ark built to certain specifications and made of the purest gold. Here we have Mary made of the purest flesh. We find the Old Testament Ark carried the Ten Commandments; Mary carried Jesus the Word made flesh. The OT Ark carried the staff of Aaron (signifying his priestly position); Mary carried Jesus the High Priest. And the OT Ark carried a gold ciborium with the manna God provided in the desert. Mary carried Jesus the Eucharist, the Bread of Life.

When Mary arrived to visit her cousin, Elizabeth exclaimed, “Who am I that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43) We are reminded of when David says in 2 Samuel 6:9-10; “How can the Ark of the Lord come to me?” Also John the Baptist, leapt in his mother’s womb when Mary arrived (Luke 1:44). Remember David danced with joy in front of the Ark when it was brought to Jerusalem. But that is not all, The Ark stayed in the house of Obededom for three months, and God blessed the household of Obededom. Mary stayed with Elizabeth and Zacharias for three months, and brought blessing to their house.

And the final thought for this post is beautiful. The Holy of Holies was empty at the time of Christ and Mary. So the Ark of the OT was not there. How could the priests of the Temple know that the “presentation” of the child Mary in the Temple, was the entrance of the living Ark ~ the living Ark of the New Covenant?!

Our Lady carried Our Lord, and in obedience to God, from her arms she handed him over for the Salvation of the world. Today and always, she points us towards her Son, her Savior and ours.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Project 2996 September 09, 2001 Remembering Sei-Lai Khoo in 2009

As part of a project to remember the victims of 911, I was given the name Sei-Lai Khoo. I found her name spelled also as Seilai Khoo. I couldn't find much about her, other than she worked for Fred Alger Management, World Trade Center and co-managed mutual funds. I was hoping to find a photo, but I've yet to see one. Her age was listed as 38, and her residence as Jersey City, NJ. There was a short quote from her brother Yeng Leng Khoo, and the statement both came from Malaysia. She was here before him and showed him the ropes when he arrived.

I immediately wondered if Sei-Lai came here to pursue a lifelong dream. I wonder what she would be doing today, and I wonder what her family is doing on this anniversary.

Sei-Lai's age today would be close to mine. From the little bit I read about her, I get the impression she had so much to contribute. She was probably coming into her own and ready to continue blazing a trail through life. And now I know Sei-Lai will always be a part of my life because of this memorial. If you are reading this, I hope you will remember her too.

Dear Sei-Lai,

Eight years ago I was working Base Operations in the Mississippi Air National Guard. One of our pilots came and told me a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. We all thought it was a fluke, a horrible accident. We ran to watch the replay on the television, only to see the second plane crash. We then realized this was more than a fluke. Sei-Lai, I didn't know you were there until today. I didn't know anyone in the towers. But I am saddened for your family, for all the families and friends. And though this tribute to you is not fancy or even worded well, I want you to know I will remember you. And I will now have a name that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Though I didn't know you in this life, maybe I will get to meet you in the life to come. I wish I knew more about you, but this I do know, I will not forget you, the others who perished or our military and others who have sacrificed so much since then. Rest in peace, Sei-Lai!


Please pray for the families of the victims. Please pray for peace throughout the world.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tending the Soul for God's Will

Before we can serve God in other fields we must till, plant, weed, prune and bear fruit in our own fields.


The will precedes the intellect.

Everyday I have little readings I do, and the first sentence is a paraphrase from one. The second comes from a CD set I was listening to earlier.

You know how you can read several pages or listen to thirty minutes of something, and out of it all you find a couple of nuggets of wisdom or teachings? When you go back to it later, what you see or hear can be something totally different. I’m trying to make a habit of writing down what strikes me that day, whether it comes from my pastor, family, friend, reading or a talking donkey. Okay I don’t expect to find a talking donkey or anything, but you never know. It can happen right?

The first sentence struck me because of what I am always asking God. What am I suppose to be doing? I never get a good feel for the answer. This sentence makes me think, “Maybe I’m not ready to do what God desires because I haven’t tended my own field.” Tending our own field requires a lifetime of cultivating, but we should bear some fruit at some point!

Then the second sentence struck me because there is the constant fight. My will wants to do one thing when my intellect knows I should do something else. My will either justifies the end or figures it’s not so bad after all. But no matter how small the infraction, it chips away at the rich soil my soul should be steeped in. How can I grow the tree to bear fruit, if I’m not enriching my soul? My friend Karinann’s blog post, Out With The Old, In With The New, touched on the same subject. At first I thought how discouraging this “trying” to become anew can be. Then it came to me. It is better to be questioning than to think everything is okay. I think when I’m rolling along that track saying and thinking, “I’m okay” is when I am in the greatest danger. So I pray God will help me to examine my actions or lack of action and continually tend my soul for His desire.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

She said YES ~ Yes she did! Happy Birthday Mary!!!

Today we celebrate the Nativity of Mary. When hearing the word “Nativity” we think of the birth of Jesus rather than Mary. I remember a time when I was worried about loving Mary. Was I giving her love due only to God? Our gentle Lord let me know there is a reason we cannot measure love. It is because love is infinite. There is more than enough to spread around.

There is this man I used to work with who told me God randomly picked Mary to be the Mother of Jesus. I’m sure he went on and on about it because he knew of my Catholicism. He basically said she was at the right place at the right time. Even then I found it humorous. I could picture God pointing His finger around saying, “maybe that one…no, I think that one.” I wasn’t able to dialogue with him way back when. But as time passed there is one thing I have learned about our Creator. He is ordered, He is a designer, and He would not leave the Mother of His Child to chance. Even humans (responsible ones) don’t randomly pick a person to form a family.

It was funny because as a youngster people told me Catholics, like me, had to pray to Mary to get to God. I didn’t quite understand it because I prayed to God every night. Did these people know something about Catholics I didn’t? Now I know they didn’t know much, if anything, about Catholics. Well as I grew in my faith God began to give me answers about Mary, sometimes from the questions of others. One such question came from another guy at work. He asked me, “Why did God make it so Jesus would come from Mary?” He clarified by asking, “Why did He come from a woman?” I can only guess he was wondering why God didn’t just show up. I thought of all the questions! I’d never heard that one, but I told him I’d try to find out. Shortly after that my dad handed me a book, and there was the answer. In the beginning woman (Eve) came from man (Adam), and through this man came sin. For our redemption God reversed this occurrence and Mary gave birth to Jesus. This time man came from woman, and through this God-Man, Jesus, comes salvation.

So here I began to see Mary’s role. When she said, “yes” to God, her place was fulfilled. She holds a unique position. She is the daughter of the Father, the spouse of the Holy Spirit, and the mother of the Son. She is not Deity, but she is intricately entwined with the Trinity. And from there she calls us to the Glory of God. She is forever pointing not to herself, but to Him! Where Eve participated in the fall of man, Mary participates in the redemption. Satan thought he’d won with the disobedience of Eve. Oh but he underestimated the obedience of Mary. But the serpent would soon learn this when God Himself said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed…”

Friday, September 4, 2009

Thankful for the Small Things

This morning I stayed in bed a bit longer than needed. I quickly dressed, hoping I'd make it to Mass on time. The thing is, we had a Communion service because our priest is just now coming home from Ireland. While I miss the Consecration of the Eucharist, I told myself, our Lord is present in the already consecrated hosts.

Jumping in my car, I detoured and entered the highway with about five minutes left to making it to the church. The stop light caught me. When it turned green, I was turning left and did not have a turn signal. I made it to the light before it turned yellow, and I noticed oncoming traffic was very far away. I sailed into the church parking lot. I thanked God for clearing the path for me. He does that so many times in life. He wants to us to have a clear path. We throw the obstacles in most of the time. And when the obstacles aren't of our doing, He still offers us His help to continue on our way. Sometimes He gives us a red light telling us to stop and wait! Other times He gives us a yellow light telling us we can move ahead but with caution and being prepared to stop and wait again.

The added bonus to making it to this Communion service, was I entered the hall to find my son and his wife waiting for me. They are trying to attend Mass before going to work. I didn't know they would be there today, but they assumed I would be there. Of course, God knew all of this already. Isn't He a wonderful Papa? He loves us so much! I love Him too and wish to love Him even more!

Please remember my son and his wife in your prayers. They are becoming on fire for their faith. Please pray they continue a lifetime of loving and serving God. Also I ask you to pray for my other son and his girlfriend. She became Catholic but neither are practicing. I'm praying the Holy Spirit will ignite their hearts. God bless you, and I'm praying for all of you too!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Third Floor Window ~ Another Perspective

Recently I posted on Colleen Spiro's book, The Third Floor Window. Please click here to read another review from a different perspective than mine. Patricia, like Colleen, is a lady who helps other incest survivors on their journey.