Reason to Rejoice

Hidden pondI was walking on a trail in the Watchung Reservation with my three dogs. It was a hot day and this is the best time to go into the woods were the temperature is typically 10 to 20 degrees cooler. There were very few people in the woods, most likely because a Saturday in August draws people to beaches and pools. It was a pleasure and though we did see others in the woods it was very quiet and I felt very isolated.

I sat for a few moments to give the dogs a rest and to watch and listen to nature unveil itself around me. I sat on a log and I was able to spot some deer about a tenth of a mile away. I also spotted a woodpecker. Later while walking I would see some other birds but most are skittish and once they hear me they move so fast I can’t identify them.

Still as we walked through the woods I couldn’t help but wonder how many persons walked through here. I thought back to the times of George Washington and his men and how they probably passed through here on the way to the battle of Union. I thought about the local Indians and how this was their stomping grounds.Then I looked at all the tress that lovers and travelers carved their initials on.

So many people have passed through here. Some may have thought themselves important. But nature always brings you back to reality as the awesomeness raises my own awareness of my mortality and lack of importance. I am humbled as I walk among the trees many that may be as much as one hundred or more years old.

It dawned on me. Life is a gift and the short time we are here we need to appreciate and use to the best of our abilities. By working towards the greater good with a true love for life and the life of all around us we become a very important part of the life of the world. We become givers of life to the next generation and to those that live around us. Now that is an important function and responsibility.

We all have a responsibility to live to our fullest. That is the gift we call life. So I left the woods feeling invigorated and joyful.

I wish all my walks were as productive!

Have a great life!

Miguel Perez-Santalla

Posted in Life Issues, Love, Observations | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What are these things?

What are these things?
Yellow and white
They make light glimmer
Bring out the bright
Of what is in sight

There are metals
Of all sorts
But in comparison
To this group
It is no sport

Others don’t have that shine
Others can’t bring the time
That makes the good
Sweet as the finest Wine
rings
A special night
A gift at dinner
A pearl wrapped
In any will be a winner

A painting
Of the finest sort
Is that much greater
When it’s framed
In the precious drawn from ore

Glory of God
The world wants to extol
It’s got to be Silver
Platinum or Gold

From the ancient world
To modern times
These illustrious metals
Bring out the rhymes

The precious coins of
Rome, Egypt and Greece
Empires of Spain
And Great Britain
Not the least
Tell the stories of Love and War
Sometimes peace
All wrapped up in the Golden Fleece

The rapper wears
A rather large one
Round his neck
A sister prays a golden rosary
At a sick man’s
Death bed

Many more uses
You can see
But the most precious
That shines like the sun
Eternally done
Is the one that makes
You and me, we

The precious metal
Pulled, Shaped
And twisting
Going round a finger
Always existing

But the tragedy lies
In that Humans
Do not see
The greatest Gift of all
Is actually free

Love is the thing
We should all be expounding
If we all share the gold
The world would be astounding

As happiness would reign from shore to shore
The precious metals
Hence be a symbol of Love
Like a rose petal
A seed of friendship forevermore

©Guillermo Perez 2010

 

 

Posted in Observations | Leave a comment

Does the Devil Exist?

Fr. Rutler’s Weekly Column

November 4, 2018
   Nostalgia is a selective editing of the past. For instance, there are those who wish we had today some of the architects of thirteenth-century cathedrals, but who avoid mentioning thirteenth-century dentists. In recent times, the general conceit has been the opposite of nostalgia. The philosopher Owen Barfield spoke of “chronological snobbery,” defined as the belief that “intellectually, humanity languished for countless generations in the most childish errors on all sorts of crucial subjects, until it was redeemed by some scientific dictum of the last century.”   

   That snobbery had its heyday in the past generation, which defined itself as mankind finally “come of age.” Were that true, we should now be in the stage of incipient senility. Catholics are suffering from that period’s destructive arrogance. Just look at the circular churches and ugly music that replaced venerable shrines and chants. Characteristic of that polyester period was the underestimation of evil, which Pope Benedict XVI noticed even in some assertions of the Second Vatican Council. Without explanation, the Prayer to Saint Michael was dropped from the liturgical books in 1964. But “Satan and all the evil spirits” have not politely gone away.

   That prayer was promulgated by Pope Leo XIII in 1884. Accounts variously claim that he was inspired by a vision of horrors to come in the twentieth century. Its use remained a private option after recitation of the prayer was dropped from the end of Mass, but in 1994 Pope Saint John Paul II, from his experience of travails in his native Poland, was not inclined to underestimate the power of the wickedness and snares of the devil: “I invite everyone not to forget it, but to recite it to obtain help in the battle against the forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world.”

   Far from having “come of age,” chronological snobs have learned the hard way that theirs has been a prolonged adolescence. In our present cultural chaos, faced with moral decadence all around, the pope and bishops have asked that the Prayer to Saint Michael be restored at the conclusion of each Mass. In our parish we have not had to reinstate it because we never ceased to offer that prayer after Mass, sometimes to the consternation of a few who thought it retrograde. When the Barque of Peter is tossed by storms, it is time to bring the life jackets out of the storage where some liturgists hid them.

   Our church is providentially dedicated to Saint Michael, and a month ago the Catholic News Service published a photograph of our own statue of him, based on the famous painting by Guido Reni. Generations ago, the people of “Hell’s Kitchen” knew that Michael and his sword would be a better defense in battle than liturgical dancers and the balloons of chronological snobs. They also knew, as Baudelaire said, that “The devil’s greatest trick is to persuade us that he does not exist.”

Posted in Observations | Leave a comment

The Book is Finally out

Dear Friends,

I know I have been missing in action. I apologize for that but hopefully, I can now progress to blogging once again. Most importantly the book I was writing is completed. Below is the cover. If you click on it you can read more about it on Amazon.Guillermo_Perez_1

Posted in Discispline, Life Issues, Love, Observations | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Democrats Abandon Catholics

The Democrats Abandon Catholics

If you value religious education or life’s sanctity, you’re not welcome in the party.

By Cardinal Timothy Dolan

Last Saturday’s feast of St. Patrick, the patron saint of our cathedral and archdiocese, reminded me of Archbishop John Hughes. As the first archbishop of New York (1842-64), “Dagger John” displayed dramatic reverence for the dignity of Irish immigrants. Thousands arrived daily in New York—penniless, starving and sometimes ill—only to be met with hostility, bigotry and injustice.

Portrait of Archbishop John Hughes, c. 1840s.

Portrait of Archbishop John Hughes, c. 1840s.PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

An immigrant himself, Hughes prophetically and vigorously defended their dignity. Because the schools at the time were hostile to these immigrants, he initiated Catholic schools to provide children with a good education sensitive to their religion and to prepare them as responsible, patriotic citizens. The schools worked. Many remain open to this day, their mission unchanged.

The second event was the recent funeral of a great African-American woman, Dolores Grier. A convert to Catholicism, she was named vice chancellor of the archdiocese three decades ago by Cardinal John O’Connor; she was the first layperson and first woman to hold the prestigious position. Grier was passionate about civil rights, especially the right to life of babies in the womb. She never missed an opportunity to defend, lovingly but forcefully, their right to life.

Grier attributed her pro-life sensitivity to the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who preached that abortion was an act of genocide against minorities. No wonder, she often observed, abortuaries were clustered in poor black and brown neighborhoods. The statistics today confirm her observation: In 2013 there were more black babies aborted in New York City (29,007) than were born here (24,758), according to a report from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The values Archbishop Hughes and Dolores Grier cherished—the dignity and sanctity of human life, the importance of Catholic schools, the defense of a baby’s civil rights—were, and still are, widely embraced by Catholics. This often led Catholics to become loyal Democrats. I remember my own grandmother whispering to me, “We Catholics don’t trust those Republicans.”

Such is no longer the case, a cause of sadness to many Catholics, me included. The two causes so vigorously promoted by Hughes and Grier—the needs of poor and middle-class children in Catholic schools, and the right to life of the baby in the womb—largely have been rejected by the party of our youth. An esteemed pro-life Democrat in Illinois, Rep. Dan Lipinski, effectively was blacklisted by his own party. Last year, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez insisted that pro-life candidates have no place in the modern Democratic Party.

It is particularly chilly for us here in the state Hughes and Grier proudly called their earthly home. In recent years, some Democrats in the New York state Assembly repeatedly blocked education tax credit legislation, which would have helped middle-class and low-income families make the choice to select Catholic or other nonpublic schools for their children. Opposing the bill reduces the ability of fine Catholic schools across the state to continue their mission of serving the poor, many of them immigrants.

More sobering, what is already the most radical abortion license in the country may soon be even more morbidly expanded. For instance, under the proposed Reproductive Health Act, doctors would not be required to care for a baby who survives an abortion. The newborn simply would be allowed to die without any legal implications. And abortions would be legal up to the moment of birth.

The “big tent” of the Democratic Party now seems a pup tent. Annafi Wahed, a former staffer to Hillary Clinton, recently wrote in this newspaper about her experience attending the Conservative Political Action Conference. She complimented the conservative attendees, pointing out that most made her feel welcome at their meeting. They listened attentively to her views—a courtesy, she had to admit, that would not be given to them at a meeting of political liberals.

I’m a pastor, not a politician, and I’ve certainly had spats and disappointments with politicians from both of America’s leading parties. But it saddens me, and weakens the democracy millions of Americans cherish, when the party that once embraced Catholics now slams the door on us.

To Archbishop Hughes, Dolores Grier, and Grandma Dolan, I’m sorry to have to write this. But not as sad as you are to know it is true.

Cardinal Dolan is archbishop of New York.

Appeared in the March 23, 2018, print edition.

Posted in Observations | Leave a comment

Rocket Man -The Song

(Sung to Elton John’s Rocket Man)

We packed the missiles tonight

Zero hour nine AM

And I’m gonna be out of my mind by then

I miss my bro’ I crushed his life

It’s lonely in this place

I’m such a timeless plight

kim-jong-un-xi-jinping

And I think it’s gonna be a short short time

‘Till my intel brings me round again to find

I’m not the man that will hold the phone

Oh no no no I’m a rocket man

Rocket man waiting to light the fuse and burn your homes

 

Pyongyang ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids

In fact, my hearts cold as hell

And cross me once, I’ll execute them all anyway if you did

And all this nonsense I don’t understand

It’s just my job seven days a week

A rocket man, a rocket man

 

And I think it’s gonna be a short short time

‘Till my intel brings me round again to find

I’m not the man that will hold the phone

Oh no no no I’m a rocket man

Rocket man waiting to light the fuse and burn your homes

 

And I think it’s gonna be a short short time

And I think it’s gonna be a short short time

And I think it’s gonna be a short short time

And I think it’s gonna be a short short time

Posted in Comedy, Observations | Leave a comment

The Rocket Man

kim_trump_0

The Rocket Man

There is a place called North Korea

That likes to make people fear

But Donald the man,

put on the slam

Without shedding a tear

Posted in Observations | Leave a comment

Soneto de la Noche

I came across this poem set to music and it made me cry. It is so beautiful. The way the poet expresses his love on the thoughts of his passing to his wife moves the heart. The Eye with teardrop2way it is set to choral music by Morten Lauridsen just moves me to tears. It is an incredible and beautiful work of art. I suggest you find it and listen while you read the lyrics.

The title below links to YouTube. The English translation is below the original.

 

 

Soneta de la Noche

Cuando yo muera quiero tus manos en mis ojos:
quiero la luz y el trigo de tus manos amadas
pasar una vez más sobre mí su frescura:
sentir la suavidad que cambió mi destino.

Quiero que vivas mientras yo, dormido, te espero,
quiero que tus oídos sigan oyendo el viento,
que huelas el aroma del mar que amamos juntos
y que sigas pisando la arena que pisamos.

Quiero que lo que amo siga vivo
y a ti te amé y canté sobre todas las cosas,
por eso sigue tú floreciendo, florida,

para que alcances todo lo que mi amor te ordena,
para que se pasee mi sombra por tu pelo,
para que así conozcan la razón de mi canto.

Pablo Neruda

TRANSLATION

When I die I want your hands on my eyes:
I want the light and the wheat of your beloved hands
to pass their freshness over me one more time
to feel the smoothness that changed my destiny.

I want you to live while I wait for you, asleep,
I want for your ears to go on hearing the wind,
for you to smell the sea that we loved together
and for you to go on walking the sand where we walked.

I want for what I love to go on living
and as for you I loved you and sang you above everything,
for that, go on flowering, flowery one,

so that you reach all that my love orders for you,
so that my shadow passes through your hair,
so that they know by this the reason for my song.

Translation by Nicholas Lauridsen

 

Posted in Love, Poetry | Leave a comment