1. Peanut butter and Nutella.
Um, yes please.
2. First, let me apologize for my infrequent posts. I have taken on a daily commitment and, for the past week, have also been under attack by an insidious bug camped in my sinuses, which has zonked me out. I tried to burn it out a few days ago with Indian curry, but I think I just provoked it. The only thing that really works in burning bugs out of one’s sinuses is wasabi, the veritable “ninja assassin” of condiments. Perhaps a California Roll is in order tomorrow. Because, you know, sushi is SOOOO penitential. Hmmm. Maybe not. Anyway, I’m feeling spunkier today.
3. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass said for all of my benefactors and supporters on Sunday morning was lovely. It was Sexagesima Sunday, of course, and I was especially moved by the Introit taken from Psalm 43 – for all of us:
Arise, why sleepest Thou, O Lord? arise, and and cast us not off to the end. Why turnest Thou Thy face away, and forgettest our trouble? our belly hath cleaved to the earth: arise, O Lord, help us and deliver us….
I remember, in years past, SCREAMING this Introit at Our Lord in my head at Mass on Sexagesima Sunday. Now I glory in it, because I know that He doesn’t forget us – ever – and He will deliver us.
4. Thanks to the family that left me the voicemail a few weeks back of their youngsters saying their evening prayers and praying for their future spouses. Very moving.
5. An interesting tidbit – two, actually, from the same person, 16 months apart – from the mailbag:
NOVEMBER 10, ARSH 2012:
I just watched the first 5 minutes or so of your presentation to the Colorado Patriots, and I would like to know, before I devote an hour of my time to watching the rest of your footage, if you think that free speech includes the right to yell FIRE in a crowded theatre?
My husband deployed to Afghanistan just yesterday. This is his fourth tour in the Middle East. If someone here insults Islam by burning Qurans or drawing insulting political cartoons, and those actions lead to so much as one hair being harmed on any of the heads of my husband and his brothers and sisters in arms, jail time won’t matter. That individual will need protective custody from the blowback here at home. When that Pastor in Florida burned those Qurans, our entire military went into a heightened state of alert. The installation where we live was practically on lockdown because of the security increases.
The Muslims my husband interacts with are not like the a lot of the “westernized” mainstream Muslims we encounter here in the States. Culturally, the Muslims over there, and specifically the men, are a prideful, arrogant people with the emotional intelligence and maturity of a bunch of middle school girls. They WILL as soon shoot someone as look at them over even the slightest offense. I wish you could see the curriculum of the cultural sensitivity training that my husband has received over the past ten years. This training isn’t a matter of appeasement of the enemy, it is a matter of life and death.
I am not suggesting for one second that we pander to the antics of these simple-minded, ignorant fools. I am simply saying that no one should yell FIRE in a crowded theatre, and if someone does do so, and people are injured or killed as a result of being trampled in the stampede created by panicking individuals, then the one who yelled FIRE should be held accountable and punished.
It is a moral obligation to scream fire in a crowded theater when the theater is in fact ON FIRE. The theater is on fire. Therefore I will scream like a banshee.
Use your brain. Think.
SIXTEEN MONTHS LATER, February 21, ARSH 2014
What a difference a year (and some change) makes. I go back and revisit our previous email exchange every few months, and I am thunderstruck at how much my perspective on just about everything has changed. I believe the theater is, indeed, ON FIRE.I revisited, as well, your Vendee genocide presentation one day last week, after reading the blog post regarding the email from SSG J from [state redacted]…IF God hears the prayers of a former separatist, (pseudo)fundamentalist, cultish, protestant follower-in-childhood-only-because-I-had-no-choice who, at 18, decided that the best way to give the church “the finger” was to join the military so I could defend their right to be “conscientious objector” nutjobs, then He hears frequent prayers from me for you. If not, then I guess I am just talking to myself and/or to that very annoying IBSC in my head. Whatever the case may be, I am glad to know that you are well and happy. I appreciate so much the things that I have learned and continue to learn through you that I want to put my money where my mouth is. It won’t be much, but I hope in some small way, it represents the gratitude that I feel.Sincerely-T
Dear Ann,Our 2 sons, 8 and 10 had started to suddenly come down with a bad headache when I said “go get dressed for Mass”. A lot of whining, grumbling – what I assume is typical behavior for many kids at Mass time. This behavior made me feel so sad and made me feel as if I were absolutely failing in making them understand the magnitude and importance of the Mass.I had copied this post to my AB file and although I initially felt hesitant to share it with them, on one particularly argumentative, Sunday morning, I pulled it out, asked them to sit down and read it to them.I interspersed a few of their favorite activities toward the end and then said, ” I am leaving in 5 minutes. If you are coming, you will be in the car”.They were both in the car.My fear that it was too harsh for them or too “grown up” a concept was nonsense. They GOT IT, got in the car and Sunday mornings are a lot easier, ever since.If they start with the big, exasperated sighs, i just say “tell it to your Best Friend” and it is over.I just thought reposting may help another family going through the same thing.I cannot thank you enough.May God continue to work through you and bless you.DonnaThe post she read to her sons:“Let’s say your best friend has been arrested, tried in a kangaroo court and sentenced to execution for a crime that YOU committed. Before the actual execution, your best friend is tortured, whipped until skinned, and then led through the streets being mocked, pelted and spit upon by huge crowds. He finally gets to the place of execution and is stripped naked and then NAILED hand and foot to two beams to hang and slowly asphyxiate. Amazingly, your best friend does all of this willingly, and is even CONSOLED by the fact that you are present at his execution. What is the proper, moral and dignified way for you to behave while you hold vigil at the place of execution while your best friend dies in agony on your behalf?A.) “Day-um. This is SO FLIPPING BOOOORING. This is SOOO STUPID. I can think about my friend at home just the same as here. AND I can do chores or watch the football game at the same time! I’m out. Peace, yo.”B.) “I’ll hang around, but there better be a kick-ass rock band, a PowerPoint show and a stand-up comedy routine or else I AM OUT. If I’m not seriously entertained, then forget it. Oh, and if ANYONE brings up the fact that my friend is dying on my behalf for crimes that I COMMITTED and tries to lay some sort of guilt trip on me, I’m just going to leave. Screw that.”C.) “I’ll go, but they had better let me talk and sing and be an on-site usher or else I AM OUT. I’m not going to go and just be anonymous and ignored, because if you think about it, this really is ALL ABOUT ME.”D.) On knees, SILENT, head covered (for females), SILENT, mortified, SILENT, begging in prayer for your Best Friend to forgive you, and telling Him how much you love Him and His Sacrifice of Himself for you. Oh, and SILENT.The correct answer is . . . D.”