This year my health really knocked me out and I did not get an advent wreath and we only put up the nativity scene, not even the tree, kept it simple as myself and my 93 year old mum have had a rough time health wise. However, if I had gotten the wreath it would have been great to have these prayers to reflect on. You can vary them, modify them to your own heartfelt words, but they are a nice model to work with.
Not too long ago a family member said something to me in reference to my posting my views on facebook and linked in etc.., she said something to the effect of who was I to have an opinion and post it on social media. In other words because I was no great scholar I had no business or right posting anything on social media or giving an opinion on anything political etc…. In terms of faith issues I am the only Christian Conservative or general Conservative in the family really, and get flack on that, and more than once my mom has suggested I just go along and pretend I agree or simply have no opinion, rather not express it, be invisible. Chanukah, The American Revolution, Civil War, people fought and shed blood for certain rights, freedoms etc…, so for me to not fully be able to express my views as a person of faith, and not be able to express conservative Biblical truth would be a great dishonor to those who came before me and I refuse to do so. It may cost me something, but that’s okay, let it. Life’s choices always cost you something, and if you are going to stand strong and tall with truth and sacred truth, you had better be willing to pay a price and have a heck of a lot of faith to the very end, no matter what happens or how it plays out.
The words on this image are key to the forging of our nation, and the amazing gift we are given in those who serve, the sacrifices made. My Dad was a WWII vet, Air Force, and that is something I will always be proud of. He may not have been the right match for my mom, but despite his leaving when I was a kid, which not surprising, as they were really not compatible, I have the pride of knowing he served his country, never complained, even though he suffered head trauma and was never really the same after. It is because of that bravery that Europe was not overtaken by Nazis forever, as my mom points out because Italy was overrun with German soldiers and they were basically taking over. That is why when anyone says that the GOP is full of Nazis and all that I get angry because those who fought that war, who understand freedom versus the horror of the Nazis, Communists and all that, know we have no Nazis or Dictators in the GOP, we do amongst the Left and other Parties. To say we are Nazi is a total insult to my father and all those who fought that war and wars to eradicate such things. May we be enlightened this Veterans Day to appreciate the beauty of our Capitalist, Federalist Republic and make sure it gets back to that in full.
There are those who fear death, but death is simply transformation from being a physical being to a spiritual being in full splendor and when you are in Christ, living your life ethically etc…why fear something so natural as death, natural when it comes in its’ appointed time, not of course by our own hands since we don’t have that right to take our lives, since we did not create ourselves. I view death from a purely spiritual lens, so there is nothing to fear.
This hymn and the national anthem of our nation matter, along with plaques etc.. that show our heritage, especially in a time when academia and other sectors seek erase any and all traces of our heritage, history and roots. Some will try to say it is about trying to impose Christianity upon all the nation, which is pure bull and bull crap. Offended by such language, well tough because offense is trying to erase the core of our nation, our nation’s heritage, all that our nation was built upon, including the fight for religious freedom, the right to express that. Did the journey happen smoothly? No, but what the heck in life does go 100% smoothly? Pretty much nothing.
There are those who would say that there is no proof of a Christian heritage in our nation, nothing to honor, respect, maintain etc..? Again bull crap. All around us from the beginning, with state constitutions we see God, Year of Our Lord, inscriptions that tell us differently. As for the Confederate stuff, guess what geniuses of America, that’s part of your history also, and tearing stuff down changes nothing, and it was the Republican party that fought based on Christian values to eradicate slavery, the Libs that keep people in a state of slavery, victimization, seeing racism and boogeymen everywhere. Is our history perfect, free of bloodshed and error, hell no, but newsflash, we are human, flaws and all, so our history is flawed, suck it up. Learn from it and suck it up that it is our history, but don’t dare try to erase evidence of it just because you don’t like it.
I spoke in a previous blog about a path, about forging a path, and while a path forward does require some adaptation and some transformation so as to not be stagnant, what have we gained from a total disdain of all things traditional, of Family, God, Faith and Country?
I understand having to have a certain level of empathy and yes Jesus did, but he also said sin no more and said clearly there would be consequence for Sodom and Gomorrah. He may have had tensions and conflict with their legalisms, but he still honored tradition, celebrated the feast days of the Jewish calendar. He did not indicate disdain for the traditions of his ancestors and when they were using the church as a den of iniquities etc… he went ballistic. The Latin Rite and other such Masses are a beautiful, sacred and meditative, contemplative form of the Mass that attract young people who seek an intimate mystical connection to the divine, and a return perhaps subconsciously to traditional values. For this Pope to treat traditionalists and conservatives with such disdain is a stain on him and of great damage to society. He should be celebrating this and encouraging this, instead of what he is doing, which is purging the Vatican of anything traditionalist and conservative, which will alienate people, will lead to a splinter of Orthodox Catholics forming their own group or joining the Eastern Right Church, and if they do it will serve the Vatican, which has become too liberal and this Pope right to have Catholics leave the faith in droves join the Eastern Right, even Orthodox Anglican or for The Catholic Orthodox Church and refuse to recognize the authority of the Vatican due to corruption etc… After all, tradition is the glue that keeps things together, you that, you lose the soul, and the traditions of the Catholic faith are beautiful ones.
There is the divide, one not easily reconciled, if at all. Culturally, being Italian the Roman Catholic faith is a central part of the identity, but I have never, even as a kid been comfortable with it.
I remember even as a kid being resistant to confession, the whole notion of Papal authority and all that. As I got older, the whole annulment thing, different things, no matter how it was explained, how logical it was presented, didn’t jive, even veneration of saints and icons. It didn’t jive. I find myself now with a disconnect between my cultural heritage and my theological, heartfelt belief. The cultural heritage is Italian and Roman Catholic with distinctly southern traditions of the faith and theological heartfelt beliefs along the lines of two things 1. The 39 Articles of Faith of the Anglican Creed and Christ Consciousness, that means something very particular to me, which I will explain. Christ Consciousness to me means understanding the various layers of meaning to the teachings of Christ, heart, spirit and soul. One thing that strikes me is that he dished out both Agape and tough love, didn’t shy away from calling out the missing of the target, he did it. As I seek that home that aligns with me spiritually, theologically, creatively and can also help me to still honor my heritage, my Christ Conscious is invaluable as are my Italian-American identity, as well as my love of God and Country.