Chronicles in Ordinary Time 230: It is as simple and strange as that…

lightning storm with undulating Asperitas clouds

It is the rock, the storm, the lion, the flood, the desert. It is the bear, the leviathan, the whirlwind, the barely audible whisper, the voice, the silence, the city strongly compact, the mother with abundant breasts, the tearful father.

There is a mysterious reality, at the borders and at the heart of ordinary experience, suffusing and yet transcending all that surrounds us, a reality that can be evoked both with a thousand names and that cannot, finally, be caught by any name. This mystery judges us and energizes us, frightens us and gives us inoperable peace, overwhelms us and captivates us. Like Melville’s white whale, it surges up from the depts and sinks our ships, and like Jonah’s whale, it draws us into itself and gives us protection. It is as high as the heavens are above the earth and as low as the caverns of Hell; it is as dark as a pillar of cloud and as luminous as a pillar of fire; it is the burning bush that is not consumed and is water from the rock. It is the sheer act of Being itself and is nothing at all; it is what is hardest to see, and it is what is most obvious.

Every great mystic, prophet or theologian know that this mystery cannot be spoken of adequately, that, like a wily fish, it escapes all the nets of thought and language that we now set for it. Thomas Aquinas—the most talkative theologian in the tradition—simply stopped talking at the end of his life, convinced that all he had said of the mystery amounted to so much straw. And yet, as my catalogue of traditional names suggests, we talk, almost compulsively and maniacally, of this power, pushed by some inner drive of the spirit. We cannot speak of God, and we must speak of God. It is as simple and strange as that.

Bishop Robert Barron

Creator is the Creator of the entire Universe, the Creator of galaxies and nebulae. This does not mean that Creator does not have time for us. Creator exists outside of Time and beyond distance, and beyond our understanding. And Creator is aware of all that goes on in our lives. Creator has known the entirety of our lives from the moment of Creation. We are unable to accept the idea because we are stuck living each moment of every single day. We are not yet eternal in our understanding.

Everyone wants to ‘go back’ to pre-COVID normal. It is not possible. I am not the same man I was a year ago. I’m not the same man I was, a week or more ago, when I started typing this. We cannot go back we can only go Forward. The world has changed dramatically in the last year. We cannot go back.

Creator does not control our actions—we are not puppets. We have free will, everyone we know has free will. If you do not believe in free will, you have never raised children. It’s called “the terrible twos” for a reason.

Whenever disaster strikes, in whatever form it takes, these words start appearing:

“I blame god for this…”

“How could god have allowed this to happen?”

“I’m a good person; how could this be happening to me?”

There’s a long list of these questions.

I must have missed the day when Creator was handing out immunity from the dangers of living on Earth. We are living on a giant rock that spins on its axis at something like 1,040 mph; and our Earth is orbiting the Sun at a speed of 67,000 mph. Our solar system is in a low-rent district in the Milky Way galaxy; and is orbiting around the Milky Way at 448,000 mph.

[the fine print]

Earth is unique among the known planets: it has an abundance of water. Other worlds — including a few moons — have atmospheres, ice, and even oceans, but only Earth has the right combination to sustain life.

Earth’s oceans cover about 70 percent of the planet’s surface with an average depth of 2.5 miles (4 kilometers). Fresh water exists in liquid form in lakes and rivers and as water vapor in the atmosphere, which causes much of Earth’s weather.

Earth has multiple layers. The ocean basins and the continents compose the crust, the outermost layer. Earth’s crust is between three and 46 miles (five and 75 km) deep. The thickest parts are under the continents and the thinnest parts are under the oceans.

The crust is divided into huge plates that float on the mantle, the next layer. The plates are constantly in motion; they move at about the same rate as fingernails grow, according to NASA. Earthquakes occur when these plates grind against each other. Mountains form when the plates collide and deep trenches form when one plate slides under another plate. Plate tectonics is the theory explaining the motion of these plates.

The mantle under the crust is about 1,800 miles deep (2,890 km). It is composed mostly of silicate rocks rich in magnesium and iron. Intense heat causes the rocks to rise. They then cool and sink back down to the core. This convection — with the consistency of caramel — is thought to be what causes the tectonic plates to move. When the mantle pushes through the crust, volcanoes erupt.

At the center of the Earth is the core, which has two parts. The solid, inner core of iron has a radius of about 760 miles (about 1,220 km), according to NASA. It is surrounded by a liquid, outer core composed of a nickel-iron alloy. The outer core is about 1,355 miles (2,180 km) thick. The inner core spins at a different speed than the rest of the planet. This is thought to cause Earth’s magnetic field. When charged particles from the solar wind collide with air molecules above Earth’s magnetic poles, it causes the air molecules to glow, causing the auroras — the northern and southern lights.

The reason our lives are devastated by Natural Disaster is not that Creator has stopped intervening in the stories of our lives—Creator is the same, now and forever. Our lives become devastated because we were given the opportunity to live on a planet that is totally unstable. It isn’t some sort of curse; it’s some sort of fact. Magical Thinking allows to believe that some people are ‘more special’ than others. Read World History. We have pushed Free Will beyond any and every boundary. Nonetheless, we still call this Normal.

I’ve invested a lot of time in the study of Creator in these 48 years of Faith; I haven’t found any contextual Bible verses that say Creator promises we will never suffer in this life. There are passages throughout the Older Testament [Jesus’ Bible] that state that Creator will never abandon us; but we aren’t promised safety.

One can find individual verses that say we will not stumble on a rock. There’s a verse in the Psalms that says, ‘happy is the man who bashes the babies’ heads on a rock’ [Psalm 137:9]; this does not show up in sermons very often. My guess is this verse is being used often in these times of ‘almost-war’ between Israel and Palestine. People take a verse out of context and derive a religion around that verse and all of the others that seem like it.

My point, once again, is not that those ancient people told literal stories and we are now smart enough to take them symbolically, but that they told them symbolically and we are now dumb enough to take them literally.”

John Dominic Crossan

I’ve long imagined that there are beacons in space, beyond our solar system, warning travelers to avoid us; because of the plague that human behavior can be.

We continue to lose thousands of people each week to COVID. So many deaths, that we cannot properly mourn their loss. As I write this [5/22/2021] there have been 589,670 COVID deaths in the U.S. and 3,449,399 deaths across the world.

The number of American military and civilian deaths during World War II, was 418,500.

COVID has surpassed World War II

More people in the US have died from COVID than were killed in World War II.

Politicians attempt to normalize this. They have agendas to pursue that aren’t necessarily for the public good.

As a nation, how do we honor the dead?

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