Once upon a time…
Bedtime was a crime
But now
When bones are old
And feet are cold
The whole body nearly weary
Bedtime is a cherished thing
And not so nearly dreary

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Enter into life’s twilight room
All is candlelit and veiled
There are no edges sharp
Only soft blurred folds of cloth

The day flies overhead
Sunrise and sunset
Light and darkness
Wed within a short-lived marriage

May through December passes
Within an eye’s blink
Nerey time enough to shed a tear
Nor to remove a gardener’s glove

With simple things ~a cup of tea
Strong, milked, and sugared
Within a soft cushioned chair
A good mystery read over and over again

I willingly entered into life’s twilight room
The candlelight softens my edges
With each quickly passing day
The anticipation of the next sunrise
Brings me Hope and gratitude
The sweet comfort of my cup of tea
Warm’s my wounded heart

It is only within the twilight of life that
Shapelessness, sleeplessness
Confusion and forgetfulness
Are a welcomed relief
A fitting closure
An appreciation
Of a life well lived

Artwork: John Currin

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Childhood Remembered

Remembering Childhood

We rode high
Upon our magic carpets
Sailing through the parlor’s hall
We touched our paper ceilings
In those days fifteen feet or so tall

We danced
Among the vapors
Of our imagined friends
Dragons of our castles and
The angels whom God to us did send

Our feet hung
Well above the ground
Freedom filled our day
Older now, within life’s twilight
Children again we find the way.

Our old minds fly
Upon our magic carpets
We sail again through our confinement
We touch the floor of eternity
And await our just assignment

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Compassion and the Catholic Church’s Sex Scandals

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Compassion and the Catholic Church’s Sex Scandals

A few Sundays ago at Mass, the first reading and Gospel had to do with forgiveness and compassion.
The first reading opened with the Israelites in the desert who began worshiping the golden calf.
God’s patience wore thin and His wrath grew fierce. He was ready to punish them, destroy them. Enter Moses. He pleaded with God to show mercy and compassion towards these wayward people. He reminded the Almighty, that these errant, stubborn sons and daughters were the people He chose. God listened to Moses and spared the lives of the now repentant sinful idolaters.

The Gospel reading was the familiar story of the Prodigal Son who left home and squandered his inheritance on every vice imaginable. He returns home expecting nothing but to live as no longer a son but a laborer in his father’s house. His father, when he saw his son approach prepared a celebration. The son asked for forgiveness. His father embraced him and forgave him as undeserving as he was.

These days when I attend Mass I am plagued with ugly thoughts about the clergy who victimized others, who betrayed their vocations, about Bishops who covered for heinous crimes or committed them themselves and continue to do so. I think of all the priests I know who may not be predators but are sexually active mostly with men and live a duplicitous life. This lie that they live predisposes them to cover for their brothers who are predators, not so much with younger minors, but with young teens and adults, like seminarians who are under their care and counsel.

Many, of these men, are not total monsters. They are excellent homilists although they avoid homilies about sexual morality, marriage and family life, the very issues people need to have clarified for them. These men are popular and well-liked pastors. They are outwardly kind and giving. All the kindness and good homilies in the world cannot make up for what they have done which is to cover for predatory “clergy brothers” out of fear that their own sexual activity may be exposed.

These men who live a double life have lost moral authority. Many have adopted the heterodox belief that they have not committed any wrong and that a sex life with men does not violate celibacy. Unlike the prodigal son who admitted his sin and asked for forgiveness these sexually active priests/Bishops/Cardinals deny they are sinning. Furthermore, Bishops refuse to address priests having consensual sex with adult males (or females)* even though Canon Law is clear that Bishops have the authority to do so.

Why do Bishops not act on this? Many Bishops are also sexually active almost exclusively with men and have deliberately filled their seminaries and ordained men like themselves (especially true in the late ’70s, the ’80s and ’90s and some until the present). They too have difficulty seeing their actions and the actions of their priests as sinful. What they refuse to see is that beyond the sexual relationship and activity, they have betrayed their vocation, Catholic moral teachings, and the laity. They live a lie and therefore are bound to cover up and lie. This alone has cost so many innocent victims/survivors their relationship to God, a lifetime of pain, and many their very lives.

Bishops have treated the abused like criminals while they protect predators. Bishops have adopted the antithesis to Christian definition of the person.**

Moses, in his compassion, begged God to stay His hand against the Israelites who eventually came to repentance and rejected the golden calf. In Jesus’s story of the prodigal son, the father was overjoyed at his son’s repentance and return and showed his errant son compassion and mercy.

I see no repentance or even admission of sin coming from the clergy/Cardinals/Bishops or even the Pope. Pope Francis elevates these deceitful men, like the former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and others not yet exposed. He himself has been proven deceitful. For example, Pope Francis reinstated former Cardinal McCarrick’s status from Pope Benedict’s restrictions. Pope Francis then elevated McCarrick by sending him to China to broker a deal with the Chinese Communist government, and covered for McCarrick, a Chilean and Argentinian Bishop, and others, all predators. He also supports strongly Fr. James Martin SJ who claims to support the church’s teaching on persons with same sex attraction (homosexuals) yet in fact supports groups attempting to change the church’s teachings and condone sexual activity male/male, female/female, and same sex marriage. James Martin SJ is a walking contradiction.

I ask then how one would show prelates/clergy who cover or who are themselves predatory prelates and clergy compassion, mercy, and forgiveness when there is no repentance?

How does one show compassion, mercy, and forgiveness when unlike the Israelites or prodigal son who by their sin brought destruction only on themselves while the Catholic Hierarchy and clergy’s sin wrought destruction on all of us, the faith, and most especially those sexually abused “in God’s name?”

Until someone can give me an answer on how to show them mercy and compassion. I would rather beg God for justice. I will pray for them to repent for what they have done and are doing and for their miraculous conversion. I am unable to show forgiveness, compassion or mercy towards those who first do not admit their sin, reject its existence, and are not really sorry for what they are doing and have done.

God’s wrath will come or are these wolves in shepherd’s clothing actually God’s wrath itself?
Who would defend these men?
Only those with false compassion, or those who are in bed with them.

*Over 80% of Sex abuse within the Catholic church was committed against males. However, 20% was the abuse of females. The prevalent problem within the clergy is in fact pederasty. Both need to be addressed, with the former recognized clearly as a result of the disproportionate number of sexually active same sex attracted prelates and clergy.

** many have adopted the worldview of sexual identity. Who a person is attracted to then identifies/defines “who they are”. This is Reductionism which reduces the whole of the person to only one aspect (sexual attraction) of their total definition of self. Persons are much more than who they are sexually attracted to. Reductionism is confining, limiting, and in Catholicism an affront against the dignity of the human person. It must be noted that many SSA men reject the “gay identity” while not denying they have a sexual attraction toward men.

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blueWhat have we become
When all is said
And the day is done

What were we then
What are we now
Within life’s prison den

Headless victims without a thought
A group think mind
And the sufferings it wrought

Upon our children for themselves to fend
Abandoned they, as we march
Into the workforce to keep up “our end”

And what end is that in truth
Are we better off
By placing our children in a stranger’s booth

Severed arms and severed head
We claim liberty
But aren’t we really dead

Woman’s spirit and mind captured
By distortions and pretense
We deceive ourselves enraptured

Our reward, children dead by our own hand
Documents which dictate who we are
Membership in the Lonely Hearts Club Band

What have we become parrots all
Agree or die or worse~ shunned
True freedom beckons hear the call

Be shunned
Be damned
By headless women of this land

Your head intact
Your arms to hold
Your children back~from the abyss

Within your woman’s heart
Your woman’s nature let it reign
And fight the falsehoods of the devil’s plain.

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Sunday Mass: A True Story In This Climate of Fear

Parking in a big city is horrendous. The church I attend has a very steep parking lot hill to climb and if I could avoid it, I do. The street sign in front of the church, one of a million in this anti-parking city, read TOW ZONE NO Parking (except during church services) I parked. I got out of my car. I saw two policemen speaking to each other while they were sitting in their SUVs. As I walked away from my car, one SUV pulled up behind me. I waited for the officer to call me back for misinterpreting the TOW ZONE sign. He did not.

During Mass I wondered “why were two police vehicles outside of church to begin with?” Mass went along, no one was sick. There were no siren sounds from the street. I began to think of the elderly priest getting stabbed in a Canadian Church last month and over 300 of my Sri Lankan Catholic brothers and sisters who lost their lives at Mass. “Is there a threat here today”? I asked myself, “what would I do if I saw someone approaching the sanctuary with a knife”? I began to look around for what I could use to knock the lunatic out. “The brass candle stick”, I thought. “No, too heavy for me to lift”. “My purse, yes my purse. I would wack from the back. Wait, what if the lunatic isn’t knocked out and turns on me”? I eyed the Easter Lilly potted plant. “Yes, I would wack him/her from behind with my purse and immediately thwack the person over the head with the potted plant”.

This was my post communion meditation! Nothing “went down”. I spent the rest of Mass time apologizing to God for being so stupid and wasting good meditation time by indulging my overactive imagination. I rejoined “earth” at the final blessing.
As I walked out of Mass, I bumped into the policeman who was parked behind me. He was holding a church bulletin and ready to get back into his SUV. I said to him, “You know, Officer, this crazy world is getting to me.” He asked: “How so?” I answered: “I spent my whole meditation thinking about terrorists and how I would deal with it. I wondered if I was ready for martyrdom. I even chose my purse and potted Easter Lilly plant “weapons” to ward off an attack on the priest. After all that nonsensical thinking, here you are officer simply attending Mass!” I laughed at myself (out loud!).

He looked at me, the piteous, elder, crazy lady and smiled. Then he asked me, “Mam, did you happen to see the other policeman in his SUV”? “Yes” I answered. “Well mam, he was stationed here to be on guard for the Mass. I told him I would be more than happy to stay and will enter the church, attend Mass, and keep watch.”

Yes, there was a threat. The police were guarding. I guess I am not a piteous, crazy old lady with an over active imagination. I am an old lady who has lived long enough to witness the barbarity of an age, when a sanctuary is no longer a refuge.

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Vatican Summit: A Mother’s Response

You devoured our children
Oh, sons of perdition
As you spew the words
Of false contrition
Your dry eyes betray
For you have no tears

Your words now fall
Like sulfur’s burning ash
Into our mothers’ wounds
Beware Oh son’s of Baal
Moloch is your god
Forsaken is the Christ

Christs words for you were clear
You have ignored them without fear
No fear of God nor man
Only fear for your own desires lost
It was too great a cost

This cost then for your desires
Will gain for you smoke and fire
You have chosen this yourself
Not I, nor any mother condemn you
More than you have condemned yourselves

Mothers will not rest
We will fight you in this way
Our prayers like shards to pierce your souls
Our words a constant din within your ears
Our widow’s mite withheld
For you have devoured our children
You will not rest, nor we

You are not men
You are ringwraiths, shadows
Whose only love is self
A man protects, lays down his life
A man is father whether or not he takes a wife
You, Oh sons of perdition
Have devoured your children
Their mothers will not rest

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Sunday Morning~Widowhood

We no longer sit on a couch for two
We sit alone in a chair
One glass, one dish, one spoon
Ham sandwich may be our dinner
Cooking no longer our main
A ticket for one
On the bus or the train

In the restaurant we sit
A table for one if you please
Surrounded by couples
Some talking some not
We wonder why sometimes
We have been given this lot

Over time and a distance
From that sentinel event
Life becomes more livable
Tears become rarer
Our hand however
Once held by the beloved
And our side by which he stood
Still empty ~gone~ the one we loved

Ah yes, we are blessed with our children’s love
And our grandchildren’s love
And the love of our God from heaven above
For this we are grateful to all
Who are most kind
Yet, the loss of the one
That love which binds
Will never be repeated in this life
For the love for a mother is different
From the love for a wife

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The Empty Man

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At the bar
His place of forgetting
Mahogany surrounds
His life abetting
He stares into his empty glass

Another beer
Just one more
He can not afford
He is shown the door
He travels to his house, a home no more

He enters
His place so empty
Silence surrounds
Where his family should be
He falls to his bed wearing his unwashed shirt

He dreams of that day
When did it start
The road to his loneliness
The gaping wound in his heart
He searches his pockets for his loose change

He roams
The roads for a woman to charm
Someone to walk with him
Arm in arm
More for desire fulfilled and standing, than love

Night falls again
As he enters the bar
His place of forgetting
Those close and those far
He stares once more into his empty glass

This life chosen
A default into drink
It captures his mind and his soul
Into the darkness he sinks
And into his bed perhaps for the last time

His life to succumb
To this shallow existence
To the beer and the wine
Within his own insistence
A remedy~ empty of substance and love

He wonders
Blinded by pride
Others to blame
His own fault he hides
As he stares into his empty glass

Photograph: Empty Glass of Beer from the Top by Gamaweb
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Reflection 2016
It was the samewoman alone at table
From September to February
The chill of Autumn
The first snow
The lullaby carefully chosen
Anticipation and the hope
The fire warmed
Melting a heart grown cold
A pretense of care and protection
Against a solitary life
Ever lingering
Behind this facade
Remained the memory
The attachment to it grew
Like a cancer, stealth
Years passed and finally
Holy, blessed indifference
And with indifference came
The light, the truth, and a heart
No longer cold, nor longing
But fulfilled
By a love, grown for solitude
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