Pain Retreats ~ and your Angel

A week ago today I attended an unscheduled retreat at the Littleton Hospital. The cause was a myocardial infarction, in laymen’s terms a heart attack. The retreat master was a Dr. Pain, an excellent teacher who reminds us when we are getting a little too involved in our day to day concerns just what is truly important.

Pain shakes us out of our little comfort zones enabling us to see another, deeper reality beyond material existence. It lifts the veil on an entire spiritual universe of which our material universe is but a small subset. But because we all tend to be such distracted creatures most of the time, it is not until we are forced out of our comfortable routines that we really give any serious attention to that incredible spiritual realm that surrounds us, influences, and directs our lives. The real benefit of pain is that it grabs and directs our attention to spiritual realities. And if accepted in a spirit of humility, pain will guide one into a deeper understanding of that spiritual realm. Of course, there will always be those who will reject the wisdom that pain imparts and turn all their attention towards medicating it rather than learning from it.

So let me share my own experience from last Thursday. As I was being wheeled in to the Cath Lab for an emergency angiogram and stent placement it became apparent that the room was buzzing with angels. All I could see was the team of doctors, nurses, and technicians busy making preparations for my procedure but I suddenly realized that they were not alone. These medical professionals seemed elegantly orchestrated as they went about their various tasks, smoothly and efficiently undertaking the operation. But this was something more than just a trained team going about its job. As I gazed around I strongly sensed the guardian angels of every person in that room, my own included, skillfully guiding each and every hand in the lab in the performance of its duty.

Although I have the deepest respect for the considerable skills and abilities of my providers, it occurred to me how critical angelic protection also would be to a successful outcome. And so it proved to be. As I silently prayed to all those assembled guardian angels the doctor confidently threaded a tiny fiber through my veins, located a 100% blocked artery, and implanted the life saving stent. As they wheeled me out, happy, alert, and pain free, my wife said I looked like a different person from the man they had wheeled in 40 minutes earlier.

I feel profound gratitude for all those wonderful caregivers, including the nurses on my floor who looked after me pre-op and post-op in their pleasant and optimistic way. But I would not neglect to thank their guardian angels whom I could almost see at times standing by their sides. You must understand that angels, being purely spiritual creatures, are more real than the material objects we are used to. As such they also exercise real control and power over all things material. Never underestimate their power nor doubt their presence, even in the midst of danger or pain. Call upon them often, and don’t just wait for some moment of crisis.

These are God’s special ambassadors to the human race, so show them the respect that their dignity deserves. When we are in need they will be at hand to lend assistance. How do I know that? Well, when my short pain retreat ended on Friday the doctors sent me home with evidence that there had been no apparent permanent damage to my heart ~ despite more than 14 hours of intense seizure activity! I know the skeptics are out there. In today’s world we are sadly surrounded people who will reject angelic power even as they accept and celebrate the foulest demons. But our guardian angels are real spirits whose primary job is to protect us from the demons. Pray and listen to them, and let them do their jobs, which is not only to ward off evil spirits but to protect us bodily as well. But this requires our active cooperation.

The spiritual warfare never ends, and our material world is its battlefield. So don’t let a little crisis or the experience of pain turn you away from your angelic protector and advocate. Instead, turn to your guardian angel so that, with its help, the pain you may be experiencing will become a source of great learning and profit to you. God may be sending you an impromtu “pain retreat,” so take advantage of it, and remember that whatever you suffer, you are not alone. Your guardian angel will be right there doing whatever necessary to lend all necessary aid and comfort.

Francis J. Pierson +a.m.d.g.

It’s Okay to Discriminate, After All

After 50 plus years of non-stop lecturing on the manifest evils of discrimination, America’s woke progressive left has suddenly discovered what they had not realized all along: that discrimination is not only okay, it now positively virtuous! People who have religious convictions or some archaic notion of civil rights; those who believe that the Constitution really means what it says constitute the most likely candidates for discrimination. These are the people who just won’t go along with every faddish diktat that comes along from on high, because as true Americans they actually believe that the individual, not some Sultan of Health or pretty boy politician, ought to be responsible for their personal health decisions.

In evidence I offer three anecdotal, yet personal, first hand cases. The first is my father-in-law, recently deceased, who at 84 was suffering from low oxygen levels and early stage Alzheimers. The VA quickly diagnosed him as Covid positive. Thankfully he was able to die at home surrounded by loving family members instead of being isolated in some sterile medical gulag unit. The interesting part is that later, in talking to the funeral director who was required to go through a lot of extra procedures, we learned that the body showed absolutely no signs of the China virus. His body was clean as a whistle regarding Covid.

Big Pharma now presents Medi-Jihad

How little Americans seem to have learned in 20 years! September 11 marks the somber anniversary of a despicable attack on the American people by foreign terrorists. But as of today, 9-11-2021, our people are again under attack; this time by domestic terrorists in our own government. Headline: The acting president just declared war on those Americans who, either for reasons of conscience or medical freedom, refused to be injected with an abortion-tainted agent not yet out of clinical trials.

Biden has effectively declared a medical dictatorship which allows politicians, who now deem themselves more qualified than medical professionals, to forcibly make medical decisions for you. Regardless of what you may think of a particular “vaccine,” the principle these autocrats are invoking is both atrocious and unconstitutional ~ namely that government knows better than you, or your doctor, your personal health needs, and that it nevertheless has the right to forcibly inject a foreign substance into your body. If you refuse, you will be denied the right to work or to participate in society. You will be accused of being a menace to the community and tarred as an outcast. You will be publicly denounced and discriminated against. Medical “Jim Crow” has now arrived on America’s doorstep!

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Remembering TWA Flight 800

Today, July 17th, is a somber anniversary of the demise of TWA Flight 800 which 25 years ago today burst into flames and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Long Island, New York. Mystery continues to shroud that tragic event primarily because our own government agencies charged with the investigation have for decades shamelessly stonewalled and lied to the very people they ostensibly serve. Just coincidentally, on that same July 17, 1996 our navy was conducting secret submarine exercises in the same vicinity. Dozens of eyewitnesses on shore as well as at least one pilot flying by all reported seeing an rapid orange streak rising from the water which then intercepted Flight 800 followed immediately by a huge fireball. Was this a sub-launched missile that somehow went awry?

Immediately after that mid air explosion at +13,000 feet altitude, land based radar detected some unknown object racing away from the scene at 30 plus knots. The 747 jetliner with 230 passengers and crew broke apart and plummeted into the Atlantic. No one survived. A months long salvage operation along the sea floor yielded countless pieces of wreckage along with all 230 bodies. Initial testing by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) charged with the investigation discovered nitrates and various explosive residues on many of the recovered shards. The most damning evidence was a spray pattern of these residues across the outer surface of the center wing fuel tank. Even though the tank itself had split open the spray pattern on either side of the rupture was neatly aligned, meaning that the residue was already in place before the tank had actually ruptured.

Keep this vital fact in mind as the official NTSB report on the crash was finally released some years later. Their conclusion was that the plane had exploded when a fuel pump inside the center wing tank had caused a spark which ignited the fuel. According to friends of mine who are veteran retired airline pilots this explanation made absolutely no sense. Aside from the fact that the NTSB never adequately explained such an improbable event nor found any irregularity with the suspect fuel pump, an explosion originating inside the fuel tank could not possibly leave a residue pattern on the outside of the same tank. It’s physically impossible. Nor would it leave traces of nitrates and other explosives!

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Whether it is Better to Obey God or Men

The surreal atmosphere of the present “crisis of fear” which is being relentlessly exploited by the media and its political allies brings into sharp focus the courageous reply of St. Peter and the apostles before the Sanhedrin as recorded in chapters 4 and 5 of Acts of the Apostles. “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God you must judge… We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 4:19; 5:29) Christians now find themselves in a similar situation with the sudden closing of churches by secular authorities, thus preventing us from fulfilling the divinely mandated obligation to worship God as a community.

This is no small matter because one’s duty to God actually supercedes any civil duties. Christ clearly drew this distinction when he said, “render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Mt 22:21) Therefore, obedience to Caesar does not excuse one from the far greater obligation of obedience to God. St. Thomas More expressed this relationship concisely and beautifully on the scaffold only moments before his martyrdom. “I die the king’s good servant, but God’s first.” Continue reading

Is the Catholic Church Biblical?

Many Christians today question whether the Catholic Church is actually Biblical. Such a question is highly paradoxical for the simple historical reason that the entire New Testament originated from within that very same church. Note that St. Paul wrote his early epistles well before all four gospel accounts were even composed. This means that when Paul refers to the authority of Scripture (as in Romans 15:4), he can only be referring to the Old Testament canon known as the Septuagint ─ not the Bible we know today, because the New Testament part of the Bible did not yet exist.

This fact raises an interesting point. During his entire life on earth, Jesus Christ never wrote a single line of Scripture. He certainly could have done so but he chose not to. Instead what he left us was an oral tradition in custody of the Church which he founded. It was the leaders of this same Church who would eventually compose the New Testament, and centuries later decide which of the countless texts then circulating among various Christian communities were divinely inspired ─ and which were not. This final canon of 27 books plus the Hebrew Scriptures containing 45 books were confirmed by Church authorities at the end of the fourth century, some 300 years after the death of the last apostle, John. This means that the authority of the Bible rests upon the authority of that apostolic Church founded by Jesus Christ who commissioned it to “go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” (Mt 28:19) Continue reading

The Gift of Time ~ 2020

A blessed Christmas and happy new year to you all. Another year rolls by and suddenly it’s 2020 ~ a year to restore our vision, one might hope. But vision seems to be an increasingly disfavored quality in today’s culture of anxiety, fear, and polarization as various factions compete to “fix the world” according to their own preconceived agendas. Yet caught up in that worldly frenzy we also stand to loose the very thing that God once set foot on this mortal coil to give his restless creatures: PEACE. Today one must work overtime to restore that vision of interior peace which, after all, is God’s vision as well.

Peace is, to a large extent, dependent upon our knowing who we are and the humble acceptance of our relative insignificance – not our imagined importance – in this broken world. After all we have very little time at our disposal in the great scheme of things, and how we use that limited time may well determine our ultimate state of happiness. This thought struck me forcefully as I was counting down the hours and minutes to midnight on December 31. Continue reading

John 8:7 on “Casting Stones”

Colorado Special Masters Report asserts clerical “Guilt by Association”

With the unqualified blessings of four Colorado bishops and following the same biased template laid out by the 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, former U.S. attorney Robert Troyer on October 24 released the Special Masters Report (the Report) on clergy child sexual abuse in all three Colorado dioceses. I will here limit my observations to my own Archdiocese of Denver but those observations could well apply in principle to the two sufragen dioceses. The report spans a 70 year period from around 1949 to the present found 123 cases of abuse, including alleged abuses, in the archdiocese ─ a distinction clearly overlooked by the Report.

Clerical abuse is a reprehensible disorder which ought never to be tolerated. Nevertheless the current “Me Too” hysteria only seems to be muddying the waters. What we now increasingly see is a rash of unverified allegations from decades long past being blithely fobbed off as established facts. Just so, the evidentiary standards adopted in this Report appear to be rather slim ─ i.e., whether “from our investigation it is more likely than not that a child sex abuse incident occurred.” Who determines what is “likely” and what is not? This is a purely subjective standard which demands no substantial evidence of wrongdoing. Continue reading

The “New Passover” Today

For 500 years now the Eucharist has been a source of contention and doctrinal division among Christians. Yet it is entirely Scriptural. In fact Catholic Eucharistic Liturgy boasts of its deeply Jewish roots going back to the very first Passover. From its very institution at the Last Supper it has been understood as the New Passover which institutes a New Covenant just as the Mosaic Passover instituted the Old Covenant. By reviewing the Book of Exodus, we can see the close correlation between that first Passover and Christ’s later institution of the Eucharist.

Anticipating their departure from Egypt, Moses instructs the people, even before the actual Passover event, “You shall observe this as a perpetual ordinance for yourselves and your descendants. Thus you must observe this rite when you have entered into the lands which the Lord will give you as he promised.” (Ex. 12:24-25) Similarly, at the last supper Christ exhorts his disciples thus. “Do this,.. in memory of me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes,” (1Cor. 11:25-26) Does the first rite not anticipate the second? And what is it that both rites are actually commemorating? It is the imminent deliverance of God’s people, the first from slavery to the Egyptians, the second from that slavery to sin which is synonymous with bondage to Satan. Continue reading

Does God Will Suffering?

A close friend of mine recently fell into a severe emotional state when a good priest friend, who had suffered a long and painful bout with brain cancer, finally succumbed to the disease. How could God have allowed such a horrible thing to happen? Fr. M was still quite young and apparently had many good years ahead of him. When I mentioned that perhaps this was God’s will for Fr. M my friend lapsed into a bitter state of denial. “I don’t believe that God had anything to do with it,” he snapped back as if unable to reconcile a loving, merciful being with a deity who could actually will such terrible suffering on such a good and decent man.

I had no quick answers to his complaint, yet something deep inside me said that no matter how unpleasant the implications God, in fact, not only permits us to suffer, to which my friend would tacitly agree, but more to the point there are times when God positively wills us to suffer. It is on this second point that my friend and many fellow Christians would violently disagree. In fact, the all too common depiction of God as some cosmic sadist has likely turned more people against religion in our materialist, pain-averse culture than ever before. A mass consumerism which promises instant gratification has somehow robbed us of the former stoicism by which our great-grandparents quietly accepted pain and suffering as natural parts of life. Continue reading