Who Defines “Offensive and Hate”?

Letting Go Never Easy, But Necessary

Germany has just approved an online hate speech law, scary considering history in Europe and here in the USA.

Both continents have a scary history of government defining free speech, freedom of assembly, peaceful assembly etc… and it is not pretty.  Don’t get me wrong blocking highways etc.., clinics not okay because people can die, ambulances, people who are taking people to the hospital, doctors, nurses trying to get to work need to get to where they can save lives.  Blocking government building entrances, courthouse entrances, obstruction of justice, so do not approve and in those cases, yes the government needs to be firm and disperse that, move that out of those areas, pronto and firmly! However, when you have a law that is a general, or vague, or says that you can’t speak ill of a particular faith or group of people that have a particular lifestyle, such as the LGBT community because if you do wooo is you, huge problem.  You have in essence said certain groups have privilege over others, and no longer are you a democracy or even a democratic republic at that point.  You start to veer into being a dictatorship.  If speech is punished, what’s next?  Pastors in Europe are already under persecution for speaking the truth of the Gospel, how far will it go?  What is offensive to me, is not offensive to all, so the offense is my problem not everyone else’s and if I am such a friggin big baby and snowflake that I can’t handle some insults, even some punches against my faith, I am a sad sack of potatoes as they used to say.  Does that mean all speech is okay? No, and when severed heads of those in authority appear or images on T-shirts that they be shot appear, that is wrong, ethically, morally every which way.  Here is the problem, government being the solution.

It used to be that in schools, in churches, in the homes, there was a strong teaching of respect for authority and community was very strong, close knit community, family, civics taught in school from a true Classic Liberal Conservative Constitutional perspective of agree to disagree, reject the sin, but love the sinner, some of the things that make society positive.  When the church actually wasn’t trying to be of the world, hip and cool, they were, including the Roman Catholic Church a lighthouse to make clear moral boundaries, don’t give me the abuse thing, that is individuals and in every organization you have bad apples, but the teachings, the core of the teachings of the Magisterium and the core Teaching of the faith,  of the Judeo-Christian faith had value to a close knit, solid, family oriented society, and respect for authority.  Government can’t solve what ails us, it can’t eradicate the “failings” of our human nature, or any of that crap, so to have anyone think a government body or their laws can actually stop bullying, change patterns of behavior, mindset is beyond stupidity.  Only a deeply spiritual core and respect for authority, for law and order, for each person made in the image of God, a unique and special person, each of us seeing that in ourselves, loving ourselves in that respect, not narcissistic, but in Agape Love, same with others.  We don’t have to like everyone, so when Jesus says love the “enemy” he is not saying agree with and like everyone, but also don’t hate, don’t want revenge, don’t create situations where the government then feels it has to go all crazy and create crazy legislation because society is a bunch of big babies and snowflakes etc…, pray for others who are in a place of hate, anger, sinfulness etc…pray for them, the least we can do.   To have government try to legislate mindset and perfect behavior will have a chilling backlash and history shows us that.  May we never have to have hate speech laws or any such nonsense that will create potentially another World War.

Amen

 

Faith, Belief, Holy Spirit, Powerful Team

Holy Ghost

Please support this blog via paypal  kawebsales@mail.com  a portion of all donations to this blog will go to arts programs and support for the choir at the iconic historical Italian church of Shrine of Most Precious Blood in lower Manhattan as I will be donating a portion to arts and heritage preservation efforts there.

As I look back on my life I always had the Holy Spirit trying to guide me, Christ trying to work with me, so why so long to get to such a great place?

I had a certain level of faith and at times,  without true contemplation and understanding, moved forward with things when my spirit was stirred to something.  When I felt a call to ministry and the artistic, I really didn’t take the time to pray about how to prepare and so I went around in circles.  I also had a hard time believing God could really love me and want to bless me, since as I saw it my earthly father didn’t fight to have me with him, didn’t think I was worth having around, and my mom, she loved me, but she just couldn’t understand the artistic and intuitive empath gifts, so there was a lot of tension there growing up, lots of discouragement etc.., so I had a faith in a creator that I think i was born with since at not even the age of four my parents one night found me kneeling at the edge of my bed hands folded prayer style and me looking up at the sky smiling eyes closed whispering to someone.  When they asked I said I was saying goodnight to our big daddy in the sky.  They were speechless.  When they divorced, that whole nasty thing take away my ability to believe, not my faith, but my ability to believe that I could ever have security, happiness etc…  It has taken a very long time to shed all the negative baggage from that part of my life, from my childhood and one or two not so wise decisions in my adult life. God is very wise, so is Christ and of course the Holy Spirit.

Now that I have shed most of that baggage, they have been able to bring me to a place where I can put forth my gifts, talents, my skills etc…not only for my own personal development etc.., but also for the good of community, fellowship, faith, so much more.  Now I can hear the Holy Spirit stirrings and step back to process, seek to discern the whole picture of what God wants done, not for my own desires, but for a broader good, one that will also of course be a benefit for me in the long run, teach me, help me grow.  The combination of faith, belief that I am worthy, and the stirrings of the Holy Spirit are a very powerful team to work with, when done rightly.  I am glad that I have a great faith structure, Roman Catholicism and a great church Shrine of the Most Precious Blood in lower Manhattan to work with, to grow and develop in my faith life and my life in general.

Amen

Dark Room, Headphone, Numb, Yikes!

a dark room

I had a dream this morning about someone I know and it truly pained me because I care about them as a person and what both of us hope to save in therms of our faith and an institution.

When a dream shows me someone carrying a bunch of stuff, equipment, papers etc… and they are about to fall to the ground, smash to a million pieces, them saying oh oh as they try to keep that from happening, and they then refuse all offer of assistance offered, all wisdom, insight advice offered in that same dream, any attempt from anyone in that regard, rather going into a dark room, headphones on, fidgeting with equipment that is not in line with what is needed, just being in the dark, working alone in a dark room, a dark place.  That kind of dream is heartbreaking because it tells me that a person is not only living in the dark about what is going on around them, refusing to heed any advice, any input etc.., but that they have tuned out to true intimacy, true close relationships of any kind.  They are carrying all this load on their own, refusing to accept help, real help, real close deep profound connection help, collaboration etc…  They won’t share anything of depth with you, or rally anyone in any intimate connection way, though they may have lots of people they know.  It was heartbreaking to watch this person in my dream go into that dark room, cover his ears, refuse to hear, refuse to acknowledge, perhaps even his own heart, spirit and soul truths.  One can choose to stay in that dark room forever, alone, shut everyone out, heed no one be a team of one, but that is a dark place to be, letting past hurt baggage accumulated stay there.  One can do the opposite and be liberated from all that junk, baggage, not be in a dark room, not have headsets on and ignore truths about what should be done, reach out and ask for help directly, collaborate, coordinate etc.. directly on a day to day basis.  That takes a lot of courage to do so and awareness of the fact one is in the dark all alone, in that dark room with those headsets.  

What do you do if you have, as an empath etc.., these insights?  When you receive these insights it is usually for a reason, and the first thing to do is pray and meditate as to why you did.  If it’s a dear friend you are an integral part of their life, hang out a lot, really close, you can directly approach them about it.  However, if that is not the case, as much as it pains you to receive this insight, you can also be grateful that you did receive and pray, meditate for their healing of heart, spirit and soul, for release of all their baggage, breaking down of all their walls, all that is toxic etc…for the light to shine bright in their lives.  Don’t give up, meditate, pray and as best you can, offer help periodically, maybe just in the form of thoughtful questions to ponder.  

Amen

Do You Go Lone Ranger? Oy!

Letting Go Never Easy, But Necessary

When you are coordinating just for your own gig, just you involved, you only have to coordinate with yourself and the heavens and no biggie.  If you have a pretty good idea what you want to coordinate, well you just do it, don’t dilly dally, you just do it.

However, when you are not coordinating just for you own personal gig, but rather for an institution and others are involved, they are not synergizing, not directly working to coordinate directly day to day, not providing info in an immediate timely manner, are like the honeybee here there everywhere, a million projects, not focused, not streamlined, you find yourself very frustrated in trying to get things done on your end.  You have tried talking to them, asked for relevant info etc.. over and over, have tried to get them focused, to closely coordinate things with you, see how crucial that is, but they are in fog land doing a million things and so nothing is done.  That leaves you in limbo potentially and frustrated, potentially your blood pressure rising.  What do you do?  You can’t just push people aside, not right, not if they have seniority and for any number of reasons, not right to that.  On the other hand if you really care about the institution, project etc… you want to get things planned, done etc…, so waiting on them to “get it”, get focused etc… could mean nothing gets done.  You have to figure out if you have the thick skin to stay and deal with butterfly and honeybee personality, how to deal with that if you are going to stay put.  You also have to decide if it may very well be necessary to go lone ranger, simply act of your own accord on things and hope for the best.  They may get upset that they are left out of the loop at any given point, that they were not part of the process, but to be part of the process, you have to be part of the process, up close and personal, in the trenches with the person coordinating and organizing.  You have to be very very very streamlined, focused, working out the PR, Plans, all of it.  It’s like a relationship, you can have feelings, like someone, but unless you express it, get in the trenches to spend time with them, discuss the sensitive stuff, faith, politics, get to know each other, even if you disagree, feelings don’t amount to much, action does.  As one seeks to work towards common goals, others have to be in total sync with you in terms of coordinating directly with you.  If they are not, if they are not providing the info quickly, in a very timely manner, well in advance for you to do what you seek and need to do, then you may have to go lone ranger to some extent and if they complain that they were left out of the loop, well there’s a reason, not because you wanted it to be the case.  If you have a mission, goals to accomplish for the good of the project, the institution, and others are not “getting it”. not directly coordinating in a timely manner etc…, you may have to go to some extent lone ranger.  The way it is when you deal with what I call butterfly and honeybee personalities that are all over the map and are trying to do a million things a the same time, bad idea, very very very bad idea.  If they choose to do that and put others in a position of huge frustration and having to go lone ranger, then they need to suck it up, tough luck.

Amen

Being Part of Something, Beautiful

Baptism of Fire

Yesterday The Sons and Daughters of Italy celebrated their 112th Founder’s Day, with Mass and lunch, which included a lifetime achievement award.  It was special for one or two particular reasons.

As I heard the priest give his homily in Italian, as I watched the Mass with everyone very reverent to the priest, the Eucharist, and prior the camaraderie of us all, even those of us who were perhaps meeting for the first time, it touched my heart.  Then there came the beautiful voice of one of our members singing Ave Maria and brought a number of us almost to tears.  I was so grateful to be part of the church that started with Peter, with Jesus telling him to feed his sheep.  Then came the ceremony, laying of the wreath a few blocks away at the site of the founding of OSIA. We sang the Italian and American anthem and again I was brought to tears almost, a number of us were because we realized we belonged to not only this exceptional nation America, but also to a culture rich with so much tradition, includes the faith, and if we don’t do something to preserve it, we are in huge trouble.  It was for some of us a mixture of feelings, but pride was definitely part of that. Once again at National Convention NY State loges gave more in charitable donations than any other state lodge and our lodge Petrosino more than any other lodge in NY State.  Part of our cultural identity is being grateful through all generations for being in the land of opportunity, trying to make it better for others.  As we were at the table at lunch and just sharing, talking, chatting,  we were given a flyer about an upcoming Christmas show by one our members, the artist who sang the national anthems, one of the ladies said we should go, her and I.  It is so great to have that camaraderie, but also to know that the truth of the faith can live on with out being active and pro active, as well as the good done for the community, for veterans, for example. It’s beautiful to be part of this.

After a very long journey, I am home being a minister of the arts, a writer here on this blog, some might even label this as life coaching, you decide, Roman Catholic and proud Italian-American

 

Why We Hold On, Even When Drowning

Letting Go Never Easy, But Necessary

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We all have dreams and we have such high hopes for them to come true, maybe a childhood dream that we have always had.  Understandable, what nourishes.

Suddenly seems you have that chance, that opportunity to make it all a reality, and you pour heart and soul into it, sweat blood and tears to make it happen, to make it work, yet it doesn’t.  What’s going on and what do you do?  Could be that what you are offering is not what people want, are looking for, need.    Could be that the concept in general is fine, just the content is not what people want or need.  Could be God rejects what you are doing and won’t allow it to move forward for whatever reason.  Could be your motivation is not in line with what God thinks it should be. These are just some of the things that come to mind as to why projects, dreams don’t move forward, don’t bring forth fruit.  Why do we hold on to them even though they are not bearing fruit? Dreams are like our children.  The thought of letting them go, die etc… pains us, is hard to fathom, hard to do, as the song says “breaking up is hard to do” that goes for us and our dreams.  No one wants to walk away from their dream, their dream project that they implemented.  There is also pride, especially when everyone is telling you you’re spinning your wheels.  You don’t want to give in because well, human nature. You don’t want to give them that satisfaction of folding up your tent, paramount to admitting to all the nay sayers that they were accurate in their assessments.  You prefer to keep going even when deep down you might know this is not working, not what people are responding to, want or need.  You might not do anything to move on the things that are going to be embraced, might drag your feet on those. If anyone decided to go right ahead and make all that other stuff happen, not wanting to fiddle faddle, to dawdle, get a move on the things that will work, you might get darn right offended dammit that you are not being supported as you feel you ought to be.  That may not be the case at all, but you might perceive it that way.  Again, dreams are like children and you don’t want to let them go or lose them.  

What do you do with these dreams, these dreams when they come up smack against reality?  Well, you could just ignore reality,  cross your arms, ignore all all input, feel negative about the persons giving the input because they care,  see the writing on the wall as they say, follow only that dream you have, nothing else.  You could do that, to the very end, no matter what the fiscal etc.. consequences.  I myself, been there, done that, not a big fan.  You could adjust the plan to what The Holy Spirit gives you after much meditation and prayer, so it fits God’s will not yours, not easy for us humans to do, pride you see, remember we were tempted by the serpent who said we could be God like to have all knowledge.   You could just accept that the dream needs to be let of and mourn like you would for anything else that you love and you had to release, had to let go of, though it pained you.  Different people will respond differently when faced with reality of the dream not rendering fruit, once implemented.

What of those around them who may not agree with the dream being continued even as it is clearly not rendering fruit? What of those around them who are in any way affected by the financial ramifications, let’s say a musician who is paying the band out of pocket because the gigs for the past year have not produced any revenue though they have heavily invested in promotions etc..? What of his family?  What of friends who care and it hurts them to see him do this and to see all that effort?  What of the band members, those who have heart anyway, how do they feel?  If they have heart, they see no fruit being born of this, and the manager of the band, or if the manager is paying out of pocket for several months, if the band member have a heart, they have to be thinking, no, this is not right.  What do they do? Does the lead singer tell the manager, this can’t go on and risk being seen as the one who burst the manager’s bubble if the manager put the whole band together, launched the dream? If the band members tell the lead singer, will they be seen as the ones who destroyed the dream, burst the bubble, hated?  Will friendships be ruined because the caring won’t be seen, just the bubble bursting?  Tough thing when you have to let go of the dream, and even tougher when you are the one bringing reality home to the dreamer because you risk them potentially hating you for bursting the bubble of this dream.  If you care, and you consider yourself a true friend, then you need to be as honest as you can, with love and kindness, maybe using questions, a parable, like Jesus and those in the Bible did.  If in the end you are thrown out of the kingdom, disliked, at least you know you spoke from the heart.  If you are the dreamer, well only you can decide up to what point you can stay in the dream before it’s time to wake up to reality, even if that reality is not one you like.

This is what the Holy Spirit promoted me to write for my blog today.

Amen

 

Want People Back In Pews, TRADITION!

Holy Ghost

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That’s right darlin, Tradition, just like they that word that we remember from Fiddler on The Roof.  As music coordinator for the local church and one who had made a journey back home to the faith, I have done a lot of research as to what not only millennials are seeking, but in general those who would want to come back to or come to the church, also what they don’t want.  This would also apply to non millennials, the gist of it.

What don’t they want? What they don’t want is the church to be a rock concert, night club, cafe, lounge, opera stage or anything besides a church.  They also don’t want hip and cool man, so if you are looking to become a star and liver out your dreams through the church, they won’t appreciate any of that.  They won’t appreciate it being a way for you to feel good about you, or for you to be some hero, and they will see right through.  Authentic teaching, authentic God, even if it rattles their cage, okay rattle away, but he honest, don’t run, hide, water down, treat them like fragile porcelain, but also don’t be brutal either, judge the sin, but love the sinner.  The articles I have been reading make a similar point, which is that you do not go to church to be entertained to “feel good”, you go to reflect, contemplate, to hear truth, even if uncomfortable.  

What do they want?   They want traditional Mass with traditional song and liturgy, dynamic homily.  As for the arts, they are fine with the creative,  related to scripture, faith formation.   If you are creative and you do it out of true love of teaching scripture and all things of God, teaching that to them, hey by all means. They want the homily, the teachings to be authentic brutal, but authentic, Jesus presented in both his humanity and divinity.  They want a God,  Trinity that is not so pie in the sky they can’t ever relate.  Authentic teaching, authentic God, even if it rattles their cage, okay rattle away.  Be honest, don’t run, hide, water down, treat them like fragile porcelain, but also don’t be brutal either, judge the sin, but love the sinner.  They want the church to be a second home, to guide, point the way, to know that even the apostles, the saints struggled with temptations, with anger, with people opposing their expression of faith, throughout their lives, and that faith is not easy.  One article I was reading pointed this out:  Recent research from Barna Group and the Cornerstone Knowledge Network found that 67 percent of millennials prefer a “classic” church over a “trendy” one, and 77 percent would choose a “sanctuary” over an “auditorium.”.  That says a lot.  In that same article blogger Amy Peterson put it this way: “I want a service that is not sensational, flashy, or particularly ‘relevant.’ I can be entertained anywhere. At church, I do not want to be entertained. I do not want to be the target of anyone’s marketing. I want to be asked to participate in the life of an ancient-future community.”  Again, they want to feel embraced and safe in the church, but they also don’t want to be lied to and not receive authenticity, so finding that balance is crucial.  

Catholicism in particular has such rich traditions and to try and modernize and all that blarney is silly and dumb and no it should not change its’ doctrines of truth on anything in terms of core teachings, but each church must do a much better job of catechesis, formation, apologetics and application of it all to life and community, internally and externally.  Sadly not everyone wants to hear get back to basics, get back to tradition, to catechesis and all that jazz, and so the church pews stay empty, as the secular and all other marvels are tried in order to grow the church instead of getting back to basics.  These articles I found interesting and hope you do to.

https://georgiabulletin.org/news/2017/04/local-parish-leaders-gain-insights-reaching-millennials/

http://www.thecatholictelegraph.com/millennials-at-mass-to-whom-shall-we-go/33000

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/jesus-doesnt-tweet/2015/04/30/fb07ef1a-ed01-11e4-8666-a1d756d0218e_story.html?utm_term=.b2fcdb9b9994