Sunday, September 13, 2015

That finishes the "Encyclical Letter Laudato Si' of the Holy Father Francis on Care for Our Common Home" except for the prayers which I discussed with the first entry.

Pope Francis having an incredible grasp for the dynamics of the climate crisis has brought his authority to the forefront of stemming the damage to Earth. He wants the planet safe for his flock. He is willing to accept all populous of Earth as God's children and stressing the importance of the right of live to exist. Just exist. He is not transforming every population into some kind of emerald city, he just wants people to exist to make their way through a longevity provided by their Creator.

In his message he not only defends the troposphere of Earth, but, every living thing as a pathway to understand God's mind. He doesn't make light of the faith that is required to understand God and find his favor. There is every reason to find a profound friend in him.

As anyone who visits this blog knows, recently I have been concerned for members of a variety of pagan faiths. Their was a real tragedy within a Wiccan coven in Florida that drove a faith practitioner, according to Florida, to use three members of one family as human sacrifice. I read this article on the NPR website and began to realize there are all kinds of activity that pagans could embrace as a religious sign of some kind. They need to stop and realize how valuable their lives are right here.

Pope Francis is concerned for all people and would never ignore the misguided sacrifice. 

September 7, 2015
By Bill Chappell

...Gaffney (click here) adds that the discovery "has significant implications for our understanding of Stonehenge and its landscape setting."

The survey that found the slightly curved row of large rocks hidden beneath the banks of Durrington Walls used ground penetrating radar and other technologies to find evidence of an earlier phase of building at the site.

Researchers believe the newly discovered stones were pushed over and covered by a large bank as part of the super-henge – an incident that might have helped preserve some of the stones.

"In the east up to 30 stones, measuring up to size of 4.5 m x 1.5 x 1 m, have survived below the bank whereas elsewhere the stones are fragmentary or represented by massive foundation pits," says Professor Neubauer, director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology.

The new find is the most shocking of several revelations made by Gaffney and his colleagues in the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project. In 2010, they uncovered a "shadow Stonehenge" less than 3,000 feet from the famous monument. And last year, Gaffney described finding 17 ritual monuments in the same area....

Pope Francis is a determined man.

September 2, 2015

VATICAN CITY (AP) " Pope Francis (click here) is pushing ahead with his protect-the-environment priorities, presiding over a prayer service in St. Peter's Basilica Tuesday for the "care of Creation."

Francis listened to a homily by the papal preacher stressing how people must account for how they care for creation.

The pope took a cue from Orthodox Christians, who also mark Sept. 1 each year by stressing concern for the environment.

Francis prayed that those wielding power or wealth "take care of this world that we inhabit."

Earlier this year, the pope used an encyclical, a formal document of important church teaching, to lay out what he sees as an urgent need to safeguard the world's environment. He sees environmental concerns as a vital issue in which Christians and all people can cooperate.

God's promise.


243. At the end, we will find ourselves face to face with the infinite beauty of God (cf. 1 Cor 13:12), and be able to read with admiration and happiness the mystery of the universe, which with us will share in unending plenitude. Even now we are journeying towards the sabbath of eternity, the new Jerusalem, towards our common home in heaven. Jesus says: “I make all things new” (Rev 21:5). Eternal life will be a shared experience of awe, in which each creature, resplendently transfigured, will take its rightful place and have something to give those poor men and women who will have been liberated once and for all.

244. In the meantime, we come together to take charge of this home which has been entrusted to us, knowing that all the good which exists here will be taken up into the heavenly feast. In union with all creatures, we journey through this land seeking God, for “if the world has a beginning and if it has been created, we must enquire who gave it this beginning, and who was its Creator”.[172] Let us sing as we go. May our struggles and our concern for this planet never take away the joy of our hope.

245. God, who calls us to generous commitment and to give him our all, offers us the light and the strength needed to continue on our way. In the heart of this world, the Lord of life, who loves us so much, is always present. He does not abandon us, he does not leave us alone, for he has united himself definitively to our earth, and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward. Praise be to him!
September 13, 2015

The Valley fire tore through a half dozen homes in the residential community of Hidden Valley Lakes, near Middletown, Calif.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

 A long day of smoke, (click here) fire and ashes drew to a close Sunday in Lake and Napa counties, with exhausted firefighters struggling to make headway against a blaze that has consumed hundreds of homes and other structures.

As the sun set, the blaze, called the Valley fire, was not yet contained in any area, although officials were hopeful of making headway Monday and avoiding a repeat of the massive destruction of the weekend. At the very least, they said, the fire has slowed its spread.

Officials also said Sunday that their rough estimate, of hundreds of lost structures, could easily climb higher. It may be two more days before evacuees can safety return to their homes, or what is left of them....


East of the Rockies, abnormally warm weather prevailed again, and rainfall was sparse outside of the Great Lakes Region, The Midwest, Florida, and the South Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Dryness and drought eased in some of the limited regions receiving moderate to locally heavy rain, but persistence or intensification was much more common.
Significant changes were made in areas where the warm, dry pattern has persisted for multiple weeks. D0 was broadly expanded in a broken pattern across the mid-Atlantic, The Northeast, and The Ohio Valley while widespread intensification occurred in most areas of dryness and drought from eastern Texas to western Mississippi.

Mary has her own standing in the Catholic faith. She embraces all that is of God.


241. Mary, the Mother who cared for Jesus, now cares with maternal affection and pain for this wounded world. Just as her pierced heart mourned the death of Jesus, so now she grieves for the sufferings of the crucified poor and for the creatures of this world laid waste by human power. Completely transfigured, she now lives with Jesus, and all creatures sing of her fairness. She is the Woman, “clothed in the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev 12:1). Carried up into heaven, she is the Mother and Queen of all creation. In her glorified body, together with the Risen Christ, part of creation has reached the fullness of its beauty. She treasures the entire life of Jesus in her heart (cf. Lk 2:19,51), and now understands the meaning of all things. Hence, we can ask her to enable us to look at this world with eyes of wisdom.

The symbolism of Jesus as the Lamb of God. He is also worshiped in some prayers as the Lamb of God. Mary is a transforming figure. She is a virgin mother of God's Son. She is worshiped by many as nearly separate in her status. She is considered a vital part of Catholic worship. Not all Christians accept her as uniquely as a figure to worship. Catholics view her as vital and one that hears prayers.

I could get into the image of star, moons and sun; but, that is noted in many religions. The symbolism is common. 

242. At her side in the Holy Family of Nazareth, stands the figure of Saint Joseph. Through his work and generous presence, he cared for and defended Mary and Jesus, delivering them from the violence of the unjust by bringing them to Egypt. The Gospel presents Joseph as a just man, hard-working and strong. But he also shows great tenderness, which is not a mark of the weak but of those who are genuinely strong, fully aware of reality and ready to love and serve in humility. That is why he was proclaimed custodian of the universal Church. He too can teach us how to show care; he can inspire us to work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us.

Japan has been devastated. The creators of the Kyoto Protocol. The USA never radified it.

A truck and a house are damaged after floods hit Joso, Ibaraki prefecture, northeast of Tokyo, Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. The sun came out a day after a raging river washed away houses and forced people to rooftops as dozens of residents were airlifted out by military helicopters Friday morning after waiting overnight in the city. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

September 13, 2015
By Eric Leister 

...Some of the hardest-hit parts of Japan (click here) include Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures, located northeast of Tokyo. Nasushiobara in Tochigi Prefecture reported more than 550 mm (22 inches) of rain in only 24 hours from Wednesday into Thursday....

The Holy Trinity - God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit (symbolized by a dove)


238. The Father (God the Father) is the ultimate source of everything, the loving and self-communicating foundation of all that exists. The Son (Jesus Christ), his reflection, through whom all things were created, united himself to this earth when he was formed in the womb of Mary. The Spirit, infinite bond of love, is intimately present at the very heart of the universe, inspiring and bringing new pathways. The world was created by the three Persons acting as a single divine principle, but each one of them performed this common work in accordance with his own personal property. Consequently, “when we contemplate with wonder the universe in all its grandeur and beauty, we must praise the whole Trinity”.[169] 

The paragraph below is application of Pope Francis' definition and emphasis of the mystery of the Holy Trinity.

Recalling that Jesus revealed the mystery of the Trinity (click here) and commanded the Church to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Pope Francis said during his Trinity Sunday Angelus address that “the Trinity is the communion of Divine Persons who are with one another, for one another, in one another.”
Trinity Sunday “renews in us the mission of living in communion with God and to live in communion among ourselves on the model of that communion of God,” the Pope said to the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square....

Pope Francis is bringing to those that worship concrete objects and understanding of why the belief in God through Catholicism is about the larger self as well as the spiritual soul. The soul is a destination for spirituality that connects the faithful.

239. For Christians, believing in one God who is trinitarian communion suggests that the Trinity has left its mark on all creation. Saint Bonaventure went so far as to say that human beings, before sin, were able to see how each creature “testifies that God is three”. The reflection of the Trinity was there to be recognized in nature “when that book was open to man and our eyes had not yet become darkened”.[170] The Franciscan saint teaches us that each creature bears in itself a specifically Trinitarian structure, so real that it could be readily contemplated if only the human gaze were not so partial, dark and fragile. In this way, he points out to us the challenge of trying to read reality in a Trinitarian key. 

240. The divine Persons are subsistent relations, and the world, created according to the divine model, is a web of relationships. Creatures tend towards God, and in turn it is proper to every living being to tend towards other things, so that throughout the universe we can find any number of constant and secretly interwoven relationships.[171] This leads us not only to marvel at the manifold connections existing among creatures, but also to discover a key to our own fulfilment. The human person grows more, matures more and is sanctified more to the extent that he or she enters into relationships, going out from themselves to live in communion with God, with others and with all creatures. In this way, they make their own that trinitarian dynamism which God imprinted in them when they were created. Everything is interconnected, and this invites us to develop a spirituality of that global solidarity which flows from the mystery of the Trinity.

The slower a storm moves, the more rain fall that accumulates on the land.

GPM measured rain falling in Etau at a rate of up to 88.0 mm (3.5 inches) per hour in some areas. The same powerful storms reached heights of almost 16 km (9.9 miles).
Credits: SSAI/NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce
This was not a Super Typhoon, it wasn't even a Typhoon, it was a Tropical Storm and caused more damage than most fast moving storms would cause.

...ON September 7 at 1416 UTC (10:16 a.m. EDT), (click here) Tropical Storm Etau was drenching Japan with intense rainfall as it moved northward over the main island of Honshu. Rainfall amounts of over 300 mm (almost 12 inches) have been reported. GPM made measurements of rainfall and storm top heights in Etau when the satellite passed over the center of the tropical storm. GPM's Microwave Imager (GMI) and Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) measured rain falling at a rate of up to 88.0 mm (3.5 inches) per hour in some areas. The same powerful storms that were dropping heavy rainfall were also shown by GPM radar (Ku Band) to reach heights of almost 16 km (9.9 miles).

On Sept. 8 at 16:41 UTC (12:41 p.m. EDT), the AIRS or Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite provided an infrared look at Etau land falling in east central Japan. The strongest storms with coldest cloud tops were over the Kansai and Hokkaido regions at the time Aqua flew overhead. AIRS measured cloud top temperatures near -63 Fahrenheit/-53 Celsius. NASA research indicates that storms with cloud top temperatures that cold, high in the troposphere, have the ability to generate heavy rainfall, as GPM indicated the previous day.  

The final warning for Tropical Storm Etau was issued on September 9, 2015 at 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT). By that time, the storm had moved over Japan and emerged into the Sea of Japan, where it was becoming extra-tropical....
236. It is in the Eucharist that all that has been created finds its greatest exaltation. Grace, which tends to manifest itself tangibly, found unsurpassable expression when God himself became man and gave himself as food for his creatures. The Lord, in the culmination of the mystery of the Incarnation, chose to reach our intimate depths through a fragment of matter. He comes not from above, but from within, he comes that we might find him in this world of ours. In the Eucharist, fullness is already achieved; it is the living centre of the universe, the overflowing core of love and of inexhaustible life. Joined to the incarnate Son, present in the Eucharist, the whole cosmos gives thanks to God. Indeed the Eucharist is itself an act of cosmic love: “Yes, cosmic! Because even when it is celebrated on the humble altar of a country church, the Eucharist is always in some way celebrated on the altar of the world”.[166] The Eucharist joins heaven and earth; it embraces and penetrates all creation. The world which came forth from God’s hands returns to him in blessed and undivided adoration: in the bread of the Eucharist, “creation is projected towards divinization, towards the holy wedding feast, towards unification with the Creator himself”.[167] Thus, the Eucharist is also a source of light and motivation for our concerns for the environment, directing us to be stewards of all creation.

Pope Francis points to the Eucharist as the one place a global church can look to bring them together. It is the one act of where all people come to find God and bring solemn prayer to the issues before them, namely their soul and how god values it. 

237. On Sunday, our participation in the Eucharist has special importance. Sunday, like the Jewish Sabbath, is meant to be a day which heals our relationships with God, with ourselves, with others and with the world. Sunday is the day of the Resurrection, the “first day” of the new creation, whose first fruits are the Lord’s risen humanity, the pledge of the final transfiguration of all created reality. It also proclaims “man’s eternal rest in God”.[168] In this way, Christian spirituality incorporates the value of relaxation and festivity. We tend to demean contemplative rest as something unproductive and unnecessary, but this is to do away with the very thing which is most important about work: its meaning. We are called to include in our work a dimension of receptivity and gratuity, which is quite different from mere inactivity. Rather, it is another way of working, which forms part of our very essence. It protects human action from becoming empty activism; it also prevents that unfettered greed and sense of isolation which make us seek personal gain to the detriment of all else. The law of weekly rest forbade work on the seventh day, “so that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your maidservant, and the stranger, may be refreshed” (Ex 23:12). Rest opens our eyes to the larger picture and gives us renewed sensitivity to the rights of others. And so the day of rest, centred on the Eucharist, sheds it light on the whole week, and motivates us to greater concern for nature and the poor.

Pope Francis is a scholar. He is also cognizant of his gift from God. He takes nothing for granted and as been obvious from the first day of election to Pope. His words emulate perfection of the soul and he values the Eucharist as a solid object that links the faithful to God and in this case, the natural world.

I get annoyed when the climate crisis is thought of as 'will be' or 'expected to.' It is already here.

23 September 2013
By Fiona Harvey 

Children will bear the brunt of the impact of climate change (click here) because of their increased risk of health problems, malnutrition and migration, according to a new study published on Monday. And food prices are likely to soar as a result of warming, undoing the progress made in combating world hunger.

The findings are published as scientists began meeting in Stockholm to produce the most comprehensive assessment yet of our knowledge of climate change. Over the next five days, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, bringing together the world's leading experts, will thrash out the final details of a message to the world's governments.

They are expected to warn that climate change is almost certainly caused by human actions, and that it will lead to a global temperature rise likely to top 2C, with related effects including the shrinking of the Arctic ice cap and glaciers, a rise in sea level by nearly 1 metre by the end of this century and more extreme rainfall in parts of the globe.

Unicef argues that, although children are more vulnerable to the effects of global warming, they have been largely left out of the debate. "We are hurtling towards a future where the gains being made for the world's children are threatened and their health, wellbeing, livelihoods and survival are compromised … despite being the least responsible for the causes," said David Bull, Unicef's UK executive director. "We need to listen to them."...

The worst is not here yet, but, the climate crisis is definitely upon us. 

It is incredible injustice to realize the people calling out for awareness and action against the climate crisis are now getting hit with the expectations of their cries.

About 700 people left stranded overnight (click here) after Kinugawa river burst its banks, and a second town further north braces for major flooding on Friday morning

11 September 2015
By Justin McCurry


...Heavy rain caused by Typhoon Etau earlier this week caused flooding and landslides throughout Japan, forcing the evacuation of more than 100,000 people and causing widespread disruption to rail services. Three people have been confirmed dead, but the death toll could rise once water levels drop and rescue workers are able to properly gauge damage in the worst-affected areas.

Fears that rising water levels could threaten the city of Sendai prompted authorities there to advise - though not order - more than 400,000 residents to leave.

Etau has moved out into the Sea of Japan but continued to generate record levels of rainfall in several parts of the country....

233. The universe unfolds in God, who fills it completely. Hence, there is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face.[159] The ideal is not only to pass from the exterior to the interior to discover the action of God in the soul, but also to discover God in all things. Saint Bonaventure teaches us that “contemplation deepens the more we feel the working of God’s grace within our hearts, and the better we learn to encounter God in creatures outside ourselves”.[160]

If I can take license with the reference of "mystical." Pope Francis is correct in that the Catholic faith defines "The Mysteries" in the Rosary. The Rosary are the prayers said within the organization of the Rosary Beads. Every Catholic at one time or another has been given Rosary Beads to guide prayer. I believe it was Pope John Paul II who recognized the DEVOTION within the Rosary and declared the "Year of the Rosary" (click here). 
The Joyful Mystery, The Sorrowful Mystery, The Glorious Mystery and the Luminous Mystery. 

So when Pope Francis mentions the word mystical there is nothing odd about the understanding of mystery within the religion. These Mysteries are celebrated in prayer within the congregation during the weeks of Lent [fasting, prayer, abstinence and almsgiving (charity)] leading up and preparing for Easter and the rebirth.

The Rosary is set in "Mysteries." (click here)

234. Saint John of the Cross taught that all the goodness present in the realities and experiences of this world “is present in God eminently and infinitely, or more properly, in each of these sublime realities is God”.[161] This is not because the finite things of this world are really divine, but because the mystic experiences the intimate connection between God and all beings, and thus feels that “all things are God”.[162] Standing awestruck before a mountain, he or she cannot separate this experience from God, and perceives that the interior awe being lived has to be entrusted to the Lord: “Mountains have heights and they are plentiful, vast, beautiful, graceful, bright and fragrant. These mountains are what my Beloved is to me. Lonely valleys are quiet, pleasant, cool, shady and flowing with fresh water; in the variety of their groves and in the sweet song of the birds, they afford abundant recreation and delight to the senses, and in their solitude and silence, they refresh us and give rest. These valleys are what my Beloved is to me”.[163]

Take one minute to realize how attached Pope Francis is to the natural world. He sees God's creation and he is grateful for it. As he ministers to 20 percent of the global population he wants their misery relieved due to the exploitation of Earth's natural resources. We know there is suffering and death due to the climate crisis. That suffering and death is happening now, not 100 years from now. It is the reason Pope Francis calls upon Catholics to change the course of Earth's atmospheric imbalance. 

235. The Sacraments are a privileged way in which nature is taken up by God to become a means of mediating supernatural life. Through our worship of God, we are invited to embrace the world on a different plane. Water, oil, fire and colours are taken up in all their symbolic power and incorporated in our act of praise. The hand that blesses is an instrument of God’s love and a reflection of the closeness of Jesus Christ, who came to accompany us on the journey of life. Water poured over the body of a child in Baptism is a sign of new life. Encountering God does not mean fleeing from this world or turning our back on nature. This is especially clear in the spirituality of the Christian East. “Beauty, which in the East is one of the best loved names expressing the divine harmony and the model of humanity transfigured, appears everywhere: in the shape of a church, in the sounds, in the colours, in the lights, in the scents”.[164] For Christians, all the creatures of the material universe find their true meaning in the incarnate Word, for the Son of God has incorporated in his person part of the material world, planting in it a seed of definitive transformation. “Christianity does not reject matter. Rather, bodiliness is considered in all its value in the liturgical act, whereby the human body is disclosed in its inner nature as a temple of the Holy Spirit and is united with the Lord Jesus, who himself took a body for the world’s salvation”.[165]
It's Sunday Night
Ramdesh Kaur, MA, (click here) is an IKYTA Certified Kundalini Yoga teacher trained by Gurmukh. She writes extensively on yoga, spirituality and mantra. She hosts the show "Spirit Voyage Radio with Ramdesh" on Unity FM, one of the Top 100 Itunes Podcasts, and leads Spirit Voyage's 40 Day Global Sadhanas, which bring together 20,000 meditators from 65 countries. Before working with Spirit Voyage, she was the residential Kundalini yoga teacher at Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh, India in the Himalyan foothills, and has a Master's Degree from the Courtauld Institute in London. She is the author of "Yoga and Mantras for a Whole Heart" with Karan Khalsa and has three best selling guided meditation CDs "Journey into Stillness", "Relaxation Meditations", and "Stress Relief Meditations" (with crystal singing bowl master Ashana) all available on Spirit Voyage, ITunes and Amazon. She teaches at festivals internationally and leads powerful personal creativity retreats in Mexico with her partner Harnam Singh, an accomplished mantra musician.

Earth Prayer by Snatam Kaur (Click here for offical website)

“Pavan Guru Pani Pita Mata Dharat Mahat

(English Translation: Air is the Guru, Water is the Father, the Great Earth is our Mother)”

To often Americans are disconnected from nature. There are cultures that know little else and claim a spirituality with it. Snatam Kaur is one of those priestesses of spirituality.

Inmates are dying on a regular basis at a private prison with a contract to Oklahoma.

Oklahoma's privately owned and operated prisons is turning prison time into a death sentence without appeal.

September 13, 2015
CUSHING — Three inmates died, (click here) with five more hospitalized after a “disturbance” at Cimarron Correctional Facility in Cushing on Saturday....
...A DOC spokeswoman declined to comment on the incident because it is under investigation.
...The Cimarron Correctional Facility is a 1,720-bed prison owned and operated by CCA housing medium- and maximum-security male inmates for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.
In June, Cimarron went under lockdown after inmates from three housing units got into a fight that sent 11 of them to the hospital.
There was a unit-wide fight there in March 2013, which involved inmates smashing windows, breaching security doors and being pepper-sprayed after making weapons from destroyed property.
Another incident at the prison in May 2013 involved 10 offenders and began when one of them hit an inmate who was eating lunch in the dining hall. Officers used more than a pound of pepper spray against the inmates after they refused orders to stop fighting.

The murder got life in prison while blamed Richard Cossip for talking him into the crime. Glossip was given the death penalty.

Glossip was nowhere near the murder scene. He was scapegoated for a lesser sentence for the confessed and actual murderer. This is all backwards and Oklahoma hasn't yet corrected the trajectory.

September 11, 2015

Dear Governor Mary Fallin: (click here)
We urge you to stay the execution of Richard Glossip so that deep concerns about his guilt can be addressed.

On September 16, unless you act, the State of Oklahoma will put Mr. Glossip to death for the murder of Barry Van Treese. Justin Sneed--who by his own admission beat Van Tresse to death with a baseball bat--will not meet that fate....

...The National Registry of Exonerations lists 115 defendants who were sentenced to death and later exonerated and released after new evidence of innocence was discovered. Of those 115 innocent defendants who had been sentenced to death, 29, a quarter of the total, were convicted after another person who was himself a suspect in the murder gave a confession that also implicated the innocent defendant....

...Oklahoma has come close to executing innocent defendants. Ron Williamson's story is well known from John Grisham's book, The Innocent Man. He came within five days of execution. Fortunately, a federal judge ordered a new trial. Four years later Williamson was exonerated by DNA tests--which also identified the real killer, who was later convicted of the murder....

...Unfortunately, Governor, in this case you are the last state official with the power to prevent a deadly mistake.


Sen. Tom Coburn, U.S. Senator for Oklahoma (2005-2015) and U.S. Representative for Oklahoma's Second Congressional District from (1995-2001) Barry Switzer, Head Football Coach, The University of Oklahoma (1973-1988) John W. Raley, Jr., U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Oklahoma (1990-1997) Barry Scheck, Co-Director of the Innocence Project Samuel Gross, Professor of Law, University of Michigan and Editor, National Registry of Exonerations