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William J Corbett

Peter, secured by double chains,
was sleeping between two soldiers,
while outside the door guards kept watch on the prison.
Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him
and a light shone in the cell.
He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying,
“Get up quickly.”
The chains fell from his wrists.
The angel said to him, “Put on your belt and your sandals.”
He did so.
Then he said to him, “Put on your cloak and follow me.”
So he followed him out
Acts 12:7-9

How often is it that we enslave our very own existence and self? It is a thing. Every thought and action, every reaction and everything we watch, every video game we play or allow our children to play (children being those we are still raising; preteen/teen).
If you don’t believe these things affect us I have a very simple exercise for you: What is the saddest part of any movie you have seen?
How did that just make you feel? It was not the saddest part of the movie that just brought you the feeling, it was the experience of seeing it and it taking on a life of its own within you. Same goes for happy, happier, happiest. When I think of the movie “The Green Mile” it triggers something inside of me that gives me that sadness and that ‘want to see it again’ thing that happens. It is not the things which were very touching that I think of now, and there were many. He healed the wardens wife, healed Tom Hanks, made Tom Hanks’ wife cornbread happy, in fact. What comes to mind for me is this…this man was arrested and imprisoned for something which he not only did not do, all of this happened, and within him, he could never do the acts of which he was imprisoned for. Yes…I remember it’s a movie, and it had great acting. What does a great movie with great acting bring to you (as it brings to me the same)?
Emotions gather us and bring out the simplest nature within us: to cry, to laugh, to wonder…I can not explain the whys or the why nots but I know about the chains which bind me, and, in that, which also may bind you.

Do you know why it is so hard to change employers? It is that lack of knowledge of the workplace and not the actual work, most often. I was a very skilled auto technician. I was trained and certified by the very engineers of the company I worked for, but…changing the workplace I would be at gave me a discomfort because I felt I would have to prove myself and my skill set once again. I don’t know about you but I hated taking tests my whole life. I had always thought I didn’t know enough to do well on a test, even though I had proven well enough to get to take the exams. People stay in the same jobs, at the same workplace, for the same employer for one reason…chains. Mental chains. The discomfort we get. That knot in the stomach to have another interview. Any interview was to me another test. What I realized at some unknown point is this: I was the best me I had within me. I had knowledge that was worth the change. I had a skill set that was well worth a higher pay and a better workplace and a better boss who knew I was worth these things.


This is but one set of chains we face, and we have the possibility of taking those chains off with encouragement and with the spirit of God. There are many worse chains in drug addiction, mental illness, and many others I have not had the afflictions nor the necessity to fight. I don’t know how to unlock those chains but I know there is a key and I know the Holy Spirit is with and within each and every one of us. With His help we can find the keys:doctors, nurses, medical attentions. It can also be education, experience or time that holds these keys.

We don’t need to see the physical chains we bear but we know we have them. They sometimes weigh more heavily than a physical chains and shackle would.
Find your faith. Pray. Unchain. Teach another.

I wish you peace!
Shine Today™

William J Corbett

I have to wonder, and perhaps others find the same query, what cost free will has had since the beginning. I know for myself it has been quite the stumbling block. How about you?
Without freewill we would still be in the Garden, Satan would not be a thing and we would not have prisons, wars, conflicts of any sort and the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” would not have been a thing, either. To think about there being no devil, no hell…that’s a pretty wonderful thought…but then I also think of the Angels, Gods own guards and attendants have the same free will and have also fallen. Imagine living in Heaven and all of the things we have cluttered our minds of what it is and to once again be near all of the people we once treasured here on Earth, unthinkably perfect…and yet, there are still those who have elected for themselves that they could be better by changing Heaven.
Satan for one, when he figured he needed to be at the same level as God, or higher, and found that even in his existence, surrounded by perfection, that he assumed there was more to be had. He also brought others with him, they are known as Satans angels.
How simple to say “no”…but is it? When we want what we want, especially in a world so full of “there is no God”, no afterlife, no repercussion for wrong doings past our time here. True enough in peoples minds that it just doesn’t matter what choices they make, how they care to get ahead or just plainly get what they want. Simplicity would be one tree, somewhere, that not one person would touch, no matter the pull. I don’t know anyone, myself included, that would not have been drawn by this, to this, and to have taken Eves position for the duration of time.
The list of things that would not be would be far too long to be in print, but then again, we wouldn’t know of them so no print.

Most people would recognize the Bible quote “for God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son”. Do you also realize that God so loved the world that He gave us you? Indeed it is truth. I often wonder what I was brought here for. Did I miss it? Did I, among all of the less than good choices, pass by the purpose? Have you ever felt this way? Do you still feel there is something calling you to be done, just not yet? Me, too.

In todays reading (Matthew 8:1-3):
When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him.
And then a leper approached, did him homage, and said,
“Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”
He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said,
“I will do it.  Be made clean.”
His leprosy was cleansed immediately

What the leper was saying was “if it is your will” You can make me clean. Imagine having the chance to ask Jesus this question? For Him to cleanse us, most often of things much worse than a physical ailment, even worse than leprosy. Would you have the courage to face God, knowing it is God that you are about to face, and to then ask Him a favor? To place with Him your ultimate trust and to allow everyone know that you see this man is more than a prophet or magician, more than a doctor or priest? We all too often prescribe for ourselves only what we can easily hide from others and there are not too many who would show, in their life choices, what is unpopular today.

I have a very strong will for what I want and what I do, which is probably my largest downfall…as it has been my record to make uncounted bad choices. I also make good choices but the largest life changes I have had were mostly not the greatest choice and there was no accounting to God what I was about to do. In this time, though, I have realized that I am and will be held accountable for even the apple turnover I chose instead of the apple which was not filled with sugar and other ingredients that turn to sugar. Such a simple choice,right? And we can wonder how we make larger bad choices…or not take into account that we will be held accountable. It is quite simply an easier life when we don’t figure on accountability, when we don’t listen to the conscience…or the doctor…and if we don’t pay attention to the highest cry that wells from within us, “Don’t!”, then will we ever ask “what is Your will for me,Lord?”?
When the Disciples had asked Jesus how to pray, He included this part, “Thy will be done on earth”. This is something He had given us and it wasn’t posed as a question but as a statement, almost as a demand upon ourselves, in stating the phrase we acknowledge His supremacy and His goodness which can be very hard for those of us with too much pride…which is also sinful, so I’m told.

There is nothing saying we can’t make requests, in fact, Jesus told us to make requests in His name!
“Wherever two or three come together in my name,there I will be”.
“What you ask of the Father in my name shall be granted to you”.

When I think about the crucifixion, I have to realize that Jesus Himself also had free will. He was 100% human and 100% God when He came here and even He asked the Father for a favor!!! “If thou could pass this cup from me,but Thy will be done” from His agony in the Garden.

I have a very limited audience but I would ask of you to make this one change in your life…ask if you can in His will. Even with a limited audience, when four are noticed by four and those four take up the same habits and they each show four. Multi-level marketing tools used for the good in our lives and for the saving of others from painful often (soul) scarring events they needn’t have gone through. Remember too…Life can be even a hundred years long which may seem as an eternity, but there is a reason that we have those disseminations, separate words and phrases that mean closely the same thing but not really. Lifetime we often impose in thought as “here on earth” but in truth, our lifetime includes the eternity we have fashioned for ourselves…and eternity is a long,long time. Choose wisely…through your conscience only as a tool but “in His will” will guide you much better, clearer, cleaner…and eventually in Heaven.

I wish you peace!
Shine Today™

I wondered today one very difficult thing to figure,and beyond that,to ever become comfortable with this thought.

Is it only God that can hear our thoughts,including any worries and desires? Or can satan also intercept such things?
As we figure in our minds as God being above and satan below,can satan tend to our roots,twisting and clipping them,entangling them to the point where the part of us that is above the ground,like a flower,will whither and die from such meddling? In fact,dying to the sunlight and fresh air and proper tending. By weeding and introducing manure and other proper sources of nutrition to our vegetation and flowers,we can not by these means ensure the survival of the flower or tomato plant,if below the surface we have not also tended to the more significant root systems in place.

If satan knows our fears and complications,he will also know our tendencies toward them. He will know when we become complacent of our own care and in these times,twist us into further complacency and further lack of self care.

I have far too many vices and failures to enter the narrow gate,and in Jesus words where the road is straight. I try to read and understand the daily liturgy and to digest what is told during the homilies of Mass. My attempts to tailor myself more towards sainthood,as we are all called to this,are rather rudimentary and often elusive.

Have you ever thought of how hard it will be to remain on a road that is straight? and narrow?
How often do your thoughts veer from right to left and then to find out that it is more popular to be on the right? Or a particular protocol or definition of a politic moves and you have to wonder where you will end up. In fear we can say one thing and not mean it, perhaps unintentionally, perhaps not

There is a sure fire way of determining the “straight path and narrow gate” and, for non-believers, if there is a God: Pray.
Pray for your path and for guidance in all you do, for your health and well-being and for all those you care for. Hold nothing that is a product of this earth in high esteem. Bless those who need Blessings and, in this, your Blessings will come because you have Blessed the Father.

Prayer is the nutrients we feed our roots. Prayer loosens the soil for them to grow unimpeded, and what grows below allows what is above to flourish, to flower and to bear fruit;fruit that is everlasting.

In this,we need never worry about the about who knows our fears,weakness or anxieties, because the One who truly cares, repairs.
God Bless you and keep you!

I wish you peace!
Shine Today™

William J Corbett

Most notably in the Holy Word, we enjoy and are enticed by the miracles of Jesus and of His apostles after He returned to Heaven. There were many miracles and most were publicly viewed so as to note from through whom they came. Even the ones that were done more privately had enough witnesses and proof of a miracle being performed that they could all be substantiated to have been done through the Son of man.
Jesus first miracle changes water in to wine at a wedding. Although this doesn’t sound like much to appreciate beyond more alcohol and a wedding there is great significance to the depth of Jesus heart. In those days, and in our times, there is great significance of the rich/poor dynamic. Those who have and those who don’t. The groom was marrying into a well-to-do family and her parents weren’t all that happy with it. For the family of the groom it may have cost them dearly to run out of wine during these festivities:shame,for one. Small town shame…where everyone knows when you trip over a small stone or receive a wink from the gal or guy down the road with the bad reputation. So, in this first, He brings great joy to the married, to the grooms family and it restores the grooms placement in the minds of the brides family, also it brought this small yet significant change…the best wine, Jesus’ wine was served during the course of the celebration where they normally would bring a poorer class of wine because people were already drinking and at that point, who cares? but everyone knew this wine was the best they had ever had.
Does all of this matter? Sure!
Jesus then heals Peters mother in law, several lepers, the blind, the mute, He takes demons out of children and heals a woman who has gone broke with the doctors attempts at healing her bleeding. I like that particular miracle because Jesus doesn’t even touch the woman or face to face her for her request. She sneaks in and touches His garment with the knowledge that she will be healed by only touching something. That is called “Faith”! I made it a capital F for a reason.
Today we have faith, and that is only a maybe kind of faith. We need a Faith kind of Faith to return. There is the sending of the demoniacs named “Legion” to the swine that run headlong over a cliff. He also brings Lazarus back from the dead several days after he passed. He had been noted for several ‘back from the dead’ miracles.
After His death and resurrection, a miracle in itself, He stands on the shore waving at ‘the boys’ and tells them to throw the nets over the other side as they haven’t caught anything all night. Sure enough, not just some fish on the other side of the boat but they took in a haul of 153 fish, the significance of that number described much later by Augustine of Hippo…a great read, as well.
Here’s the rub…after Jesus lift off to the Heavens,there are numerous miracles performed through the Apostles. The removal of spirits and bringing back from the dead and all sorts in betwixt.
There are a great many saints with fantastic healings noted throughout history from the time of Jesus. In reading the books of the saints one would be more than astonished at the wisdom and power of them while here and from beyond their deaths.
Back to the pointed Title: What of Miracles?
Today we point to technology and we are weaned on fantastic theatre with astonishing and magical whimsy. You and I have our favorites and those we don’t care for but they still have amazing effects within them. We come to believe in “Star Fleets” and draconian rulers with scary voices and unseen faces…or if the faces are seen,they are either wonderful handsome or pretty or they are strangely alien-esque. Wonderful things happen and we see entire scenery changed at a whim or the spirits of old men returning to whisper the answer or to come to the aid of any of these theatrical characters. All bring oohs and ahhhs and leave us with churning stomachs or splendid heart-felt love. We purchase the movie posters and the movie itself on whatever the newest format is,the merchandise of the characters is sold to us in the billions of dollars and are kept or traded, bestowed to shelves and they are loved. These movies and stories have become even more grandiose with prequels because the story ended so let’s go back before the beginning…and then more merchandise comes out and the stores are flocked and the websites have backorders because of the hordes of the needy and again, billions of dollars are made on fantasy.
Who needs miracles when we live at the whim of fantasy and theatre? The greatest of stories have zero actual landings in reality. Fantasy has outdone actual living legends and the legends who have passed. Today we mourn the loss of sports figures, those with million dollar game day salaries watched while eating our favorite snack and beverages. Statistics gathered from the rich play of highly motivated college athletes garners millions and probably billions as we gather for the draft or as we create our fantasy fill-in-the-blank teams. A human that pounds out a thousand receiving yards gets more notice than the scientist who just found a cure. The newest and most commercialized prequel to the prequel to the prequel gets air time on from every night show (clown) host while the men and women of every sanitation department who save us from rat and disease infestations don’t get as much as our hand waving thanks to them even once a year. That desk jockey you love in the suit who is challenging todays president was told to by the network bosses. These hosts of late night were comedians and who doesn’t like to laugh but, do they deserve their million dollar weekly stipends for making us laugh or was it what they made us think and mold us to do in the voting booth that allows them such a cray cray pay day?
The movies such as those telling the stories of the Jewish peoples exorcism from Egypt and when Moses opens the sea for them to be able to escape the army of men that has been sent to kill every single one of them and then Moses is able to close the path once again entrapping and killing off this murderous crew that nearly brought them to extinction, but for a wave of the Lords staff in the hand of Moses. No matter how magnificent we can make this theatre people would not flock to see it, there would be no merch to purchase and no prequel.

In 1968 a man set foot on the moon. Can you find a teen that knows his name? How about the name of that particular flight in space?

Martin Luther King Jr and Bobby Kennedy were both murdered by gunmen within the same year as each other. Ask anyone in their 20’s,30’s or 40’s what year that happened.

A woman scientist discovered that radiation can do amazing things to cure sickness. What was her name? How did she die?

OJ Simpson was known for his accomplishment of gaining ________ yards in a season? But, what were the names of the people he was charged with murdering?

Who is Jesus? This would get a multitude of answers from Christians, atheists and from our Jewish brethren and sisters but ask any Christian how many books are in the Bible? Are all Bibles the same? What, if any, are the differences? What is the name of the villain in Star Wars? What is the name of the newest episode?
The Bible is noted as a historical document beyond its use as a religious tool. Some of its authors were lay fisherman, a physician and a tax collector. Name five of them? Who was the physician? Who set out a table and had a party for Jesus and the others immediately after Jesus called him to “follow Me”? Was the Centurions daughter sick or was she dead? What are the words to the song “Baby Shark”?

Who was the President of the USA in 1964? Who was the love interest of Luke Skywalker?

When was the polio vaccine introduced? How many people do you know whom now suffer from polio? Who was Fred Flintstones sidekick?

You see, miracles happen every day. It rarely matters compared to sports statistics, athletes, movie stars, the storyline of those movie stars or the varied storylines they had. Everyone knows you don’t pair yourself with Tom Hanks in a movie because everyone else dies. Even a simple soccer ball died…and…it made you cry! What was the name Tom Hanks gave the soccer ball?

Did you know you can purchase a Bible at the Dollar Tree™? For a dollar plus tax, you too can own the entire Word of God and even if you are an atheist, agnostic, Jew, derelict, criminal, baseball team owner or a regular Joe or Josephine…if you read it and just do what it asks us to do with all of our other humans, you will have lived an awesome and wonderful and kind life. Did Steven King write a better story than Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? Is the lineage of Jesus boring yet we know who todays Olympic stars came from the lineage of past Olympics stars? Does knowing about a mans life or his rise to fame seem tiresome (Mohammed Ali, Shaq, Tom Hanks, Jesus) or is it that we need only to know those within our own timeframe of life? To really know what they have offered us, is it fantasy, a great storyline or is it the ever-after? Did George Orwell predict the future better or Jesus? Who was the better poet:Joyce Kilmer, Robert Frost or King David (Author of most of the Book of Psalms).

Is there a Heaven or hell? An afterlife? If there is not then you have lived an awesome and wonderful and kind life even if it is never noted, it was noteworthy. Yet if there is a Heaven, you will now have your place amongst the greatest that ever lived, including the greatest One of whomever lived, perished and was resurrected.

“I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there is not, than live my life as if there is not and die to find out there is”
Albert Camus (Often misrepresented as being spoken by Saint Teresa of Calcutta)

I wish you peace!
Shine Today™

*an afterthought because I reread everything a thousand times to spellcheck (although I have probably missed some,or grammatical errors) but I was thinking how every great novel is credited to the person whom authored it. Every great movie, the producers, the directors and actor receive great accord and acknowledgement. Poetry, art, music all have their superstars and with great aplomb. Jesus and His twelve handpicked had many, many miracles and prophets before and after His time here on earth, also many…but they are not miracles of their own…they are miracles because of only One: God. Performed through them, yes. Named with the miracles they were tithed with, again, yes. But not of them. Superstars of the Bible…for sure! They would certainly have retired jerseys and numbers on the wall. They do have great stories written of them like all superstars…and again, you can get a copy for a buck plus tax. I love when watching sports and let’s say a player hits a homerun…and they make the sign of the Cross and point to Heaven. They know who endowed them that homerun. Find yours! Don’t ever think it was you that allowed it or that it was you that made you a star. Make the sign of the Cross when that light shines upon you and point to Him, the Alpha and the Omega. God Bless you! May He protect you and yours from this deadly virus and bring you peace and prosperity post virus and beyond.

William J Corbett

In these days of extensive waste, especially now where we can bring ourselves to prepare for the worst and we sparingly use all that we have, we need to ask of ourselves, this: Who created all that we have? What is it that we need to cling to which will provide for us beyond the needs of toilet paper and hand disinfectant, clean water and nourishment? We have produced,manufactured and brought forth some amazing things,some unthinkable, in the times of our father and mother,surely without a second thought or even the original thought to generations before them.
We have not only produced, we have mass produced the things of which bring us great comfort and convenience. We have the ability to take motorized transport to shopping centers and in more normal times,we purchase with a man made monetary system, all of our and our families needs and wants, beyond even what we can afford. The items were transported to the stores by something created by man that can carry many items because it will not be one shopper but hordes of shoppers. These large trucks can bring us many things except what isn’t produced locally and we needed something larger for that. What is produced across the country from us can still come in trucks but what is overseas needed another form of transportation and in that we turned what was used for a crew of fishermen into something which can carry more people and more items to other lands. These, too, were not convenient enough for us and with technology and skill we created aircraft that would bring us these things more quickly, more conveniently so that we could fill our pantries shelves and our living rooms and bedrooms, our homes, with everything. Not just food and water but toys and machinery and computers and gaming systems, the newest and highest upgrades are sought after and the older systems traded away or shoved in a box that collects dust somewhere in the home where all things become useless…keeping in mind that those very things were the most sought after “things” at one point in time. All man-made, all turning to some sort of waste and it has turned to waste if it is now in a box, stored and used less than what it was created for.

We have created and we have destroyed. We build and we start and end wars and we pillage. We make possible new technology every single moment of every day. Not only to help man become healthier but to bring health by eliminating things like disease and cancers. We have developed tools for our children to become more productive and to be able to learn more quickly, sending them in to lifetimes of producing something. We have extensive texts to include not only instruction but to provide fiction and fantasy,to provide noted times in history and at the same time providing creative thoughts of a future world. When I was growing up it was “The Jetsons” and that world seemed so far away and unobtainable until I watched a rocket leave the Mother Earth and actually land on the moon. Surely,cars would become spacecraft and we and our children would soon be stepping in to a garage eighty floors above the ground and hop into our spacecar, pull down the lid and fly away. Today we have rockets with monitors that relay actual video of space. We have a “Rover” on Mars and are seeking other planets we could inhabit. We have books of magic where we (we being Harry Potter and company) can wave a wand and recite a few words and something is created, or destroyed. We have people who believe that concentration camps and the killing of millions never happened, even though there is extensive physical proof, pictures and text, people that lived through those horrid times that stand as proof, with numbers and letters tattooed to their arms. We have people who believe that the moon landing was filmed in a dessert somewhere undercover to subvert humanity. There are children today who know what the holiday in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. is….it’s a Monday they don’t have to go to school…but,they don’t know his life or legacy. They don’t realize he was murdered or even the year he was murdered but, they know they have another day off from school. I teach middleschool aged children. I had to realize that they were born after the worst murderous nightmare we as Americans have ever suffered. Mention 9/11 in most any circle and you will hear stories of the horror and where, exactly, they were standing when they heard or watched on television the unfolding events. It seems strange to me when I mention 9/11 to them and it is just another day in history books that they are truly disconnected from. These same middle school aged children carry the newest version of the iPhone or Samsung. The phones have gaming capabilities, can be programmed as the remote for their particular model of 85″ television in their bedroom and are not remotely similar to the rotary dialed phenom that hung on the kitchen wall with the umbilical cord that would only allow you six feet from your mothers earshot, if you had the cord completely stretched to its limits.
What we have created is truly magical and beyond what the beliefs of a child, when I was a child, could have been. Modern medicine is not only pharmacueticals that can trigger our bodies to create antibodies that kill disease, it is also laser guided robotic surgery that removes cancer cells from the body. Science has taken the lead and made sheep from other sheep cells, in a test tube. We have test tube babies made from stem cells. With stem cells we can create so many things that are in the works, possibly making kidneys and livers,lungs and any other human body part are in our futures. A reminder of the space probes and missions to other planets,truly marvelous and exciting. The fuels of tomorrow could come from the rays and emissions of our sun. Our gardens are full of plants that have been intermixed to create the most beautiful and exotic plants which we can cut and sell to display on a holiday table,even in the middle of our winters coldest days, thanks to transportation technology.
What we create, though, is from what was already created. Everything we have came from something that was here long before our parents, grandparents, and as far back as your and my lineage can be tracked. What we may create in the future that may be powered by the sun, is man made…but we can not create a sun. The Saudis have used technology to move earth and sand to create new islands of which they use to create and build the most majestic palaces to live in but,they can’t create the sand and the earth they have moved. The jewels and gems which they endow their palaces for ornaments, they can not create. We have found ways to use carbon and oil in our quest to develop other things we find essential to our lives but, that same carbon and oil was not created by man. It was utilized to create other things but,was not created. The planets and stars we find ourselves in need of landing upon and discovering their own unique structures of materials, we did not create. Even though we have found ways to move earth and sand to create islands, we have never created another planet. We barely have the technology to get to the other planets and we can not get to the end of our universe…much less getting to the next universe and even if we can get to the next thirty universe, we have not created even one.
What with creating body parts with stem cells, we have not created the stem cell and even if technology brings us to the point of being able to create stem cells and humans made to order, it reminds me of the horrors of Hitler and his need to manufacture a superior race and to delete every human form that is considered less. We do delete human forms considered “less”. Technology has allowed us to know if our baby has a birth defect and technology has allowed that we can remove them from the mothers womb, to take the parts we want (ie:stem cells) and to move the rest of that human to the rubbish container. The real rub here is that even if removing a child because of a birth defect becomes “normal”, the real “normal” now is to remove the child that interrupts our life. We haven’t gotten all of the money or a house or the comforts we wanted…all of those man made things we find so very necessary, so we use technology to remove that disruption and carry on with life, gathering more man made items instead.
You can tell me all about the “Big Bang theory” but who created the elements that exploded or collided with one another? Was this collision and explosion able to create the entire solar system, the dirt and flowers,the seeds which regenerate those flowers, the root systems of the trees and vegetables, the fruits which hang from those trees that we collect for our health and well being? Was this collision and explosion able to do all that AND to create mollusks and fish and apes and humans and dinosaurs and the beloved family pet? We were able to break natures cycle and make wild animals home friendly and we were able to make Labradoodles and Chi-weenies but, we used the materials we did not create to make these pets. Who created the sun and the moons and planets we are drawn to? The universe we live in and those beyond our reach? We are drawn to imagination and fantasy more than we are drawn to truth and history.
We have documents that note the history of man but they have become boring when seated at the same table as fantasy. We have figured technology a “good enough god” for many. We figure because we can make decisions and make things happen in our lives that we have become the god of our existence. Prophets and saints have no place set at the table of the godless, except consider that you and I would probably not even exist were it not for their guidance, existence and placement at the time they existed here. We have people who believe in an afterlife and Heaven but do not believe in the Supreme God. I hear of people losing family and friends calling them angels now…but without a God there is no Heaven,no Angels,no afterlife. You see we may be the lord of our lives and even of our home, making all of the decisions and putting into place all of the rules but that is not being God. We can create things and hang drywall and have children and grandchildren,but what we really create is to stay on the earth. What we birth is more and we only are able to create another human from our abilities to mix with another human, in an exact way but who created that way? An explosion? Did a big bang make it so that we have (and literally every creature) the ability to bring life to our lives? Did the big bang create conscience and the lack of conscience? Did a big bang make our brains love,honor and respect? Find the oldest history book. The book that explains what we can digest how humanity started,how it turned away from God and found what a foul thing life became when they did this,literally every time…in the same way so many are allowing themselves be steered right now. If there is no God, there is no Heaven, no hell, no saints or prophets,no right conscience and nothing to live for. If we are here only to extend life as far as we can, to include further generations and technology, we are useless.
Read the Bible.
Know the truth. Realize the disruptions that were suffered, the suffering that was extinguished, the sufferings that were eliminated, the routes that were abruptly changed and brought greatness to some while dethroning those who made themselves supposed greatness. Know that as simple as life was in that history book, that lush was turned to desert or consumed by insects. That was when technology didn’t exist. How far can we fall from this tower we have built? Babbels people thought they could build a tower to reach Heaven and they could become gods,as well. How’d that turn out?

I wish you peace!

William J Corbett

In todays Gospel reading from Luke, celebrating the Annunciation of our Lord, Mary shows what it is like to be completely held by God and by His graces.
If God send His Angels to ask you to do something for Him, what do you answer? Or do you ask the situation and ten other questions before “possibly” committing?
Have you ever noticed that when an Angel of the Lord comes and speaks to anyone, they start with “Do not be afraid”? I don’t catch that Mary was afraid of much of anything. The Jewish people had been overrun so many times in their history, caused into servile positions and unable to break free. They did however, have constant contact with God and they taught their beliefs diligently from one generation to the next, even today. If you walk in to a Catholic church on Easter Sunday or any Christmas Mass you would be floored by how many people are there. In the same light, if you stopped in on most other Sundays, you would be floored that you have a choice of seating, except mostly near the front. The rows closest to the exits are well attended.
I am in my 14th season of teaching religious education. My experience has been from 5th through 9th graders. The first class of each year I ask two questions:
Do you go to Mass weekly or do you go to Mass weakly? And secondly (or would that be thirds?) Do your parents go to Mass? It is really quite stunning to find that roughly one person goes to Mass regularly and that only several parents go to Mass regularly. Now if this were my first or second year, I would think differently but, it is my fourteenth year (but my thirteenth class as I was out for one year for cancer treatments). This is a pretty good pool of information gathered, I would think. Now don’t get all worked up to the numbers I have stated here. I know there are many, many religiously driven people who attend Mass regularly, even during the week and all Holy days of obligation. Religious activities have certainly gone to the wayside in these most recent generations, though.
I came from a family of nine that went to church all Sundays and Holy Days. Our neighborhood was full of “Church walkers”, and in several denominations. Easter was a time of new clothes for Sunday and everyone was excited. Church bells rang all the time, noting the start of Mass. My Grandma walked to church daily…yes, daily. My Mom and Dad went to church daily after they had both retired. It is only because of my Moms dementia that I started going to Mass. To be her driver to and from. God had another idea though. My Dad had passed away and we found my Mom needed constant care so it was figured that someone would keep her on what was “their” current schedule: Mass, mall walk, breakfast. As I pulled up to the church the first time (in 27 years) I realized there were too many exits, all of which I could not see from any point in the smoking lounge…errrrr…parking lot. I knew she could walk out any door and if I didn’t see her she could walk right into one of the busiest boulevards in the area. So I went in. It stuck. What I didn’t realize through those 27 years is how much things had changed, and most probably because of my generation….sadly. The notion that I wasn’t paying attention to church never brought to notice that my children had no God, no higher power, nothing to believe in spiritually. Now I think about things like “who will they turn to if they end up alone?”, “what if they get in a real jam and don’t know they can call on God, their Guardian Angels, Saint Michael?”. All of these things are so foreign to them! When my Dad passed away we had the usual Catholic funeral Mass. My kids looked (and were) very unfamiliar to these practices and were clearly uncomfortable. My youngest daughter made the note that Mass seemed like a cult thing. Everyone speaking the same prayers, all in order, throughout the Mass. I had never thought of Catholicism as a cult and it bothered me greatly. To think about it in the long run,though,they have only seen movies where bad people are worshipping some witchcraft and they all speak together,all the same words. There aren’t any shows for kids that have Mass involved but there were plenty of shows about witchcraft and the occult. So, it wasn’t to hard to figure why they felt this way.

My parents raised us to have these beliefs and did figure on us continuing our religious practices throughout our lives. Confirmation, the biggest choice a young person has in the church,where you yourself agree to become a Catholic of your own volition is such a changed practice now. All those parents who don’t go to Mass ensure their non-going to Mass children go to their grades “religious education” class up until they have their very own Confirmations. Why? It can’t be that they want their children guided by Gods word and “do as I say, not as I do” is the only thing that comes to mind.

With my youngest child turning 30 this year and my eldest near 40, it is pretty hard to bring them the Word of God. I really feel that it was no one elses fault but mine. My ex-wife has no religious belief, although she has great morals and follows good to a better point than I had. I am happy that they all have her moral compass but I would still wish (and pray) they find that Higher Power we call God. I also pray my grandchildren find their way because they are now separated two generations from attending religious functions. I do truly believe in God and I know that He can bring Himself to my children,grandchildren and future generations where I was too weak to do so, He will never be weak.

This whole article started with todays reading of the Gospel according to Luke where Mary tells the Angel Gabriel,“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” ~Luke 1:38
What beautiful, strong and thorough trust in God! (and it lead to my rambling…sorry).

Trust in God!
Trust in Jesus!
Trust in the Holy Spirit!
Make prayer a part of your life that can’t be taken away! May the good Lord Bless you and keep you and your families and friends safe and protected from anything the world can sling at you, especially during these trying times of the virus outbreak.

I wish you peace!
Shine Today™

William J Corbett
Shine Today™

How do we learn anything? It is pretty easy to figure out just by looking back at how we have learned anything. When we started to learn how to print letters for our names,mathematics started at one plus one,etc. My point being,immerse yourself from the basics and continue.

My primary thoughts today are from the daily readings of the Bible and because of todays first reading. We can take one page or one verse at a time. If it takes reading that one verse several times to understand it or to hold on to it because we can apply it to something in our lives,well then do that. The Bible is more of a historical review than it is anything else. Do the Christians mainly use this text? Sure…but it involves every day things that are still so present today. Things can be learned because these were real humans living day to day lives just like us. Will some things not seem to apply to you and me? You bet! But from continually reading the Bible,you will find more and more parallel times that you can relate to and in many instances,you will find your answer to something that has been problematic. When I have something that bugs me now (and I don’t know the entire Bible…not even close) I find some verse that just hits me and I can pray on that and find an answer.

Let’s get to that reading I was speaking about. It is from Ezekial 47:1-9,12:
The angel brought me, Ezekiel,
back to the entrance of the temple of the LORD,
and I saw water flowing out
from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east,
for the façade of the temple was toward the east;
the water flowed down from the right side of the temple,
south of the altar.
He led me outside by the north gate,
and around to the outer gate facing the east,
where I saw water trickling from the right side.
Then when he had walked off to the east
with a measuring cord in his hand,
he measured off a thousand cubits
and had me wade through the water,
which was ankle-deep.
He measured off another thousand
and once more had me wade through the water,
which was now knee-deep.
Again he measured off a thousand and had me wade;
the water was up to my waist.
Once more he measured off a thousand,
but there was now a river through which I could not wade;
for the water had risen so high it had become a river
that could not be crossed except by swimming.
He asked me, “Have you seen this, son of man?”
Then he brought me to the bank of the river, where he had me sit.
Along the bank of the river I saw very many trees on both sides.
He said to me,
“This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah,
and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh.
Wherever the river flows,
every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live,
and there shall be abundant fish,
for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh.
Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow;
their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail.
Every month they shall bear fresh fruit,
for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.
Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.”

Now,that was far longer than a single verse but,I will get to my point a lot more quickly (I hope). The Angel is showing Ezekial the water flowing. He makes a very descriptive narrative about the placement and what is happening but let’s get to what I was reading into and how it came to me what I needed to spell out here. Ezekial was given this Angel to teach him something. The Angel takes him one small bit at a time so that Ezekial can digest and know what it is he is being taught:
Then when he (the Angel) had walked off to the east
with a measuring cord in his hand,
he measured off a thousand cubits
and had me wade through the water,
which was ankle-deep.
The Angel uses something (the measuring cord) which Ezekial is familiar with and brings a measure (a thousand cubits) within which he is also familiar. The Angel then uses these same two things to teach Ezekial a bit more,one small step at a time:
He measured off another thousand
and once more had me wade through the water,
which was now knee-deep.
And a third time,still small steps in learning:
Again he measured off a thousand and had me wade;
the water was up to my waist.
Then finally:
Once more he measured off a thousand,
but there was now a river through which I could not wade;
for the water had risen so high it had become a river
that could not be crossed except by swimming.

These steps,so small and necessary for our learning. Some can gaze at a book of the universe and understand it completely but,most of us have to take small bites of information in order to get the same nutrition that is being given and which has allowed us to grow.

This is my first point about reading the Bible. Take it slowly,as slowly as you need to understand it so that you can grow in this spirit. To understand why so many of us are so compelled by the evidence produced on how to lead a good and fruitfull life,and why we bring it to others so that they too can grow in these sometimes uncommon ways,especially in todays so veried cultures. I have taken it a step further in that I exchange cubits for “words”. I had Goggled™ “How many pages is one thousand words?”. Turns out that it is roughly two pages. Can you and I read two pages in a sitting? I’ll bet your answer was the same as mine. Yes…but I may not understand it if the information is too heavy so I may break it in to even smaller bites. I have seen people push a whole chicken wing into their mouth and pull it out and it is nothing but the bone. I like to take two or three bites out of each one. I wouldn’t push a ribeye steak into my mouth,either. Ever watch a hot dog eating contest? Nope…I’m not built for that either.

When we take the time to read only as much as we can learnedly understand of any book,we learn more. The beauty of what my mind brought to me today to share comes at the last part of this reading:
He said to me,
“This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah,
and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh.
Wherever the river flows,
every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live,
and there shall be abundant fish,
for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh.
Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow;
their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail.
Every month they shall bear fresh fruit,
for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.
Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.”
That by taking smaller portions and understanding this one bit at a time,we come to bear fruit. We have been given these seeds and if we bring the proper fertilization and give these seedlings the time to grow we are promised these results:
~Wherever the river flows (Word of God)
~Every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live (Humanity)
~For wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh (Life)
~Fruit trees of every kind shall grow (Humanity)
~Their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail (Humanity,Prosperity)
~Every month they shall bear fresh fruit (Prosperity)
~For they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary (Word of God)
~Their fruit shall serve for food (Nutrition)
~And their leaves for medicine (Well being)

Join me.

I wish you peace!
Shine Today™

image courtesy of YouTube

During this season of Lent, we celebrate the entire Passion of the Christ from the times directly after The Last Supper when Jesus took to prayer, taking with Him three of His beloved Disciples:Peter,John and James, to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus often took to prayer but as it is normally written He went off by Himself to pray. In this particular instance He was accompanied by the three and He had asked them to “remain awake” while He prayed yet while He prayed, He also returned to them three times finding them asleep. Upon waking them He asked of Peter, “So you could not keep watch with Me for one hour?”[Matthew 26:40]. In the following verse Matthew 26:41 Jesus says something which has been quoted for all time since, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”.
I could surely (and sorely) imagine the depth of embarrassment and sadness the three had felt at this moment for not having their teachers back. We all can have these same feelings of regret, surely, from past experience, perhaps even from both sides of the blade as it were. We can not, however, know the depth of the pains which Jesus suffered as it would be beyond our imaginations capabilities.

What was this “agony”?
Jesus knew the time was approaching for His passion to be fulfilled which would begin with “the agony” and, in steps, would have Him handed over to the authorities by one of His very own, hand selected Disciples, Judas. During The Last Supper He had said it would be one of His twelve that would become His traitor, in fact, He pointed him out:

20When it was evening, he reclined at table with the Twelve. 21And while they were eating, he said, “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”* 22Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, “Surely it is not I, Lord?” 23He said in reply, “He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me. 24* i The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.” 25* Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” He answered, “You have said so.” [Matthew 26:20-25]

Surely, His agony starts as He grows into His mission from The Father and His knowing how it will come about and,in its own momentum, how it will come to bear fruit, with His crucifixion. Perhaps this is why He was so adament about His teachings but also why His depth of love was so deep for the Disciples and for all whom He had cared, healed and brought back. That His agony may have started much sooner is completely my opinion, but it is then noted in Matthew 26:37(b):”and began to feel sorrow and distress“.
In the garden He comes to pray thanks to the Father, but also to take leave of His mission. He asks for this cup to pass from Him but there are other things we need to notice in these passages!

*Dymphna’s Road:Agony in the Garden

From Matthew 26:39…”He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father,if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet, not as I will, but as You will”.
Firstly,the word “fell”. Imagine your grief being so very deep that you are known to have fallen? It doesn’t say He was tripped or pushed or any other way to the ground. Now I don’t claim to know everything about how to write and perhaps they were just getting to the next word but I notice and ponder on that particular word for a while.
Secondly, He fell “prostrate”. As a verb,or action word, it is defined:
1-lay oneself flat on the ground face downward, especially in reverence or submission
2-(of distress, exhaustion, or illness) reduce (someone) to extreme physical weakness
So Jesus “fell prostrate” and asked of the Father to get a pass. I don’t know every passage of the Bible and where it notes Jesus praying but in my mind I don’t remember another passage where He was speaking with the Father and had taken on this dimension of prayer, and I can only figure it as a very deep state of grief and of reverence. I have had some deeply desperate times with grief and I have had these times where the tears would not stop,the sobbings would not allow my control but would pour at their own control, in their own time and of their own dispensation. It is only to this point of grief I have personally been involved,and it was very grave to me, personally, but it can not have had even scratched the surface of a grief so very deep that I fell. I have seen it with others, fainting or even just unable to stand with the grief where their knees give out but without losing consciousness. I was the unfortunate witness to a woman I didn’t even know,being told that her child had passed. The memory of her face as her knees buckled and the shrill that can’t even be described as crying that came from her throat, it brings tears to my eyes even now.
My last thoughts on the agony are brought about by Luke 22:44: “He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground.Catholic tradition holds that this is Literal and not figuratively told. Luke was the most educated of the Disciples and was, in fact, a doctor. His descriptions and words show his depth of knowledge and it would be good to realize these things while reading the Book of Luke. There is a more modern term used for such things called Hematidrosis. Taken to be (from a medical dictionary: An extremely rare condition characterized by the sweating of blood, which is said to occur when a person is facing death or other highly stressful events.

Just know this: The Agony in the Garden is known as such because it was a grief so terrible that it made the Son of God fall to the ground and literally bleed from His sweat, yet in His own deepest grief and sadness…He prayed.

This is why during The Stations of the Cross (the first station) and while praying the Rosary, the first Sorrowful Mystery is known as “The Agony in the Garden”. During Eucharistic Adoration we are asked to spend an hour with Jesus. The tradition of the Holy Hour devotion dates back to 1673 when Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque stated that she had a vision of Jesus in which she was instructed to spend an hour every Thursday night to meditate on the suffering of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. *noted in the Catholic Encyclopedia

This Lent, instead of losing a candy bar or another inconsequential diet restriction or other life restraint, please find yourself immersed in Jesus Passion and allow yourself your Cross.

I wish you peace!

Shine Today™

“And as for those who do not welcome you,
when you leave that town,
shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.”
~Luke 9:5

This is probably the hardest of things for us to do…to rid ourselves of what has no purpose, no direction, no positivity, no vested return. We can often think of material things that we really don’t need, but want, and how many of us (me,me,me) have a storage area or three closets filled with non-closet stuff? I also have an attic and basement that I have started clearing. Good things going to the AmVets resale center, one of my favorite donation places and a great place to pick up used odds and ends. The stack of clothes that don’t fit any longer (too large or never getting that slim again) or that don’t fit in to our lives any longer (that green/tan leisure suit)…but…what I am really intending for us (me) to shed…

There are people that bring negativity with every thought, whisper and action. My problem? I have a constant thing I’ve been told is called “Broken wing syndrome”. I’m not sure if that is a real technical term but so many of us have it and it hurts us in our time and place. It stops us from growing and it stops them from growing, as well. When someone speaks of their bad luck life, I lend the ear, but I have also learned to remove myself from the well-intentioned advice and the follow-up feeling badly for them and continuing to prompt them to a better place, even if after months and years that isn’t going to happen. The hardest part when removing yourself is the turn to nasty that happens all too often, making us feel as though we have done something terribly wrong to them. It leaves a stain we feel guilty about, returning again and again. This is not to say that all people who have a hard life turn on us. Some of the finest people I know have been hurt badly time and again but they keep on striving and humping the load and they, too, shed their inhibiting load but they have a sweetness that has come from their life that they share which allows us to grow without going through what they had.

“Sing to the LORD a new song
of praise in the assembly of the faithful”
Psalms 149:1B

Sing to the Lord a new song. It is okay to change and to find your new place among others, others with which you have not been associated before while remaining in the garden of the good people we have come to know and to love.

I had this beautiful corner garden in my yard, it was full of all kinds of Asiatic lilies. Each year this little garden seemed to transcend to a greater beauty than I had remembered from the year before. It stopped people passing by to take a look and to comment during their short lived bloom. In the last house I had several Rose of Sharon which lined the fence, but here I had none. I wanted one so I planted it right in the corner of that little wedge with my lilies and it took and it grew and within a few short years it started to bloom and became its own beauty with its own love and comments from people passing by. I also noticed, though, that my beautiful Lily patch had sprouted less and had far shorter stems and they no longer bloomed. I had thought perhaps the soil was overused and it no longer had the correct nutrients for the lilies to grow. It appears now that what I had done (with love) is I had placed something which had grown rapidly because of the warmth of sun in that spot but it had taken all of the sun, shading the entire rest of the garden inhibiting my Lilies to such an extent that they could no longer produce their beautiful blooms. The plants that I had replaced the lilies with under that tree thrive in the shade. People are much the same; some need light, some need the limelight, some need shade. Plant yourself with others, like-minded, unless they are wrongly planted, whether it be something hides their sunshine and warmth or the soil is not fertile. Find your sunshine or your shade. Shake off the dust from that other garden and grow in the fertile soil.

“For the LORD takes delight in his people,
and honors the poor with victory”
Psalms 149:4

I wish you peace!
God Bless you!
Shine Today™

There is a way to read the Bible,in which everything of the New Testament are prescribed from the Old Testament. When Jesus came to the earth He was sent to relieve man and not to chastise nor find contempt for us. Some things have lasted from the Old Testament that go on today, even in the medical field. We need to read and reread some things to gain the satisfaction of knowing these things and, quite often, another persons deeper perspective like a matured preacher (not me), can bring to us what are new meanings or fuller meaning of the texts from so long ago.

From Numbers 21:4b-9:
With their patience worn out by the journey,
the people complained against God and Moses,
“Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert,
where there is no food or water?
We are disgusted with this wretched food!”

In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph serpents,
which bit the people so that many of them died.
Then the people came to Moses and said,
“We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you.
Pray the LORD to take the serpents from us.”
So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses,
“Make a saraph and mount it on a pole,
and if any who have been bitten look at it, they will live.”
Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole,
and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.
The Lord had taken against the complaining and caused the people to suffer. The suffering made those bitten die and those who lived were turned back to God and to Moses and understood that they had truly been relieved of a horrible life in Egypt even though they had not garnered great tidings yet. A people stubborn for their wants and not sated by having their needs met. Sounds a lot like today, sadly. So,Moses is told to “Make a saraph and mount it on a pole which he did and then “who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he lived”.

God had opened a door for those who repented and returned to Him. Those in the medical profession still wear that same saraph on a pole,although the caduceus is more likened to Hermes staff with two serpents wrapped around a staff, I find it interesting that Moses staff brought healing where Hermes staff was to bring a sign of peace.

In a move back to the New Testament, Jesus Himself and in His own words compares the healing of people from Moses staff to what will happen to Him, and did happen. Jesus was also raised on a pole and brought healing to those who “look” to Him, bringing them “eternal life” not just an healing on the earths face.
From John 3:13-15:
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

While in our Bible study groups, we should try to find how Jesus life and words are a reflection of how things were forecasted to happen from the Old Testament, yet make no mistake, we are no longer tied to Mosaic law, the laws of Moses to the Jewish people but to the laws and words of the Christ Jesus. Jesus greatly simplified the law when He had given us an additional commandment beyond the first”Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.~Matthew 22:37,38

39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”~Matthew 22:39,40

 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

I also find it interesting that the word “hang” is placed within this context.

To love your neighbor as yourself, to me, relieves all of the writings,but not the actions, of the continued nine other commandments,as it would not be possible to go against any of the nine others if following Jesus command.
Read the Bible. Contemplate its meanings and dig in to respected others who have made it their lifes work to digest the Word of God and to simplify it for us so that we may tune our lives,as an instrument,to act and reflect the words with our lives. In this,we bring an example to follow instead of preaching where we may be found guilty of not practicing but only preaching.

May the good Lord Bless you!

I wish you peace!


Shine Today™

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