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Sunday, July 31, 2016

A Homily – The Gospel of Luke 12:13 - 21 ©

The Gospel of the Day – 2016.07.31

Avarice

A man in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Master, tell my brother to give me a share of our inheritance.’ ‘My friend,’ he replied, ‘who appointed me your judge, or the arbitrator of your claims?’ Then he said to them, ‘Watch, and be on your guard against avarice of any kind, for a man’s life is not made secure by what he owns, even when he has more than he needs.’
  Then he told them a parable: ‘There was once a rich man who, having had a good harvest from his land, thought to himself, “What am I to do? I have not enough room to store my crops.” Then he said, “This is what I will do: I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones, and store all my grain and my goods in them, and I will say to my soul: My soul, you have plenty of good things laid by for many years to come; take things easy, eat, drink, have a good time.” But God said to him, “Fool! This very night the demand will be made for your soul; and this hoard of yours, whose will it be then?.” So it is when a man stores up treasure for himself in place of making himself rich in the sight of God.’

(NJB)

Uncertainty and Mindfulness

The Gospel for today commends us to bear three things in mind:

The first thing is mindfulness; know who it is to whom you are speaking. Do not ask you spiritual director to arbitrate a matter of inheritance, or any like thing.

Jesus did not come to settle disputes over the distribution of a family fortune.

The second thing is mindfulness: know that life is uncertain, it is ephemeral, our bodies are subject to the vicissitudes of randomness. At any moment expected life of a human could be expressed in years, or in seconds. The truth is that we do not know. We can never know.

Therefore, it is pointless to hoard wealth in preparation for a fantasy of a long life, and a life of leisure.

The third thing is mindfulness; know the end to which God, the creator of the universe, to which God would have us direct our strength and resources. God would have them directed toward the benefit of all people, and not held in reserve to serve the appetites of single person or their family.

You cannot take it with you.


18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Democratic National Convention – A First for Women

Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

07.30.2016

The Democratic National Convention – A First for Women

Over the past year I have unashamedly, and unabashedly supported the candidacy of Secretary Hillary Clinton; even as most of the people in my extended circle of friends through their own voices have given their support to the progressive Senator Bernie Sanders.

I am proud to have done so.

I relentlessly pursued arguments against Bernie Sanders, while at the same time laying out my rationale for promoting the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. I even gave money to her campaign. I made a few new friends in the process, I angered, and even alienated more; though I am confident that over time all relationships will be able to be healed.

Now it is done. The primaries are over. The general election is upon us.

Hillary is the nominee of the Democratic Party, and Bernie succeeded in moving the party platform to the left; to where my heart is, and so now I feel as if I have won twice over. We, the collective we, chose the better candidate (in my estimation), and the person who I believe will be a better President. At the same time, we were also able to establish a more progressive agenda for the Democratic Party moving forward.

Beyond being pleased with how things turned out, I see the nomination of Hillary Clinton as a significant cultural victory for America. It is a milestone. With her leading the Democratic Party; there is a very good chance that we will have our first woman as President of the United States. She has gone farther than any woman has gone before. Whether you supported her candidacy, opposed it, or are indifferent to the matter; this is an achievement.

It has been ninety-six years since women were granted the right to vote, and we have our first woman as a major party candidate for president.

It is my belief that we do better as a country, when as a country; we are answerable to the good conscience of our female citizens. We do better when we are answerable to that half of the population. It is good for America to have women as equal partners in government. It has and will promote greater thoughtfulness, we will be less rash, more careful. Of course these changes may be hardly measurable, but over time the measure will be great.

The nomination of Hillary Clinton by the Democratic Party marks a significant moment in our societal evolution. I am thankful for it.

Many of my friends who were against her, and are now planning to vote for her, albeit reluctantly, they are bemoaning the fact that it is her, with all of her flaws, and her centrist ways, that they have to vote for.

What I would like to tell them, what I would like for them to understand, is this; it could not have been any other woman. It had to be Hillary, she strove for it, she planned for it, she beat down every barrier that stood in her way, and it took her decades, against the most strident opposition.

The first woman to be nominated for the office of President had to be someone positioned exactly as Hillary had positioned herself; at the center of power, with a deep familiarity of the functions of government, a centrist, a compromiser, someone in whom every faction in the halls of power could easily see something to their own advantage if she were elected.

There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton is a flawed and compromised politician, but she is also a brilliant and driven woman. Poised as she is to build on the stabilizing work that President Obama has done over the past eight years; she may be set to become the most effective President, in regards to advancing a progressive social agenda since Lyndon Johnson.

Her nomination, and this election cycle are forcing a dramatic realignment of the parties as we know them, I believe the result of electing this woman as our first female president will be a brighter tomorrow for every American.    



Emergence: Section Four, Kathy; Collected Parts, XXII - XXVIII


Emergence:
Section Four, Kathy
Part Twenty-two, Childhood
Collected Chapters
Section 04, Kathy
Part 22, Childhood
Chapters
01 Memory
02 Memories
03 Remembering
04 Knowledge
05 Knowing
06 Understanding
07 Expressing
#Emergence
#SuperShortFiction
#365SciFi
@jaybotten

Childhood; Part Twenty-two,
Chapter One: Memory  
Pt. 22, Ch. 01
Kathy lived in two worlds; one, her senses; two, the larger world of memory. Memory spoke to her in word and vision.
#Emergence

Childhood; Part Twenty-two,
Chapter Two: Memories
Pt. 22, Ch. 02
There were hidden places within her, languages, no one spoke. There was love, and pain, and the promise of becoming.
#Emergence

Childhood; Part Twenty-two,
Chapter Three: Remembering
Pt. 22, Ch. 03
Memories came unbidden; and understanding from her ancestors, deciphering events, answering questions in an instant.
#Emergence

Childhood; Part Twenty-two,
Chapter Four: Knowledge  
Pt. 22, Ch. 04
The new was surreal to Kathy, like watching movies in a blurry, off-axis context; voices inside her, shaping events.
#Emergence

Childhood; Part Twenty-two,
Chapter Five: Knowing
Pt. 22, Ch. 05
Knowing came unbidden, filling her at quantum speed; the meanings of symbols, and of histories, filtered in no-time.
#Emergence

Childhood; Part Twenty-two,
Chapter Six: Understanding    
Pt. 22, Pt. 06
Comprehension came from outside time and space; trillions of points of light drawn into the concrescence of insight.
#Emergence

Childhood; Part Twenty-two,
Chapter Seven: Expressing

Pt. 22, Ch. 07
Kathy played, sang, spoke in her own voice, sensing the multitude guiding her fingers, brushes, pen, and her tongue.
#Emergence

Emergence:
Section Four, Kathy
Part Twenty-three, Prodigy
Collected Chapters
Section 04, Kathy
Part 23, Prodigy
Chapters
01 A Funny Child
02 A Strange Child
03 A Frightening Child
04 Discipline
05 Conformity
06 Quietude
07 Other
#Emergence
#SuperShortFiction
#365SciFi
@jaybotten

Prodigy; Part Twenty-three,
Chapter One: A Funny Child  
Pt. 23, Ch. 01
Kathy loved jokes, even as an infant she picked up the punch lines. It was the first thing to mark her as different.
#Emergence

Prodigy; Part Twenty-three,
Chapter Two: A Strange Child
Pt. 23, Ch. 02
Kathy was quiet, observant. She did not flit about randomly like babies do. She was focused, balanced, and cautious.
#Emergence

Prodigy; Part Twenty-three,
Chapter Three: A Frightening Child
Pt. 23, Ch. 03
From crawling, to a walk, to dancing in months; Kathy never spoke until she was able to speak in complete sentences.
#Emergence

Prodigy; Part Twenty-three,
Chapter Four: Discipline  
Pt. 23, Ch. 04
Direction came from within; memories, ancestral voices focused her. Plans formed spontaneously to realize her goals.
#Emergence

Prodigy; Part Twenty-three,
Chapter Five: Conformity
Pt. 23, Ch. 05
Kathy mastered tasks without effort. Only muscle memory took time; the skill of blending in, hiding her differences.
#Emergence

Prodigy; Part Twenty-three,
Chapter Six: Quietude    
Pt. 23, Pt. 06
To get along; Kathy had to be silent, listen, to wait, to let the others fail; success for her was a private affair.
#Emergence

Prodigy; Part Twenty-three,
Chapter Seven: Other

Pt. 23, Ch. 07
Kathy was young when she realized she was different. Her parents were afraid, afraid for her. She was like an alien.
#Emergence

Emergence:
Section Four, Kathy
Part Twenty-four, Adolescence
Collected Chapters
Section 04, Kathy
Part 24, Adolescence
Chapters
01 Anger
02 Doubt
03 Disturbance
04 Rage
05 Refuge
06 Attraction
07 Sexuality
#Emergence
#SuperShortFiction
#365SciFi
@jaybotten

Prodigy; Part Twenty-three,
Chapter One: A Funny Child  
Pt. 23, Ch. 01
Kathy loved jokes, even as an infant she picked up the punch lines. It was the first thing to mark her as different.
#Emergence

Prodigy; Part Twenty-three,
Chapter Two: A Strange Child
Pt. 23, Ch. 02
Kathy was quiet, observant. She did not flit about randomly like babies do. She was focused, balanced, and cautious.
#Emergence

Prodigy; Part Twenty-three,
Chapter Three: A Frightening Child
Pt. 23, Ch. 03
From crawling, to a walk, to dancing in months; Kathy never spoke until she was able to speak in complete sentences.
#Emergence

Prodigy; Part Twenty-three,
Chapter Four: Discipline  
Pt. 23, Ch. 04
Direction came from within; memories, ancestral voices focused her. Plans formed spontaneously to realize her goals.
#Emergence

Prodigy; Part Twenty-three,
Chapter Five: Conformity
Pt. 23, Ch. 05
Kathy mastered tasks without effort. Only muscle memory took time; the skill of blending in, hiding her differences.
#Emergence

Prodigy; Part Twenty-three,
Chapter Six: Quietude    
Pt. 23, Pt. 06
To get along; Kathy had to be silent, listen, to wait, to let the others fail; success for her was a private affair.
#Emergence

Prodigy; Part Twenty-three,
Chapter Seven: Other

Pt. 23, Ch. 07
Kathy was young when she realized she was different. Her parents were afraid, afraid for her. She was like an alien.
#Emergence

Emergence:
Section Four, Kathy
Part Twenty-four, Adolescence
Collected Chapters
Section 04, Kathy
Part 24, Adolescence
Chapters
01 Anger
02 Doubt
03 Disturbance
04 Rage
05 Refuge
06 Attraction
07 Sexuality
#Emergence
#SuperShortFiction
#365SciFi
@jaybotten

Adolescence; Part Twenty-four,
Chapter One: Anger
Pt. 24, Ch. 01
Understanding does little to quell the rank emotions rising from the chemical miasma, which every youth experiences.
#Emergence

Adolescence; Part Twenty-four,
Chapter Two: Doubt
Pt. 24, Ch. 02
As a child Kathy acted with sureness; maturing, she was paralyzed by insecurity. Am I insane, she thought, who am I.
#Emergence

Adolescence; Part Twenty-four,
Chapter Three: Disturbance
Pt. 24, Ch. 03
From resentment she lashed out at her teachers. Between the ages of nine and fifteen her family moved a dozen times.
#Emergence

Adolescence; Part Twenty-four,
Chapter Four: Rage  
Pt. 24, Ch. 04
Kathy burned with hatred; deep in her belly. There was no talking it away. She turned the heat, and violence inward.
#Emergence

Adolescence; Part Twenty-four,
Chapter Five: Refuge
Pt. 24, Ch. 05
Kathy learned to separate from her emotions, finding peace in meditation taking her outside of her body; to release.
#Emergence

Prodigy; Part Twenty-three,
Chapter Six: Attraction   
Pt. 24, Pt. 06
Kathy found distraction in passion; lost herself in beautiful people; in their present, uncritical careless delight.
#Emergence

Adolescence; Part Twenty-four,
Chapter Seven: Sexuality

Pt. 24, Ch. 07
An orgasm took Kathy to a place beyond time, from her first lover, to her last; then looking to herself for release.
#Emergence

Emergence:
Section Four, Kathy
Part Twenty-five, Abnormal
Collected Chapters
Section 04, Kathy
Part 25, Abnormal
Chapters
01 School
02 Testing
03 Sequestered
04 Institutionalized
05 Experiment
06 Psychic
07 Think Tank
#Emergence
#SuperShortFiction
#365SciFi
@jaybotten

Abnormal; Part Twenty-five,
Chapter One: School
Pt. 25, Ch. 01
At age five Kathy’s parents placed her in a private tutelage. They were unnerved by her manners, and feared for her.
#Emergence

Abnormal; Part Twenty-five,
Chapter Two: Testing
Pt. 25, Ch. 02
All of Kathy’s tutors had a pattern; first delighted, then scared. They tested her, wrote about, then exploited her.
#Emergence

Abnormal; Part Twenty-five,
Chapter Three: Sequestered
Pt. 25, Ch. 03
At age ten, Kathy was not with tutors, but with doctors, and clergy entrusted to guard her education. She was alone.
#Emergence

Abnormal; Part Twenty-five,
Chapter Four: Institutionalized  
Pt. 25, Ch. 04
It took time to find a spot for Kathy; a home for prodigies, a front for National Security, a betrayal. It was safe.
#Emergence

Abnormal; Part Twenty-five,
Chapter Five: Experiment
Pt. 25, Ch. 05
Kathy read, listened, watched. She studied; took tests and was tested, probed, examined for limits of her knowledge.
#Emergence

Abnormal; Part Twenty-five,
Chapter Six: Psychic   
Pt. 25, Pt. 06
Kathy’s handlers had not considered the term “ordinary psychic.” The depth of her gift required that classification.
#Emergence

Abnormal; Part Twenty-five,
Chapter Seven: Think Tank

Pt. 25, Ch. 07
Kathy’s moods normalized with age. Her gifts with analyzing data grew exponentially. Institutions formed around her.
#Emergence

Emergence:
Section Four, Kathy
Part Twenty-six, Adulthood
Collected Chapters
Section 04, Kathy
Part 26, Adulthood
Chapters
01 A Place in the World
02 Valued
03 Work
04 Career
05 National Security
06 Religion
07 Writing
#Emergence
#SuperShortFiction
#365SciFi
@jaybotten

Adulthood; Part Twenty-six,
Chapter One: A Place in the World
Pt. 26, Ch. 01
Kathy’s sensitivity to motive was profound. Millions were spent to mask them, to foster in her a sense of belonging.
#Emergence

Adulthood; Part Twenty-six,
Chapter Two: Valued
Pt. 26, Ch. 02
At work everything was contrived, scripted meant to make Kathy feel safe, loved. Over time the false front vanished.
#Emergence

Adulthood; Part Twenty-six,
Chapter Three: Work
Pt. 26, Ch. 03
The analysts came daily. Kathy listened, read papers, watched film, and shared insight from the depth of her memory.
#Emergence

Adulthood; Part Twenty-six,
Chapter Four: Career  
Pt. 26, Ch. 04
Kathy loved problem solving. Helping people pleased her; the greater the complexity, and length of time, the better.
#Emergence

Adulthood; Part Twenty-six,
Chapter Five: National Security
Pt. 26, Ch. 05
Kathy’s focus was narrow. Her handlers limited what they asked her, fearing that she would expose their own secrets.
#Emergence

Adulthood; Part Twenty-six,
Chapter Six: Religion   
Pt. 26, Pt. 06
Religious conflict shaped the 20th century and Kathy’s input was invaluable. Her memory produced volumes of insight.
#Emergence

Adulthood; Part Twenty-six,
Chapter Seven: Writing

Pt. 26, Ch. 07
Her handlers engaged Kathy through writing; submitted questions. She wrote papers giving detail, context, and depth.
#Emergence

Emergence:
Section Four, Kathy
Part Twenty-seven, Isolated
Collected Chapters
Section 04, Kathy
Part 27, Isolated
Chapters
01 Art
02 Music
03 Dance
04 Diet
05 Academic
06 Recluse
07 Travel
#Emergence
#SuperShortFiction
#365SciFi
@jaybotten

Isolated; Part Twenty-seven,
Chapter One: Art
Pt. 27, Ch. 01
Kathy journeyed inside herself; learning muscle control, and the sense to give life to the memories she wandered in.
#Emergence

Isolated; Part Twenty-seven,
Chapter Two: Music
Pt. 27, Ch. 02
Music was the most difficult for Kathy; it changed so little over time. The beating drums told thousands of stories.
#Emergence

Isolated; Part Twenty-seven,
Chapter Three: Dance
Pt. 27, Ch. 03
Lost in the drum, in a movement, in moments flowing from the present into past ages. Kathy stepped without thinking.
#Emergence

Isolated; Part Twenty-seven,
Chapter Four: Diet  
Pt. 27, Ch. 04
Flavors and odors haunted her. Kathy found solace in the bland; modern, processed food, foreign to human experience.
#Emergence

Isolated; Part Twenty-seven,
Chapter Five: Academic
Pt. 27, Ch. 05
In time; Kathy was allowed a semblance of a normal life. She was placed in a small college; did research, and wrote.
#Emergence

Isolated; Part Twenty-seven,
Chapter Six: Recluse   
Pt. 27, Pt. 06
Even though Kathy had developed the ability to ward off psychic intrusions; nevertheless, she preferred to be alone.
#Emergence

Isolated; Part Twenty-seven,
Chapter Seven: Travel

Pt. 27, Ch. 07
Her handlers wanted Kathy close to them. Now, with everyone linked by satellite her autonomy increased. She took it.
#Emergence

Emergence:
Section Four, Kathy
Part Twenty-eight, Encounter
Collected Chapters
Section 04, Kathy
Part 28, Encounter
Chapters
01 Watched
02 Correspondence
03 Conversation
04 Meeting
05 A Man Like No Other
06 Desire
07 Jim
#Emergence
#SuperShortFiction
#365SciFi
@jaybotten

Encounter; Part Twenty-eight,
Chapter One: Watched
Pt. 28, Ch. 01
Kathy felt as if she was being followed by a man was not connected to the agency. His face evoked powerful memories.
#Emergence

Encounter; Part Twenty-eight,
Chapter Two: Correspondence
Pt. 28, Ch. 02
Kathy ignored the fact that the letter in her box was not stamped or metered. She read it; entering into conspiracy.
#Emergence

Encounter; Part Twenty-eight,
Chapter Three: Conversation
Pt. 28, Ch. 03
The phone rang, the man spoke to her in a language dead for 2,000 years. Her heart raced; knowing she was not alone.
#Emergence

Encounter; Part Twenty-eight,
Chapter Four: Meeting  
Pt. 28, Ch. 04
They met at a café that Kathy frequented. It was a busy place, and it was not unusual for strangers to sit together.
#Emergence

Encounter; Part Twenty-eight,
Chapter Five: A Man Like No Other
Pt. 28, Ch. 05
Kathy was at ease with Jim; his soothing voice, she came right out of her memories, and she could not read his mind.
#Emergence

Encounter; Part Twenty-eight,
Chapter Six: Desire   
Pt. 28, Pt. 06
It was the first time; she encountered a human she could not fathom, all she wanted to do was absorb herself in him.
#Emergence

Encounter; Part Twenty-eight,
Chapter Seven: Jim

Pt. 28, Ch. 07
Kathy felt peaceful, and comforted; being with Jim. His mind was still. He was an ancient person, and she loved him.
#Emergence