As An Eagle

Lord, Most High,
Most Good,
Most Holy,
As an eagle, soar our nation’s skies,
Look down and take pity on a people losing their way.

See us as we struggle.
See our deceivers.
See our cherished deceptions.
See our broken law.

The weight of haughty deception,
Oppresses a people,
Fearing the gift of Life.

It is hard to juggle our many gods.
To our folly,
Mammon has supplanted our love for You.

Resisting Your Love.
We choose Death
As an answer to Life.

We think the blessing, a curse,
And the curse, a blessing, nay, a right,
Negation the same as something, someone.

Give Your People Your eagle’s wings,
To scale the heights
With You.

Carry us on Your strong pinions
To safety in the clefts of the Rock.
Hide us in Your Sacred Wounds.

With an Eagle’s talons,
Swoop upon the Enemy
Who carries off our young.

Lord, Most High,
Most Good,
Most Holy,
Carry us on eagle ‘s wings
To the safety of Your bosom,
Your Truth.

©2016 Joann Nelander

Accountable

O Man, awaken!
On Earth, you are held accountable,
Are you not?

You sing for your supper.
You dance to life’s tune.
Only the air is free.
All else is taxed.
The first fruit is owed another.

You fear to run from the law.
You are held to a measure.!
If it be such for a man of earth,
Mortal, yet accountable,
Where will a soul, immortal,
Flee upon a coming demise?

Without the stuff of Earth,
Naked and stripped of pomp and circumstance,
Revealed as soul and spirit,
Answering not to man,
But to God,
Are we not all the more accountable?

Copyright 2015 Joann Nelander

Hillary Clinton’s Nightmare By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

Hillary Clinton’s Nightmare
By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
Published Jan. 28, 2016
Hillary Clinton’s nightmare is not the sudden resurgence of Bernie Sanders. It is the fidelity to the rule of law of the FBI.

The recent revelations of the receipt by Clinton of a Special Access Program email, as well as cut and pasted summaries of state secrets on her server and on her BlackBerry nearly guarantee that the FBI will recommend that the Department of Justice convene a grand jury and seek her indictment for espionage. Here is the backstory.

It seems that every week, more information comes to light about Clinton’s grave legal woes. Her worries are in two broad categories: One is her well-documented failure to safeguard state secrets and the other is her probable use of her position as secretary of state to advance financially her husband’s charitable foundation. The FBI is currently and aggressively investigating both. What I will describe below is in the state secrets category. It is apparently not new to the FBI, but it is new to the public.

Among the data that the FBI either found on the Clinton server or acquired from the State Department via its responses to Freedom of Information Act requests is a top-secret email that has been denominated Special Access Program. Top secret is the highest category of state secrets (the other categories are confidential and secret), and of the sub-parts of top secret, SAP is the most sensitive.
SAP is clothed in such secrecy that it cannot be received or opened accidentally. Clinton — who ensured all of her governmental emails came to her through her husband’s server, a nonsecure nongovernmental venue — could only have received or viewed it from that server after inputting certain codes. Those codes change at unscheduled times, such that she would need to inquire of them before inputting them.

The presence of the SAP-denominated email on her husband’s server, whether opened or not, shows a criminal indifference to her lawful obligation to maintain safely all state secrets entrusted to her care. Yet, Clinton has suggested that she is hopelessly digitally inept and may not have known what she was doing. This constitutes an attempted plausible deniability to the charge of failing to safeguard state secrets.

But in this sensitive area of the law, plausible deniability is not an available defense; no judge would permit the assertion of it in legal filings or in a courtroom, and no lawyer would permit a client to make the assertion.

This is so for two reasons. First, failure to safeguard state secrets is a crime for which the government need not prove intent. The failure can be done negligently. Thus, plausible deniability is actually an admission of negligence and, hence in this case, an admission of guilt, not a denial.

Second, Clinton signed an oath under penalty of perjury on Jan. 22, 2009, her first full day as secretary of state. In that oath, she acknowledged that she had received a full FBI briefing on the lawfully required care and keeping of state secrets. Her briefing and her oath specified that the obligation to safeguard state secrets is absolute — it cannot be avoided or evaded by forgetfulness or any other form of negligence, and that negligence can bring prosecution.

What type of data is typically protected by the SAP denomination? The most sensitive under the sun — such as the names of moles (spies working for more than one government) and their American handlers, the existence of black ops (illegal programs that the U.S. government carries out, of which it will deny knowledge if exposed), codes needed to access state secrets and ongoing intelligence gathering projects.

The crime here occurs when SAPs are exposed by residing in a nonsecure venue; it does not matter for prosecution purposes whether they fell into the wrong hands.

Clinton’s persistent mocking of the seriousness of all this is the moral equivalent of taunting alligators before crossing a stream. SAPs are so sensitive that most of the FBI agents who are investigating Clinton lack the security clearances needed to view the SAP found among her emails. Most FBI agents have never seen a SAP.

Shortly after the presence of the SAP-denominated email was made known, the State Department released another email Clinton failed to erase wherein she instructed her subordinates to take state secrets from a secure venue, to cut and paste and summarize them, and send them to her on her nonsecure venue. Such an endeavor, if carried out, is a felony — masking and then not safeguarding state secrets. Such a command to subordinates can only come from a criminal mind.

Equally as telling is a little-known 2013 speech that recently surfaced given by one of Clinton’s former subordinates. The aide revealed that Clinton and her staff regularly engaged in digital conversations about state secrets on their BlackBerries. This is not criminal if the BlackBerries were government-issued and secured. Clinton’s was neither. It was purchased at her instructions off the shelf by one of her staff.

Can anyone doubt that Clinton has failed to safeguard state secrets? If her name were Hillary Rodham instead of Hillary Rodham Clinton, she’d have been indicted months ago.

What remains of the rule of law in America? The FBI will soon tell us.

Accountable

O Man,awake!
On Earth, you are held accountable,
Are you not?

You sing for your supper.
You dance to life’s tune.
Only the air is free.
All else is taxed.
The first fruit is owed another.

You fear to run from the law.
You are held to a measure.!
If it be such for a man of earth,
Mortal, yet accountable,
Where will a soul, immortal,
Flee upon a coming demise?

Without the stuff of Earth,
Naked and stripped of pomp and circumstance,
Revealed as soul and spirit,
Answering not to man,
But to God,
Are we not all the more accountable?

©2015 Joann Nelander

WRATH OF GOD, A LIVING HELL

The Wrath of God blazes forth
As left to myself,
I behold myself.
Where is His image in me?
What have I done ?

Where God is not,
Only Hell resides.
Life has become my agony,
With self-inflicted wounds.

Unchanging Purity of Being,
Fire of Love,
I, now, the antithesis,
Banishing God to the periphery
Holding Him at bay.
My kingdom, my way!

Sin rages in His absence,
A counterfeit of life,
For where the Creator is not,
There is only dissipation.
Creating nothing;
Loving no one,

I built a world apart,
Overruled His Plan,
Overturned His "Shalt Nots"
With tolerance and choice.
There is no compromise for Truth.
Sin is always a choice,
Or it is not sin.

The Wrath of God blazes forth.
Consumes the idol, self.
Now, to turn, to choose anew,
To turn again before the final hour,
While it is still Day,
No more to turn away!

So splendid a freedom is love
That it can not come to be
Without an altar,
And in the Fire of Love,
To sacrifice my "Me".
©2014 Joann Nelander

.

Sharia Law Critics An Endangered Species

Sharia law or gay marriage critics would be branded ‘extremists’ under Tory plans, atheists and Christians warn – Telegraph.

"Anyone who criticizes Sharia law or gay marriage could be branded an “extremist” under sweeping new powers planned by the Conservatives to combat terrorism, an alliance of leading atheists and Christians fear.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, unveiled plans last month for so-called Extremism Disruption Orders, which would allow judges to ban people deemed extremists from broadcasting, protesting in certain places or even posting messages on Facebook or Twitter without permission.

Mrs May outlined the proposal in a speech at the Tory party conference in which she spoke about the threat from the so-called Islamic State – also known as Isis and Isil – and the Nigerian Islamist movement Boko Haram.

But George Osborne, the Chancellor, has made clear in a letter to constituents that the aim of the orders would be to “eliminate extremism in all its forms” and that they would be used to curtail the activities of those who “spread hate but do not break laws”.

He explained that that the new orders, which will be in the Conservative election manifesto, would extend to any activities that “justify hatred” against people on the grounds of religion, sexual orientation, gender or disability."

via Sharia law or gay marriage critics would be branded ‘extremists’ under Tory plans, atheists and Christians warn – Telegraph.

The Wrath of God, a Living Hell

The Wrath of God blazes forth
As left to myself,
I behold myself.
Where is His image in me?
What have I done ?

Where God is not,
Only Hell resides.
Life has become my agony,
With self-inflicted wounds.

Unchanging Purity of Being,
Fire of Love,
I, now, the antithesis,
Banishing God to the periphery
Holding Him at bay.
My kingdom, my way!

Sin rages in His absence,
A counterfeit of life,
For where the Creator is not,
There is only dissipation.
Creating nothing;
Loving no one,

I built a world apart,
Overruled His Plan,
Overturned His "Shalt Nots"
With tolerance and choice.
There is no compromise for Truth.
Sin is always a choice,
Or it is not sin.

The Wrath of God blazes forth.
Consumes the idol, self.
Now, to turn, to choose anew,
To turn again before the final hour,
While it is still Day,
No more to turn away!

So splendid a freedom is love
That it can not come to be
Without an altar,
And in the Fire of Love,
To sacrifice my "Me".
 
©2014 Joann Nelander

 

 

.

12 year old address Life

#Albuquerque is Stilling Willing to Take Innocent Life

First Reading for this day – 2 MC 7:1, 20-31

What has God said to both Jews and Christians in Maccabees about life?  (Some Protestants do not have Maccabees in their Bibles, but they should note that the Feast of Dedication, or Hanukkah, was enjoined upon the Jews to be celebrated only in Maccabees. John 7 tells of Jesus going up to Jerusalem to celebrate this feast. So Jesus concurred with the Jews and honored the injunction of Maccabees as given by His Father and recorded in holy writ.)

2 MC 7

“Most admirable and worthy of everlasting remembrance was the mother,
who saw her seven sons perish in a single day,
yet bore it courageously because of her hope in the Lord.
Filled with a noble spirit that stirred her womanly heart with manly courage,
she exhorted each of them
in the language of their ancestors with these words:
“I do not know how you came into existence in my womb;
it was not I who gave you the breath of life,
nor was it I who set in order
the elements of which each of you is composed.
Therefore, since it is the Creator of the universe
who shapes each man’s beginning
,
as he brings about the origin of everything,
he, in his mercy,
will give you back both breath and life,
because you now disregard yourselves for the sake of his law.”

The response of this heroic woman’s son before his life was ended in accordance with an unjust law is also worth noting:

She had scarcely finished speaking when the youth said:
“What are you waiting for?
I will not obey the king’s command.
I obey the command of the law given to our fathers through Moses.
But you, who have contrived every kind of affliction for the Hebrews,
will not escape the hands of God.”

Our laws do not excuse us before God this day or on our particular judgment day, so our choices matter for our eternity.  What we choose to do with our freedom matters in life and in death.  Therefore it is incumbent upon us to choose wisely and form our consciences as though our eternity depends on it.

Participating in the Sin of Abortion

Nine ways of participating in the sin of another:

1. by counsel

2. by command

3. by consent (“I’m personally opposed to it but” )

4. by provocation

5. by praise or flattery

6. by concealment

7. by being an accomplice

8. by partaking

9. by Silence!

Once you snuff out a child in its mother’s womb you have crossed the line and there is no sin off-limits to you. Society can’t hide behind our laws and our complicit politicians. Yes those in positions of authority bear the greater responsibility but their accountability does not set us free! How deafening the silence. Silence in our churches, our schools, our universities, our laboratories and the halls of government.

The fact that a law was passed to enable the atrocity of abortion, does not pour clean water over the scarlet decision. It simply makes our culpablility national and places our country in the cross hairs of retribution. You can declare a human being a non-person, but the DNA, the blood and the flesh, the substance and the soul witness against our immoral “Law.” Relativism may allow our society to lie to itself, but the law written on our hearts will condemn us. We do have freedom of choice. God’s law commands we choose life and not death. So there is a reason the right choice matters.

“I call heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live” – Deuteronomy 30:19

This sin too was nailed in Christ to the Cross. It is time to leave the darkness and live in the Light.

Born Alive

Some people measure life by size.  Others people know if it’s growing it isn’t dead. Most people believe, that if it isn’t dead it’s alive.

Birth, however, always delivers a person, not an abstraction….until it became necessary to spell it out in law:

Of Walls and Hedges

I am the greatest obstacle
To my salvation,
Yet You leap the walls,
I have raised about me.
You breech them,
You penetrate them.
You shake and crumble them.

Your Holy Spirit
Is that quake
Of Calvary,
The earthquake,
That rattled open prison doors,
Destroyed the chains of those,
Commissioned to speak with Your power,
And in Your Name..

Place a high,
Insurmountable hedge about me.
One I can not leap,
When I hear the voices
Calling on the other side.

I know myself,
And that I shall try to flee.
For, though the boundary,
Be for my own good,
Fool, that I know myself to be,
Fleeing is in me.

All my hope
Is in the Love
You bear for me.
You, my Love,
Scale the walls of my pride,
O, Love, Who sets watch towers
On the heights,
And is enemy
To my enemies,
And the Guardian
Of my soul.

Threat to Charitable Mission of the Church

It’s Friday in the first week of Lent, a time for prayer, fasting and alms-giving. It is also a time for reflection.

Alexis de Tocqueville:

“I do not know whether all [American citizens] have faith in their religions—for who can read the bottom of men’s hearts? But I am certain that they believe religion to be necessary for the preservation of republican institutions. This is not the opinion of one class of citizens or one party but of the nation as a whole. One encounters it among people of every rank.”

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput writing in First Things , “A Charitable Endeavor” shares some new and disturbing experiences and observations of “a new and belligerent kind of secularism” which flies in the face of American cultural tradition.

Historically, Americans have been—and remain—a religious people. They have found it quite normal for religious charities, including Catholic ones, to make use of public monies in serving the poor, the homeless, and other needy populations. This arrangement has worked well for everybody. Government gets skilled, cost-effective, and compassionate help in meeting social needs. The Church gets funds for her works of love demanded by faith in Jesus Christ.

But Americans have always known that the Church’s charitable purposes are religiously inspired, not merely humanitarian. They’ve also understood that the Church is an independent partner in helping the government to meet its charitable goals. She is not an arm of the government. She is not a private contractor on the state payroll. The tax exemptions offered by the state to religious charities to help their work are not a gift or a display of kindness by civil authority. They are nakedly practical. Religious charities typically do better social-service work than government agencies and at lower cost.

Chaput notes in an interview with Dr.R.R.Reno of Spirit Catholic Radio out of Omaha Nebraska, that in the tradition of our country the has been a friendly cooperation between Church and State in matters of charitable works and giving. This “new hostility toward religious identity is a symptom of bigotry on the part of secularists (who) want to keep us from being who we are, if were going to share the work of the State.”

The United States is an historical oddity. Unlike the nations of modern Europe, America was not founded on the basis of territorial, cultural, ethnic, or confessional concerns. America is what the Jesuit theologian John Courtney Murray called “a proposition country,” built on a set of moral claims about God, the human person, the meaning of life, and the purpose of society. These propositions, in turn, emerged from the Judeo–Christian values and vocabulary of America’s first settlers and founders.

America’s founding documents are thus a mix of commonsense realism and transcendent idealism. God is named as “Creator” and “Supreme Judge” over individuals and governments. The human person is said to be endowed with God-given, and therefore inalienable, rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The purpose of government is clearly defined and sharply limited: to help secure and defend these basic rights for its citizens.

The American proposition envisions the self-rule of a free people living under a limited government. Civil authority governs with the people’s consent and in accord with the natural law and natural rights established by “Nature’s God.” The people’s freedom is not a moral license. Rather, it is the liberty and duty to pursue the good. The American ideal resembles Lord Acton’s famous definition of freedom: “not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought.”

Chaput describes the intrusions he experiences in his ministry as Archbishop of Denver, CO. State law-makers have given difficulty to the Church in such areas as adoption, on the issue of the meaning of marriage and legislatures have tried to tailor legislation to dictate the hiring protocol of leaders to such organizations as Catholic Charities and other like organizations.

Consider two recent cases. The first comes from direct pastoral experience. Recently, the Colorado state assembly proposed a bill that would have forced every charitable group receiving state money to comply with a set of “antidiscrimination” laws. That may sound harmless. It may even seem reasonable. But in practice the law would have stripped the Church of any control over the people she hires. Because the proposed law banned “discrimination” on the basis of religion, the Church could easily have been forced to hire non-Catholics or people who publicly reject Catholic teaching—even for key leadership positions.

The implications for Catholics were obvious. The right to define our mission as a Church and to select the people who can best transmit Catholic beliefs and values is at the heart of our religious freedom. No Catholic ministry can ensure its identity if its leaders and staffers cannot be required to be Catholic. Colorado Catholics argued this case forcefully in the state legislature, and the bill was tabled. It never came to a vote. But the issue is by no means dead. And this bad legislation reflected a trend we now see elsewhere. Public officials increasingly push social agendas hostile to religious faith, even at the cost of denying rights historically guaranteed to religious groups.

Here’s a second case. In Boston, the local archdiocese ran one of the nation’s oldest, most respected adoption agencies. Nonetheless, the Church was forced to shut down her adoption ministry. Why? Because the state demanded that the Church begin placing orphans for adoption with homosexual couples—a demand that violates Catholic moral beliefs that children have the right to grow up in a stable family with a married mother and father. Boston’s archbishop, Seán Cardinal O’Malley, sought a conscience clause to exempt the Church from the requirement. State lawmakers refused. The result was the end of more than a century of excellent child-adoption services to the general public.

This case embodied the “grave inconsistency” that Benedict XVI writes about in his encyclical, Caritas in Veritate. A small social subgroup—for example, active homosexuals and supporters of homosexual-related issues—demands that the government defend their right to a controversial lifestyle, a right that is “alleged, . . . arbitrary, and nonessential in nature,” as Benedict puts it. To meet this demand and promote this ambiguous right, public officials attack the “elementary and basic rights” of defenseless children without parents.

Archbishop Chaput poignantly points out

“Government cannot love. It has no soul and no heart. The greatest danger of the modern secularist state is this: In the name of humanity, under the banner of serving human needs and easing human suffering, it ultimately, ironically—and too often tragically— lacks humanity. As Benedict foresees in his encyclical, Deus Caritas Est:”

The state which would provide everything, absorbing everything into itself, would ultimately become a mere bureaucracy incapable of guaranteeing the very thing which the suffering person—every person—needs: namely, loving personal concern. We do not need a state that regulates and controls everything, but a state that, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need. The Church is one of those living forces: She is alive with the love enkindled by the Spirit of Christ. This love does not simply offer people material help, but refreshment and care for their souls, something that often is even more necessary than material support.”

Finally Chaput states that it really is a small group of people relentlessly pursuing these changes and the Archbishop laments that we in the Church have allowed the marketplace to be taken by these forces. We need to harness the same energy for doing good and building society in response to Christ as they for a God-free society.

In the face of modern critics who would crowd out the Church’s ministry of love, American Catholics must reclaim the vision Benedict speaks of here. We need to insist on the guarantees promised by the founders at the beginning of the American proposition: autonomy and noninterference from civil authorities.

But a more important task also remains. Catholics must come to a new zeal for that proposition, a new faithfulness to their own Catholic identity as they live their citizenship, and a new dedication to renewing the great public philosophy implicit in America’s founding documents.

Pro-choice and Moral Schizophrenia

Nine ways of participating in the sin of another:

1. by counsel

2. by command

3. by consent (“I’m personally opposed to it but” )

4. by provocation

5. by praise or flattery

6. by concealment

7. by being an accomplice

8. by partaking

9. by Silence!

Once you snuff out a child in its mother’s womb you have crossed the line and there is no sin off-limits to you. Society can’t hide behind our laws and our complicit politicians. Yes those in positions of authority bear the greater responsibility but their accountability does not set us free!  How deafening the silence.  Silence in our churches, our schools, our universities, our laboratories and the halls of government.

The fact that a law was passed to enable the atrocity of abortion, does not pour clean water over the scarlet decision.  It simply makes our culpablility national and places our country in the cross hairs of retribution. You can declare a human being a non-person, but the DNA, the blood and the flesh, the substance and the soul witness against our immoral “Law.”  Relativism may allow our society to lie to itself, but the law written on our hearts will condemn us. We do have freedom of choice. God’s law commands we choose life and not death.  So there is a reason the right choice matters.

 

“I call heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live” – Deuteronomy 30:19

This sin too was nailed in Christ to the Cross.  It is time to leave the darkness and live in the Light.

Dark Days Ahead

The Lenten readings are growing darker as Jesus approaches His hour

In Wisdom 2, we read:

The wicked said among themselves,
thinking not aright…
“Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us;
he sets himself against our doings,
Reproaches us for transgressions of the law
and charges us with violations of our training.
He professes to have knowledge of God
and styles himself a child of the LORD.

The Gospel of John, too, sounds an ominous note:

“Jesus moved about within Galilee; he did not wish to travel in Judea, because the Jews were trying to kill him. But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near…But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, he himself also went up, not openly but as it were in secret.” John 7:1,10

Why did things have to go this way.  Why the rejection?  Why the Cross?  And while we’re questioning; why do they sour for us?

Today, Fr. Michael, faced with these questions, asked one of his own (I’m paraphrasing.) Who made us judge and jury?  Who confirmed us in our righteousness; which is, if honest, our self-righteousness?”

The Gospel of Light treads a path through every darkness and Darkness, itself.  Without the stuff of darkness, weakness, war, tragedy and desperate dilemma, we  go unchallenged, self-satisfied.  We pursue our dreams and go willy-nilly, perhaps, even, to our own dissolution, seeing only the darkness around us, and none within.  What we don’t like of Gospel or Church, we ignore or eliminate from our daily lives. “Let us condemn him to a shameful death.”

Until the unthinkable forces itself upon us and our decisions, we are content not to think but to ride the fence. The problems remain out there with “them.”  If we do take a stand and speak the Gospel truth, we find what Jesus found: rejection and betrayal, even from within our families, the cruelest blow.  It might not be explicit.  It may be that no one has time to visit.  Perhaps, the grand-kids are withheld and holidays less joyful.  How doesn’t matter so much as that it happens. We are left on our Cross.

What to do?  Look first to yourself.  Question your ways and your motives.  Repent, is the Gospel word for it.  Then pray and wait.  Wait upon God; first of all with praise and adoration, thanksgiving, and finally with petition.  Place all the rest, loves ones and world, in the Tabernacle with the Lamb who was Slain and still lives.  Then go on; “comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.” This is the Way until the end of the world and the coming of the Day.

From the Office of Readings – for Friday of fourth week of Lent from Easter Letter of Athanasias:

How fine a thing it is to move from festival to festival, from prayer to prayer, from holy day to holy day. The time is now at hand when we enter on a new beginning: the proclamation of the blessed Passover, in which the Lord was sacrificed.

My Morning Prayer

son-of-justice1

If  Time and Space and all the created resist You, their Maker, let me be the void, a nothing, a nobody, empty as a vacuum, demanding Your entrance by Love if not by law.  Fill my space and time.  Topple my pride by Your Uncreated Presence. Now master chaotic waters and silence my current.  Still the fallen artistry of the proud “I, myself.”

Conqueror of all You survey, probe me, and finding me “all flaw”,  reign in Your handiwork, Oh Hearer of my prayer.  One person, one prayer, one poor heart’s entreaty; who can resist You or stand in the way of  Your advance?  My faith rests in Your infinity, your unending answer to trust.  Love transforms the Law by Covenant.  “The Lord sat enthrones over the flood; the Lord sits as King for ever.” (Psalm 29)