A New Desk

A New Desk
By Bill Beeler (October ‘95)

Hey, I need a new desk.

There are many things I need to do.
Count our money and pay all our bills.
Record our ancestors and write our book.
Write to our family and to our friends.
Why not just use the kitchen table?

The new desk is made of oak,
course the old one was too.

The new desk has lots of work space,
course the old one had almost as much.

The new desk is easier to move,
course the old one had more wood in it.

The new desk has lots of promise,
course the old one had character.

The new desk has three extra drawers,
course they don’t hold much more

Hey, I want a new desk.

A Friend Lost

Note. This poem is dedicated to the memory of Rick. In the end, he fell victim to those who would use his sexuality as a weapon to destroy him and expect God to bless them for that destruction. Rick was a good man.

A Friend Lost
By Bill Beeler (July 1996)

I lost a friend today,
A victim of those who pray.
The news touted all the crap,
Losing the truth under the rap.

His hunger for men and women,
Let some tell him he was broken.
Caught in an unthinking error,
He was open to their terror.

All his family felt his love,
Protecting them like a warm glove.
They were the center of his life,
The core he protected from strife.

Hopes and dreams all in a wreck,
He placed the noose around his neck.
He sought to end their suffering,
With himself as the offering.

Observing his terror, God wept,
and knew it was time he slept.
Come home my child, your pain is gone,
I will lead you to the new dawn.

A Spouse’s Prayer

A Spouse’s Prayer
Bill Beeler 10-3-02

Neglecting herself for us all,
Her bright, warm spirit did grow tall
This fall, that break, and that illness-
All keeping her from happiness.

Vennie has helped us all to grow.
Good health she does deserve to know.
Checking and doing this or that,
Her middle did grow very fat.

Now it is threatening her health,
Stealing retirement’s true wealth.
My honey is under the knife.
Without her, my life will be rife.

Her surgery is so serious,
And she surely is so precious.
A fear I have for a short time,
That I might lose her in her prime.

Thank you for being at her side,
I know Doctor R you will guide.
BUT-
Lord, If it is her time to go,
In her place, I will gladly go.

The Catholic Rosary

Note:  An audio recitation of the rosary is in the audio prayer section.  Just click the link.

HOW TO PRAY THE ROSARY

The rosary is divided into five groups of ten beads called decades. As we pray the 

Cord rosary

rosary we meditate on the events of Our Lord’s life and Passion, which are called Mysteries. The repetition of the prayers assists in this prayerful meditation. The rosary, in essence, is a compendium of the Gospel and leads us, through the intercession of Our Lady, to contemplate Jesus Christ.

Begin by praying the Sign of the Cross.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

1. On the crucifix pray the Apostles Creed.
I BELIEVE IN GOD, the Father almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into Hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father almighty. He shall come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

2. Begin the rosary with 1 Our Father.
OUR FATHER, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

3. Pray three (3) Hail Marys for an increase in the virtues of faith, hope, and love, and follow with a Glory Be.
HAIL MARY, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

GLORY BE to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

4. Next, you will begin to pray the Mysteries, or decades, of the Rosary.
It is suggested you focus on the mysteries according to the day of the week you are praying.

Joyful – Monday and Saturday
Glorious – Wednesday and Sunday
Sorrowful – Tuesday and Friday
Luminous – Thursday
[Read details on the mysteries of the rosary]

4a. Announce the first mystery (Ex: “The first Joyful Mystery is the Annunciation.”)
4b. Pray one Our Father

5. Follow with ten (10) Hail Mary’s for each of the 10 beads in the decade
5a. After, pray one (1) Glory Be
5b. Conclude the decade with the Fatima Prayer

O MY JESUS, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell; lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy. Amen. [Read about the prayers of Fatima here.]

6. Repeat all of step 4 to begin the second decade.

7. Repeat all of step 5 to finish the second decade.

8-13. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the remaining three decades.

14. Lastly, pray the Hail Holy Queen and the concluding prayer.
HAIL HOLY QUEEN, mother of mercy; our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us. And after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen. V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.?R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
&
O GOD, WHOSE only-begotten Son by His life, death and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life; grant, we beseech Thee, that by meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord.
Amen.

The Anglican (Episcopal) Rosary

Anglican Rosary

The Anglican (Episcopal) Rosary is made up of a Cross or Crucifix and a total of 33 beads; 1 Invitatory Bead, 4 Cruciform Beads and 4 groups of 7 Week Beads. The design is rich in symbolism reminding the user of key tenets of Christian faith and tradition.

The total number of beads is 33, the number of years of Christ’s life on earth, reminding us that Christ is the source of our faith. The Cross recalls the saving grace of God; that God acts in our lives to bring us into the Kingdom of God. The Invitatory bead calls us to prayer; to pray without ceasing. leading into the main prayer string, where we offer prayers of praise and thanksgiving to God.

Unlike the traditional rosary used by Roman Catholics, which focuses on the seminal events in the life of Christ and asks the Virgin Mary to pray for their intentions, Anglican prayer beads are most often used as a tactile aid to prayer and as a counting device. The standard Anglican set consists of the following pattern, starting with the cross, followed by the Invitatory Bead, and subsequently, the first Cruciform bead, moving to the right, through the first set of seven beads to the next Cruciform bead, continuing around the circle. He or she may conclude by saying the Lord’s prayer on the invitatory bead and/or a final prayer on the cross as in the examples below. The entire circle may be done thrice, which signifies the Holy Trinity.

Traditional Devotion

The Cross: In the Name of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Invitatory: O God make speed to save me, O Lord make haste to help me, Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

The Cruciforms: Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One, Have mercy upon me.
The Weeks: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have mercy on me, a sinner.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
The Cross: Bless us o Lord. Thanks be to God.

Note: Some people prefer to develop their own devotion or simply hold the beads while praying as a focal point to aid their meditation.

Your Third Marriage

Note:  This was given to me by my former wife when she realized I needed to find myself.  She is very intuitive.
Your Third Marriage 

There are three marriages that all human beings can experience. The marriage to another person--with the well-spring of energy and depth that true intimacy can deliver. Or the marriage to a career - - with all the deep fulfillment that flows doing work that you were meant to do. The third marriage, becoming one with your true self -- is not only not optional, it's the essential point of this life.         

How many incarnations do we have to stumble through before we get to know the stranger who lives and waits patiently at our very center? But all the greats, somehow, became their true self.
Man on a bench.                                                                                                             
                                  
At some point, they all received the grace and permission to stop pretending, to stop pretending to be the person that everyone had always told them they should be. Thomas Merton was certainly one of the greats. A month before his shocking death in Bangkok, he said it so simply, "Brothers and sisters, what we have to be is what we are."  It's this "third marriage" that is the focus of the spiritual journey. But the point of that inner journey to the true self is that it gives you the ability to live your authentic life--here and now. The spiritual journey doesn't lead you to some remote cave in the Himalayas, but rather, right into the warp and woof of daily life.

Or as the Zen master who had made the inner journey to the true self proclaimed--"Chopping wood, carrying water - How wonderful!"

The Rosary to Contemplate

Note: This article was sent to me by a Priest in India with whom I keep in touch.  He has written many articles in his native language and wanted to share this with us.

The Rosary to Contemplate

October is the month of the Rosary

By Brother John Singarayar, S.V.D. – The Priest, 10/1/2011

Cord rosary

Prayer is an intimate experience, based on a personal I–Thou relationship. It is a living communication between two persons approaching each other in love and freedom. As a form of Marian prayer, the Rosary has been repeatedly commended by the Holy Mother Church to contemplate the mysteries of Christ from annunciation to resurrection. Here, by mentioning contemplation, I mean that it is the source of the transformation of people who bear values and signs of the Kingdom of God in their lives and who proclaim the experience of Jesus Christ to others by loving, serving and living.

Development: The Rosary prayer was not the result of a single inspiration, nor was it instituted at anytime in a definite and complete form. It came gradually into being as the result of a slow process of growth. Over the course of time it has been subjected to many adaptations, changes, additions and omissions. Its development has been considerably influenced by profane factors. It forms an intimate part of our spiritual and physical make up. Exterior and Interior: First and foremost, prayer is always an event which takes place interiorly in the soul. What happens exteriorly is also prayer, but only insofar as it is an externalization of the prayerful attitude of the soul. The external muttering of the Hail Mary is indeed prayer. As the result of various inquiries, it has been recognized that the muttered, external prayer of the Rosary certainly encourages internal prayer when it is quietly contemplative, unrestrained, emotional and affective.

Free Form of Prayer: The Rosary is a comparatively free form of prayer. We sometimes concentrate our attention on the Hail Mary itself, and its content. Subsequently, we let our mind dwell on the mystery of the same decade. If our attention should wander away from the mystery, the regularity of the constantly repeated formula will spontaneously draw our mind back to the content of the prayer itself.

A Living Experience: Prayer is a living experience, a life of faith, hope and charity to which we must do justice even when we are feeling tired. There is a romantic conception of the rosary that may form the real climax of a concentrated life of prayer, and it truly is a climax for many people. The Rosary is a most commendable form of prayer. It is particularly suitable for those occasions when one’s spirit is worn out, uninterested and lacking energy.

A Blessing: Many Christians are anxious to pray the Rosary often and at the same time well. If that is accomplished, then the Rosary could also be an instrument enabling the soul to make authentic mystical flights at the highest point of such spiritual experience. The beads will slip from the fingers, and the prayer will become purely interior. In this case, the Rosary will serve its purpose. Yes, it is a blessing for many.

A Valuable Form of Prayer: The Rosary animates and constantly renews Christians’ awareness of being in God’s presence even when their spirits are dull and arid and their thoughts distracted. Since we all find ourselves in this sort of situation again and again during the course of our worldly lives, the Rosary will always be a valuable form of prayer for all of us who pursue the Christian life.

Unification of Wills: When we use the Rosary we should allow God to stir us and to penetrate the whole of our being. The essence of every act of prayer is to make our will conform to God’s will. In the case of the Rosary, this is accomplished by a murmuring, almost silent blending of wills.

Dogma and Doctrine: The value of the prayer of the Rosary is found in its concentration on the saving mystery of the Redemption. It was Christ who brought this redemption, but Mary is actively present in an associated manner with the whole of this historical order of salvation. The Rosary is a synthetic Christological creed, a symbol or compendium of dogma and doctrine, in the form of a prayer of meditation, a summary in prayer of the whole of the dogma of the Redemption.

Redemption, Center of the Rosary: The Rosary is clearly a most important weapon for the instruction of the Church community in Christian dogma. The dogmatic faith of the believing community can be confirmed through prayer. In prayer we are able to go back into the past and put ourselves in Mary’s position. The Rosary enables us to follow her development, the growth of her life. In faith and hope we are able to experience all the phases of the mystery of Christ, to proceed from the joys of Mother and her Child, to go beyond the sufferings endured by the Redeemer and His mother and eventually to reach the point where we share in Mary’s happiness in her Son’s victory and triumph. Christ’s redemption is at the center of this Marian prayer. Realization of the Human Condition: God entered the world of humanity, and He not only shared in humanity’s fundamental situation but also provided it with its ultimate phase, thus giving it an entirely new interpretation of human life, death and resurrection. This basic theme of the human condition is seen in the prayer of the Rosary.

Family Prayer: The Rosary plays a vital role in family prayer. It is prayed at home by all the members of the family. What the Rosary does is to lead the whole family. During the praying of the Rosary together, the family is exposed to God. This is a time of special grace when individual members assemble to recite the Rosary together as a family unit. The family experiences God as its unifying factor. The family ties of love become firmer, and the members are more conscious of these ties as being characteristic of the family.

Conclusion: The Rosary seems to me to be not so much the reverse of an activating factor in our spiritual life as it is a reverberation of the life of prayer. It generates fresh spiritual energy in a mind that is quiet, peaceful and perhaps even fatigued. If we, the priests, present it to the young people of today in this light, we will be able to emphasize the Rosary’s lasting value.

FATHER SINGARAYAR, S.V.D., belongs to the India Mumbai Province of the Society of the Divine Word, and is also pursuing a masters in archeology. Fr. Saingarayar has written many articles in Catholic journals in India.

The Good Ole Days

How many times have any of us wished for those good ole days long gone.  Maybe we need to stop and count our blessings.  Here is an interesting piece that my friend shared a while back.

People used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot and then once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery. If you had to do this to survive you were “Piss Poor”. But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot. They “didn’t have a pot to piss in”.
The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be.
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the Bath water!”

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying “It’s raining cats and dogs.”

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.
The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, “Dirt poor.” The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old. Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon.” They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would Sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer.

My Introduction

(Written December 1994, updated in 1998, updated in 2011, updated again in 2020 )

This is my first post of the St. Joseph’s Blog rebuilding. It is a little long, but lays the foundation for a lot of what I’m trying to accomplish. If you want to see a biographic sketch about me, look back in Bill-Beeler . com “About Me page”

I plan to post lots of articles and poems that you may find of interest.  Feel free to offer your own articles or poems about pretty much any subject that might be of interest to our readers.  Use the contact page to submit your work.  Comments are always welcome.  Flames will be ignored.  I want to add more audio prayers and maybe some videos as things develop.  Any suggestions are welcome.

This darned virus has gotten to all of us.  Stay safe and wear a mask.  I am way over 65 and have my share of comorbidities.  Most of my friends are in the same boat.  If you don’t wear a mask for your protection, wear one for mine.  As Tiny Tim said, may God Bless us, one and all.  Stay safe!

You might wonder why I am writing this blog . I’ve asked myself the same thing several times since I started. in the early 1990s. All I know is that I can’t stop. God knows I tried, I got to a point that was very uncomfortable. The book went into a corner to collect dust. It kept eating at me, gnawing at the back of my mind. I could not stop. Maybe God would not take “no” for an answer. He kept whispering in my ear until I picked up the task again.

It is a compilation of my persona. It is not meant to have a point, an objective, or maybe even a sense of direction. It is instead a collection of my, and my readers, thoughts. Maybe a little like Mark Twain’s autobiography. I, like him in his lifetime, go in so many directions it is impossible to develop a coherent commentary.

I will, sometimes, try to stay in a more or less chronological order – maybe – if not too sidetracked by other impulses. Well, Let’s see where this goes.

I have tried to make this collection a personal account of my search for God. Much of what I describe might be questionable. The people I talk about are real. The descriptions and incidents are real. A little research on the reader’s part could verify most of them.

Any illegal acts I describe have exceeded the statute of limitations. A few incidents will only be suggested because old ghosts deserve to rest in peace. Innocent people do not need to be embarrassed.

When I talk about the church, I will try to be objective and clear. Like Jesus said, “Judge not lest ye be judged”. I will try to avoid placing responsibility or blame. I will describe the events as they occurred. Who was responsible? Was it the Catholic Church? Individual Nuns or Priests? Maybe it was my inability to grasp the obvious.

Were the actions described wrong, inappropriate, or downright malicious? You must assess each situation for yourself. I try to be fair in my description, but realize that my emotions may still blind my judgment.

I will also try to capture the product of my communication with God. An integral part of these communications has been my meditation and research. The effort to understand what I am hearing in my heart. Sort of translating a conversation of the heart to a conversation of the mind. In my first draft, I left this research out. This was simply a personal book that I wanted to share with you.

According to my theologian friend, that is great if I am writing about little green men. It does not fly in this type of book. I need to provide a warrant for my statements – a basis for your judgment.

Yes, I questioned the word “warrant” too. I looked it up in the unabridged. A warrant is not necessarily a proof. Much about God, emotions, and morality is unprovable. A warrant is something that serves as a reason or ground for a belief, opinion, or action. Not only have I included these warrants from before, but I have continued my research as I try to address my friend’s questions and suggestions. I will provide the warrants for my statements as they occur where possible.

I have attempted to recapture my communication with God as accurately as possible, but they are not quotations. By their nature, they are not quotable. They are recaps of the communication, understandings. These understandings have occurred while driving, lying in bed, walking, sleeping, talking to friends about heavy matters, and even while sitting at the computer. I have included where possible footnotes and a bibliography of all references cited. I invite you to check and verify my references to further your understanding as you also strive to know God.

The Bible as My Base Reference

The Bible is a wonderful anthology with many interesting stories. It contains the message of God. Man has tried vainly to describe the indescribable. To make meaning of that which cannot be understood.

The writers of Sacred Scripture were caught up in their own bias, their limited understanding of the world and universe around them. They also had to communicate with an audience who thought disease was caused by demons and the world was flat, covered by a blue dome separating Man’s home from God’s home. That God sat on a raised throne like the worldly kings of old.

Dr. Manfred Barthel evaluated the Bible as a detailed, literal account. He brings up some interesting facts.

The Bible is an anthology of songs, chronicles, fables, proverbs, and revelations … Written between 1200 BC and 150 AD … The old testament especially is recordings of stories told around the campfire of tribesmen, embellished and transmitted by word of mouth for hundreds of years until written down … Even then, today’s bible is not a constant. There are many translations from many languages, cultures and perspectives.

– – –

It is thought by many Bible scholars today that everything in Genesis from Creation to the Tower of Babel is simply a parable through which the writers were trying to explain the unexplainable workings of God.

– – –

The first two chapters of Genesis give contradictory accounts of creation. Each chapter reflects a very different literary style.

– – –

George Smith, an Assyriologist and assistant curator of the Assyrian collection in the British Museum discovered 12 clay tablets in Northern Iraq, near the ruins of Ninevah. Tablet 11 describes “The Epic of Gilgamesh”. This epic describes a flood almost exactly as it was in the Bible. These tablets were written about 2500 BC, long before the biblical account.

– – –

The Earth’s axis has shifted many times. The last was about 8,000 to 15,000 years ago. This shift resulted in a huge climactic change. As the ice caps melted and the crust cracked, there were huge floods, volcanoes, terrible storms, and much more.

– – –

Moses’ mother set him afloat on the Nile to save him from the Egyptians … Sargon of Akkad was set upon the river Euphrates a thousand years before to escape … Many more narrow escapes by infants spared by God for greater things are recorded. Romulus and Remus, Hercules, and Jesus are but a few.

– – –

The council of Laodicea, under Pope Liberius settled on four Gospels. Originally there were many more.

– – –

The early texts were difficult to translate. Not only were there problems of interpretation as Scripture went from one language to another, but: MANYWORDSWEREABREVIATEDSPAELLINGWASALITTLESLOPPYANDTHEWRITINGWASINALLCAPITALSWITHOUTSPACES

– – –

Sacred Scripture can help us as we strive to understand a rich Judeo-Christian tradition. The Bible chronicles the Judeo-Christian concept of God. But, we must separate theological truth from pre-scientific myths. We must see this wonderful message of God in a way that is consistent with our understanding of reality.

– – –

This blog is burning a hole in me. I have to get it written, even if just one person is helped by sharing what I have discovered over the last 76 or so years, so let us begin.