Walking With Sticks

In my hiking group, the Trail Hikers, there are two schools of thought regarding “walking sticks.”  Many feel that “walking sticks” are very useful.  They aid in walking.
Others feel that “walking sticks” are an affectation.  More than that, they can be a hindrance.  They are something that distracts one from concentrating on their footing.  I can attest to that, so I subscribe to this opinion.  One time going downhill on a rocky terrain and using a “walking stick”, it was the stick that caused me to trip up.  It was like I had too many legs and feet.  Somehow or other, the stick was caught between my legs, or in the way of my foot, or whatever!  I tumbled down the boulder.  And I almost speared myself with that “walking stick.”  I think it did blacken my eye.  I swore, “never again!”  I climbed back up that huge boulder and flung that “walking stick” into the netherworld.
Well, that was quite a while ago.  Yesterday, on a hike around the Blackstone River and Canal, a stick on the g…

God Leads Me into Temptation?

I've been saying this for years!  Actually, a friend called my attention to it.  She was first, then I thought about it and agreed.  I'm talking about the "The Lord's Prayer," or "The Our Father." 

She said it always bother her that we prayed:

Our Father who art in heaven,Hallowed be thy name.Thy kingdom come.                                                                   Thy will be doneon earth as it is in heaven.Give us this day our daily bread,and forgive us our trespasses,as we forgive those who trespass against us,and lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from evil.

I understand that this wording is only in English.  Other languages say the equivalent of protect us, or keep us away from, temptation.  Now, I read that our Holy Father agrees.  He asks for a better English translation.  
The sooner, the better.

Splitting Hairs

This morning a story that was related by Lee Strobel in his book The Case for Faith, caught my interest.  The author tells the story of a molecular biologist, Michael Denton, giving an example of facts misleading to incorrect conclusions.

The story is about a murder.  The man accused was Ronald Williamson.  The case against him:

          a witness who saw Williamson talking to the victim earlier in the evening of the murder          an admission by Williamson that he had a dream of killing the victim          four of Williamson's hairs were found on the victim's body. The jury found Williamson guilty, but he wasn't.  After spending twelve years in prison, nine on death row, an analysis of DNA proved that Williamson was innocent.
What about the hair?  Hair evidence isn't conclusive.  It's "scientifically unreliable."  
Note this:  at the writing of this book, hair evidence has been used against eighteen death row inmates who were eventually declared innoc…

The Christmas Sweater

Back when I was first made, I was quite the catch.  My brother and sister sweaters were not snatched up as quickly as I.
I was beautiful.
My holly berry red was brilliant.  My accouterments were a wonder to behold.  I was decked out with santas, sparkles, stars, ribbons, angels, and bells that tingled and tassels that begged to be yanked.  And they were too!  Although that was always a surprise!  Strangers would come up very close to me and pull on my tassels and ping my bells.  At first, I was taken aback by this sudden invasion of my personal space, but I understood.  Who could resist the allure of my Christmas spirit?
Every year I was worn for the Christmas season.  I didn’t mind only being worn for such a short time because the happy feelings were kept within me.  I basked in that Christmas warmth for the rest of the year.
This December, when my bureau drawer was open, the conversation was lively:
Mom, have you any Christmas sweaters? Oh yes, and turtlenecks and tunics and cardigan…

By the Highway

What worked then, doesn't work now.  No. That's not right.  My tastes have changed. I've matured.


I use to meditate by using my hands and saying the mantra: "All is passing.  God alone abiding.".  I'd sweep my right arm out--"All is passing."  Then I'd take my hand on my outstretched arm and bring it to over my heart and say--"God alone abiding."

But a revert to Catholicism via Buddhism taught me his technique.  He envisions that he's sitting next to a highway watching the cars zoom past:  zoom, zoom, swish, swish...   Once he's calmed, he looks down the highway to a car on the horizon and watches it come closer, closer, closer and closer until it reaches him.  He keeps his eye on it as it is in front of him.  He sees who's in the car.  He's there, too.  He watches it pass him.  He watches it go on, and on, and on, until it's just a dot on that horizon. He's gone off too.

Perfect.  All is passing.  I …

Compassion Above Judgment

I can't get over this sermon by the pope, Saint Leo the Great.  He begins by quoting the Lord:

Unless your justice exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

St. Leo asks, "How can justice exceed?"  He then offers this as an answer, "...compassion is more than judgment."

The saint then explains that since we are made in the image and likeness of God, and to work towards perfection to be more like God, then:

With strict vengeance removed and the cessation of all punishment, the guilty man was restored to innocence, and the end of wickedness became the beginning of virtue.

Isn't this starting all over?  Giving someone another chance?  Would not the man work hard to stay away from wickedness?  After all, he would know the consequences. 

This would be the wisdom of the drunk, the voice of experience, the hope of the Christian.

Proof of God