Lemon Aid

When life gives you lemons you start spreading rumors that there’s a lemon shortage in the country, put out a press release where you get a couple quack physicians to stake their reputations on the fact that lemons are the greatest healing discovery since penicillin.  Find a prophet-for-profit guru who will swear that lemon juice is God’s nectar, get the Fox News channel to say that the “Lemon Craze” is some trumped up liberal propaganda, which will get the late-night talk show hosts to make fun of Fox News for saying this, which will result in a plethora of counterculture college students putting together pro-lemon video montages on YouTube.  There will eventually be a lemon special interest group dedicated to ensuring the protection and proliferation of this citrus sensation, but they’ll get carried away and start assaulting people who insist on having lemon wedges in their beverages.  However, the movement will get attention from political panderers hoping to sway the lemon lemming vote, and some candidate will win the election running on a platform of Hope, Unity, and Lemon Appeal.

John Lemon



Deadly venomous vapors are on the move and they are crafty, steadfast, stealth, and all-around bad for your health.  We are talking a kind of chemical warfare that is actually spiritual warfare.  It precedes the world’s oldest profession, and the only known cures are abstinence and confession.  The stench of this ancient toxin looms just as heavily today as it ever did.  It’s to be avoided like the plague, because it is a plague.  “Pleased to meet you.  Hope you guessed my name.”

It’s Mick Jagger.  And Mick Jagger is really Howard The Duck.  (How could you not see it?!)

Surely I’m just jesting Jagger.  What I’m really talking about is PALE GAS, an easy trick you can use to help you remember the Seven Deadly Sins.


Avarice (or greed)

I didn’t come up with this list myself, but have found it to be a useful mnemonic tool for a moronic tool like myself.  A wise man once said, “Know thy enemy”, and, if said wiseguy thought things through even further, he might have said: know thy enemy in the form of a clever acronym.  But, who knows, maybe smahty was in a hurry.

The number seven is considered to be of importance, because it is so frequently used throughout the Bible.  I mean, Three is obviously the Crown Prince of numbers, since we have the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, Holy Spirit; but numerology be calling me and leading me down all kinds of numerical paths.  (New miracle?)  Can it be that seven is God and man combined?

From the book “Biblical Mathematics” by Evangelist Ed F. Vallowe:

When man began to analyze and combine numbers, he developed other interesting symbols. He took the perfect world number FOUR and added to it the perfect divine number, THREE, and got SEVEN, the most sacred number to the Hebrews. It was earth crowned with heaven — the four-square earth plus the divine COMPLETENESS OF GOD. So we have SEVEN expressing COMPLETENESS through union of earth with heaven. This number is used more than all other numbers in the Word of God, save the number ONE.

In the Book of Revelation the number SEVEN is used throughout. There are SEVEN churches, SEVEN Spirits, SEVEN stars, SEVEN seals, SEVEN trumpets, SEVEN vials, SEVEN personages, SEVEN dooms, and SEVEN new things. SEVEN symbolizes Spiritual Perfection. All of life revolves around this number. SEVEN is used over 700 times in the Bible. It is used 54 times in the Book of Revelation.

The whole Word of God is founded upon the number SEVEN. It stands for the SEVENTH day of the Creation Week, and speaks of the Millennial Rest day. It denotes COMPLETENESS or PERFECTION.

In Leviticus 23:15-16, the number SEVEN and the Sabbath, which was the SEVENTH day, is connected with the word COMPLETE. The word COMPLETE follows after the words “SEVEN SABBATH” (Seventh day). The day following the SEVENTH sabbath there was something NEW that took place.

The word FINISHED is also connected with the number SEVEN. In Revelation 10:7 we read,

“In the days of the voice of the SEVENTH angel, when he shall begin to sound the mystery of God should be FINISHED.”

“It is DONE” is another expression found in connection with the number Seven.

“And the SEVENTH angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne saying, It is DONE.” (Revelation 16:17)

Yeah, and our Lord on the cross can be heard uttering “It is finished,” just prior to commending His spirit into the hands of the Father.  The deeper we go, the deeper it gets.  I love it!

In order to combat the deadly PALE GAS we have the Seven Sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, Matrimony); in addition to the the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, Fear of God); and Seven Virtues, which are a combination of the four Cardinal Virtues of Prudence, Justice, Temperance, and Courage (or Fortitude); along with the three Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love (or Charity).

We should utilize these seven heavenly gifts so often that we become virtual virtuosos of virtue.  In due time, anyway.  You know, patience is a virtue.  But if we don’t incorporate these graces into our daily lives we run the risk of Perdition by subtraction.  So, don’t fall victim to the PALE GAS; the silent killer.

Dinosaur Losers

You missed the boat, boys.

Still Cooking

One of the reasons we shouldn’t judge others is because we’re all still cooking — we’re not done yet.  You’re still alive?  Me too!  We’ve got that much in common.  So don’t open up the oven and pull me out prematurely, OK?  We’re supposed to be trying to win souls for Christ, not pointing out the splinter in our brother’s eye, while we’ve got dueling Oak trees popping from our own peepers.  On this issue many simply won’t budge: Judge not, lest ye be judged.

On the other hand, you have different fingers.”  Steven Wright

On the other hand, we are called to recognize and reject sin wherever it rears its ugly head.  Sin isn’t a person, it’s a condition.

For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.”  (Ephesians 6:12)

The above was written by St. Paul, who started off as a formidable foe to the early Christians.  Prior to his conversion, he was most commonly called Saul, from the Mediterranean city of Tarsus, which was an intellectual hotbed at the time, and he was one of their prize pupils.  Saul was wicked smaht, but mostly wicked, being that he was famous for his relentless pursuit and persecution of the renegade Jewish sect that worshiped some criminal carpenter the Romans executed.  He had clout coming out of his ears, since he was both a Pharisee of the Jewish tribe of Benjamin, and a Roman citizen, which gave him carte blanche to do whatever, wherever.  We’re talking Don Corleone power and swagger, without having to bribe law enforcement — because he basically was law enforcement.

That’s Saul, folks.

And you all know the story of his interrupted journey on the road to Damascus, where our Lord literally knocked Saul off his high horse.  The resurrected Christ asked, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”

And then Saul sort of answered his own question when he asked, “Who art thou, Lord?”

I am Jesus who thou persecutest.”

This baffled our boy, Harvard, because he’d never met Jesus, so he couldn’t quite figure out how he could be accused of persecuting him.  But that’s the key to it all.  The Christians ARE the mystical body of Christ.  If you persecute them, you persecute Him.  “Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.”  (Matthew 25:40)

And Saul became Paul, who became the greatest Christian missionary this side of heaven.  Not surprisingly, though, his clout went out the window when he switched sides.  As he was traveling from place to place preaching the gospel, Paul found himself on the opposite end of that harsh Christian persecution.  He was the apostle that took a lickin’ and kept on ticking.

It’s a good thing nobody took Paul out of the oven while he was still cooking.  We’d have lost one of the most influential individuals in the history of the Church.  Only our Lord is mentioned more often in the New Testament than Paul.

We are all Sauls with Paul-potential.  Or at least I think we should look at it that way.  We should look at others that way, too.  Love the sinner, hate the sin.  Don’t throw the toddler out with the tub liquid.  I don’t intend this to sound like one of those tolerance rants, mind you, where some feel-good pseudo-psychologist goes on about how I’m a sinner and you’re a sinner, and we’re all sinners, and therefore sinning is OK.  I’m a Pepper, you’re a Pepper, he’s a Pepper, she’s a Pepper — wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper too?  (Sorry, soda flashback.)  I’m not about pumping you with self-esteem steroids, telling you there’s no place for judgment calls.  And, yeah, God loves you just the way you are, but He also loves you too much to let you stay that way.  But anyway, the point is, it’s our job as the church militant to make our fellow foot soldiers aware of the fire, so they can avoid falling into it; not to take some kind of prideful pleasure in the fact that we know something they don’t know, then pushing them into the fire because you appointed yourself judge, jury and executioner.

You are your brother’s keeper, because when one of us is wounded, the mystical body is wounded — His body.  And we revisit Matthew Chapter 25, where Jesus talks about the last day, when the Son of Man will divide all into two groups: the sheep at His right hand and the goats at His left.  The sheep are welcomed to their inheritance, the kingdom prepared for them since the creation of the world:

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

And of course all the righteous are scratching their noggins, trying to recall when they ever did all that for Him, just as Saul wasn’t sure how he’d managed to persecute God without ever having met Him.  It’s essentially the same answer for both:

Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.”

Lost and Found

Do you think hair ever asks itself, “What am I doing hair?”

Play On Words
(me, 2002)
I was trying to daydream, but my mind kept wandering.
In the foreseeable fishbowl we’re all just floundering.
I can’t hear a thing because of all the sound.
I’m optimistically doubtful,
But gravity doesn’t get me down.
What’s the purpose of our purpose?  Why are we here?
In a life full of strife; fraught with anger and fear.
The source is a source of confusion.  A place out of place
And laced with illusions.  A song without notes, lyrics,
Or words.  A song everyone knows, but nobody’s heard.
Ever wonder about wonder?  Ever think about thought?
Ever contemplate fate and the time that Time forgot?
Ever dreamt that you’re dreaming?  Mistake whispers for screaming?
Cast out angels once misjudged as demons?
Hey, I’m only asking ’cause I don’t want to know.
Billy Shakes says it’s a play; it’s all just a show.
But if we’re just playing, then why all the fuss?
Always at the bus stop, all ways missing the bus.
Is His story History or is it my story?  It’s a mystery.
Or is He really She, or is it Us?  Maybe We?
We maybe made this.  What did we make?
Is it perfectly perfect or one big mistake?
Has it all been done efficiently or is it chaos?
If you suffer and struggle, at the end, is there a pay off?
My quest leaves me questioning.  Rhetorical, yet renowned.
I’m in favor of finding, so I guess I’m Pro-found.
Ask not what your country can do for you;
We have lawyers for that sort of thing, Jack.
They say I should think for myself. What do you think about that?
Through the fog and haze, there’s a new day’s dawn.
Will you have any regrets when this day’s gone?
Please end this dis-ease and remember to stay strong.
My added-vice is to, in always, Play On.

State of the Heart
(me, 2011)
Woe is me, woe was I.
From the ground I touch the sky.
From the place of no return,
You can come home again,
So I’ve learned.
Amazing grace was chasing me,
I’m glad it waited patiently.
Here I am, no turning back.
Face to face with what I lack.
Now a song, once background noise,
Though always there, I heard His voice.
Many signs along the way.
Took time to learn just what they say.
No roll of dice.
No guide by-chance.
My perennial partner of coincide-dance.
Lord make me an instrument,
Tell me what to do.
Caution’s been tossed to the wind,
I have utter faith in You.
Your Will be done, I really feel.
I know in time it’s all revealed.
Your gracious offer’s been accepted,
Though much regret for time neglected.
Off now are the training wheels.
Gone now are the false ideals.
The path is clear, there’s one direction.
I’m free of counterfeit affection.
The Spirit guides, I know the way.
Attention to heart is all I pay.
Forgiveness, I live this.
I promise to walk the walk.
My brothers and I are one;
I know this, it’s not just talk.
God bless the child that’s got his own,
But he who believes shall receive the throne.
All that was old is knew again.
For we need be re-minded every now and then.
Immaculate Heart, Mother Queen,
Through your son I’ve been redeemed.
Blood and water, death, rebirth.
Love it, fear it, Spirit, Earth.
The state of the heart, the initial stand,
My sacred cow: The Sacrificial Lamb.
Where we were is where we are:
Invincible vagabonds
Draped on the wake of a shooting star.
Candlelight vigilantes undeterred and unbowed.
Hollering hallelujah!
Proclaiming it loud and proud.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be.
Blessed are the peacemakers:
Melody corrects malady.
Love is yours if you give it.
Love is life if you live it.
Receive this gift from The Almighty Sender.
In order to do this
You must merely surrender.

Once upon a time, time stood still. If you don’t understand, give it time — you will.

Angels are prime rib, Grade A, choice cut. In comparison, man is not even the dry dregs of what Taco Bell calls ground beef; which is something like .002% real meat I think. Lucifer — once the top angel — was told by God that he would have to serve man, to which Lucifer said something like: “What’chu talkin’ bout, Willis?!” That’s when all hell broke loose, so to speak, and St. Michael kicked Satan to the curb.

This is to point out just how far above us (in all ways) angels are, since it makes the angel Gabriel’s salutation to the Virgin Mary all the more profound. “Hail, full of grace. The Lord is with thee.”

That’s “Hail,” as in a formal greeting, unique to addressing a superior or even royalty. Angels don’t mince words or use colloquialisms; they are pure intellect and get to the point. In the Old Testament, they might see a king getting ready to croak on the battlefield and say things like: “Quit your whining, wipe your nose, and man-up. The Boss is watching.” (I’m paraphrasing.)

“Full of grace” is no throwaway line either. Our Father in Heaven is very generous in distributing His graces, but no other creature has ever been dealt a full house. The lowest of angels is higher than the highest of humans, with one exception — the Immaculate Conception.

A common misconception is that “the Immaculate Conception” refers to Jesus’ incarnation, but it actually refers to Mother Mary’s own miraculous arrival. “Of all women God prepared Mary from her conception to be the Mother of the Incarnate Word.” She was born free from the corruption of Original Sin in order to be an appropriate home for God. God thought those nine months inside the womb were very important; so important, in fact, that the conditions had to be absolutely perfect. Fast-forward a couple thousand years and much of Western civilization completely disregards the significance of whatever goes on with that glob of expendable ectoplasm. Whatever happens in utero stays in utero.

So, out of the fullness of time, God picked that specific time and that specific place and that particular woman to be the mother of the son of the Father of Creation. And God doesn’t miscalculate. (Word on the street is He doesn’t even have an eraser on his pencil.) He permits us to make mistakes, so that He can turn them into something beautiful. He gives us breath, shows us life, and it takes our breath away. Like a virtuoso playing the electric guitar, if there’s a bad note, God bends it into something exquisite; takes a sad song and makes it better, hey Jude?

And he’s got no deadlines, because he’s outside of time. We creatures get impatient, but the right time shows up at just the right time. Don’t rush a master.

God knows when it was, but the First Adam was placed in Paradise and out of his rib God created woman — the First Eve (I want my baby back, baby back, baby back…). Let’s face it: these two kids messed up big time. They had it all until some smooth talking snake oil salesman convinced them otherwise. It’s still the same old story, a fight for love and glory. Our Creator said to our first parents that they were free to have anything in the garden with one exception: don’t eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. But Lucifer, the fallen angel, incognito as a serpent, does what devils do best and that’s tempt by deception. He told them they could be like God if they disobeyed and ate from the taboo tree. They’d have knowledge of good and evil and freedom of choice. (So to speak.)

For another perspective on the beginning of the Bible, you have to go to the end of the Bible; in John’s Revelation (12:1):

[1] And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: [2] And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered. [3] And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns: and on his head seven diadems: [4] And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son.

The question is, is the woman in labor a prefigurement of Our Blessed Lady, or is she a symbol representing the Church? The answer is: Yes. (Catholics are not “either/or” people, they are “both/and” people.)

Now, at first blush, the book of Revelation seems like it should’ve been called the book of Hallucination, for all its mindbending, bad acid trip symbolism — it reads like Yellow Submarine for adults. Remember, no minced words; everything means something. The same John who wrote John’s Gospel also wrote Revelation, a.k.a., “John’s Apocalypse”, and we know he has a thing for dropping hints. The “Woman” is clothed with the sun (The Church is clothed with the Son). And the moon under her feet (the changeable things of the world under her feet). And on her head a crown of twelve stars (the twelve apostles). The red dragon is obviously Satan (or the serpent), and when he was cast down from heaven, one third of the angels went with him, so that’s “his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth.” Mary experienced no labor pains (one of the perks of being immaculate), however, the Church went through hell on earth while being birthed, so that explains her travailing in birth, etc.

Keep in mind that John was the one at the foot of the cross with Mary when Jesus said to her, “Woman, behold your son,” and then He looked at John and said, “Behold, your mother.” The keyword here is “Woman,” because that turns us back to Genesis ch. 3, back in the Garden of Eden where God promised redemption, and delivered a firm warning to the serpent.

[15] I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.

Woman is the archenemy of Satan, not God. God does not have an equal or an opposite. The Devil and evil exist only because God permits their existence, in order to draw a greater good from them. The Church is Christ’s Bride. Anybody that tells you the Catholic Church is anti-woman has it exactly backwards. They are the Bride and Jesus the Bridegroom, as Scripture says again and again. Jesus performed His first miracle at a wedding, at the request of His mother; turning water into wine. (Alcoholics everywhere converted.) Blood and water, by the way. The Bible refers to wine as “the blood of the grape”.

Mary simply told Jesus that, “They have no wine,” and, at first He seemed aggravated, saying, “What would you have me do? My hour has not yet come.” Seems like a typical conversation between a Jewish mother and her boy. She says nothing more to Him on the subject, but turns to the waiters and utters her final words in the entire Bible. It’s a simple directive, and yet the most significant statement in all of the Good Book. It encapsulates the message of the whole Holy Book. “Do whatever He tells you.” His will be done. Eventually the Jewish guilt kicks in (which is later converted to Catholic guilt), and Jesus tells the waiters to fill the six stone water jars with water, and — presto chango — vino!

Continuing with the theme of typology, let us refer back to the Old Testament once again, because, “the Old Testament is the New concealed, but the New Testament is the Old revealed” – St. Augustine

King Solomon was the son of David and Bathsheba. When he inherited the throne from his father, he was known for his remarkable wisdom and fairness. In fact, he wrote the book on Wisdom — literally. The Book of Wisdom, a.k.a., The Wisdom of Solomon. If you read Wisdom, one thing is made perfectly clear: Wisdom is Woman; that is to say, she is continually referred to as a she. Luck be a Lady, and so also be Wisdom. And when one wanted a favor from King Solomon, by the way, one asked Solomon’s mom, Bathsheba, the Queen Mother. This was actually fairly common in those days; the Queen Mother having more influence than the wife of the king. Of course, the King had final authority, but Mom’s input was vital. The Fourth Commandment: Honor thy father and thy mother goes for kings too; as well as The King of Kings.

Bathsheba was a Mary type, a prefigurement of the perfected final edition. Both Mary and Joseph were from the House of David, i.e., from the Davidic bloodline. It was prophesied in the Old Testament that the Christ would come from the House of David as an all-powerful King, so the Jews were thrown a bit of a curve ball when He showed up as a humble, impoverished carpenter from the ghettos of Nazareth. Remember, prior to giving birth, Mary and Joseph had to go from Nazareth to Bethlehem in order to comply with a decree by Cesar Augustus. Then, after our Lord was born, they had to flee to Egypt, since word spread of a king-child being born, Cesar had all firstborn males killed so no king would horn in on his territory. (Hey, didn’t the same thing happen to Moses in Egypt?! Wow! It’s like déjà vu all over again.) Oh, and this gets us back to the Book of Hallucination … um, Revelation: (12:4-7):

and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son. [5] And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God, and to his throne. [6] And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, that there they should feed her a thousand two hundred sixty days.

So the Great, all-powerful King of Kings, humble, impoverished carpenter from Nazareth and Bethlehem and Egypt eventually went back to the ghettos of Nazareth. “Jesus enters the world in poverty to teach the lesson of detachment from earthly things.” And, since that’s the case, then what of the Queen Mother? Could it be that she would be a modest and meek peasant girl, the humble handmaid of the Lord? Shu-betcha!

A lot of people mistakenly believe that Catholics worship the Virgin Mary the same way they’d worship God; that would be idolatry. (Adoration is reserved for the Creator, not His creations.) If you have a deceased loved one, you might talk to them as if they were still there with you. Well, that’s what Catholics do with Mary and the saints. We don’t ask Mary for things, we ask Mary to pray for us, because … here’s the thing — SHE’S THE MOTHER OF GOD! And she’s 100% purer than we are, so it’s good to have the mother of the incarnate Word to put in a good word for you. We ask Mary to ask her son to turn our water into wine.

When Gabriel presented all of this to Mary, the angel waited for her consent. Think about that: the ultimate example of God’s display of man’s Free Will; the weight of the fate of the entire human race was placed on the shoulders of this 15-year-old peasant girl saying “I do” to this miraculous marriage proposal. And she could’ve opted out. Once upon a time, time stood still, and then: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to thy word. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and our wayward water world was turned into wine.

But, before I let you go, I have to tell you about the Ark of the Covenant. (The lost trunk Indiana Jones was looking for.) Hello, it wasn’t a trunk, it was the dwelling place of God Himself in the Old Testament. Moses was told to have an ark built out of the finest acacia wood covered with gold inside and out and then to place three holy items within it: a golden jar of manna (the bread from heaven), Arron’s rod (from the priestly house of Levi), and the stone tablets on which the Law was written. Amen, amen, I say to you, God commanded that a Perfect container be made to hold within it His Word (inscribed on the tablets); The Bread Of Life (the manna); and the Priest of the New Covenant (Arron’s rod).

Now think: is there any other carrying case you know of which housed these holy items? C’mon, a container that says things like: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit finds joy in God my Savior”?

Time’s up!

Mother Mary was the Perfect earthly vessel to carry The Word, The Bread of Life, and The Priest of the New Covenant. No impurity could touch the ark, just as no impurity ever touched the Blessed Virgin, who was completely without sin. In the Old Testament, somebody named Uzzah touched the ark and immediately dropped dead. That’s when King David threw a hissy fit, because he was terrified and said, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” and then he abandoned it in hills of Judea for three months. But when he found himself in the presence of the ark once again, he danced and leapt for joy.

Now leap ahead to the New Testament and to Mary’s Visitation of her cousin Elizabeth, who was six months pregnant with John the Baptist. At the sound of Mary’s greeting, John was sanctified and leapt in his mother’s womb, inspiring her to proclaim, “Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb!” Amen, amen, I say to you, the presence of the Lord caused the baby to dance and leap for joy. David abandoned the ark for three months; but Mary stayed with Elizabeth until she gave birth three months later.

I don’t know how God feels about Simon and Garfunkel’s album “Bookends”, but He sure does seem to like the concept. Our story begins in the Garden of Eden; it begins its fulfillment in the Garden of Gethsemane. The First Adam falls because he ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, which was given to him by the First Eve, who was deceived by the serpent. The New Adam is the Redemption, because He Is the fruit of the Tree of Life (The Word on the Wood of the Cross), who was birthed by the New Eve, who crushes the head of the serpent when her beloved son conquered death. And the man-made crown of thorns became a real crown. Hell hath no fury like The Woman scorned. Especially when she’s The Mother of Perfection.

G.O.S.P.E.L. Interlude

While I’m finishing up the second part of “The Mother of Perfection” I thought I’d share this brilliant young poet with you.  I guess he goes by the name Propaganda, but I don’t know anything else about him.  However, I certainly cosign his message.  The Good News.