Croquetas!! -UPDATED LIST

It has been a few years since I had this idea about finding the best Cuban style “croquetas” (pronounced crow-keah-taas). What are croquetas? Well technically, they are originally from Spain, they are simply, put fritters. Typically, they are prepared with a béchamel base and with added meat that is then chilled and formed into cylindrical patties, which are coated in egg wash, breadcrumbs, and fried until crispy and golden on the outside.

In my Cuban household growing up in Mountainside, NJ, USA, these were only prepared for special occasions because they are time-consuming to make. My immediate family which consisted of my grandparents, my parents, myself and my five siblings would devour them so quickly that I often felt sorry for my Abuela Concha and my mom. They would spend the entire evening before any special occasion preparing them, knowing that as the most popular item on the menu, they would have to fight off the children who would try to swipe them before they made it to the dinner table.

Somehow, in the small Cape Cod home we lived in, they still managed to hide them from the kids. There were times my parents would have company, then like magic, croquetas would appear on a silver platter. At these events, we were not allowed near the festivities. For two simple reasons. One, so that the adults could have real conversations instead of always having us about. But we were still allowed nearby as long as we kept silent. Once we began interfering, we would be sent off to bed. The second, of course, that we may swipe the appetizers that were prepared for the guests, mainly the croquetas.

As the years progressed, there would be times we would just buy them in Elizabeth, NJ at Mara Bakery, a Cuban bake shop. I recall those visits like it was yesterday. That is where we would get “pasteles de guayaba” (guava pastry) and drink a malta (a sweet malt beverage) while we waited for our order to be boxed up. Sometimes, my dad would want to go early, so we could hang out and eat Cuban sandwiches and desert and then go home with the order.

The smells of the food and listening to all the Cubans chattering away are some of my fondest memories of my childhood.

Now in my later years, I happen to be married to a beautiful woman who grew up in Cuba. I never realized how Cuban I was until now. Growing up here, in the USA, you can say I am as American as apple pie, but my soul is distinctly Cuban as I have found out and have embraced in these recent years. The humor, the camaraderie and the sadness of a paradise lost are what unite us all outside of the island, and it is what has us praying and helping those still living under the dictatorship in current times.

Getting back to the point, Croquetas! This is one thing that is important to me and should be at every Cuban restaurant. Sadly, many Cuban restaurants don’t even know how to make them, and buy them made offsite. I have compiled a list of 12 random Cuban eateries that serve croquetas on or near Bergenline Avenue in Hudson County that I have tasted. I ordered only ham croquetas, first because they are my favorite and second so that they can be compared on the same scale.

Below is my list with a rating system from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best. Sadly, I can not give any a 10.

  1. Las Chicas, Union City (9)
  2. Como en Tu Casa (9) (was Cuban now owned by Venezuelans, still caribeños)
  3. Las Americas, Union City (8.5)
  4. Rumba Cubana, Guttenberg (9)
  5. Las Palmas, West New York (8.5)
  6. Centro Latino, West New York (8)
  7. Gilberto’s, North Bergen (7.5)
  8. La Tinajita, West New York (7)
  9. Pio Pio, West New York (4) (possibly a recipe from the “Período especial”)
  10. Havana on the Hudson Cafe, West New York (1)**
  11. Cortaditos, Union City (1)**
  12. Artemisa Bakery (0)***

Please take note, I am only rating the Ham Croquetas. I am not rating the restaurant overall. For instance, toward the bottom of the list is Cortaditos, meanwhile I love the Café which is great, except for their croquetas which I pray someday soon they will discover another provider or recipe.

**by the way, the two starred I believe order the mix or croquetas from the same vendor as they have the same distinctly odd flavor, and it is not ham.

*** How Artemisa Bakery has the gall to sell that garbage they served me as croquetas is shocking. It was some kind of hollow breading, very odd.


On Doubt

Life is a difficult journey. Even more difficult than everyday life is the ability to maintain our faith. Over the years I have, lets’ say, been in and out of my faith. As a youngster, it was out of ignorance. As an adult, it was mostly due to complacency. Then as I grew older, it has been through temptation. It would be so easy to forget the faith and just roll along with what our society wants us to accept.

The times I have been tempted to forget our faith as if our Lord never existed are many. To turn my back on God is the biggest sin I can commit. Isn’t that what we do every time we fail to live the gospel? Every little sin is a step away from God.

By committing any sin knowing full well that it is against the wishes and demands of our faith, we are turning away from Jesus.  Jesus is still there for us, always waiting. All we need to do is ask forgiveness and turn back to him and the teachings of the church.

Wait, it isn’t that easy. Satan and his tempters are always close by to show you the easier, better path.  They are also there to point out to you how ridiculous and unbelievable our faith is. That the gospel we hear was contrived, and his followers were nothing more than propagandists.

The logical and austere mind easily succumbs to such diatribe. Even the most faithful are weakened at the knees by the argument. How can this be true? Is this all a farce to keep simple folk under control? It would make my life easier to cast it all off and do as I will.

These arguments are tempting and have some truth. But it is the truth turned inside out. Yes, life may appear to be easier if we cast it off, but it would be devoid of love and life. Yes, it is an unbelievable story, but it is true and holds the answers to our purpose and future. It is the Gospel that holds the key to the understanding of life here on earth and the one to come.

Even knowing and accepting this, I became like the wicked asking for a sign. But no sign shall be given. Why won’t any sign be given? Simply put, God does not serve us. He has given us his words and prophets that we may listen to them. Why should he give us more signs?

With that in mind, I began to ponder. Several times I was close to the precipice of despair. My soul felt thirsty and dry. I was drowning in the mire of confusion that the world offered. I finally focused on prayer and asked for the wisdom to see.

Then one day, as if an angel came to me and whispered in my ear, it came to me. It was with me all along. The Gospel stories and those of the apostles are so unbelievable! Their teachings, depth of meaning and love so intertwined that I cannot believe that any men even if they had a thousand years could have written this story.

The reason became suddenly obvious. The word, the teachings and the church are the sign we will be given. They are the contradiction against the society. It is obvious it was not built, written or designed by men. These things all point to the existence of God and the truth of His Son Jesus Christ and the mystery of the Holy Spirit.

Nothing Hollywood has or ever will come up with can rival the depth of the Gospel story. None is as incredible. But what convinced me was that it is certainly not the handiwork of mankind.

I do believe in one God, the Father Almighty, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Sure, it sounds crazy, but the simple fact that I know it makes me all the more certain.


Cuba – An Island of Slaves

An Island of Slaves

In these last few days, we have been witnessing a revolt of the people of Cuba against the much-heralded Cuban dictatorship. A dictatorship regime that from the start has been known for human rights atrocities and puppet courts to destroy any voice against their “so called” leadership.

The Cuban people over sixty years ago did not believe Castro would make them communists, but he did. The people that had no way to leave or thought that they could make change stayed behind. But from all the failed socialist and communist experiments on the island an escape from their economic disaster was only made by asking increased sacrifices from the ordinary people. Anyone who spoke against the regime was either imprisoned or silenced. By silenced, I mean murdered. The more public profiles who had celebrity were protected from death, but the unknowns would just disappear. The Castro regime survived through brute force, instilling in the people a constant fear that their lives and that of their family’s would be destroyed.

Photo by Matthias Oben on

As the years went on millions of native Cubans would leave and the diaspora would be spread out throughout the world. These people would not forget their homeland and would send much needed currencies, many from the USA, to sustain their families. Of these monies that came the Cuban government stole a good chunk of cash.

Most recently, they made it so all external remittances would be under the control of the government. They extolled a severe taxes some visible and some hidden. All the goods needed to survive for the public have of late been put out of their reach. Whatever they had been able to acquire before was now no longer available. Essentially they are starving to death and living in a constant state of malnutrition.

The people can no longer be fooled with the lies that the US embargo is their problem. Access to the internet has enabled them to know the truth. They came to realize that as the government officials lived in mansions of former millionaires while eating and drinking comfortably, that they were actually their slaves.

The time has finally come when the slaves have realized that they outnumber their oppressors. That no matter how much support the oppressors receive from their international accomplices from Europe, Latin America and China, they can throw off the chains of slavery. They will no longer accept the lies and propaganda of the ruling dictatorship. 

For a person not to be a slave they need to have representation. They want liberty to speak, to move and to assemble. They want the right to have leaders they have chosen. This is for us in the USA, a basic right given to us through the wisdom of the founding fathers that we take for granted.  

But for these people it is something they must risk death to overturn. The world is witnessing a real human tragedy before their eyes and still do not lift a finger to save these people from slavery. At least the slaves in the USA had the Underground Railroad and finally the Civil War that affected real change. This being over 100 years ago and yet we claim to be so enlightened here, but I do not see one of those civil rights leaders lifting a finger to support these oppressed peoples.

All those that stay silent are accomplices, though they act otherwise. It is time for all people of good will to unite to free these poor people from slavery to this cruel and evil dictatorship. 

People who want to see what slavery and suffering look like in this modern age only must turn to Cuba. But the propaganda of the cruel regime is parroted by the globalist media because it does not fit their world view. They hold up the dictatorship as a government to be praised. When the truth is they are leaders to be despised and are not much different from any evil governments that have stepped on the human rights of people in the past.

If Cuba were not an island, these people would have freed themselves years ago. Sadly, even now the media in the USA is under reporting the news and by doing so assisting the dictatorship as they have shut down the internet to hide this away from the outside world. It is sad that it will literally take much more blood (death and torture, sweat (hunger and a sacrifice)and tears (the loss of many loved ones) for them to be freed if the foreign powers that can, do not help them.

While I was writing this piece, I received news of the already occurring brutality of the police and military towards this mostly peaceful rebellion. They literally beat one young man on the streets kicking the teeth out of his head, removing his eyes and finally merciful death came upon him. Will the world just let this evil continue?


On Suffering and Love

Life never ceases to throw you a curveball now and then. My curveball, which almost struck me out was getting Covid-19 a month ago. Not only did I get it but so did my Fiancée. She started with symptoms first, and I began a few hours later. Before we knew what was happening to us what began as a cough, in a day turned into bronchitis and then a few days later finally double pneumonia.

Now I am healthy, and I would say 99.5% recovered. The lingering effects of the virus, fatigue and a general malaise seem to hit us on and off on occasion, but I would say we are not going to be one of the minority that are in it for the “the long haul”. I expect we will be completely healed in another week.

This experience came a month and a half before our wedding date. Since we have been together, we have had so many good times it is hard to count. We just live in a state of constant happiness. Thinking about the timing, I know we are happy it happened when it did.

Before the virus hit, I lived at my mother’s house. Then because of the virus and my mother’s poor health I began to stay with my fiancée to avoid exposing her when unnecessary. As of March 2020, I have been working out of the apartment and at the that time she was too. We lived and worked together non-stop for six months. I know that for many relationships this was difficult but for us, it was like a fast-forward of what our life was going to be together. It was, living 10 joyful years in one year’s time.

We have had some struggles. Not with our relationship, but with those issues that life typically throws at you. Managing legal and financial issues, dealing with family and health issues of other family members.  And of course, handling our own work schedules and making time for each other which is typically a difficult part in the active lifestyle of 50+ year old adults.

Then came Covid-19 which took us down to the mat. We were down for the count. Somehow, we each picked ourselves up when it was our turn to push ourselves to keep things moving and not give up. She was always there for me and caring for me though she was sick. When she needed something, I would get up to do what was needed. She took me to the hospital to get antibodies and then a day later I had to take her to the hospital because of her low oxygen count, and she spent two days there.

During our illness, friends sent us food and drink which was a real blessing that we will never forget. But in my amazement, we also did our chores. We did the laundry and kept the place clean. We wanted to defeat the virus and part of doing so is maintaining cleanliness. Hence, we did what had to be done, even though we probably could have just laid in bed moaning for days.

It was then that I realized that we were living love in action. Because love is something you do, not something that happens. We made every effort to take care of each other while doing work that was difficult for us in our condition. Not a sour note was sounded the entire time we were suffering.

I look back, and I thank God that I was with Aymee. I don’t know that I would have survived this with anyone else. Likewise, I truly believe that real love can conquer all things. One of the things I noticed is we never despaired and that I believe was because we have an abounding love for each other and faith in God that could not be disturbed.

The primary thread of thought here is that suffering is what often reveals love. To avoid suffering is not a solution for any case. Life is full of times of suffering, and we need to accept it and deal with it head on. If you do not, you will likely miss revealing and enlightening moments in your life that bring great joy on reflection.


Why Black Beans Matter!

It has been quite a long time since I have blogged. It seems I did not believe I had anything worth saying. But for the first time in a long time I do have something that needs being said.

Recently, the CEO of Goya foods was attacked by the intolerant socialist for praising the President of the United States of America for creating an environment where his company was able to flourish. This is a company created by immigrants serving the immigrant Latin American community and employing them. This company gave my father, a back then recent escapee of the intolerant communist dictatorship of Cuba and destroyers of free speech, his first decent job in the USA. It was that job that enabled him to get into the food industry and have success with Progresso foods. It was that ability given to him by the hand of the company of Goya Foods that enabled him to later on also become successful and found the money transmittal company RIA ENVIA which after being sold, many years later has become RIA Financial Services.

Black beans are a staple foods of many Latin Americans. They are the food shared by the Cubans when they fought for their independence. They are the food that united Blacks, Whites and Mulatos as they fought side by side to their death against the Spaniards in their war for independence. They are the food that sustained them through hardships and freedoms hard fought for and eventually won. They are the heart of the real and recognized ending of slavery and creation of an unprejudiced independent people that are called Cuban.

Even now across the gap from the USA to the island nation of Cuba there is a love that never ends. The Cubans that make it to this free country work hard and send money back to the Island nation to support family and friends. Meanwhile, the cruel criminal dictatorship, which robs the people of their freedoms and ability to earn a good living still exists. The system has been able to continue to keep the people under their oppressive feet by the help of external funding, though now some of that is beginning to falter.

The Cubans here, both born here and recently arriving still dream for the days we can be reunited with our fellow islanders in a free Cuba. Where we can go and enjoy a real Cuba Libre with breaded steak, black beans and rice. It is a dream I always had hoped I would be able to share with my father but sadly he passed before it could come true.

My Dad

Now, in this great free country of the United States of America there are those that want to continue to try the failed experiment know as socialism, or rightly known as communism. Well, I for one will not stand for it. I will fight if needed to protect this great nation from the evil that has persecuted generations of Cubans with poverty, imprisonment and death for speaking their minds.

In search for food

I have great respect for Robert Unanue for standing his ground. I have great respect for the company which brings pride to many Latin Americans such as myself. And I say again that Black Beans Matter because they are a real symbol of our unity as a people representing freedom and love.


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

The Question of Violence and its Causes

War – A Sad State of Affairs

It confounds me how academics can take a simple topic and make it almost imperceptible with questions and not enough answers. Yet, at the same time the study of certain topics and the propaganda that revolves around such areas of understanding, or lack thereof, are essential to clearing up the misconceptions and misunderstandings that lie behind much of the world’s conflicts.

I would like to address on the simple front, the most heinous of all is propaganda. It doesn’t matter from whose mouth the words come from that incite people to violence or a war state. But there is no doubt that without the manipulation of the perception of the people any human population would be against a defense or offensive posture of any kind that would put their families at risk for a cause. Hence, every action taken by any group of people against another group must originate from a threat perceived or realized.

This is where the war machine comes to life. First to get the engines warmed up, there needs to be a perceived threat. Second, after convincing the populus of the perceived threat, then the next step in the process is to devalue the opponent. This means, dehumanizing them in one way or another. Typically, this is done through a wave of name calling, so childish, I know but this is the way it goes. Take Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Putin called the Ukraine a country of Nazis who were committing genocide on the Russian population within the country. If you are Russian, you feel like you should be proud and engaged to liberate those being persecuted in the Ukraine. From the other side of the fence, we hear comments thrown about of the Russian leader Putin being a madman, murderous dictator and a thug.  Hence, we should all fall in line and support the defense of the Ukraine at all costs.

Now that dehumanizing of each side is accomplished, the continued massive violent initiative on both sides may continue. How exactly are both sides able to continue to fund these wars? It is done through the false transfer of value or money which is accomplished through the Central Banks that finance wars and the support of the industry which provides military grade weaponry at significant profit. With the profits humming along and the money constantly rolling in the value of human life continues to be discounted while there are people becoming wealthy on all sides by the death of our children.

It is apparent that some wars may have been legitimately entered into as an act of self-defense. However, the more common reason is that leaders with narcissist tendencies are in every level of most governments. They see people as cannon fodder and are only remotely concerned with bringing peace. As long as their own safety is not at risk, the end of the war will be nowhere in sight. Even if a war is entered into in self-defense the securing of peace with an end to violence should be the primary goal and not the subjugation of the foe.

The dehumanization is the essential part of the process to enable either party to feel no guilt at killing innocent people. This feeds the narcissist who has no empathy to begin with, and without the human order of things to set boundaries around them, where can this end?

Evil is committed by people for some personal gain of some sort.  Whether it be pride, greed or power. It is committed by persons with no care for their fellow human being and are ready to get what they want at their expense. It is not a case separate from society. Society itself is to blame for continually accepting and playing the game by the rules set forth by the person in power.

Additionally, once having accepted the perceived threat and the dehumanizing of the enemy we continue to support the posture of violence. We need to say no, we are not giving you money for that! No, we are not sending our children to die for that! No, we are not giving you the power to continue to hurt other people for an unknown gain or outcome.

However, what has happened is that we the people have relinquished our powers as individuals to a large government entity in the false belief that they will take care of us. This falsehood constantly perpetrated on the masses is what keeps us in this continued global turmoil. They have power over us and often will turn our own people against us if we descent from the political will of the time.

I don’t have the solution for the world’s problems. For the USA I believe in that more power should be given to the states which would return the voice to the people. In fact, I wish that the USA could be broken up into 50 independent states with a much looser cooperation with the Federal government. However, it is too late, and this won’t happen. The politicians in the USA much like Putin in Russia, put themselves first above the people, because we are all simply just numbers. As long as their propaganda machine is working, they can influence the tide of public opinion and get the support.

War in Syria

It is strange that our human conditions make it so easy for us to see war as something that is happening over there, and not internalize the horrors that are being committed against other human beings just like us, that bleed when they are cut and cry when they are hurt.  If only we can harness the compassion of the people worldwide to force an end to war. This should be our prayer.

The excerpt from the 1759 classic “Death: A Poetical Essay” by Beilby Porteous put it best. For a clearer understanding in our current age replace the word “Princes” with “Senators” and “Kings” with “Presidents”.

To sate the lust of power; more horrid still,

The foulest stain and scandal of our nature

Became its boast — One Murder made a Villain,

Millions a Hero. — Princes were privileg’d

To kill, and numbers sanctified the crime.

Ah! why will Kings forget that they are Men?

“Speak the truth in a million voices, it is silence that kills.”

“Speak the truth in a million voices, it is silence that kills.”

St. Catherine of Sienna

Sometimes, I imagine myself like a prisoner. A prisoner, in a world where truth is not allowed and any adherence to truth is punished. There was a British television show in the late 1960s called The Prisoner. This show is about an unnamed British intelligence agent who is abducted and imprisoned in a mysterious coastal village, where his captors designate him as Number Six and try to find out why he abruptly resigned from his job. They use psychological tactics to get at him and do not allow him to leave. They assign him a number to take away his God given gift of life and usurp them for the village. If you have never seen this show, it is still worth watching today.

Watch it!

My real concern is that now the village is all the known world under the control of the powers that run all the computing power. Microsoft Word forces you to change your classical English writing to be inclusive, as if the word mankind is exclusive. Google searches are all designed to show you only things they want you to believe, and the stuff you are actually searching for is nowhere to be found. To avoid their control, you need to switch to other apps like DuckDuckGo and the Brave browser. The newest technological advancement ChatGPT, the most advanced artificial intelligence on the web, meant to give easy access to vast expanses of knowledge has come under the control of social engineers and is propagating falsehoods as facts. They use the same tact as used during the Covid pandemic “The science is settled.” Or “The scientific consensus is X.”

True science is the discovery of truth through testing, and it can only test the natural order, which makes it limited. Now politicians and elitists use their power to make scientific claims which can be proven false by simple testing. But because “consensus” is all that is needed to declare something as scientifically accurate, the elitists simply manipulate large swaths of the scientific community through financing to support their claims. In the show The Prisoner TV Show, the character number two is quoted as saying a truth that so often is ignored; “The trouble with science is that it can be perverted.”

This recalls the classic book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. This novel clearly indicates that the detachment from family and life brings about evils. Because the reality of the human person is found in a healthy family. The perversion of reality and the attempt of humans to play god disfiguring healthy human beings brings evil and destruction into this world. Denial of reality for an acceptance of any lie is simply human beings attempting to place themselves above reality. This will and does every day bring about the ruin of thousands of peoples lives as the natural order of their lives is destroyed by propaganda and false truths for the sake of the vain, greedy and powerful.

While Google, Microsoft and Facebook may want me to believe that girls can be boys and vice-versa, I know this to be a lie. Through natural law and scientific fact, not myths, this is an easily discovered truth. I can imagine I can fly like a bird, or even wish I was a bird, if you attach wings to my back, I do not become a bird.

If only true factual science were applied in this world, there would be more joy. Joy comes for simplicity of life. But while super elitists like the group that recently met in DAVOS and believe that humans are mere cattle for them to control, have any power, then we will continue to see them play their games with the minds and bodies of the ignorant who lend themselves to these evils.

I say rise up all honest and simple folk and speak the truth. Do not hide or fear repercussions because what is life but a prison if you live in fear.

“If more people valued home, above gold, this world would be a merrier place…”
― Thorin Oakenshield (From The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien)

Without Truth There in No Life, With Lies Comes Violence and Destruction

In a society that does not seek truth above all else we will have corruption and destruction. With the seemingly endless senseless unprovoked murders of innocent victims in the United States the primary question should be, what is driving these people to such violence?

However, the media ignores this question and looks at each case as if they are independent. However, in the majority of cases, where the perpetrators are not Sociopaths, they are disturbed individuals who have been created by society.

The current mode, of those that have the most control over our children’s self-worth are in education, the balance outside the parents are in media whether passive or direct, meaning the range between TV entertainment and online platforms.

These modes of influencing our children are anarchistic and dark. Their world is hyper-sexualized with a twisted focus on worth through physical appearance and popularity. It is strange that health and safety are the lowest on their priority, with a focus on feelings as the driver for all a person’s needs.

Hence we have the recent death of a 37-year-old woman who was an advocate for respect of obesity, which of course is an unhealthy lifestyle. No one cared to correct her and denounce her propagation of such a lifestyle. Worse is the promotion of transgender operations on minors as a solution to their so-called “confusion” at an early age. Let’s face it, this is just a moneymaker for a greedy pharmaceutical industry, and they care not who they hurt. This is proven by the high risk of suicide for the individuals who suffer this fate. This is being promoted in our schools, and we still don’t understand how we are raising sick children?

The natural order is being ignored and preferred for the Frankenstein style solutions to life’s problems. If you are confused about one thing, take this pill, change your body medically or embrace your unhealthy lifestyle as good. Unhealthy lifestyle includes the hyper-sexualization promoted by our society.

Promiscuity embraces a lack of respect for the purpose of one’s nature for which the body serves and a degradation of one’s own worth by giving away yourself freely for instant gratification with no strings attached. The sexual revolution as it has been called is not a revolution but a perversion of the natural world. We are part of nature, not outside of nature. We are called to be who we are, not to change our stripes every time we “feel” different or think we don’t fit into some mold that our society claims is being “imposed” on us. It is a lie that boys and girls are the same and that only social constructs determine those differences. It is the natural order of things that fathers, and mothers pass down that natural order of things as has been done for thousands upon thousands of years. Additionally, studying the rest of the animal kingdom you understand that this is the way of the world.

For all the talk of  “Save the Planet”, these same people forget we are not outside the planet. We humans are part of the ecosystem. Please stop the resurgence of the sacrificial nature worship. One that has led to the willing sacrifice of our children to abortion for the selfish mores of an immature generation that cares not for its children, born or not yet born. This is what I call the underlying sickness of our society which has created children who are selfish and are not taught to love.

Additionally, another one of our society’s sickness is the objectification of human beings through pornography. Pornography, is just bad as heroine is for our society or even worse because it often destroys families and in numerous instances leads to violence upon women and children. This objectification, of course, will lead to oneself questioning their own self-worth. If you believe yourself to have no value, then you can’t believe anyone else has value.  Once one believes that humans are just objects, then they can do anything to them, including murder.

I am not totally against tattoos but the excessive use of what could be a nice decorative body art ascribes to the same self-loathing that is permeating our society today. This one of the many symptoms we can see clearly on our everyday walk of life. This points to illness.

In summary, the lack of love for ourselves and the humans around us is what is driving the perpetrators of these heinous crimes against society. Teaching our children to hate themselves and human beings in general are what is currently undermining the respect for the social norms that have for thousands of years helped our world grow and keep our future bright. If we do not teach our children to love human life above all things then we will continue to suffer the consequences.

There was no Room at the Inn

It has been some time since I have written anything. Actually, other than a poem I wrote to my wife a few weeks ago I have been dry. Possibly, it is because I feel that there are so many more people wiser and more learned than I to reach out and makes the right cases for honesty. However, I read many articles and so many lack the entire truth. Some of the media that attempts at truth live in fear of the big media that will try to censor them, so they do not play from a position of strength. They play too close to the chest as we would say. But truth needs to be proclaimed.

Hence, here I am once again trying to bring truth, which is the only path to true love and peace to words.

I grew up in the 1970s. In my youth there was a constant barrage of news proclaiming that the world was going to destroy itself. The biggest was overpopulation, which claimed that if we did not stop having children that when we hit 5 billion people, the world would suffer famine globally and all the world would go into chaos. This was expected to happen in the 1990s and of course we hit that number and surpassed it and nothing of the like happened. One of the founders of this alarm, A Thomas Malthus from the 1700s, has been over and over proven wrong. Yet, the wealthy elites keep propagating this myth. (George Soros and Bill Gates, to name a few.)

In the same period, I recall magazine covers with the coming weather disaster to destroy the planet. It was expected that the entire planet would freeze, and we would all die if we did not change our actions. Then, when that did not happen, the propaganda was to change to a newer weather phenomenon called global warming. However, the media will have you believe that this is new science that was uncovered in the twentieth century however these observations of a coming global weather disaster of some sort had been in existence since as far back as the early as the 1820s. Back then as we have now there are scientists who also believe that the cause of climate change can be the minutest change of the earth’s motion around the sun.  There is room for debate because none of the science is proven it remains theoretical.

The problem, with all these discussions is not whether there is climate change, of course there is and always will be. A problem is: The religion founded and fueled by the same globalist extremists that want to curb the growth of mankind on the planet. The religion of environmentalism over human flourishing is really a return to the worship of nature, the sun, or the moon as our gods. This brings about a desire to feed them with the blood of man, and so we have rampant support for the murder of infants in the womb. Child sacrifice on the altar of environmentalism has become a very successful combination that the globalists support. The facts are abundant.

The truth is real science is the discovery of truth through testing. However, as globalist and industrialist with money in the game do not want to have any challenging opinions, they want to silence all others from having their say and will deride and insult them. Take for instance the recent case of a scientist who has discovered that alumina may be harmful to humans. He is being silenced while for years he had been their poster boy. This is the modus operandi of totalitarian states throughout history. It is still being used today more effectively thanks to the control of the media by the globalist and their agenda.

This is sadly, the way the world looks to me. We have returned to the times of Rome in decline. We as human beings are slipping down the slope of Gomorrah. We are regressing instead of progressing. Have we eliminated poverty? Have we eliminated homelessness? Have we helped our brothers and sisters live healthy and productive lives? Have we loved our human family?

These are the real questions. The world has an abundance of resources to be able to feed all mankind, but power and greed are what get in the way. Governments are the vehicle of the powerful and greedy to control the wealth and keep the poor under control. It is only out of true love and self-sacrifice that humankind’s real problems can be solved. Not by social engineering as the globalist want us to believe.

Luckily, in the USA there remains hope under the protection of our laws. As stated in the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

As the Blessed Fulton Sheen once wrote, “The inn was the gathering place of public opinion, the focal point of the world’s moods, the rendezvous of the worldly, the rallying place of the popular and the successful.” Let us pray that there is room for the voice of all people, the outcasts, the poor and the forgotten. Let us hope, that at the end of time, that at this time and place the world opens its mind and heart to hear truth and make place for the love of Jesus Christ at the Inn. And that it does not come to be that once again, our society declares, there is no room in the inn.

What is Maturity? The USA, a Society of the Immature

It came to my mind yesterday, there is a turning point, typically quite pronounced when a person becomes an adult. What surprised me is when I realized that this point, which was quite pronounced and accepted in the past, is no longer the measure by which our society understands maturity.

This point is elementary, it is when we cease to have the attributes of a child. What are the typical attributes of a child? It is selfishness which often boils into anger and indignation at not being able to get what one wants. It is believing that your life is solely for yourself, and your pleasures must be satiated, and the rest of the world must revolve around meeting these needs or demands.

The ease of our modern comforts has added to childish behavior and extended the immaturity of our young. Persons growing up now seldom have the struggles to survive which bore maturity and compassion towards the people around us. Even worse, the immaturity goes as far as to blame others for their lack of success which often turns into aggression towards those that are in often misguided perceptions better off.

In living for ourselves, we do not partake in the natural order and hence no longer feel any accomplishment in our lives. This lack of true living stems from selfishness. Only in a true loving family atmosphere can one mature into a real adult.

The family is the perfect model of the best of human society and formation. This is because the family that is right ordered, lives not for the individual but for each other. The father and mother joined together in joy to sacrifice their solitary life and create another for which they will continue to sacrifice and work to develop into loving and compassionate human beings. The children of a rightly ordered society are exposed to this love and sacrifice and therefore incorporate these same attitudes into their lives and as they grow, they become mature, as their thoughts no longer dwell on their own fulfillment but towards that of sacrificing time and energy to help others into their own joy filled life.

Sacrifice and compassion for others is the antithesis of our modern society. We live in a country which is sick and declining. We live in a country that lives in the opposite mindset of the quote by President John F. Kennedy “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” Your country is or was your greater family at that time. I believe we have arrived at this point, as society has consistently removed support for the family by promoting all things contrary to a healthy lifestyle such as pornography, abortion, and contraception which attacks the natural order of life. All three of these have solely one objective, the satiation of our selfish desires to control our lives the way we want to. The new motto and mindset which is the logical outcome of these actions is simply this; the rest of the world be damned if I don’t get things done my way.

Now doesn’t that sound like a five-year-old child simply demanding the thing he believes will bring him pleasure and joy. Sadly, like the young child throwing a tantrum and, in the end, receiving the object of their desires, they quickly realize it does not satisfy and then go on seeking the next object to try to bring satisfaction. However, the children and immature adults unfortunately running our country are pandering to persons just like this that take no responsibility for their actions and want others to solve their problems and give them what they want.

A responsible person is the fruit of a life lived in sacrifice for others. It is strange to me that I must define this. You would think this is understood. Yet, in a selfish childish society, people think it means, “who is to blame if things don’t go my way?” This is what is thought of by those raised in this new narcissistic way of life known as modern society. Sad but true, people who live this life never find true happiness or peace.

In the final analysis, our society is way off of course and will have a crash landing. Yet, people can begin to change the current culture just by themselves living a life of love and self-sacrifice for others. By living with a sacrificial love in our hearts and minds we receive the gift of the natural order of our existence, which is peace and joy. This, my friends, is when we know we have reached the age of maturity.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways.
1 Corinthians 13:11

The True Sickness of our Society

The USA has been seeing a rash of violence. Mostly young men acting out in irrational hatred and killing many men and women, with some attacks directed at children. This past weekend’s fourth of July shooting in Illinois a all too typical example of the kind of cruel, senseless and misdirected anger which becomes a loss of innocent human life.

The sad issue here is that the media and politicians make an issue of the weapons used as if weapons can shoot people by themselves. Interestingly, over the last twenty years there have been tremendous growth of regulations around the ownership of weapons, yet the incidents continue to increase.

It is quite obvious that the problems are not the weapons used. It is our society. What has changed over the past 50 years that these incidents are becoming more frequent and in shorter intervals?

Technology is very much to blame for this, though indirectly. The most sinister things that have increased violence in our society is in my estimation two-fold. The first is the ever more increasing detachment of young people from society due to the seclusion afforded by computers where instead of physical interaction they interact with people through online media. These interactions also being cold and disconnected from reality. The second is the increased relativism brought about by this increased detachment from reality.

Under technology, we would have to point to the internet. Pornography, an industry that survives under the guise of it being freedom of expression, is pure destruction. This demonstrably abusive industry makes its living in objectifying human beings. By making humans, objects to be used for one’s selfish physical pleasure it causes major disconnects in the minds of those being subjected to it. The young mind, if not properly guided by a responsible adult and supported by a society which raises the value of human life above all else, will eventually turn to outside evil influences. In this case, I say pornography whether in sexual nature or in violent nature in all its forms must be discarded. This is a significant cause of detachment from reality and society.

Another influence is the constant negativity and lack of rational discourse in the public forum. The media plays a major part in promoting the destruction of societal norms in favor of anarchy. It is my belief that in the USA, the attacks on Christianity and Law enforcement clearly makes way the path for violence through relativism. These attacks have been steadily growing under the careful indoctrination of our society through communist propaganda since the 1930s. The failure of communism to overthrow order in the USA in the twentieth century was due to the success of the economy and the country’s strong religious faith. Unfortunately, our current society is now being led like lambs to the slaughter with the help of major media which believes the government should run our lives and not the family. Through government handouts, the dilution of the vote of citizens by illegal immigration and the promise of easy street if we adopt the new world order and throw away the relics of the past.

The truth of the matter, it is these false doctrines are promoting violence and inhuman interaction. They are objectifying all human beings as mere objects as an end to a means of false salvation here on earth. These false doctrines continue to minimize the value of the individual and hence we have the backlash of lost persons against a society which has become atheistic and indifferent to the value of human life in any stages.

My thesis therefore is that what our society clearly lacks is Love. Without a real love for all human life and concern of the individual we will continue to see an increase in violence toward strangers. Whether that violence is done using a rifle, bomb, airplane or automobile does not matter. What matters is that we move away from relativism and take hold of truth. That we reject anything that objectifies and demeans human life, male or female, black, white or any other color, in any way must be the principal in changing this society from one that is increasingly more self-destructive to one that its focus is the care and love of one another. If we can accomplish this, then we will see a decrease in disaffected persons acting out a society which tells them currently that they have no value or purpose.

Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31-32

*A Little Change of Heart

It was about one year ago I made a difficult change in my life. It didn’t affect many people. It was simply that I had decided to befriend and get to know a homeless person. I felt like St. Francis, I had an aversion to the destitute of society and I needed to break that association and come to know them as children of God.

It so happened that there was a colored woman who every morning would sit in front of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral gift shop on 51st street (right over a grate where heat would come up). I remember before the first day I approached her I used to look down at her. I remember there was always crumbled food next to her and I thought it was disgusting. I always averted contact with people like her believing that many are drug addicts, alcoholic etc. and that I should not give them money because I may be supporting their habit. So though I knew in my mind they actually have the same gift of life from God that I have, I treated them like lesser people.

Then I made the effort. It started at first I would just give her a few dollars a day, which made me feel better. However I truly did not change until she asked me my name. Her name was Ann. She had a beautiful smile when you spoke to her. The crumbs she placed on the ground where there to feed the birds. She was an avid reader and enjoyed science fiction. She smoked cigarettes, but only two or three a day. Every day I saw her brought me great joy. She would ask me about my family, my children, my weekend, and my business trips. I would ask her about her health and if she needed anything. She always said she was fine.

Then one week she was not in her spot for a few days. I was concerned and hoped she would come back soon. On Thursday morning she was back. She told me she has a heart condition and had been in the hospital. I told her I would pray for her recovery and I asked her to quit smoking. That was a few months ago.

Recently, I went to mass with a coworker who I had gotten a Mass said for his departed grandmother. I saw my friend enjoy the mass and feel close to his grandmother a year after her death. We came out of the cathedral and went across the street; I was sharing with him my morning routine and so I introduced him to Ann. Ann said to me, “You’re really happy this morning.”  I said I was because my friend Gerry was with me. Gerry said hello and I gave her some money and we said goodbye. It was a special morning.

The week before Ann told me one of her favorite book collections is “The Lord of the Rings”. I was planning on bringing her the full collection in paperback as a gift. Then sadly the day after I spoke to her with Gerry she was not at her normal spot. It has now been almost three weeks since I have seen her. I looked for her at lunch time in different buildings with public parks where she told me she is often found. I did not find her. I have been praying for her everyday hoping that she is well and that I may see her gain.

Sadly I fear that she may not be coming back. I know she would have good and bad days with her heart condition and she often talked it down. Now I am thinking that I may not have done enough to help her. I should have tried harder. I know that I did not give to her as much as she gave to me. She opened my eyes and my heart to the love of God. Her concern for me, a person in a much better state in life, made a significant impression on me. She truly cared for me as a true friend. She had love, the kind of love that we should share and have for all people. She had a truly Christian heart and I will strive to be like her.

I still hold hope that she may come back. But if the good Lord took her I am certain that she is in the bosom of his love. I will continue praying for her everyday not knowing for sure what has happened to her. And if she is in Heaven I know that she prays for me to our Lord.

With love in my heart I say God bless you Ann wherever you may be.

*Written in 2006

What is Love?

(written in 2006)

I recently went on a one-day retreat run by the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. The title for this event, which they usually run twice a year, is called “Catholic Men’s Day of Prayer”. This specific retreat had as its focus Fatherhood.

Fatherhood is a large topic but one of the topics we touched upon was the relationship with our spouses. It was during these conversations that many discussions were shared that opened my eyes to a widely known fact that is in most part ignored in our current society.

We currently live in a society that worships to an extreme individualism and materialism. It seems to be the focus of everyone to be independent, to have their own things etc. However, in a loving community this kind of attitude is actually hurtful and dangerous. It leads to anger, envy and greed. This selfish focus is not how we were created. Man is a social creature, and we need each other to survive and to create a healthy and happy environment for all.

When discussing these issues it became apparent, as usual, that our catholic faith stands in stark contrast to what is promoted by our society. In the early church Christians gave up all their material possessions to join the community. This, of course, is not required of us now but that is because we have a different world economy altogether. But what is required of us is that we love our neighbors as ourselves.

It sounds so nice: love your neighbor as yourself. However it is difficult as we will know. However what makes it even more difficult is our understanding of the word Love. The dictionary has it as follows: 1 a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties <maternal love for a child> (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests <love for his old schoolmates> b : an assurance of love <give her my love> This is the primary view of the understanding and use of the word in our society.

The problem lies in that our Lord asks us to do another kind of love. This love is an action word. It is something we do and not something we feel. It is a command as Christians that we are under strict orders to comply. We must love all as our neighbors. Not the soft weak mushy stuff that we are constantly sold but the tough hard love. The kind of love that tells a child no, cares for a sick person and bites its tongue not to say something hurtful. This world would be a much better place if all persons understood this.

One priest told a story that he was speaking to a man who said to him “Father, I don’t love my wife anymore” He looked at this man and said to him “Well, love your wife.” The man looked at him and was confused. He didn’t understand and simply put it is because he thought it was a feeling and not an act. There is one big prerequisite to be able to do this. We must die to ourselves. We must kill that selfish part of us and do what we are asked to do all the days of our lives. Look up to the greatest act of love ever done in the history of the world, our Lord giving his life for us on the cross. Then take up our cross.

If we can achieve this our lives will come together and bring us great joy. We will be able to put our wives and families first and our marriages will be happy and lifelong. We will put others always before ourselves and then the rewards will be great here, and they will be even greater in heaven.