Today, Like a Sudden Right Hook.

lightening

When our Monsignor said we needed a Pastoral Plan, I agreed because it made sense, perfect sense, so I got right on it, whatever the church needs in order to be saved, to be a church once again, we need to fight for tooth and nail.  We can’t do that unless we have a plan, a solid pastoral plan, so that is what I created, put together.  I send it to my colleague, thinking he wanted to make the church a glorious church of renown for the Italian American and Traditionalist communities.

Today, I got sucker punched, when I was asked why I cared about what the church needed, why I cared about what the Monsignor needed from us.  Then came the clear rejection of any intention of working any any such plan.   It was beyond comprehension to me that one would not realize how crucial it is for the survival of a church to bring back the sacraments, Mass on a regular basis, a full time vicar so on and so forth.  It boggles my mind that anyone would not realize that though the arts have a place in the church, the church is not an arts center, it is a place for the Sacraments and evangelizing, not for the showcasing of artists, unless you tie that in with fundraising for social services and other things such as structural improvements for the church.   It really struck me, hit my heart and soul in a way that I am not sure I can describe.  I asked at the meeting recently with the Monsignor what was needed for the church to thrive, to be saved, and I was given an answer, but when I shared it with my colleague I got a response that seemed to me like a “screw that, I am going to do what pleases me for the church, focus on the activities I want to do for the church, and screw what is needed or the Monsignor says we need, screw that”  If I am wrong, if I read it wrong , God forgive me, but if I didn’t, I thought well what do I do with this.? I do do care, and I gave my word that a pastoral plan would be presented.   I know my colleague is a good man, but his focus is not on the big picture, not on the whole pie, rather on slices of the pie.  That does not help the church, we have to first look at the whole pie, how to create a whole pie that will appeal and sell, then the individual slices within that pie.  I also wanted to make sure that the people, key people at that meeting knew I had done my part, had presented the plan, made it clear the necessity of that plan, that things must be interconnected.  I had to take again matters into my own hands, not to hurt my colleague, as I don’t want to do that, but to make sure that they knew I had kept my word and done what I had said I would do.  In my communication to my colleague I let him know that I assumed he would communicate to the Monsignor that I had submitted a rough draft of the plan, but he had rejected it and had no interest in pursuing such a thing.  I also let him know I would be notifying key people on my end of of that as well, along with other information I needed to relay to them about a meeting being postponed.  

It pained me that my passion for wanting to restore this church to a liturgical glory with a permanent vicar, and more, and the assessment of the Monsignor were not shared by my colleague, that he could not understand my caring.  I have great passion for saving this church, for bringing it to liturgical glory, making it a center of conservative liturgy, Mass regularly and so much more.  I had hoped my colleague would be on board to that, to reaching out to campuses in tandem with the Societies that are with us, to evangelization efforts through our church Missa Cantanta monthly that I have in mind, all part of the pastoral plan.  It hurts that this person does not have this passion and desire to bring full liturgy and so much more to this church, vespers perhaps.  I refuse to give up, refuse to give up on a Pastoral Plan, getting sponsors, bringing this church to full glory of liturgy!  

Amen

Always About the Larger Picture

Garden Path

This photo, you see a pathway, lovely bushes, lovely pathway, and as you walk you would most likely focus only on that pathway, and on the one hand understandable.  However, hmmmm, what a shame, not very wise.  If you were landscaping, would you focus only on that?  What if you were putting together a play, if you were the writer?  would you only focus your character development on one character, one scene?  If you did, God help the audience, and all the rest of the cast etc… what a disaster!  

Why, isn’t focus a good thing?  Isn’t having a particular passion for a particular project a great thing?  Well, kind of, sort of, maybe, not always, not necessarily.  What I am learning from interaction with others and observation is that we must learn to work from both the viewpoint of the forrest and the trees, not just the forrest, not just patroller trees.  That goes for any and all aspects of life, including relationships, business development, project development, project and entity administration, even doing so on a voluntary basis.  Why is it crucial to approach the forrest view as well as the trees?  Everything must happen in context and connection for it to have coherence, meaning and value in the long term.  If you don’t have that for your own life, or can’t provide it for what you are doing and to others for what they are doing, then what’s the point?  What’s the reference point, the main panorama of it all? If not then you have a big disconnect and disorientation, people don’t want to pertain to a hodgepodge, or a piece of a pie, but rather to a pie and partake of a piece within the larger pie.  You have to name the flavor of the pie, after all if I am going to take a slice, sit at the table and eat pie with you, I would like to know what favor it is.  Get my drift.  I fully understand when a lead pastor says draw up a plan, don’t make a single move further until we have a solid plan for context to work off of, or an arts producer says the same.  The big picture plan will provide the details to work off of, and then more than be added along the line, adjusted etc…, but that overall larger landscape has to be created first or you have a hodgepodge of stuff and a whole bunch of nothing with no profitability to anyone in any way, not even financial.  Please always create the context, the panorama, the landscaped garden as the first priority, then work from there.  If those you are working with don’t get it, are too stubborn, dim whatever, pray for a Hail Mary Pass, that they receive enlightenment fast, faster than a speeding bullet etc…, supersonic fast, especially if it has been pointed out and they still don’t get it, or refuse to acknowledge it.

Amen!Garden PathGarden Path

A Broken Hallelujah and A Bridge

 

A Broken Hallelujah.  When we think of love, many things are brought to mind, romantic things, maybe even sad things.  For those who have experience love in all its’ many facets, the full roller coaster, including the negative of it, when you come to a place of full maturity and finally are ready for real love, what is that to you?

For me, as I pray to the lord for a companion to share my faith life with and my life with, a true companion, the phrase from this song, which is one of my favorites, A Broken Hallelujah, along with Bridge Over Trouble Waters, personify what it is.  That phrase, a Broken Hallelujah is what I bring to the table and that song Bridge Over Troubled Waters personifies what I think mature love is about, being for each other in Christ a bridge over troubled waters, as well as an inspiration and that kick in the tukkus when necessary as well, in a loving way, but as necessary.   Love how music can inspire, also give you a way of putting things into words for people that perhaps you couldn’t otherwise do.

Conservative Is Now Criminal?

a dark room

We have entered dark dark dark days when our society glorifies in academia all things Alynsky, Chavez, Fidel Castro, Lenin, Stalin, Woodstock Free Love and Promiscuity, the LGBT lifestyle, along those lines of Philosophy, Worldview, Atheism, BLM, and determined that if you vote along the opposite of that, hold opposite truth, you are evil, a criminal in essence and if you live in NY, our very own governor has said there’s no room for you and CNN has said you are a racist. 

In their eyes I am a racist, but in my eyes I am a Conservative Catholic, authentic Conservative NON wonky, not warped Social Justice, authentic Conservative Catholic Christian.  Imperfect, fallen as we are all of humanity, but authentic Conservative Catholic Christian who would love to overhaul the entire Disability system, all of it, to truly reflect our being a Capitalist Constitutional Democratic Republic.  For some warped reason the Left has convinced the nation and our young people, so has academia that Conservative means racist, that Constitutional Originalist and Federalist Papers, Federalist Republic First Principles Capitalist Founders Worldview and Vision for the nation as such is racist, everything is racist, bigoted, and everything is painful and traumatic, poor snowflakes, even journalists have breakdowns on air on election night, this the point of pathetic we have gotten to.  What does Conservative represent, truly?  In the classical sense, it is really connected to the Judeo-Christian principle of Free Will.  It is the sense that God gave us free will, will to choose good or evil, and there are consequences to that. It is the sense that the government is not a nanny, a jailer, parent for life, just like a parent is not a parent for life, in that they must not micromanage your life if you are to truly become strong, resilient and self managing in your own life.  They must not nanny you to death, smother you to death, cradle you to death or you will not be strong, self sufficient and resilient.  They must not be too co-dependent on you, nor make you too dependent on them, same with spouses, not good.  Government is here only to be a steward of our rights and borders, to ensure that the Bill of Rights, the provisions of the Constitution, according to the Federalist Papers and a Capitalist Republic, based on the principles of morals and ethics put forth in the writings by the founders for a Godly people are safeguarded tot he best of its’ abilities, understanding of principles of natural law and transcendent moral order. It was understood that true conservative principles and liberalism in any classic sense could only happen in this way: securing the freedom of the individual by limiting the power of the government and ensuring the branches never overlap and the courts never become places for activism by any group or persons, ever!  Because the Left has pushed boundaries so far this has not been the case and so Conservatives have been forced to push back in courts right alongside them in terms of using the courts for activism, not by choice, but being pushed along that route by the ACLU and other Left Wing groups, and even the Obama administration that went after the Little Sisters of the Poor.  We need to understand what truly Liberal and Conservative are, and realize they are not criminal nor intolerant, but they do have a sense of natural law, natural moral law and order ingrained in them, national borders and laws that are not to be violated etc…

While I understand the radical KKK is not something anyone wants to be associated with, that is not representative of Conservatives, not of authentic Conservatism, nor is modern liberal progressive representative of true Liberalism or the LGBT community of the Civil Rights Movement, or MLK, nor is Planned Parenthood or abortion, none of it is.  Those who try to say otherwise are deceivers, despicable and are commuting the crime.  Those who are authentic Conservatives, authentic Conservative Catholic, authentic Liberal, Kudos and don’t allow the intolerant so called progressives to beat you down, or intimidate you, stand strong and stand tall.

Amen

Can’t Regulate Thoughts, So What To Do?

a dark room

There are dark places in some people’s hearts, minds and souls that make for some very dark thoughts and feelings.  From these you get some vile ideologies, even some very stupid ideologies, ideologies of entitlement, of victim mentality etc… For a lot of people, the thought is make it illegal, put a gag in these people’s mouths, pass hate speech laws, make these ideologies illegal. Sounds great, let’s make “dangerous, offensive” and such ideologies illegal, literally.  Great idea, right?

Well, no.  Don’t get me wrong, I loathe communism, marxism, nazi and all such ideology, Alinsky ideology, Marxist Liberation theology.  Even Christian so called Social Justice ideology gone amok, harboring undocumented immigrants, stuff like that, OY!!! No, none of it is in any way something I can or would ever say is a good thing.  However, if one is a spiritual person, one realizes a very important point,  Law is important, yes, and we must have law and order, that is crucial,  The Constitution, the Republic form of our government, seeing to it that is all honored as is our Capitalist foundation, crucial, the spirit of all men are created in God’s image, all that encompasses as a nation , crucial.  Not everyone is going to have positive healthy thoughts, inclinations of the mind and heart, and yes in some cases medically it can be treated, taken care of.  However in others such as certain world views, Facism (my mum grew up under the time of Mussolini and knows facism well, so let me say for all that think Trump and the Conservatives are that, you have no clue, get one, so far from the truth, not even close to it), Communism, Nazi mindset, you can’t erase that with laws.  That will take lots of spiritual prayer, educating, not sure what else, good smack upside the head, maybe.  If you decide to pass hate speech laws, well who decides that? Who decided what hate speech is, how do you measure that?  What i view as hate speech as a Christian isn’t to someone else and vice versa, so who decides, how do you decide?  It can get awfully messy and sticky that road of passing laws to curb speech.  A threat to assassinate, to dismember, that is a whole other level and that is a direct threat.  Regulating thought through law and law alone, regulating anything, solving anything by just passing laws is never the solution.  Healthcare is a prime example.   Can we curb action, and reaction, yes to an extent, but thought, unless you  plan on electroshock for all of us and making us all zombies, good luck with that.  Also, best we know what the other person is thinking in a sense so we can address issues and bring them to resolution, constructively, perhaps.

Amen

St Rocco, The Mass, Confirmed It, Again

St. Rocco Mass.  It got to standing room only.  Once again in contrasting this to the secular concert events we have had or months, with empty seats, the message was clear.  What was the message and what is the message with conservative, traditionalist churches and diocese thriving and liberal ones dying?

For one, wake up church, stop with the stupid, which is trying to be modern and hip and with it so to speak, stop dumbing down and stooping to the low level of secular.  Second, people don’t want secular stupidity, what they want is traditionalism, whether they consciously realize it or not.  Tradition, structure, they want it and they need it.  They need good old fashioned tradition and structure from the church, and it doesn’t have to be dull, it can be pure majesty, beauty, awe inspiring, filled with love, but though it can be Agape Love, like any good parent, it also has to have it’s element of tough love.  It has to have both and it can.  When I saw those pews filled and that we had to add folding chairs and then people having to stand, it just reinforced that the priority of funding and securing funds, priority for the arts program has to be a cantor, pianist and choral ensemble, the Mass, Concerto Masses, Latin and Italian Mass, these have to be the priority, not secular concerts, not the secular.  This Mass yesterday reinforced my resolve to bring that truth home in my meeting this week with our Monsignor and the Cathedral’s Music Director.  Not that one can’t do secular stuff, but that is not what ought to be the priority, even for funding.   It really made me want to be a part of the faith even more, find a way to be part of the arts within the faith even more, coordinate events related to the faith even more.  It really was a beautiful thing and though, due to work I had to do, due to a glitch of sorts that came up, so I couldn’t participate fully in the day, it was still a beautiful thing and a reaffirmation that what I need to focus on is the sacred, the traditional because that is what people crave, want and need.

Amen

 

Think Like U or The Other Person?

Life and Liberty, God Bless America
The light shines within., going out in connection to the Divine Creator.

When you are going into a meeting to negotiate anything, to present a plan, anything like that, what is key to that?  Most of us might think “telling them what I want and need, so I can get what I want and need”  Yeah, that is part of it.  The first thing you need to do is get into their head.  Huh? I bet your thinking to yourself.

If you don’t get into their head even from a common sense point of view, you will be up stream with no paddle, looking quite the fool.  For example next week I am going to be speaking to the Monsignor and the Music Director of our church, the Cathedral which is who we merged with in 2015, so a number of things have to be approved by them, including any liturgical music and bible study program and such.  I put something together and sent it to them yesterday so they would have time to look it over, and I pointed out it is a springboard for us to use, to work from.  When I wrote this I placed myself in their place and thought what are the key questions they are going to be thinking and most often the questions an entity is thinking are;

  1. How is this getting funded, and without burdening us?
  2. . Where is the talent, human resource etc… going to come from?
  3. How is all this going to get managed?

I made sure to address all of this as best I could in the plan.  I also had to think like a Monsignor, like a Church Music Director, like someone running church operations.  From their perspective, what is a church’s priority?  Long term devout Catholic members, multiple generations of members, evangelization of the faith, The priority of the projects etc… has to come based on that, so since I have a Cantor ready to go and possibly a pianist/organist as well, that should be the first thing funded, and with having an origination ready to provide us with talent for choir and our monthly concert series, work withy us, provided we do things with solid planning, it will make sense to start with the cantor, pianist, then the other stuff.  That is what I am proposing in my plan.  What of the sponsors?  Again, from their point of view what do you have ready for us to invest in? The cantor and pianist/organist are ready to go.  When you are looking to get funded etc…, yes you should do what you dream of doing and the plan etc… needs to reflect that, but you also need to get into their head and think from their point of view and address any questions, concerns they are going to have, do your best to anticipate them, and address them in your plan or at any meeting ahead of time.  Be not afraid, pursue your dreams, and try to see from the other side of the meeting table what you need to address from their point of view ahead of time and find a way to address it that you will be okay with, that wont compromise your and your partner/colleague’s dream, vision.  Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you.

Amen