I am thankful for many things this year: my daughter, her understanding mother, Miss S.F., the fact that I can celebrate Thanksgiving with my daughter (i.e. I'm not in Iraq or some other place), and also for those men and women who defend our country and ensure our peaceful way of life through force of arms.
By the way, Eucharist comes from a Greek word meaning "Thanksgiving".
The other day I was reflecting on the Pearl of Great Price Parable:
Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls. Who when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it. --Matthew 13:45. 46 (Douay Rheims Translation)
While on the one hand, the merchant bought the pearl and "owns" it, but the pearl's attraction and allure were so strong as to cause the merchant to sell all his possessions and to return for it; forsaking all other wealth and possessions for the pearl alone.
So I ask who owns who?
The Israelites carried the Ark of the Covenant into battle. Mary is the Ark of the New Coveant. The Arc of the Covenant is the rainbow given as a sign after the Great Flood that God would never flood the entire Earth again.
I don't normally post personal stuff, but I want to rant about this somewhere:
Shortly after sitting down, a married couple sat next to my daughter and I. The wife was a very nice lady and I enjoyed the little bit I talked with her. The husband however had a series of things he said that really irritated me.
First, his wife went to the bar to get a drink and after a short chat about potatoes, which turned to talk about cooking potatoes, he informed me that all women are *@tches. He said that he has learned to accept that his wife is one too. I'm glad that his marriage has such mutual respect. I couldn't help but think at this point that if I still had a date, I could have talked to her instead. I had my daughter there, but she had run off to play with the other little girls.
Later, he bemoaned the fact that most of Congress and most presidents don't have any background with the military but yet they make so many decisions for the military.
I replied that of course that's the way it is, because civilian control of the military is such a crucial element in our country. After all, its what has separated us for over 200 years from the two bit, third world countries that seem to go through unending strings of kleptocratic dictators, juntas, and generalissimos. There has actually been at least one occasion I can think of when the military was about to rise against the government and President Washington talked them out of it.
He became rather indignant and rambled on something. I was really doing my best to ignore him at this point. However, I did find myself talking him about all the equipment that would be left in Iraq and given over to the Iraqi security forces. He felt that we should take it back to the US and use it "along the border", presumably the Mexican border.
I just ignored him this time. That statement made absolutely no sense in so many ways:
Since we destroyed the Ba'ath Party regime and established the current government, we have an obligation to them to provide the means to defend their government and provide security to their people.
It much more practical to leave much of the equipment where it is because it saves time and money to hand it over instead of sending to Kuwait or Turkey to figure out where to ship it (spending more money we don't have) after that.
Do we really want to militarize the Mexican border? Realistically, the reason that our government doesn't do more about illegal immigration is because Mexican labor has become such an integral piece of our economy, from agriculture and construction to restaurant and maids for politicians decrying illegal immigration. Ask Alabama farmers who's picking their crops now!
Not only that, because of Posse Comitatus we'd have to had the equipment over to civilian law enforcement or the National Guard. Between the fact that so much of the National Guard is deployed and the expense of mobilizing the remainder its an unlikely option.
Somewhere around here my daughter was getting tired and cranky so I used it as an excuse to politely leave and hopefully never listen to him again.
"Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, 'Jesus is accursed'”; and no one can say, 'Jesus is Lord,' except by the Holy Spirit." --1 Corinthians 12:3
I've met many people who refuse to believe in the Divinity of Jesus Christ (Mormons, Muslims, Atheists). I've also met people who profess the Christian faith, but refuse to believe that Jesus Christ is the Second Person in the Holy Trinity.
St Athanasius struggled against the Arian Heresy, which denied the Divinity of Jesus Christ. He was exiled a few times and his life was threatened, but yet he persisted in the orthodox faith. Today he is a saint and a hero of the faith. Some quotes from St Athanasius on Jesus' Divinity:
“Even on the cross He did not hide Himself from sight; rather, He made all creation witness to the presence of its Maker.”
“He became what we are so that he might make us what he is.”(When you receive the Eucharist, you become one with the Lord Jesus)
“God became man so that man might become a god."
“He, the Life of all, our Lord and Saviour, did not arrange the manner
of his own death lest He should seem to be afraid of some other kind.
No. He accepted and bore upon the cross a death inflicted by others, and
those other His special enemies, a death which to them was supremely
terrible and by no means to be faced; and He did this in order that, by
destroying even this death, He might Himself be believed to be the Life,
and the power of death be recognised as finally annulled. A marvellous
and mighty paradox has thus occurred, for the death which they thought
to inflict on Him as dishonour and disgrace has become the glorious
monument to death's defeat.”
Today is Veteran's Day and the memorial of Saint Martin of Tours. It is appropriate that Veteran's Day is on the memorial of a Saint who was a Soldier. He is also the patron saint of chaplains. He is recorded to have cut his cloak in two and share half of it with a beggar freezing in the streets. Later in a dream, the beggar was revealed to be Christ Jesus. The cloak (capella) was preserved as a relic and brought with the kings of France on military campaigns. Priests went with the cloak on campaigns and came to be called after the cloak and gave us the concept for and the word chaplain.