Saturday, March 30, 2013

Texas and "Illegal" Immigrants

Texans have a love hate relationship with the "illegals".  We hate the thought of people pouring across the border, yet we all know many of them individually and admire their simplicity, work ethic and polite demeanor.  Personally, I love them all and hate the idea of "secure borders".  Germans and Russians believe in such controls.  Me, I believe in every man's God given right to follow his will and fortunes if they do others no harm.   

The man outside he works for me, his name is Mariano
He cuts and trims the grass for me he makes the flowers bloom
He says that he comes from a place not far from Guanajuato
That’s two days on a bus from here, a lifetime from this room.

I fix his meals and talk to him in my old broken Spanish
He points at things and tells me names of things I can't recall
Sometimes I just can't but help but wonder who this man is
And if when he is gone will he'll remember me at all

I watch him close he works just like a piston in an engine
He only stops to take a drink and smoke a cigarette
When the day is ended, I look outside my window
There on the horizon, Mariano's silhouette

He sits upon a stone in a south-easterly direction
I know my charts I know that he is thinking of his home
I've never been the sort to say I'm in to intuition
But I swear I see the faces of the ones he calls his own

Their skin is brown as potter’s clay, their eyes void of expression
Their hair is black as widow's dreams, their dreams are all but gone
They're ancient as a vision of a sacrificial virgin
Innocent as crying from a baby being born

They hover around a dying flame and pray for his protection
Their prayers are all but answered by his letters in the mail
He sends them colored figures that he cuts from strips of paper
And all his weekly wages, saving nothing for himself

It's been a while since I have seen the face of Mariano
The border guards they came one day and took him far away
I hope that he is safe down there at home in Guanajuato
I worry though I read there's revolution every day...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sequel To "A Tale Of Two Pilots" October 29, 2012

Leia B. was a student at college in Ames, Iowa.  Mark and I spent that first night on her apartment living room floor.  The following morning we all piled into her little car and drove to her parent’s farm just a few miles outside of Sioux City, Iowa.  Victor B., Leia’s father, was a good host and made us feel welcome.  His farm was a large one, that is, it was really large compared to the farms I was used to seeing in Northeast Texas.  I do not remember how many acres he was farming but you can bet that it was over seven hundred.  He had a grain barn that in the currently empty state reminded me of an airplane hangar.  His tractor was huge and was only out sized by his combine.  Victor and his hired hand worked “dawn to dark” on any one of a million things that needed doing including machinery maintenance.  As I noted in the flying story, it was late springtime and past time for Victor to be planting.  The problem was that this was an unusually rainy spring.  That storm which held us in Texas that extra day had been through here as well, along with dozens of others in the past couple of months.  The result was fields inundated with water, standing water.  It was impossible to run the planting tractors through those soaked fields.  That was the main topic of conversation at dinner the evening of our arrival.  If they waited much longer to plant, it would be too late to count on a bountiful crop come fall.  Victor’s hired hand had an idea in which he would back into one of their main fields with their small John Deere tractor.  He planned to back in at full reverse speed until he came to a stop.  Then he would lower a single blade plow and drive straight out, leaving a furrow.  He had hopes that that furrow would channel the standing water into the ditch adjacent the field and help the field to drain and dry more quickly.  For the lack of a better idea, Victor reluctantly agreed to the plan.

First thing the next morning he put his plan into action.  I wasn’t there to see him back into the field, however we heard how it turned out when Victor got a phone call from a neighbor telling him the his small tractor was hopelessly stuck about seventy-five yards into his field.  We rode over there in Victor’s pick-up truck and sure enough, that little tractor was up to the frame in mud.  Those little front wheels weren’t even visible and only the top half of the rear wheels were above the mud line.  Leaving us young people there, Victor drove back to his farm to get the big tractor.  It was one of those huge four wheel drive Case tractors.  It looked as big as a locomotive engine to me.

Victor backed into the field with that monster and Mark and I waded and slucked out there and hitched those tractors together with heavy chains.  After we oozed our way away from those machines waist deep in mud and water, Victor dropped that tractor into “Low” drive and his hired hand revved up the John Deere.  I was ready to see some real action when Victor’s four wheels started grinding away, but was shocked to see his only movement to be down, down to his frame.  I never saw so much mud!  On the farm folks improvise and help each other.  Victor’s wife jumped into the pick-up and drove home to call another neighbor.  He showed up an hour later with a Case that was the twin of Victor’s.  A few minutes later he was hooked onto the tractor train and with all three revving and torquing he sank down to his frame as well.  It was then that I coined an old Iowa saying, “It is hard to remember that your original purpose was to drain the field when you are up to your ass in stuck tractors!”  Another phone call and another neighbor comes!  These are truly the Americans we are all so proud of in our songs and stories.  The cool thing about this final neighbor hooking his four wheel drive John Deere onto the train was the train was so long now that he was still up on the asphalt road.

Now, with fourteen wheels turning and I do not know how many horsepower pulling together, that mud monster came outa there!  I’ll never see anything like that again.  In a few seconds there were four tractors standing and idling up on the road and that road was almost buried in the mud that came out with them.  When we looked back at the field there was a huge rut that was draining water like a river.

That was back in the early 1980’s and I have often thought of Victor and his family and his farmer friends and neighbors.  There was a severe farming crisis in the mid and late 80’s and I pray they weathered that as they did their stuck tractor crisis, by pulling together.  May God bless all of those people!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dreadful Times

These are dreadful times!  The unthinkable has become the apparent high moral ground to the uninformed.  “Granting legal status to homosexuals is fair, compassionate and charitable.”  Lies! Lies! Lies! This prevailing attitude in reality, tells those poor misguided people that they can all just go to hell and we don’t give a damn! I apologize for the strong emotions, but this is just as critical as if I were trying to tell you that your house was on fire.  There is a madness that has captured the minds and hearts of the majority of our citizens of this country and the extended Christian world.  To be heard above the crowd requires shouting.

As I outlined in past letters to you concerning the hierarchy of authority, the government and the courts have no standing in redefining marriage.  The Supreme Court of the United States can declare from their lofty bench, from now until doomsday, the legitimacy of same-sex unions, but that will not change the truth of it one iota.  It will still simply be a one way road to hell.  The tragedy will be that with their “official” ratification of the concept, many people will be lured down that path of destruction.

Charity requires love.  We must truly love the other, which is, to desire that which is truly good for the other regardless of the cost to ourselves.  To be charitable to gay friends and acquaintances, we would tell them the truth.  Homosexual activities will get you hell.  That is it! Finished! Forever!  Hell is the complete separation from God.  You would not wish it on your worst enemy.  We tell drunkard friends that they must stop drinking.  We tell stoned friends that they must stop drugs.  We tell friends who steal that they must stop stealing.  We tell gays that we don’t care if they do destroy themselves.  Do you recall the word that means the opposite of love?  Indifference…that is worse than hate.  Hate means that in some way, you care.  Indifference means that we couldn’t care less; go ahead, die, whatever…

Now let me show you the true cost of these sins.  Imagine that you work at a company.  Your job is the same as it is for one hundred other employees in your department.  At first everything is going well because everyone is doing their share of the work.  The boss said that once a defined quantity of product is complete, everyone can go home with full pay.  Now imagine that one fellow employee starts slacking.  He knows that everyone else will “git-er-done”.  Now others notice how he works less and still receives the same pay and time off, so they start slowing down.  How long will it take for the few who still do their best to finish the cumulative effort?  The load will increase every day until just one worker still puts out the best and now, futile effort.  The boss will reward the good worker, not because he failed in the shared assignment, but because he loved; he did not want to let the boss down.  The others, who sinned, will be punished, severely.

When a gay couple commit the sin of sodomy, their sin is added to the cumulative total of sins demanding restitution.  God forgives the repentant sinner.  He does not forgive the obstinate one.  However, even with forgiven sins, restitution must be made.  Each and every sin demands payment from someone.  This is the “work” we are given to do.  This is why we are taught penance by the Holy Church.  If we love Christ and wish to do His work, we pray, love our neighbor (do not encourage them to sin, among other things), and do penance.  Yes, we are doing penance for our own sins and the sins of others.  We imitate Christ.  This is the whole lesson of Calvary!  This is what it means to love.  This is the pathway to heaven.  This is why we must not be indifferent to the sins of others; they add to the work to be done, they add to the dead!  Can we suffer enough to complete the work?  Of course not, but working like we can is to love Christ.

That our nation is ready to “legally ratify” gay marriage is a tragedy of the greatest proportion.  “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!”

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pope Francis, A First Look

If you wish to have the warm and fuzzies about Francis I and the future of our Church do not read Ann Barnhardt's assessment (03/14/2013) of his past record and her description of the times.

If you wish to start spiritually arming up; start buckling on armor; sharpening your swords and readying yourself for a battle of the ages against evil, then you better read her essays.

For reasons God only knows, this is the time of evil.  The demonic has the momentum, the governments, the institutions, the minds and hearts of the masses, and yes, they are seeped in the Holy Church.  God made one promise, "The gates of hell will NOT prevail!"  They will, however, strike painful and damaging blows.  This is the time for martyrs, for heroic sacrifice  for absolute and undying loyalty to the Church of Christ even when she turns upon us in her delirium...her agony.

Do not be scandalized!  Do not run, as poor Peter did when all seemed lost.  Do not abandon Christ as He places Himself before us in the Holy Tabernacles of our churches.  Christ will prevail!  This is the test.  Stick with Him no matter what the cost; time, money, career, home, family,! 

Viva Christo Rey!

God Bless the Holy Roman and Catholic Church!

Viva il Papa.

O' Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!