I’ve been a lay Carmelite ever since October 2001. The Order is quite ancient and has its origins well before the eleventh century, traditionally hearkening back to before the Birth of Christ.
The Order, since the days of Sts. John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila in Counter-Reformation Spain, has been divided into two main branches, the Discalced, and the Calced (or Ancient Observance). Although they have much in common, each branch has its own separate customs, rules, and traditions. Each month of the liturgical year has at least one Carmelite feast day.
July is quite an important month for Carmel since it’s the month during which we honor both St. Elijah, the Prophet and our Father, on the twentieth; and the Virgin Mary. Mary gets two days. The first is the Solemnity of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on the sixteenth. Her other feast day is the Mother of Divine Grace, on the twenty third. It’s on the nineteenth in Europe. Sts. Joachim and Anne, parents of the Virgin Mary, are also honored on July 26 as the protectors of the Order.
Today is the ninety ninth anniversary of the birth of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, thirty fifth President of the United States. His younger brother and attorney general, Robert Francis Kennedy, was fatally shot on June 5, 1968. J.F.K. was assassinated on November 22, 1963, two days after R.F.K.’s thirty eighth birthday.
Over the past very many years I have always noticed that death has no respect for special occasions. People often die on, or close, to times like Christmas, Easter, and other milestones. My mother died exactly a week after my fifty fourth birthday. neral was on my father’s eightieth birthday.
So many things are like that. Between William Henry Harrison in 1840 and John F. Kennedy in 1963, each president elected at a twenty year interval died, either naturally or by assassination, while an incumbent. This has been attributed to the curse of Tippecanoe, dating back to Harrison’s questionable tactics in the Treaty of Fort Wayne with the Indians.
Another example of inexplicable coincidences can be found in the 1917 Our Lady of Fatima apparitions and events that are relevant to them. In 1517 the world was afflicted with the Protestant Revolution, the first of many evil milestones. In 1689 Luis XIV refused Jesus’ request to consecrate France to the Sacred Heart. During 1717 the Masons were founded. 1789 was the beginning of the French Revolution. The Russian Revolution occurred in 1917, and the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. There are so many other supposedly coincidental dates that are crucial to the circumstances surrounding Fatima. I’ve only skimmed the surface. These, and many other dates and milestones, fit a most undeniable pattern that cannot possibly be overlooked.
This kind of order, visible only in retrospect, has to be reckoned with. I have no idea of exactly what’s going on but it has always made me so insatiably curious.
I’ve just found out, unfortunately, that homosexual groups were allowed to march in yesterday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, but that no pro-life groups were welcome. “The whole thing is perverse,” said William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. Timothy Cardinal Dolan, of the Archdiocese of New York, rightly pointed out that the parade exists only to honor St. Patrick, the patron saint of both Ireland and of the Archdiocese, and that no one may legitimately be allowed to use it “… for causes that are extrinsic to its origins.” Besides that, Obama has recently nominated Merrick Garland, a favorite of Planned Parenthood, to replace the recently deceased Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. We simply cannot allow this to go on any longer. The left has been walking all over us for entirely too long and it’s about time we finally wised up and demanded our rightful due.
The big election will be here in only another eight months. Politics is pretty much the most divisive force known to mankind, precisely because it’s all about power. I’m as conservative as anyone can begin to imagine. I’m constantly surrounded, in person and online, by people who are equally liberal. This kind of division always makes for excessively hard feelings. People are constantly leaving my Facebook friend list. I don’t bother to pay much attention to my Twitter account but I should assume it’s also why people stop following me there. Proponents of homosexuality and abortion are entirely irrational and power crazy. They will stop at absolutely nothing whatsoever in their determination to promote their ugly agenda. I always try to avoid arguing in person. If anyone wants to find out my points of view, he can always read them online.
I’ve never been a fan of change, especially significant change. The first time I moved from one address to another~of the moves I can remember~was around my twelfth birthday, when we moved from Jackson Heights to Lindenhurst. That drove me nuts. It was an unavoidably necessary leap but I still plum stunk at it. I always tell people that that was the incident which forever left me wary of change. I can handle incremental change, the kind that happens in small degrees. That kind of change happens incessantly anyway. Any change, however, that can be referred to as a leap, gets me crazy. Ever since my earliest days I’ve always been so pathetically physically clumsy, weak and uncoordinated. I was the kind of kid whom no one else ever wanted on his team, in gym class or otherwise. Physical leaps are yet another kind I tend to shun. While I can understand that leaping into things can often be unavoidably necessary, I don’t leap well. I should rather saunter as much as possible.
Of course I most certainly don’t give any credibility whatsoever to the dualistic claims of eastern religions and modes of thought which claim that each individual must go through a series of different lifetimes in order to be purged enough so that he may be happy in the next life. Beatle George Harrison may have been quite an absolute expert at music but he got it all wrong when it came to that topic. God puts each of us here for only one opportunity to do the right thing. In that sense my view of life is more linear than cyclical. Whenever a new baby is conceived, God does not insert a new soul into a material container. Each individual is conceived with his body and soul inextricably linked permanently to each other. The Catholic Church has consistently taught that for over two thousand years.
“It is appointed unto men to die once but after this comes the judgment.” (Heb. 9:27). That’s where the Four Last Things-Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell-must be dealt with. Once someone has faced up to his Particular Judgment immediately upon his decease, he goes either to Purgatory temporarily, straight to Heaven, or straight to Hell.
My name is Larry. Officially I’m named Lawrence, after my mother’s father, who died in late August of 1959, slightly over two weeks before I was born. Although I never got a chance to get to know my grandfather, I grew up constantly in touch with my Uncle Larry and my cousin Larry, on my father’s side. Among my father’s relatives there have even been nine Joseph’s, and a bit too much repetition of other names too. Throughout the years, in order to differentiate from among us Larry’s, I was too often referred to as Little Larry, and even Baby Larry. My niece and nephews, knowing that my full name is Lawrence, have often asked if I have ever gotten any mileage out of that variation of my name. I remind them that under official circumstances it frequently comes up, in school, work, and anywhere else that may require me to be a bit formal. Sister Miriam Therese, of the Sisters of Charity, was my fifth grade teacher at St. Gabriel’s in East Elmhurst. It was in her class that I was first reminded constantly that my name was Lawrence. She was quite strict about each student’s always being addressed and referred to by his first name. Around the time of my twelfth birthday we moved from Jackson Heights to Lindenhurst. When kids in my new schools, Copiague Junior High School, and then Our Lady of Perpetual Help, asked me what my name was, I took a chance on introducing myself as Lawrence. The Copiague kids stuck with it for around the next three years. Somehow after that it faded away entirely. In my Catholic school, though, things were a bit different. The first kid I met there was Jerry Antonacci. He asked me my name. I introduced myself as Lawrence. He then asked if he may call me Larry. I said yes and that was the end of it. Unlike certain other names, such as Anthony, David, Michael, and Peter, the name Lawrence simply doesn’t strike people as that interesting as far as always calling somebody by his full name. I see no point in ever bothering to change it. There have been times over the course of my lifetimes when it has struck me as somewhat annoying. In general, though, it’s quite nice.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “An Odd Trio.”
The Kitchen on Pine Street can often be quite an exceptionally interesting place. Its official name is the Long Beach Food and Friendship INN. Having no previous experience with soup kitchens I don’t know what I could possibly compare it to but there’s always something distinctive going on there.
When I work there I’m expected to bluff my way past all kinds of characters and to put up with a wide variety of eccentric obnoxious behavior and circumstances.
One of the jobs I typically get is giving out a bowl of soup to each guest as he asks for it. Besides soup we always have a full, hot meal, salad, as well as drinks (always non-alcoholic), dessert,fruit and miscellaneous other kinds of things to keep people happy. The food is good. We get it from Trader Joe’s, Waldbaum’s, King Kullen and other nearby food stores.
Because in our neighborhood there are many factories, as well as a public school across the street, we have a lot of dumpsters in our general vicinity. One problem with this is that there’s always a steady supply of stray cats which each of us must bluff his way past. Unfortunately we’re constantly forced to throw away a lot of food. This inevitably attracts all those annoying creatures. At least so far they haven’t made any real trouble for anyone, as far as I know.
Considering that it’s Long Beach, there are a large number of beaches nearby. I feel like showing up at the soup kitchen with a beach towel one of these days, winding it up, and swinging it at all those obnoxious cats in order to chase them away. I know there’s no way that can possibly solve the problem but it would at least dispel any immediate trouble.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Seven Wonders.”
The way I see it, a rightly ordered understanding of Catholic orthodoxy has always been entirely in cahoots with a rightly ordered understanding of human nature. If I were to pick seven words, by way of which mankind could count on the best of possible hopes of people’s understanding each other, I should have to choose the names of the Seven Capital Virtues. That, of course, would be with the implicit understanding that their opposed vices should be avoided.
They are the following:
1.) Humility. Humility in others, of course, is always seemingly admired and appreciated. Usually, however, people who most demand it from others want it in a servile manner. Humility should be self-regulatory.
2.) Liberality. Generosity, lack of envy, always helps to keep things going between and among people.
3.) Chastity. Everyone knows that this one has never been easy. A healthy respect for the sexual sphere is unavoidably necessary for mankind’s survival. Today’s warped sexual mores, always defended under the guise of a supposed need for freedom and love, are intrinsically disordered and self-destructive.
4.) Meekness. Unjust unbridled anger, or wrath, accounts for all sorts of trouble.
5.) Temperance. Gluttony can be nasty. Inordinate desire for food and drink leads to a lot of medical problems, both physically and psychologically.
6.) Kindness. It’s quite a lot easier to persuade someone by way of a reasonably friendly polite nudge than by lashing out at him.
7.) Diligence. This is contrary to the sin of sloth. Persistence is the only manner by way of which anything can get done.
Of course there’s no way that restricting an entire language to only these words can possibly facilitate communication. My entire point is that in order for mankind to come to an understanding of the manner in which we should deal with each other, people simple have to come to a rightly ordered recognition and acceptance of the meaning of these words.