My Love

Mine – Yours here . . .

Six months – the 28th.  Arrgh!  That long?  That little time?

We are together are the Communion rail, though, and in my prayers.  I still hearken back to Fr. Patrick’s wonderful post back in January, after your service and I was in the apartment alone, just Da Pug and me – a couple of lonely old coots.

Still miss you every day like it was yesterday – we did everything together – one special marriage in my book, anyway.  And now Conan and I do it alone.  Sigh.  Despite a couple of quick hospital stays, I am okay.  The cough?  I caught pneumonia back when I had my surgery in ’10.  Slow moving, but now getting fixed.  Hopefully, there are no surprises hiding underneath that they cannot see now.  If so, I’ve got one lung to give – the other is just fine.

Finally able to get the insurance check from Concordia, and can pay off the funeral home.  Other than what Arnel generated on GFM,  I got zero help from anyone else in either fam.  Even in all of this, it is still you and me, Babe.

There is enough left to get the AC finally done in the Explorer.  I’ve gotten everything else done except that (and I need new brakes) on the regular monthlies.  So while it still isn’t pretty on the outside, the innards are all top-notch!  Conan still insists on going with me, so I always have water in the cooler and his “driving cup” – big enough for him to get his Pug snout into!  Heh!

The gang at Trinity have been great – Pat lost her sweetie late last year, too.  And Ray – been 7 years now since his beloved joined the Heavenly Choir – he keep making sure every Sunday I am okay.  He’s been there and all.

Tyler Jane is in the area – she and Nick are both working and going to classes – she’s taken to adulthood as we hoped.  Still a tiny slip of a thing, though.  I have several things for her, and Plantie Girl is flourishing (yes, I’ve been taking care of her right), and I’ll ask if Ty-Ty wants her, too.

And I might, as a kind of Bucket List, take that trip the two of us had always planned to do.  If that comes about, there will be a post about it.  If so, I might up staying north.  The summers here are too brutal for me anymore.

You have my love always, Mine, and our day together again will come sooner that it might seem to me at present . . .

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  (2 Peter 3:8)

Yours

Yet Another Sigh.

Not only is this young son totally unacquainted with the Divine Liturgy, or Church history, or the Lutheran confessions, and most probably never heard Chesterton’s wonderful quip about the Church being where the “democracy of the dead” still have a say,” his commenters are worse.

They are the “democracy of the dumb!”

Worst of all – he is “out there” – advertising what he says as being indicative of the Confessional Lutheran Church, and the Church Catholic of all ages.  He most certainly fails on both counts!

Were I diligently looking for “the problem” with Divine Worship in our present day and age, this posting would have to serve as Exhibit A.

He is unsure and uncertain in his own mind.  That is, alone, a personal problem.  When he shifts his problem onto the rest of us – he ends up not only shattering the 8th, but likewise, encouraging us to follow his prescription as if it were some new-found revelation, and those of us poor saps who advocate proper Divine Worship in the catholic, evangelical manner passed down (not made up by!) by our Lutheran forefathers AND the Church of all ages.

Take the issue in its barest form – Acts 2:42:

42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Is there anything from the approved Synodical forms both we in weird collars and our flocks vowed to follow, that deviates from that of the Church of its earliest day?  No.  But now we have the “new and improved” liturgical geniuses who, no matter the degree, substitute what they “feel” for what is good, right and salutary, to do what he says we shouldn’t do – “dress up Jesus,” and then chastises us for dressing up Jesus.

Classic case of not knowing what one does not know he doesn’t know, and eminently ignorable.

Pax – 

 

 

Ah . . . Yes

Giving all credit due – this is a must read for Confessional Lutherans and all seeking the historic and genuine Faith of the Apostles and the Fathers.  This is the original site.

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The Rev’d Dr. Kurt Marquart on “Litugical gestures, practices, customs, and ‘styles’…”

Words of wisdom from Dr. Marquart for all of us Lutherans, especially for those who advocate so-called “contemporary worship” in the LCMS. Frankly, though, they are probably even more piquant for those self-styled “liturgical types” who don’t follow the General Rubrics (often because they don’t know/haven’t studied them) and think that they are free to bedeck the received forms with their personal idiosyncrasies and invented ceremonial flourishes.

Marquart wrote the following in 1994. I wonder what he’d say if he were still with us.

We must think in broad vistas here. It is no good snatching up some piece of detail and saying “No harm in that, is there?” Liturgical gestures, practices, customs, and “styles” are not items in a cupboard full of interchangeable bric-a-brac. They are part and parcel rather of larger complexes of meaning and must be seen in that light. Superficially it might seem, for instance, that folding hands, clapping, kneeling and foot-tapping are all pretty much the same thing. They are all neither commanded nor forbidden in Holy Scripture, and so are indifferent things or “adiaphora.” It’s all just a matter of what people are used to, right?

Wrong! Folding hands and kneeling are really very much unlike clapping and foot-tapping. They and other traditional gestures, like bowing or making the sign of the cross, are deliberate acts, in which the body obediently follows the direction of the mind and spirit. Even if they have become thoughtless and mechanical, they were once adopted quite intentionally. It is otherwise with rhythmic clapping and foot-tapping. Here the body and the senses are in the lead, with the mind and soul in tow, drifting who knows where. Kneeling and folding hands, therefore, are appropriate to the sobriety of the church’s worship, while the more involuntary, instinctual foot-tapping and hand-clapping, typical of atavistic nature-cults, fits the emotionalism of anti-sacramental sects.

It is useless to object that clapping is, after all, “scriptural,” since Ps. 47:1 says: “O clap your hands, all ye people.” This biblicism forgets that we have no “feel” for the ancient Hebrew sacral culture. Clapping today does not convey, as in the Psalm, that “the Lord most high is terrible” (v. 2). On the contrary, in our culture such behavior evokes the folksy self-indulgence of a karaoke singalong, and of a sectarianism which apes such popular pastimes.

(Rev’d Dr. Kurt E. Marquart, Church Growth as Mission Paradigm, Our Savior Lutheran Church, 1994; 104; emphases mine)

Style and substance are completely unrelated, right? We might just as well have an EDM worship service, as long as Law and Gospel are “rightly divided” from the pulpit, I suppose. Take the featured video—nothing they’re doing is explicitly forbidden by Scripture (actually…well…that might not be true); maybe their pastor preached a great sermon after they all finished thrash-dancing. I mean, David danced before the Lord, so what’s the problem? Let’s imagine a hypothetical Lutheran scenario: there’s nothing in Scripture that says that a pastor cannot put a kiddie-pool full of Jell-O on the altar, climb inside of it, and sing “Yellow Submarine.” No verse in Scripture prohibits this! If said pastor were to protest that he did what he did “for the sake of the Gospel,” then he’d no doubt be doubly invincible, “the Gospel” being a thing that is more and more “in the eye of the beholder” these days.

We know that this is ridiculous, absurd, and sacrilegious, yet still there are some who would ask that this be “proven.” I suppose they are the same who would have insisted that Justice Potter Stewart give a definition of “hard-core pornography” in his concurrence (Jacobellis v. Ohio) rather than simply stating, “I know it when I see it.” For some things, if you don’t “know it when you see it,” no amount of “proof” (assuming it could be furnished) would ever convince you. This is not a “proof” thing.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: in the final estimation, the liturgy of the Church (especially the Lutheran liturgy) is all about the commendation of the dying, because we are all, each and every one of us, dying. Pastors are to plant and water again and again the seed of the Resurrection, Christ’s Body and Blood, in the bodies and souls of dying people. This is our faith, our lex credendi: that Jesus, true God and true Man, is our Lord, Who has redeemed us and will raise us from the dead on the Last Day to life everlasting. This is, as Matthias Loy’s hymn puts it, “an awful mystery”; it is a mirandum, that is, “a wonder.” It is not “cool.” It is not “neat.” It is not “fun.” It is not “sweet” or “awesome” in the trite, insipid sense which these words have acquired. Some liturgical styles befit the worship of Christ as our God and Lord; others do not.

So beware those who imagine that all leges orandi are equal when it comes to commending the mystery of the faith to the hearts of the faithful, especially to the young. They are obviously not equal. If your worship service couldn’t be held in the catacombs—without bulletins, without a projector screen, without electricity, even—with a tangible threat of death hanging over the heads of those assembled, then a reassessment might be in order.

JohnMaryAndEucharist

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Done

No more politics here.  I don’t have the stomach for it any longer.

The great American experiment with a representative republic was not kept, as Franklin once warned a woman asking after the Constitutional Convention that formed America.  Lincoln was a harbinger of things to come.  Wilson ran with them and since his day, the entire idea of a representative republic has been compromised so many times that it has been lost.

Mealy-mouthed “conservatives” lacking a spine have tried to retain the form, but with the guts of the matter ripped out and stomped on.  Trump is a brave man, but the weight of the deep state and the entrenched interests of the unholy marriage of corporations and gummint will bring him to heel, in fact, it already has to a degree.  The commie dems announcing today they will impeach him if he fires Mueller and Rosenstein – both of whom NEED to go!

And some group feeding on assholery has filed a civil rights suit against the President.  He is being attacked from every quarter, his wife threatened, a new death threat on his 11 year old son.  And the GOPe sits on its hands.  Faux conservatives, every one of them.  Trump’s grand plans are dead, or severely compromised.  Gramsci proved himself the true prophet of communism, and America is really given over to the commies.

We are just playing out the string, and for my part, writing about the whole political scene is an exercise in total futility.  I am done wasting my time and energies to a totally lost cause.  I shall arm myself for my own personal protection, and let what will happen, happen.  Apolitical.  Two days in the hospital with nothing to do but think on theses things.  I don’t need the grief.

Theology, sermons, apologetics and the Red Sox.  That will keep me plenty busy.  So it shall be.  Pax

 

 

Anniversary

To the day. two years since his announcement he was going to kick ass and take names and beat Hillary and become POTUS.

Two years later, as POTUS – still doing the same!  Had to post.

The Donald.

Father’s Day

A day wrought with conflict.  I am a psychologist’s dream, except . . . I’m not.

One of my Dads was my idol the first 12 years of my life.  Electric trains, Christmas lights, and most of all – baseball.  Those were our things, my being the first-born son.  And especially the baseball – he was the only coach I knew until I got to Pony League and 7th grade.  1966.  Number One song – Winchester Cathedral.  Number two, and my favorite – maybe of all time – the Cyrkle and their hit – Red Rubber Ball.  My emotional favorite, especially that year?  Walk Away, Renee.

You see, in April of that year, my folks – my heroes to that point in my life – divorced.  It was nasty divorce.  I even had to speak to the judge, my being 13, in his private chambers, alone.  He figured maybe I had a handle on how all of it was hitting the five of us kids.  Couldn’t speak to the other four – just myself.  And I was a mess.  I was 13, and in a way even I perceived at that young age, on my own.  I loved Mom, but she was a far bigger mess than was I, and little prepared to shepherd the five of us, especially me, a headstrong oldest child dead set on making it to Major League Baseball.

Enter Charlie Chan.

That’s what the five of us called him – he was our provider, although I didn’t know it at the time, after my real father disappeared in August of ’66.  My real dad as an engineer made 40 grand THEN, Charlie Chan made 12 grand.  He had no business supporting a new divorced women with 5 kids and no means.  Yet, he did.  He wouldn’t live with us, until Mom relented and married him and made things legal.  They were married 20 years and one month before Charlie passed and, sad to say, the marriage was never consummated.  It is fair to say my mother, in her remaining 42 years, could never accept the divorce, nor Herb (Charlie) as her real husband.  Again – I was a psychologist’s dream patient – except I was not.

Herb became Dad in short order.  He had too, I needed a Dad, and his five sons were gone from his life and he needed an oldest son.  Don’t ask me to explain that one – because I doubt it can be explained.

Dad was, simply put, there.  H wasn’t a polished man, having been born and raised in the white German ghettos of Cleveland without his own father.  He chose to be a good father, which is, and few would disagree, a monumental choice.  And he became my father.

When I was 16 and full of rebellion, I rebelled.  I was pissed at Mom for never having come out of her self-pitying fog, and at my newer Dad for always defending her.  I never understood him doing that – not then.  However, I did – soon.

I found (way before the internet) my biological father in 1969, and took off.  No word to Mom or Dad.  Just left – disappeared.  Once there, I called them to let them know.

Three months later – I had had more than enough of my real father and his new wife.  I called and told my now “real” father and asked for a plane ticket home.  He never asked a question, but told me to call him the next day.  He gave me all the flight info for three days hence, and I went and told my real dad and his new wife, who less than two years later would give birth to my young half-brother, 18 years my junior.  They were thoroughly pissed at me.  Colors came through.  I guess their new son was a territorial claim sort of thing and all.  For precise answers, ask the psychologist I never met.

Dad and I resolved, on the trip home from the airport, to talk everything that came up mano-a-mano.  It became habit, and we were the very best of friends in a Father-Son relationship you could imagine until he passed, untimely at 57, eighteen years later.

In collar by then, I did the readings in the Catholic Church (he died in the faith), and I was a pall-bearer.  He had been at every ball-game since I was 13, my HS graduation, when I returned from my tour of Turkey in the Air Force, my college graduation at A2, where he “polluted” the mind of my favorite prof about what a rebel I had been(!), and at my ordination.  From then on he loving called me “Rabbi.”  He knew the meaning of the word, but it was his way of back-handedly complimenting me for my achievements.  In between all of that, we talked for long periods on the phone every week. despite the distance between us.

He beat bronchial cancer, and the night before his release from the hospital, with my Mom, her sister Frankie, my God-mother, and Unca Jim talking to him and making plans for when he got home, he had a massive heart attack and died immediately.  Nothing of revival efforts did a thing.  He had gone home and was finally at peace.

But he was my Father – at a time when a budding young man of 13 needs a father the most!  He was always there – I have had, since his death 30 years ago, a large hole named “Dad” in my heart.  Although safely among the eternal saints who join us every Sunday at the Eucharist, he shows up in my dreams with his presence being a bit of “familiar wisdom” to me.  I know in my dreams he is not here with me, yet he is.  Silently he still guides me in the task of being a worthy son and a good father to my own son, Daniel Paul – Daniel (Hebrew – עברית חדשה‎; Greek – Δανιήλ – and the “Paul” being for both the sainted Apostle, and Dad’s middle name.  Justifiably proud is the best construction of his reaction – he cried and laughed at the same time and puffed out his chest when I told him the name of his grandson!

I could go on and on.  But I was blessed with a man who was there when it counted most.  I pray I have been half the father to my own son, as he was to me.  I will always call him –

Dad.