Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘love’

Love Is Not Like That

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 6, 2019

(Previously titled: Thoughts on Religious “Free Will”)

Recently, in conversation with friends over the evening meal (supper) at a nearby restaurant, a comment was made observing something to the effect of recent global events, specifically, Iraqi uprisings in that nation, which in turn quickly segued into a remark by that same one, which was something to the effect of “the LORD is doing wonderful things in that nation,” or very similar.

About two days later, in conversation with another different friend, I shared that experience, and the remarks, and commented that, “You know, it’s as if the people who say things like that are proud of their god, as it like they trained it. ‘Attaboy, god! You go! You’re doing such a good job! We’re proud of you!’ It’s as if they’re praising a child for doing something good, proper, or right.”

Additional remarks might be something like, ‘There you go, god! You’re doing a good job! Keep up the good work! You’re doing SO MUCH BETTER! Earlier, you weren’t worth a shit… but NOW!?! You’re doing FANTASTIC work!’

You see how absurd that is?

If a person has a god which is an omniscient, omnipotent being, why would that one need praise? It’s wholly, entirely, and totally absurd. People only praise those whom are doing things they approve of, and who have some semblance of commonality – who share an often-unifying common bond – either by sharing national origin, or some other similar factor.

Praise the astronauts who were the volunteer human subjects who sat atop rockets destined (hopefully) for outer space, for their heroic actions, and intestinal fortitude. But, they were mere men, as well. It’s the same thing for firefighters, who, instead of running out of a burning building, rush headlong INTO it.

It’s totally contrary to what our natural instincts (the preservation of life) are.

And yet, some even died in those processes – of space exploration, and saving others’ lives and property.

And if they survive, all of them age, and eventually later die.

And by golly, if a god is all that and a bag of chips, what’s the point?

Seriously.

Heaping praise for an omniscient, omnipotent being from those who are utterly the epitome of stupidity?

C’mon…

If that’s not a case of putting the cart before the horse, I don’t know what is.

It’d be like having a child heaping praise upon Albert Einstein (1879-1955) for developing the Theory of Relativity, or praising Robert Boyle (1627-1691) for discovering Boyle’s Law, or congratulating Italian scientist Amedeo Avogadro (1776-1856) for discovering Avogadro’s number/constant.

It’s utterly inconsistent with the idea of praise for congratulations, adulation, or adoration to come from below. Properly, praise comes from above. Your boss, or supervisor praises you. Or, even a colleague praises you. But hardly ever does an inferior praise a superior. While it does, and has happened, it’s certainly not the norm.

But again, I digress.

The point I had hoped to express was about the idea of “free will” as often expressed by Baptists, and other right-wing extremist Christian faith traditions.

Over supper, I expressed my thoughts to the friend, that I Read the rest of this entry »

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Bittersweet

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Perhaps you know that I read, and do so widely.

Yesterday, I read something that I found utterly BRILLIANT!

This is but one thought from it.

“To avoid being mistaken for gay, these days many self-proclaimed straight people—men especially—settle for superficial associations with their comrades and reserve the sort of costly intimacy that once characterized such chaste same-sex relationships for their romantic partners alone. Their ostensibly normal sexual orientation cheats them out of an essential aspect of human flourishing: deep friendship.”

As I am now writing these words, another thought came to mind, and it was that I learned a new word recently.

The word is “alexithymia,” and refers to the inability to describe emotions.

The word it self is a fairly new one having emerged circa 1970’s, and examining its component parts, tells us something about its meaning. The prefix “a” means the negation or absence of something, “lexi” means speech, and by extension communication, and “thymia” refers to a noun form meaning a condition being related to the mind and will.

I learned that word after viewing a brief TEDx presentation given by a gent who was presenting the case against the social, colloquial phrase “be a man” – and most all ideas associated with it, which also flow from it – and which as he shared, has significantly contributed to the alienation and isolation of emotions from boys, and the social retardation of the full development of personality and character which otherwise might be more fully developed were they “in tune with” their emotions, and able to describe them.

He made a much better case for emotional support than I’m able to explain here in a few words, but suffice it to say, that the impetus of his idea was that boys’ emotional development is largely (or, at least has been historically, most notably in modernity) socially squelched, and they have not been encouraged to express their emotions, save perhaps, except in sports, which itself is a very narrow expression.

But it was the story and motion picture “Brian’s Song,” about Read the rest of this entry »

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Can I ask you a question?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Here’s but one story from my storied career.

—//—

Once, upon a time, I worked in a CVICU (CardioVascular Intensive Care Unit) in Greenville, MS – a predominately Black populated area, with high poverty, and all the problems that come along for that ride.

A patient came to us from a SNF (Skilled Nursing Facility, i.e., Nursing Home), and was refusing to communicate/talk with staff. I became his Nurse. He was a Black gent, and I cared for him just like I would for anyone else – with dignity, and empowering them to make decisions regarding their care.

I was working Read the rest of this entry »

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Law Is Good, Love Is Better

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 2, 2018

It seemed like such a good idea at the time: Carve the law of the nation in stone. We citizens of another land and millennia can appreciate how final the Ten Commandments must have felt — and yet Read the rest of this entry »

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Many Years, Countless Tears… But Joy Comes With The Morning.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, August 27, 2018

Tapestry of Saint Monica of Hippo, by John Nava (b.1947).

For many, many years Saint Monica of Hippo wept during her ceaselessly tireless prayers for her husband Patricius – a pagan whom lived in her hometown of Tagast in North Africa, to whom her parents gave her in marriage, even though she was a Christian – their son Augustine, and her mother-in-law who lived with them, to become Christians. Patricius was known for his violent temper and licentiousness, while Monica’s mother-in-law was similarly ornery and cantankerous. Her dedication and devotion to Read the rest of this entry »

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Love Is Bigger Than Hurt

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, July 13, 2018

Joseph had it tough as the second youngest in a family of 12 brothers. Picked on and hated because he was his dad Jacob’s favorite, Joseph ended up sold into slavery by his brothers. After many years of separation from his family, he again met his brothers, only this time the tables were turned: Joseph was in a position of power, and his brothers were the vulnerable ones. It wouldn’t have taken much for Joseph to Read the rest of this entry »

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The Power of Forgiveness

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, July 6, 2018

The story of Maria Goretti, the young virgin and martyr whose feast is celebrated today, is one that generations have read with a mixture of horror and fascination.Maria was only 11 years old when she was attacked and shortly died from injuries inflicted –murdered – by a would-be rapist. That’s the horrific part of her story. The fascinating part is Read the rest of this entry »

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From Pain to Gain

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, July 5, 2018

“What a life of bitterness I am leading,” said Saint Elizabeth of Portugal (1271-1336). “On whom but God can I depend?” Those anguished words came from a woman who, aged 12 was Read the rest of this entry »

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Don’t Fan The Flames

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, June 30, 2018

In the summer of A.D. 64 a terrible fire swept through the city of Rome. Emperor Nero found himself praised for his efforts to help the victims, and accused of setting the fire. To deflect the criticism, he Read the rest of this entry »

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Shouldering Responsibility

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, June 29, 2018

The pallium is an ancient liturgical vestment worn only by the pope and a very few other high-level church officials upon whom the pope bestows it as a symbol of the jurisdiction delegated to them. In honor of Saints Peter and Paul, today is the day of Read the rest of this entry »

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Think Before You Act

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, June 28, 2018

The church calendar identifies the second-century saint Irenaeus as a “bishop and martyr.” He was certainly a bishop (of Lyons in France), but his martyrdom may be more legendary. He is remembered primarily, however, not for his death but for Read the rest of this entry »

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The Mother Of All Role Models

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Saint Cyril of Alexandria (c. 374-444) was a scholar, writer and bishop who promoted the use of the title Theotokos (“God-bearer”) for Read the rest of this entry »

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Discover The Mystery of You

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 24, 2018

Each newborn child is a mystery about to unfold in the world. And there is always the potential for joy and pain, great good or tremendous misery. To a great extent, much of what the child becomes is contained in the context of the family: Its resources, stability, and Read the rest of this entry »

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How well do we see ourselves?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, June 22, 2018

Self-knowledge isn’t always welcome. We prefer to think well of ourselves, so if that requires a little trip to “the land of denial” now and again, it can’t be helped. Or can it? In the fourth century, when Read the rest of this entry »

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You Are The Salt Of The Earth

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Salt is such an ordinary, inexpensive, and easily found substance in most cases nowadays that you can fail to fully grasp the profound meaning of Jesus’ famous metaphor. Consider these facts about salt: While it was once known as “white gold,” salt is necessary for human life. It preserves, purifies, and enhances the flavor of food. It made civilization possible. Wars have been waged over supplies of salt; it has been taxed, hoarded, traded, and Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Do We Hide?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 10, 2018

A psychologist explained something fascinating about shame: No one can put it inside us without our consent. Shame doesn’t enter from the outside but responds from within. Those who Read the rest of this entry »

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Love With No Strings Attached

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 10, 2018

What would it be like to have an “immaculate heart”? Could it be to have a heart that loved unconditionally? When we are honest about it, much of what we call “love” is actually a sort of quid pro quo, a Read the rest of this entry »

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Is that you?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, June 7, 2018

“That’s me!,” said one 10-year-old insistently to another as they watched an action movie, and chose to be the character who was the most powerful, the most beautiful, or even the goofiest.

A good storyteller knows that listeners need to identify with the characters, but it can be Read the rest of this entry »

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Good News For Hungry Hearts And Minds

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Christians haven’t always done evangelization well. The Benedictine monk and bishop, Saint Boniface (c. 680-754), had a mixed history in that regard. There are stories about him literally trampling the religious traditions of other cultures but also about him embracing the customs of people and inviting them to see their own lives in light of the gospel. What’s your take on evangelization? Is there a hammer, or the gospel in someone’s hand? Consider the words of Read the rest of this entry »

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Love is Like a Greased Pig

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, May 26, 2018

Love is Like a Greased Pig

By Mark Gungor

“I just don’t feel what I used to feel for you.”
“I love you, but I’m not in love with you anymore.”
“I believe I’ve found my soul mate…and it isn’t you.”
Or as the Righteous Brothers sang, “You’ve lost that loving feeling.”

However people want to word it, the bottom line is this: The fabulous and intense experience of our early love isn’t there anymore. I guess it wasn’t true love after all.

In the wonderful movie classic, The Princess Bride, the cotton-mouthed, speech-challenged priest talks about “true love” (Or “twuuuu wuv” as he says it!) at the wedding ceremony of Princess Buttercup and Prince Humperdink. He states that true love will follow you forever. While it makes for a great movie line, in reality it is a bunch of nonsense. True love doesn’t follow you like a little puppy that is constantly there. It’s actually more like a greased pig! You have to chase after it and pursue it. You have to run it down and tackle it and when it gets away, you go after it one more time. You may finally get a hold of it for a while, but then the little rascal can slip away and you have to chase it down again.

I know, I know—a greased pig isn’t all that romantic of an analogy to use, but it surely is more realistic and more accurate! Men and women who ascribe to all this romantic fantasy stuff will be sorely disappointed. So many people actually think that love and marriage will always be easy; that it will always be a skip through the meadow with birds chirping and butterflies flitting and the orchestra playing in the background. They think that the emotional high and buzz they experience at the beginning of dating or marriage will always be there. “Our love is true love and it will never fade!” That’s why so many people become disillusioned once they get into marriage—and sometimes it doesn’t take very long at all. They think that they have “fallen out of love” with their spouse once the flames of passion begin to die down to a smoldering ember.

Of course, our feelings change over time. There is no way that the initial euphoria can go on and on. It gives way to a deeper and more mature kind of love. The stages of marriage have been well documented in the research. That initial high that people experience at the onset usually only lasts six months to two years. Once the buzz is gone, the mistake that people often make is to allow their “feelings” to dictate their actions. They don’t feel that rush of emotion that they associated with love in the beginning and therefore, they assume they aren’t in love any more. Then naturally, since they don’t feel love, they reason (wrongly) that they must be true to their feelings. As a result, many Read the rest of this entry »

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Stepping Out For Jesus

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, May 26, 2018

Saint Philip Neri (1515-95) must have had a good cobbler, because he sure put a lot of miles on his shoes. He sauntered through Rome, striking up conversations with whomever he met, beggars or bankers, warming hearts as he talked about God. Often, he’d bid them walk and talk with him en route to Read the rest of this entry »

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Support Gentle, Loving Relationships

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, May 22, 2018

If you knew you would be canonized a saint and could choose your patronage now, for what cause would you cheerfully accept intercessions? Be careful in your selection: Saints become the patrons of causes they know all too well. Rita of Cascia is the patron saint of Read the rest of this entry »

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Thank You, Mother

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 21, 2018

Pope Francis recently added a memorial to celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as “Mother of the Church” every year on the Monday after Pentecost as a way to Read the rest of this entry »

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Do Something Useful

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, May 20, 2018

Be honest: Do you think prayer is useful? While we might describe the act of Read the rest of this entry »

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Let Go And Love

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 14, 2018

Jesus’ Last Supper discourses are surely some of the most poignant passages in John’s gospel. You can almost hear the urgency in Jesus’ voice as he exhorts His disciples to carry on and always love one another. Just “love one another.” Three simple words, yet how difficult they are to live at times! Or at least we make them that way. We prefer to hold on to our anger, resentment, or that small slight from this morning. We are entitled to feel the way we do — right? Yet, how much Read the rest of this entry »

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Fake News And Peace

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, May 13, 2018

Peace is possible only when truth is readily available. This is why Pope Francis has dedicated this World Communications Day to a reflection on the polarizing effect of fake news. False information creates and fuels division, bleeding its consequences into both personal and group behaviors. By contrast, a “journalism of peace” promotes Read the rest of this entry »

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Working In Absentia

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Henri NouwenMuch has been written about the importance of a “ministry of presence” – of being with people in times of need. Important as presence is, there is also a “ministry of absence,” said noted spirituality author Henri Nouwen. We should never forget that it is Read the rest of this entry »

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Find Your Own Path

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, April 27, 2018

Modern gurus abound on talk shows and blogs, full of advice about how you should live your life.

Some of their suggestions may be helpful; the best ones are borrowed from Read the rest of this entry »

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Your Turn To Serve

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, April 22, 2018

Wise. Brave. Humble. Seekers of the common good above personal ambition. The world can’t get enough good leaders, and the best way to acquire the leaders we need in every aspect of modern life is for all of us to strive to be leaders right where we are. On this 55th World Day of Read the rest of this entry »

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Focus On The Good – In Everyone

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Just as Mother Teresa had her critics, so also Father Damien was maligned after his death. It was novelist Robert Louis Stevenson, however, who visited the island leper colony where Damien ministered in 1889 and set the record straight. When a Honolulu pastor publicly called Damien a “coarse, dirty man” whose leprosy should be attributed to his “carelessness,” Stevenson rebutted: “You are one of those who have an eye for faults and failures; that you take Read the rest of this entry »

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Six Word Story

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 16, 2018

A six word storyland visit follows.

What that is, I don’t know.

Here are this morning’s goodies:

• Sad Six Word Stories (SWS)
“She loved me and Read the rest of this entry »

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Fully Love

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, April 15, 2018

One thing Jesus never could stomach is a hypocrite. In the stories, He always prefers sincere sinners to religious fakers. It’s easy to slip into the role of a synthetic disciple without even noticing. Our religious routines — prayer, Mass attendance, lip-synched proper responses to moral issues — can go on autopilot. Meanwhile, Read the rest of this entry »

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Whom do you follow?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Like Archbishop Óscar Romero of El Salvador in the 20th century and Thomas à Becket of England in the 12th century, Saint Stanislaus (c. 1030-79), according to tradition, was killed in church, in this case while celebrating Mass. Stanislaus’ murderer was Read the rest of this entry »

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Let It Be

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 9, 2018

Mary is the mother of the church and the model of all Christians. At the message of an angel, she believed beyond all reason and offered her life in service of God’s plan. Her response, “let it be,” is the answer of every disciple who trusts in God’s word to make all things new. In the season of Read the rest of this entry »

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Who taught you mercy?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, April 8, 2018

Moral leaders agree that the number one lesson we need to teach children is mercy. If the next generation is to survive in an ever-shrinking world full of very different cultures, the willingness to seek understanding and to dialogue across worldviews is key. The starting point for that kind of empathetic listening is Read the rest of this entry »

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Are You A Lazy Lover?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 2, 2018

How lazy are you?

Most would confess to sitting or lying around every now and then, even regularly, and doing nothing in order to relax and unwind. No dishes, no laundry, no shopping, no cooking, no house cleaning, no errands, no lawn or garden work – no matter how pleasurable, just sitting around – maybe even in loungewear, or less – and simply doing nothing but watch teevee, eat snacks, and drink.

Even a day, or two, of such doing-nothingness, or “vegetating,” can be rejuvenating. After all, the ethic of six days of work, and resting on the seventh, has significant long-standing in almost every society and culture worldwide.

And in actuality, little, if anything, is ever made of anyone who does that, even with calculable regularity. But the person who does that habitually, justifiably earns our ire, and they are few, and far between.

No one would imagine calling anyone “lazy” who regularly took a day or two of such relaxation. But consider this: Even if in the small seemingly inconsequential things we do nothing, we run the risk of active destruction. Here’s what I mean.

At its core, that concept is somewhat similar to the term Read the rest of this entry »

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Rise Up In Faith

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, March 26, 2018

Talk about “life-threatening”: Sometimes vitality itself is the threat! Lazarus was looking mighty good for a dead man after Jesus called him out of the tomb. So the religious authorities put Lazarus on their hit list along with Jesus. Next time, Lazarus might stay dead; however, nobody Read the rest of this entry »

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Integrity Is The Best Calling Card

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, March 20, 2018

There are seemingly countless guides on how to write the perfect résumé. Nearly all suggest that you include lots of credentials and personal referrals of influential people. After all, it’s who you know and Read the rest of this entry »

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Bathed In Grace

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Not long before Jesus heals the sick man at the pool, He encounters the Samaritan woman at the well. The stories have much in common. Neither knew who Jesus was or the power He possessed, but Jesus knew everything about them — and offers to Read the rest of this entry »

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Be The Change

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, March 11, 2018

We all suffer from a rash of too much information. Having facts on hand is not equivalent to “getting it,” that is, truly perceiving, and understanding the ramifications of what we know. What are we supposed to do about famine, stranded refugees, and about the many humanitarian crises of our era? What’s to be done about natural disasters, gun violence, global warming, and the neglected and abused children in our own cities? Jesus comes to heal our blindness, and to bring us into the light. Once we see, we are called to do.

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Less Is More

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, February 24, 2018

The phrase “less is more” catches our attention because at first glance it seems illogical. How can less be more? They’re opposites, and of the two, “more” is often regarded as better. But taken in a different light, the phrase makes good sense. Maybe we Read the rest of this entry »

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Turn It Over

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, February 20, 2018

One of the many advantages of memorized prayers such as the “Our Father” is that we can say them when we have no words of our own; we don’t have to think. That’s also one of their disadvantages: We don’t have to think. In fact, Read the rest of this entry »

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Be Fast To Offer Assistance

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, February 16, 2018

Lent is just getting under way, a good time to carefully consider one of its key traditions: fasting. What can fasting mean in our health-conscious culture? The fasting of Lent is not about Read the rest of this entry »

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Love Is Free

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 15, 2018

HAPPY VALENTINE’s DAY… to EVERYONE!

Today is a day in which we pagans… er, did I write that? – celebrate love. And to be certain, Love Is A Many Splendored Thing… or so the movie, song, and teevee “soap-opera” series of years gone by told us.

Love, at least the way others and I have seen it, is an act, and it is not exclusively a sexual one, though it also encompasses the same. Love is giving; love is sharing; sharing is caring; and caring moves us, it motivates us with compassion to either ease another’s suffering, or to join in unity with them, either psychically, or physically, or both.

For example, who ever had sex mad? Anecdotally, I know of no one, nor have I ever read, nor heard of anyone ever confessing to the same. Everyone who has sex has happy sex. Although, I suppose it’s possible to have sex when one is sad to lift the mood.

Nevertheless, as has always been the case, people will Read the rest of this entry »

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Skeptical Of Authority

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, February 13, 2018

As any baker can tell you, a small amount of leaven — yeast — goes a long way, working its effect on a much larger mass of dough. For this reason Read the rest of this entry »

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Time For Trial

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 12, 2018

Everyone experiences difficulties at some point in their lives. No matter how fortunate a person may be, going a lifetime without Read the rest of this entry »

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Walk Into The Desert

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, February 11, 2018

Fans of Maria Muldaur recall the song “Midnight at the Oasis” and its incongruous line about Read the rest of this entry »

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Deliver Us From Every Evil

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, January 28, 2018

Even the best of us harbor within ourselves an unclean spirit or two. “Unclean” simply means not compatible with the holiness of God. This isn’t a condition any of us can afford to be in! Consider the garden variety Read the rest of this entry »

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Be A Living Example

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, January 26, 2018

Timothy and Titus were companions and coworkers of the apostle Paul. We call them bishops because Read the rest of this entry »

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The Impossible Is Possible

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 25, 2018

Have you or someone you know ever experienced a conversion? Conversion can take many forms. Someone turns their life around — recovering from an addiction, bouncing back from an illness or a setback and going at life in a whole new way. The amazing thing about Read the rest of this entry »

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