Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Looking back

I was both amused and pleased by the first reading during Mass this morning, Catholics have a set reading pattern and this wasn't chosen this week but years ago... yet it is pretty timely considering the path America is on today.

First Reading
Genesis 19:15-29

A reading from the Book of Genesis

As dawn was breaking, the angels urged Lot on, saying, “On your way!
Take with you your wife and your two daughters who are here,
   or you will be swept away in the punishment of Sodom.”
When he hesitated, the men, by the LORD’s mercy,
   seized his hand and the hands of his wife and his two daughters
   and led them to safety outside the city.
As soon as they had been brought outside, he was told:
   “Flee for your life!
Don’t look back or stop anywhere on the Plain.
Get off to the hills at once, or you will be swept away.”
    “Oh, no, my lord!” Lot replied,
“You have already thought enough of your servant
   to do me the great kindness of intervening to save my life.
But I cannot flee to the hills to keep the disaster from overtaking me,
   and so I shall die.
Look, this town ahead is near enough to escape to.
It’s only a small place.
Let me flee there—it’s a small place, is it not?–
   that my life may be saved.”
“Well, then,” he replied,
   “I will also grant you the favor you now ask.
I will not overthrow the town you speak of.
Hurry, escape there!
I cannot do anything until you arrive there.”
That is why the town is called Zoar.

The sun was just rising over the earth as Lot arrived in Zoar;
   at the same time the LORD rained down sulphurous fire
   upon Sodom and Gomorrah
   from the LORD out of heaven.
He overthrew those cities and the whole Plain,
   together with the inhabitants of the cities
   and the produce of the soil.
But Lot’s wife looked back, and she was turned into a pillar of salt.

Early the next morning Abraham went to the place
   where he had stood in the LORD’s presence.
As he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah
   and the whole region of the Plain,
   he saw dense smoke over the land rising like fumes from a furnace.

Thus it came to pass: when God destroyed the Cities of the Plain,
   he was mindful of Abraham by sending Lot away from the upheaval
   by which God overthrew the cities where Lot had been living.

Actually the reading this morning spoke to me in a couple of ways.  The obvious one was Sodom and Gomorrah being destroyed for their evil ways and how timely that is in light of the rapid descent into depravity and evil by the United States as demonstrated by the SCOTUS in it's decisions over recent decades from abortion to same sex "marriage." Here God is telling us that He is still fully in control of the cosmos and that the evil of man will not be the last word.  The second little point that I didn't notice until this afternoon as I was rereading the passage was about Lot's wife.   "But Lot’s wife looked back, and she was turned into a pillar of salt."  As I was thinking about how I've been going to mass again, and the fact that I was Catholic, then more than one time I turned away to go the easy way, the way without conflict, going to church only to make other people happy with me and I thought, I'm acting like Lot's wife here, looking back when I need to do nothing but follow Christ.  

Then I noticed that three months ago I had back to back posts here, one which explained why I was going to be Catholic from now on and the next one, two days later, that explained that it really doesn't matter which particular flavor of Christian one is so long as you are a Christian.  But it was a cartoon I saw on Facebook that told me that, and it was wrong.  For the last month I've been torn between continuing to go to the Lutheran church and going to mass in  a Catholic Church.  I've gone to mass every weekend for a month now, and I am more sure than ever that this is where the Lord has called me to be.  In fact I'm convinced that the Lord wants everyone to be a Catholic Christian.  I'm not going to try and explain all of the details of why that is right now but for my own well being, both spiritually and emotionally I need to go this way.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Social Media

Over the last week I've been on and off of Facebook several times.  Looking at all of the fallout from the recent SCOTUS decisions I've found myself alternately disgusted, angry and depressed.  People on my "friends" list seem more than OK with Gay Marriage and socialized medicine.  Rather than unfriend people who have such appalling opinions I'm unfriending Facebook itself.  Shoot, even the San Francisco Giants jumped on the rainbow bandwagon!  Every priest and pastor I've spoken to is anticipating a time of persecution of orthodox churches, those that actually teach what the bible and tradition teaches.  Yet on Facebook I'm told I'm an alarmist and blowing it all out of proportion.  Well I've been pretty good at predicting where society is going in the past and I am pretty sure I'm right again.

Since I was initially suckered into Facebook some time ago... how long ago was that?  I don't know actually.  Anyway, since I was suckered into using Facebook I've used that as a place to express myself.  Thing is, it's a really crappy place to say more than one or two words and a picture.  Once upon a time I'd spend time thinking about things and then writing a paragraph or more about it.  Since Facebook it's mostly been a matter of seeing a two or three line political opinion with a humorous or maybe disturbing photo attached to it and then re-posting it and adding some snarky one-liners in the comments sections.  This sort of thing is not conducive to actual conversation.

I don't anticipate getting much conversation out of my blog here either, which is fine actually, I mostly just want a place to vent and to think and this is as good a place as any.   I don't think there is anyone who still looks at the Angry Gnome these days, it has been pretty much dead for a long time.  I do anticipate posting my religious and political thoughts here from now on.  Of course that used to get me into all sorts of trouble in the past and there is little doubt it will do so in the future as well.

If anyone is looking for me, this blog is the place to go.  I'll be posting my photography here, stories of the grand-kids, my spiritual journey, things I see in science news that I find interesting and whatever else tickles my fancy.  And, of course, my unbelievably insightful political and social commentary :-)

Enough cranky griping, here is a picture of Max with Sophia from yesterday afternoon.  Now I can smile again :-)