Thursday, May 24, 2018

SAPPER 3

J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R.*

A Bachelor of Science degree
with concentration

in Civil Engineering...
what for?

S A P P E R
(amazing how it took me 
so long to discover this) 

military engineer
from the French word sappe
(“spadework,” or “trench”)
connected with military engineering

(c. 17th century)
attackers dug covered trenches
to approach the walls of a besieged fort.
_______________________

My first troop assignment
(CTLT summer of 1978)?
1/26th Infantry Regiment

"BLUE SPADERS"
 
Göppingen, FRG


  My first brew over there?

Ich hätte einen 
halben liter vollbier, bitte. 


 Göppingen's own,



Spaten Brau,
came later when I traveled
to Munich on R&R

(I kid thee not) 

_______________________
 
The Great Escape,
my favorite movie
provides these additional
clues about my real commission—
digging deep in anonymity.
 
"In fact, we're going
to put the goons to sleep." 

"Meanwhile we dig..."

"It's perfect.
Right through the middle
of the foundation."

_______________________

And from the web
a wonderful exposition
on the subject:

Sappers for God CLICK

Posted on 6 December, 2015

by Pastor Simon

Luke 3:1–6

In the days of Isaiah, the roads were terribly bad. They were still bad in the time of Jesus, except where the Romans had built their famous highways. 

British roads have always been as winding as Korean roads, following ancient trails made by walking. Only with the advent of fast cars have things changed in the last 50 years. 

There is an exception to this. We have a famous road called ‘The Fosse Way’ that is long and straight. The Fosse Way is part of a network of highways in England built over a period of almost 400 years. The building started around the time Jesus was crucified and was done by the Roman Army. The purpose was to quickly move troops around the country. Britain was at that time a Roman colony. 

Engineers from the Roman Army built the roads from scratch and they built them straight. They levelled hills and filled in valleys, and they didn’t go around obstacles. These army engineers are called sappers, and the Romans didn’t invent them. 

Sappers were important all the way back in the time of Isaiah. When a king wanted to go on a trip in his chariot, the sappers would go first to prepare the way. They would level the ground, fill in the low places and bring down the high places. The sappers would remove the obstacles to the king’s smooth journey.

In Baruch 5:7 it is written: “God has commanded that every high mountain and the everlasting hills shall be made low; he has commanded that the valleys shall be filled and the ground levelled, so that the people of Israel may come safely home in the glory of God.”

Baruch wrote for the exiles longing to return to Israel. He told them that God would send his sappers to prepare a way for them.

This is the same thing that Isaiah said: “The valleys will be filled, and the mountains and hills made level. The curves will be straightened, and the rough places made smooth.” 

God would send his sappers, Isaiah said, to prepare the way for the messiah.

The chief sapper was John. John the Baptist was the commander of the sappers...preparing the way for Jesus. When Jesus was born, John was just a baby. He was perhaps six months old. Other people had to fill the valleys and level the hills for Jesus birth.

Perhaps first it was the exiles who returned from Babylon who prepared the way. God made the way for them and they made the way for Jesus. If they hadn’t returned 500 years earlier, there would have been nobody to give birth to the messiah. There would have been no temple.

After their release from Babylon, many of the Jews threw away their idols and by the time of Christ idolatry was unknown among them. Thus the Jews alone, living among the great nations of pomp and splendour that worshipped idols, clung to the worship of one God. They were, therefore, better prepared than all others to receive the son of God.

When the Hebrews were released from Babylonian captivity, most of them scattered to all points of the world. They took their Scriptures with them and established places of worship. In Acts 2:9–11 we can find a list of 15 nations where the Jews lived at the time of Christ.

As they went they established places of worship called synagogues. These Jewish places of worship developed after the Babylonian captivity and could be established where ten adult male Jews would unite together. It was in the synagogues of the world that Paul and other missionaries argued the cause of Christ and preached the gospel to millions. The synagogue provided a natural meeting place for a discussion of the Scriptures.

All over the world, God was preparing the way for Jesus to be born. God was also preparing the way for the world to come to Jesus.

God prepared foreigners to tell the world of the birth of the messiah. Wise men from the East got the news first, not the religious leaders of the Hebrews. The Good News of the messiah is for all people of all religions and nations. The shepherds on the hills got the news before the king in his palace. The Good News of the messiah is for the poor, the downtrodden and the powerless as well as the rich and powerful.

As we think about the first coming this Christmas we must also think about the second coming.

God is preparing the world to receive his son. He is using sappers to do this. God is calling on all his people to be like John, and to level the ground, and smooth the way.

No one knows the name of the sapper. No one remembers them. But without a sapper there is no smooth way forward.

A sapper repairs a stretch of road. It gets damaged by rain. He repairs it again, in the cold and the rain. When the king comes along in his chariot, the sapper is not there. He gets no honour.

We are called to be sappers. We are called to make the way smooth for people to come to Jesus. We are called to tear down the mountains in their way. We are called to be unknown.

We are called to go first and fill in the valleys to give others a level path. The message John brought was that to do this people need to ‘repent of their sins and turn to God to be forgiven’. Jesus said the way to move mountains was to have faith. Not much faith, just as big as a mustard seed. If you have that little faith, you can be a sapper for God.

Isaiah 42:16 says: “I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them.”

God will lead those he has forgiven. The ones he has forgiven are the ones who have repented.

In the next verse Isaiah warns that those who don’t repent, those who trust in idols, will ‘be utterly put to shame’.We must be always ready to receive the Lord when he comes. The day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night. He comes unexpectedly and suddenly. We cannot fix the time. We cannot decide when and how he should come.
 
We must prepare a straight path for the Lord, removing all obstacles which stand in the Lord’s way preventing him from coming. All the crooked ways in our life, in the life of our society need to be straightened out. Where there is war and terror, for example, we are to bring peace. Every mountain and hill should be brought low and every valley be lifted up.

Look forward with great expectation to the coming of the Lord, trusting that he will do a new thing in our life and in the life of the world. 

Let's prepare ourselves morally and spiritually to receive him when he comes.

John came preaching a baptism of repentance. And just like the ancient ‘sappers’ removed obstacles in the pathway of the king, we are called to get rid of all obstacles in our lives which hinder us from welcoming the Lord Jesus into our hearts.

John’s message was ‘The king is coming. Mend your lives, not your roads’. Thus, the duty is laid on everyone of us to make our lives fit for a King. We are sappers to each other – let’s build a level path that we can walk home together.

Behold your God, he is coming. Have just a little faith.

Amen

(SLIGHT EDITS TO THE ORIGINAL TEXT TO CONDENSE THE MESSAGE)    
_______________________

AND A LITTLE LIGHT 
SAPPER HUMOR

(Notice the M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle?)

Sincerely yours in Jesus through Mary,
Mike Rizzio

Imitate Mary
Become like Jesus
Live for the Triune God

Seek the Light of Our Lord Jesus Christ
See you on the High Ground!

* - J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R. stands for:
Jesus, Mary and Joseph;
O Beata Trinitas;
St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Church Starts Here...

J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R.*

I am inspired this morning by George...





Sincerely yours in Jesus through Mary,
Mike Rizzio

Imitate Mary
Become like Jesus
Live for the Triune God

Seek the Light of Our Lord Jesus Christ
See you on the High Ground!

* - J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R. stands for:
Jesus, Mary and Joseph;
O Beata Trinitas;
St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael

Saturday, May 19, 2018

By George, I've Got Him

J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R.*


Today was a green letter day for me. 
I did something I never even thought
of doing in all my 59+ years.

I was in the PVC section, straighting
up the bins of elbows and tees 
"and stuff like that"...ooops

Well the thought occurred to me
that I was real close to George, 
real close.  Then I realized 
I never, ever, told George
that I love him. NEVER.

Wow, I was almost moved to tears. 

I love you George!
poured out of my being 

and I realized that I am closer to 
George than anyone here on earth,
closer than my wife,
closer than my three children,
closer than my older brother.

It's been George
and me for 59+ years 


I prayed the Guardian Angel prayer
very slow and pondered each phrase.

...to whom God's love
commits [to] me here 


I love you George!
Thank you so much! 

EXODUS 23:20 Behold I will send my [guardian] angel, who shall go before thee, and keep thee in thy journey, and bring thee into the place that I have prepared. 
MATTHEW 18:10 See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their [guardian] angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.
ACTS 12:11-17 11And Peter coming to himself, said: Now I know in very deed, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. 12And considering, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, who was surnamed Mark, where many were gathered together and praying. 13And when he knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, whose name was Rhode. 14And as soon as she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for joy, but running in she told that Peter stood before the gate. 15But they said to her: Thou art mad. But she affirmed that it was so. Then said they: It is his [guardian] angel. 16But Peter continued knocking. And when they had opened, they saw him, and were astonished. 17But he beckoning to them with his hand to hold their peace, told how the Lord had brought him out of prison, and he said: Tell these things to James, and to the brethren. And going out, he went into another place. 

Say hi to Abba for me.


ANOTHER GEORGE CLICK

 Sincerely yours in Jesus through Mary,
Mike Rizzio

Imitate Mary
Become like Jesus
Live for the Triune God

Seek the Light of Our Lord Jesus Christ
See you on the High Ground!

* - J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R. stands for:
Jesus, Mary and Joseph;
O Beata Trinitas;
St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael

Thursday, May 17, 2018

ASLT....a new low in language desolation

J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R.*

 




A S L T
/əˈsɔlt/
(assault)

The USA's newest acronym
reveals just how far
we have fallen in the
last 40 years.


ASLT what is it?

Well ASLT is what ASAP
was 63 years ago.
Back then the US military
informed civilian life
and AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
was coined as a two syllable
'A-sap' (saving four syllables).  

Now I hear educated/cultured
individuals, the elderly,
people who would never
dream of saying 'ain't,'
uttering this patently
useless expression.

Heck, they aren't even
using the acronym...

I feel guilty for providing space
and time to ASLT for in a
certain sense just the
knowledge of ASLT
might unintentionally
aid and abet
the enemy.  

I heard myself
and cringed when
I said it two days ago.

Yup, I said...
(drum roll please!)  

AND

STUFF

LIKE

THAT 

Sincerely yours in Jesus through Mary,
Mike Rizzio

Imitate Mary
Become like Jesus
Live for the Triune God

Seek the Light of Our Lord Jesus Christ
See you on the High Ground!

* - J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R. stands for:
Jesus, Mary and Joseph;
O Beata Trinitas;
St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael

A Gift from the Heartland...Sonrise

J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R.*

 When I flew back to Corpus Christi
from Columbus on Flight AA1492
 I realized I was on a mission...

Today I finally got around to some unfinished work.

At 6 am I listened to Matt Swain 
on the Sunrise Morning Show
 for the first time
(We met in Columbus, Ohio at the
Coming Home Network retreat
last month)

This is the best Catholic Radio station
I have heard to date:


AM 820

 This cropped image from an unknown artist is
a perfect example of the subtle interplay of colors in Light

NOTICE THE GREEN VEIL
THE BLUE MANTLE
THE RED TUNIC
THE GOLD SURROUNDING

THE WHITE TUNIC ON JESUS
WITH THE RED CROSS

SHEER GENIUS
    all to reveal the Light
and centrality
of the Holy Eucharist

Sincerely yours in Jesus through Mary,
Mike Rizzio

Imitate Mary
Become like Jesus
Live for the Triune God

Seek the Light of Our Lord Jesus Christ
See you on the High Ground!

* - J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R. stands for:
Jesus, Mary and Joseph;
O Beata Trinitas;
St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Brian Greene and the Three Teaching Points of an Anglican Priest

J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R.*

Energy (and momentum as well) is the ultimate convertible currency. E=mc2 tells us that energy can be turned into matter and vice versa. Thus if an energy fluctuation is big enough it can momentarily cause, for instance, an electron and its antimatter companion the positron to erupt into existence, even if the region was initially empty! Since this energy must be quickly repaid, these particles will annihilate one another after an instant, relinquishing the energy borrowed in their creation. And the same is true for all other forms that energy and momentum can take – other particle eruptions and annihilations, wild electromagnetic-field oscillations, weak and strong force-field fluctuations – quantum-mechanical uncertainty tells us the universe is a teeming, chaotic, frenzied arena on microscopic scales.
(The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene)

POINT 1:   As I read this I was reminded of the first words of Holy Scripture:

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

POINT 2:  I see science converging with religion. As microscopic physics gets “weirder” (Greene’s term, again), it seems to me it gets more theological, as well. Every so often a passage strikes, if you will, a theological cord. This was one of them … the description of even empty space as “teeming, chaotic, frenzied” seems to me to echo, to “rhyme” (to use the preacher’s term) with the idea of the writer of Genesis that “a wind from God” (the Holy Spirit) sweeps over creation. Numerous theologians have taken off from this Genesis account to assert that the Holy Spirit “enthuses” all things; that the wind from God blows through and within all of creation … even empty space. How great it is that science’s new understanding of empty space as “teeming” and “frenzied” rhymes with faith’s vision of empty space as filled with God’s wind!

POINT 3:  In Sunday’s sermon, the preacher reminded us to seek God in the everyday stuff of life. As scientists probe the “weirdness” of the smallest dimensions of everyday stuff, I think they’re doing just that … seeking God. They may be calling it the search for the TOE, but to from my perspective it’s just a variation of the same search human beings have been on for millennia, the search for meaning.

  Nuclear-bomb test by the French on 1969
over the Pacific island of Mururoa.

Some commentators
see the crucified Jesus

SOURCE


Sincerely yours in Jesus through Mary,
Mike Rizzio

Imitate Mary
Become like Jesus
Live for the Triune God

Seek the Light of Our Lord Jesus Christ
See you on the High Ground!

* - J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R. stands for:
Jesus, Mary and Joseph;
O Beata Trinitas;
St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Holy Shroud...and the Light of the New Creation


J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R.*


FOUR LINKS...
Three are from the orthodox "right believing side"
of our one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church:

Fr. Dwight Longenecker CLICK
The Big Bang and the Shroud of Turin
It occurred to me that the primal burst of light in the Big Bang is echoed by the Big Bang in the dark void of the tomb. There too an immense burst of light began the world’s new creation...
Driving home from Easter Mass yesterday I contemplated this further thinking that the last two thousand years have been the steady, constant outworking of the release of this new energy into the world. Despite all the tragedies and triumphs–despite Christians’ failures and the church’s hypocrisies, still that energy surges.
________________________________________________ 

James E. Damon CLICK
The Mystical Shroud –
The Images and the Resurrection
An Ecumenical Perspective
His Holiness Pope John Paul II has stated, paraphrased, that: The East and the West are the two lungs of the Church and she needs both to breathe fully. East and West must meet to understand the mysteries of the mystical Shroud. The light mysticism and iconography of the East are needed to augment the West’s revelation of the “Suffering Servant” (Isaiah 52:13-53:12), Christ crucified and to reveal the “King of Glory” (Psalm 24:7-10), the risen Christ. Then science will meet the faith in truth. Then the image formation and the Resurrection as revealed by the Shroud will be understood. Then tests to absolutely authenticate the Shroud can be defined. The first step on this mystical journey is to identify the man on the Shroud. For this we turn to the Byzantine East, referred to as the East in this effort. ..
...ultraviolet light photo-chemically modified (bleached) the cellulose to form the image; this process is known as photolysis. The result was the “conjugated, carbonyl structure associated with dehydration.” 
The result, the East and the West met in the mystical Shroud, the icon of icons – the icon of Christian unity.
________________________________________________ 

Thaddeus J. Trenn CLICK
A Parable for Modern Times
But evidence seems to be accumulating for some type of discrete impact phenomenon, which may have involved light or particle-type radiation. Some even propose that the image formation may have been similar to the "flash photolysis" silhouette effect documented at Hiroshima, which has thus far "evaded scientific explanation" ... 
One willing to share with Dante's humble pilgrim in his quiet meditation upon that blessed countenance dares ask: "My Lord Jesus Christ, very God, was this then your true semblance" (Divine Comedy ca 1300: Paradiso 31)? While pondering, yet expecting no reply other than the welcome warmth of His gentle gaze. For, in the twilight zone twixt faith and reason, this Silent Witness, this Divine Artist, beckons ultimately to the heart, finally become open to receive His poignant message of unconditional love.
________________________________________________
 
And one is from the anti-church:
An Esoteric/Gnostic/Masonic Source CLICK  
The Ark, the Shroud and Mary

(NOT ENDORSED BUT WORTH PONDERING)
The Ark was the old Covenant, now lost and Jesus was emerging from the Ark as the resurrection of the Testament. At that point, that singular moment in time I suddenly realized the truth of the Ark, the Shroud and indeed Mary.
________________________________________________

THE TAKE AWAY... 

The gnostic counterfeits continue
to co-opt the simple, sublime truths
of our faith and package them
with the lies of pantheism and other
ungodly concepts and practices
in New Age spirituality.
A Google Search on
Shroud Turin "New Age"

reveals how extensive this is
  
We must counter this trend with
a thoroughly Marian-Trinitarian
re-evangelization that moves
minds and hearts to the 
Fullness of Truth.

Kolbe Shrine Shroud Exhibit CLICK

Sincerely yours in Jesus through Mary,
Mike Rizzio

Imitate Mary
Become like Jesus
Live for the Triune God

Seek the Light of Our Lord Jesus Christ
See you on the High Ground!

* - J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R. stands for:
Jesus, Mary and Joseph;
O Beata Trinitas;
St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael

Monday, May 07, 2018

Mt. Pleasant Texas Reflections

J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R.*

Priefert Farm Ranch & Rodeo

The Priefert Family is sponsoring a wonderful 
facility tour and training session 
on their rodeo/ranching/farming equipment
here northeast of Dallas, Texas.

They are unabashedly Christian.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

I did this...




My wife and kids would have loved this...I think.

https://www.priefert.com/about-us/about-the-family

Sincerely yours in Jesus through Mary,
Mike Rizzio

Imitate Mary
Become like Jesus
Live for the Triune God

Seek the Light of Our Lord Jesus Christ
See you on the High Ground!

* - J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R. stands for:
Jesus, Mary and Joseph;
O Beata Trinitas;
St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Font of Energy

J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R.*

How the Eucharist
can change your life
by Cardinal Raymond Burke
posted Thursday, 16 Aug 2012

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2012/08/16/how-the-eucharist-can-change-your-life

"The Holy Eucharist
[fifth mystery of light]
is the font of energy
to live in freedom,
to love as Christ loves,
purely and selflessly."


There is something to be gained from the following pictographic
which relates the nexus of the three spheres of interest 
for human survival on the earth


 Like Saint Padre Pio stated,
“It would be easier for the world
to survive without the sun than
to do so without the Holy Mass.”


Sincerely yours in Jesus through Mary,
Mike Rizzio

Imitate Mary
Become like Jesus
Live for the Triune God

Seek the Light of Our Lord Jesus Christ
See you on the High Ground!

* - J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R. stands for:
Jesus, Mary and Joseph;
O Beata Trinitas;
St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Most Holy Trinity...the Mystery of Faith and Light, Life and Love

J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R.* 

In Paragraphs 234-235, The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

234 The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the "hierarchy of the truths of faith".56 The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men "and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin".57

235 This paragraph expounds briefly (I) how the mystery of the Blessed Trinity was revealed, (II) how the Church has articulated the doctrine of the faith regarding this mystery, and (III) how, by the divine missions of the Son and the Holy Spirit, God the Father fulfills the "plan of his loving goodness" of creation, redemption and sanctification. 

Oh how I wish our Catholic blogsphere would embrace the triple cord reality of these three superessential words. 

Non-denominationals are getting it:





Sincerely yours in Jesus through Mary,
Mike Rizzio

Imitate Mary
Become like Jesus
Live for the Triune God

Seek the Light of Our Lord Jesus Christ
See you on the High Ground!

* - J.M.J. + O.B.T. + M.G.R. stands for:
Jesus, Mary and Joseph;
O Beata Trinitas;
St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael