They Need to Know. Will You Tell Them?

People who are suffering need to know that the Son of God transported technology from heaven to earth that facilitates their passage through it. We know the technology works because the Son of God used it himself while he was human, alive, tender, vulnerable and our guest upon the earth. The technology teaches us to apply love to suffering. Love is the salve that greases the wheels of our passage through the valley of tears. The Son of God did not transport and demonstrate pie-in-the-sky, head-in-the-clouds technology. He transported and demonstrated down-to-earth, practical technology. We can use it today, not just tomorrow, profitably. Furthermore, the technology works independently of its source. The technology is agnostic - nondenominational. It works whether you are a Roman Catholic, other Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Pagan, Atheist or something else. The technology is catholic in its truest sense because anyone can use it. In fact, no conditions must be satisfied before you can use it. They need to know. Will you tell them? Or will you let them suffer?

The Big Picture of Christianity

The Big Picture of Christianity is a window though which we can gaze upon our passage through the valley of tears, its beginning, middle and end, Adam and Eve at the beginning of our passage who took us with them into the valley of tears, the monsters of adversity and prosperity that lurk in the valley of tears trying to crush us under their weight, the methodology to best cope with them, the escape route through the valley of tears defined by holy places at which close encounters with the living God take place here on earth, and the end of our passage when we graduate to paradise. In short, the Big Picture of Christianity shows us our struggle with the forces of good and evil that try their best to make us god-like or beast-like as we pass through the valley of tears. As we pass though the valley of tears, the balance of our humanity pivots on how we cope with adversity and prosperity. It is the coping that is significant. Both the prosperity and the adversity are insignificant. Only the coping matters. Only the coping matters. We can cope with adversity and prosperity as a beast or as God. A successful passage through the valley of tears for ourselves and our neighbors depends on tilting the balance in favor of the godlike. Victory is won when we maintain the resemblance we bear to God - when we refuse to let the monsters of adversity or prosperity transmogrify us into the most miserable and hideous of beasts - when we cling to love, hold tight and refuse to let go. Love means nothing to beasts. Love means everything to God. When the Son of God passed through the valley of tears, he clung to love, held tight and refused to let go. He emerged from the blackhole of death, still alive and still in love with us. Cling as Jesus clung. Love is the salve that greases the wheels of our passage through the valley of tears. The Son of God demonstrated how to cope with his cross so we would know how to cope with ours.

Unfortunately for a proper understanding of our predicament in the valley of tears, the nuts and bolts of Christianity often obscures the Big Picture. Our pathologic obsession with the trivial details of Christianity blurs the Big Picture. In Christianity today, the ratio of pizzazz to nuts and bolts is out of whack - way out of whack. We have taken our eyes off the ball. The red herring of minutia detours the hounds from pursuing the scent of God. God is not dead. Indeed, he is very much alive. However, the conversation about God is dead. Killing the conversation about God is tantamount to killing God. The enemies of the Church knows this. The Church does not.

The Holy spirit is tugging at our souls. The curious are following the tug back to its source. Along the way, the curious are exploring the mystery, majesty and magnificence of God. The Church is the tour guide showing the curious the sights to see along the way to the source of the tug. The Church is the usher who shows us to our seats. The Church is not the star of the show. God is the star of the show. Beware a Church and its clergy who think that they are the star of the show.

The trick is transforming the hostile and the indifferent into the curious. Evangelization turns the hostile and the indifferent into the curious (if done right and in the proper sequence)

Is your heart empty or full of love?

The circumstances in which you find yourself do not matter. The adversity or prosperity in which you find yourself does not matter. The only thing that matters is whether or not your heart is empty or full of love. The heart of a beast is empty of love. The heart of God is full of love. Which do you resemble? Maintaining the resemblance that you bear to God is the only thing that matters. You have found success if you pass through the valley of tears with love in your heart. You have failed if your heart is empty of love.

The Primary Beneficiary of Love

Most do not understand. They haven't a clue. They think that the technology that teaches us to apply love to suffering is solely for the benefit of the evil doers who inflict suffering upon us. This benefit, however, is secondary. It is a byproduct. The primary benefit is to ourselves. By applying love to suffering, we maintain our resemblance to God. We prevent suffering from transmogrifying ourselves into the most miserable and hideous of beasts. We are the beneficiaries when we apply love to suffering. We are helping ourselves. The most Holy Trinity imagined an army of saints marching through the valley of tears, hand-in-hand, arm-in-arm together as one Church to the martial beat of the most sacred heart of Jesus all the while demonstrating the technology of applying love to suffering.

Transmogrification

As we pass through the valley of tears, we encounter monsters who try to crush us under their weight. They try to poke a hole in our hearts and drain them of love. They try to decrease the resemblance we bear to God and increase the resemblance we bear to the most miserable and hideous of beasts. In the valley of tears, there are monsters of adversity and monsters of prosperity. Both try to hurt us. To cope with them, we must love. Love is the salve that greases our passage through the valley of tears. Love is our only sanctuary in which we can take refuge when the storm of adversity or the storm of prosperity rain down upon us. Love doesn't enable us to dodge the raindrops. Love enables us to pass through the gauntlet - to bull through it.

Note: This entry is being broken up into smaller chunks for easier digestion

Why did the Son of God Transport the Technology of Applying Love to Suffering from Heaven to Earth and then Demonstrate that the Technology Works by Using it as He passed through the Valley of Tears?

To understand what we see when we look at the Big Picture of Christianity, we must go back to the beginning.

Like foolish children, Adam and Eve ran away from their home with God in paradise and took us with them into the valley of tears. Our escapade into the valley of tears put us bodily into an untenable predicament. Malicous monsters inhabit the valley of tears. They pose an existential threat to us. The monsters are crosses of suffering that try to crush us under their weight as we pass through the valley of tears. They try to strip us of the resemblance we bear to God. They try to transmogrify us into the most miserable and hideous of beasts. They try to stop our progress to paradise. Our close encounters with the monsters of the valley of tears generate suffering which produces the notoious sighs, mourning and weeping that are the hallmarks of the valley of tears. The din of our suffering reached God's ear, broke his heart and elicited his compassion. So he initiated the process of reconcilliation between God and humanity. It was not our sin that inspired him to initiate the process of reconciliation. It was the din of our suffering in the valley of tears that inspired it.

The process of reconciliation between humanity and God had to overcome an obstacle. Our faculty of obedience is broken. It is prone to failure. Adam and Eve are the proof of its unreliability. Because our faculty of obedience tends to malfunction, God equipped us with a back-up system. He endowed us with the engine of rationality. Fueled by the truth, our engine of rationality can steer us in the right direction through the valley of tears. The king of the monsters in the valley of tears, the serpent, however, conjured up two illusions that hide the truth from us: 1) an illusion that camouflages the sweetness of paradise and 2) an illusion that sugarcoats the sourness of godlessness. The serpent's illusions foul up our engine of rationality. Fouled up, our engine of rationality steers us in the wrong direction. The sledgehammer of truth, therefore, needs to be wielded against the illusions to shatter them as the blow of a hammer shatters glass. When the illusions are shattered, both the sweetness of paradise and the sourness of godlessness become visible to us. Rational people seek the sweetness of paradise and flee the sourness of godlessness. It is contrary to our self-interest to do otherwise. The truth sets us free. The combination of the truth and our faculty of rationality enables us to figure "it" out for ourselves. Nobody can figure "it" out for us. Each of us needs to figure "it" out for ourselves. Each of us needs to come to our own conclusions. For us to leave the nest and stand up on our own two feet against the monsters of the valley of tears , we need to persuade ourselves. There is no stronger persuasion than when we persuade ourselves. We need to learn who we are. We need to realize that we our children of God and live up to our divine heritage.

The role that the Son of God played in the process of reconciliation between God and humanity was revelation. He was the gum drop. He was the jelly in the donought of Christianity. He came to wield the sledgehammer of truth against the illusion that camouflages the sweetness of paradise from us. He shattered it as the blow of a hammer shatters glass. The sourness of godlessness is autodidactic. The stings of the monsters that lurk in the valley of tears are felt again and again as we pass through it. The sweetness of paradise, however, needs to be revealed to us. We are inhabitants of the valley of tears. We only know godlessness; we do not know paradise. So much time has passed since Adam and Eve enjoyed a life with God in paradise that the memory of its sweetness has faded into the mist of myth. The God who fashioned us out of the mud with his hands put himself into the hands of the mud to give the mud a taste of the sweetness of paradise. Taste and see the sweetness of the Lord .

To reveal the sweetness of paradise, the father gave the son two assignments. The first assignment was to transport technology from heaven to earth. The second assignment was to demonstrate that the technology works.

What is the technology?

The technology is the first non-pagan technology. Furthermore, it benefits anyone who is passing through the valley of tears. The technology is beneficial to Roman Catholics, other Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Pagans, Atheists and anyone else passing through the valley of tears. The technology is truly catholic in that it is available to all not just to some who subscribe to a particular religion.

The technology is game-changing because it solves the problem of suffering.

The technology teaches us to apply love to suffering. Love does not enable us to dodge the crosses of suffering. Love facilitates our passage through them. In the valley of tears, we cannot dodge or otherwise avoid its crosses of suffering. We can only bull our way through them. Love is a salve with which we can grease the wheels of our passage through the valley of tears. Love turns us into superman. It enables us to deny ourselves, to pick up and to carry our crosses. With love, we are able to continue to make progress to paradise through the valley of tears.

To reveal the sweetness of paradise, attention was paid to every detail. Even the packaging of the technology for transport was part of the revelation. The technology needed to be packaged for transport in such a way that highlighted its importance and emphasized its critical nature. No ordinary package would do. It was decided to package the technology in a love note and send the love note with the technology from God to us. The love note was special. It lived and breathed. In its heart burned a bonfire of inextinguishable love for us. The love note selected for this mission was the Son of God himself. Love never fails . What type of literature is the word of God ? The word of God is a love note. The love note was delivered to us at Bethlehem. The technology that came with the love note was demonstrated at Calvary.

The transportation of the technology from heaven to earth was an easy, first assignment. The second assignment, however, was much, much more difficult. The second assignment was to demonstrate that the technology works. To apply love to suffering, obviously both love and suffering are necessary ingredients. Suffering is the problem; love is the solution. Suffering is the cost of the demonstration of the power of love. And the cost was not minimal. It was very, very expensive. Furthermore, he paid the cost of the demonstration himself entirely out of his own pocket. He paid the cost not from his unlimited divine resources. He paid the cost from his limited human resources. He paid them all for us. He kept not a penny for himself. He has never paid more for anything else. The exorbitant cost of the demonstration helps us to conceive the exorbitant magnitude of his love for us. He deemed the cost a small price for him to pay compared to the huge benefit that the technology brings to us . To demonstrate the technology, he used the technology himself as he we tortured and killed him. He suffered and died. Yet, he emerged from this evil baptism still alive and still in love with us.

Given the inconvenience of the trip from heaven to earth and given the exorbitant cost of the demonstration, why did he do it? Why did he bother? Why did he deliver and demonstrate the technology?

Furthermore, the initiation of the process of reconciliation between God and humanity was an event so special that God marked the occasion with a gift. The gift, like the rainbow of the old covenant, was the manifestation of God's love for us and the facilitation of our passage through the valley of tears.

The Son of God agreed to transport the gift from heaven to earth. The Son of God himself would bear the gift to us. The gift would be wrapped in a love note. He would be the love note that delivers the gift to us at Bethlehem. The gift was technology. It is technology that teaches us to apply love to suffering. Love is the salve that greases the wheels of our passage through the valley of tears. In addition to delivering the technology to us, the Son of God agreed to demonstrate that the technology works. He would produce a demonstration of the technology by using it himself as he made his own way through the valley of tears. The demonstration would prove that the technology works and verify that the love note is genuine. If the love note were counterfeit, his love for us would have faded as we tortured him and would have died when we killed him. But it did not. It survived. Its survival is the proof that the love note is not counterfeit but real and that the technology works. By delivering and demonstrating the technology of applying love to suffering, the Son of God initiated the process of reconciliation. God made the first move at reconciliation by initiating the process with a gift. He stepped onto the dance floor and offered his hand to me. I am still a sinner yet he sent me a love note and gave me a gift. How do I respond? Do I accept the gift from my lover? Do I take his proffered hand? Do I dance with him?

The Church is on Fire

The Church is on fire. The flames are dancing out the windows. All aspects of Christianity are about to be immolated. You can enter the Church and save only one. What aspect of Christianity would you save?

The burning Church scenario forces us to prioritize the aspects of Christianity. All aspects of Christianity are not of equal importance. What is more important and what is less important? You decide by saving an aspect of Christianity. What aspect of Christianity would you save? The answer to this question reveals the aspect of Christianity upon which we can rebuild the Church. On the answer to this question, every Christian ought to focus his time, energy and resources.

Some would save the sacrament of the most Holy Eucharist. Some, the bible. Few would save the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Few would save the Church's three thousand volume Encyclopedia of sins. All would try to save the pizzazz of Christianity. None would go for its nuts and bolts. That which interests Mary would be saved first not what interests Martha.

I would save the technology of applying love to suffering because it facilitates our passage through the valley of tears. Into the flames, I would run in and grab it. Our passage through the valley of tears is perpetually in dire need of facilitation. The din of our sighs, mourning and weeping reached God's ears and so broke God's heart that God decided to send us a salve to grease the wheels of our passage through the valley of tears. The most Holy Trinity held the opinion that this technology was so important to get into our hands that they sent the Son of God himself to deliver it and to demonstrate it. They did not dispatch a flunky to deliver it and demonstrate it. They delivered it and demonstrated it themselves. The Son of God delivered the technology to us when he paid us a visit at and about the city of Jerusalem in a region of our planet called the Middle East more than two thousand years ago. He demonstrated that the technology works by using it himself as he passed through the valley of tears. He coped with his Cross to show us how to cope with ours. The God who fashioned us out of the mud with his hands put himself into the hands of the mud to teach us how to pass through the valley of tears to paradise without getting bogged down by our crosses of suffering. He did not transfer to us pie-in-the-sky, head-in-the-clouds technology. He transferred to us down-to-earth, practical technology. We can use it today, not tomorrow, profitably. It is technology for the here and now not for the hereafter. It is for this life not for the next.

What aspect of Christianity would you save and why? What benefit will the children of Adam and Eve derive from what we save? And, let the fun begin. Let us discuss and debate our choices. In such a grand debate we shall not get bogged down in the trivial details of Christianity. In such a grand debate, we shall illuminate the valley of tears with the light generated by the pizzazz of Christianity.

The Son of God Transferred Technology to Us that Facilitates our Passage through the Valley of Tears
In case of emergency, break glass and use the technology

Let me ask you some questions. What survival skills do you use to deal with the crosses of suffering that attack us as we pass through the valley of tears? How do you cope with them? Has your Church equipped you with the know-how to handle suffering? Has your Church put the technology into your hands that enables you to deny yourself, to pick up, and to carry the crosses of suffering that bring sighs, mourning and weeping to us in the valley of tears? Or has your Church left you defenseless - vulnerable to suffering? Has your Church left you to fend for yourself as you pass through the valley of tears? Is the head of your Church stuck so high in the clouds that it has no practical, down-to-earth, advice whatsoever to facilitate your passage through the valley of tears? When it comes to crosses of suffering, does your Church preach the gospel of irrationality? Does your Church advise you to embrace suffering with open arms as a pathologic, sick-in-the-head, masochist does. Run from the gospel of irrationality. Run fast and run far. A technology exists and is available to us free of charge that facilitates our passage through the valley of tears. The technology is a prophylatic layer that you can put between yourself and suffering. You can wrap yourself in it as the forest fire of suffering passes your way. It is available to anyone regardless of religion, regardless of sexual orientation, regardless of state of grace, regardless of any pre-condition or caveat whatsoever. The technology is available for free to Roman Catholics, other Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Atheists and anyone else passing through the valley of tears. The technology is truly catholic in that it is available to all not just to some who subscribe to a particular religion. Has your Chuch even informed you about the technology? If not, may I tell you about a technology transferred to us by the Son of God himself when he paid us a visit at and about the city of Jerusalem in a region of our planet known as the Middle East more than two thousand years ago?

Like foolish children, Adam and Eve ran away from their home with God in paradise and took us with them into the valley of tears . The valley of tears sucks. There, we were in trouble. We needed help. So the Son of God himself paid us a visit to help us. The serpent got us into this predicament . Jesus paid us a visit not to get us out of our predicament but to get us through it . The purpose of his visit was twofold: 1) to deliver to us that facilitates our passage through the valley of tears and 2) to demonstrate to us that the technology works. The delivery of the technology was easy. It was the demonstration of the technology that was difficult - very, very difficult. To demonstrate the technology, Jesus used the technology himself as he passed through the valley of tears. He applied the technology to cope with his Cross to show us how to cope with ours. The technology teaches us how to survive in the valley of tears. It is a survival technique. It is a coping mechanism. It is a tool we can use not to dodge suffering but to manage suffering. The technology teaches us how to deal with suffering.

The Son of God transferred the technology from the private to the public domain. He open sourced it. He let the cat out of the bag. He released the technology to the public. Its release to the public is as irreversible as toothpaste squeezed out of the tube. There is no going back. Because the technology does not belong to any particular religion, it is truly catholic. The technology is useful to anyone passing through the valley of tears. The technology is not proprietary to any particular religion. It transcends them. It is bigger than their doctrines. The technology spills over their boundaries and floods the valley of tears. It cannot be contained. No matter how high the dike a religion builds, the technology overwhelms it. Religious conservatives of every persuasion subscribe to the rigid orthodoxy that we must color within the lines of religious diversity. Jesus, however, scribbled with the technology within, across and outside the lines. His lack of respect for the lines of religious diversity is truly revolutionary. It upsets the apple cart . It rocks religions off their foundations and rebuilds them using the technology as their new foundation . Furthermore, anyone, religious or not religious, can use the technology. There are no pre-conditions or qualifications. There is no initiation ceremony. There is no secret handshake that you must first master. There are absolutely no barriers to be hurdled or hoops to jump through in order to use it. Whether you are a sinner or a saint, you can use the technology if you want to use it. The technology enables us to leave our religious nests and stand up on our own two feet as adults in the the valley of tears. Jesus envisioned a Church of saints passing through the valley of tears all the while demonstrating the technology as they go.

The technology addressed the problem of suffering. Suffering is the hallmark of the valley of tears. As we pass through the valley of tears, crosses of suffering try to crush us under their weight . They bog us down and interrupt our progress through the valley of tears from godlessness to paradise. The technology enables us to deny ourselves, to pick up our crosses and to carry them so our progress through the valley of tears can continue.

Jesus himself taught us the technology. However, he did not teach us by just telling us about the technology. He took his pedagogy a step further. He taught us the technology by demonstrating the technology himself. He donned the jet pack and flew to teach us how to fly. He himself used the technology as he passed through the valley of tears to demonstrate to us that it works.

Furthermore, there was no way to demonstrate the technology without paying the cost of the demonstration in the coin of pain, suffering and death. The usefulness of the technology only comes into play when a cost is being incurred in the valley of tears. Suffering, therefore, is the sine qua non for a demonstration. To produce a demonstration of the technology that facilitates our passage through suffering, suffering is essential. No suffering; no demonstration. And the cost to demonstrate the technology was not minimal. It was very, very expensive. In fact, the cost demanded from the Son of God was so exorbitant that it was obscene. Yet, he did not pass the hat amongst us to help defray the cost. He paid the cost of the demonstration himself entirely out of his own pocket. He paid the cost not from his unlimited divine resources. He paid the cost from his limited human resources. He paid them all for us. He kept not a penny for himself. He has never paid more for anything else. He deemed the cost a small price for him to pay compared to the boon the technology brings to us . He owed us nothing; we owed him everything. He was our creditor; we were his debtors. The demonstration was for our benefit not his. He had nothing to gain and everything to lose. Yet, he willingly lost everything for our sake. Wow! What a philanthropist is our God! The generosity of our God is immeasurable !

The Son of God's successful demonstration of the technology while he was one of us - an equal to us in our humanity - a partner with us in our suffering - is a powerful endorsement of the technology. By his own passion, death and resurrection, he let it be known that the technology works! The technology works! Proclaim the good news! The technology works! If the Son of God recommended a book for you to read, would you read it or leave it on the shelf unread? Likewise, his endorsement ought to encourage you to adopt the technology. He used it; it worked; so ought you. In case of an emergency, his endorsement of the technology ought to compel you to break the glass and put the technology to good use.

The technology teaches us to apply love to suffering. Love transforms us into superman. It enables us to deny ourselves, to pick up and to carry our crosses of suffering. Love greases the wheels of our passage through the valley of tears. It reduces the friction. Love gives our crosses wings. Love lightens the load. Suffering does not ruin us. Suffering without love ruins us. Suffering without love transmogrifies us into the most miserable and hideous of beasts. Suffering without love destroys any resemblance we bear to God. Suffering with love, in contrast, is godlike. Only love stops us from imploding -disintegrating - under the crosses of suffering that try to crush us under their weight. Crosses of suffering try mightily to rip love from us. They try to poke a hole in our hearts and drain them of love. Our natural tendency when this happens is to yield - to let go of love. Our natural tendency, however, is misleading us. It is pointing us in the wrong direction. It is giving us advice that is contrary to our self-interest - advice that is harmful to us. Therefore, we must deny ourselves . We must deny our natural tendency. We must resist. The victory is in resisting. The defeat is letting go of love - letting love slip through our fingers. If you want to win, cling to love, hold tight and refuse to let go. Submit your neck to the yoke of love . Cling as Jesus clung. He mounted the Cross not to show us how to dodge the crosses of suffering that nail themselves to us as we pass through the valley of tears. He mounted the Cross to show us the best way to pass through the guantlets of suffering . Follow him. He blazed the trail. Follow it. Love is the only life preserver to which to cling when you are thrown overboard into the stormy seas of suffering after your ship is sunk. Love is the only sanctuary in which you can take refuge refuge as you pass through the gauntlet of suffering. The Son of God was no coward. He did not dodge the gauntlet of suffering that nailed itself to him in the valley of tears . He passed through it. Yet, the Son of God was not stupid either. He used the technology of applying love to suffering to facilitate his passage through the valley of tears. A word to the wise is sufficient.

Please note that an alternative solution to the problem of suffering existed. God had another option. God could have eradicated the crosses of suffering en masse from the valley of tears thereby transforming the valley of tears into a paradise. He could have brought peace on earth by eliminating the crosses of suffering that plague us. God, however, rejected this option. Why? Learning to love is more important for our well-being in the long run than being free from suffering. Without suffering, we would never learn to cope with it. Suffering is the teacher of love because love is the only sanctuary in which we can take shelter when the storms of suffering rain down upon us. Love is the only weapon with which we can resist suffering and fight back against it . So God lets us stew a bit in the valley of tears. He lets us undergo a baptism of suffering in the hope we learn to love our way through it. It is harsh medicine but effective . So God prescribes it. In his mercy, however, God limits our baptism in the valley of tears to just a lifetime - which is an infinitesimally thin slice of time when we compare it to the thickness of eternity.

Pass the technology on to your neighbor and you do as Jesus did as he passed through the valley of tears. Better yet. Demonstrate the technology as Jesus did as you pass through the valley of tears and you become god-like - a shining star of sainthood whose light illuminates the darkenss of the valley of tears.

Epilogue: We are not on the same page with him. The help we want from God is different than the help he offers us. We want him to eliminate our crosses of suffering. He wants to teach us how to pass through them. His notion of help is different than our notion of help. What happens when we get on the same page with him?

Love never fails
.
Redemptive Suffering

As we pass through the valley of tears, crosses of suffering try to crush us under their weight thereby filling the valley of tears with our sighs, mourning and weeping. The din of our suffering reached God's ears and broke his heart. So God decided to send us a salve to grease the wheels of our passage through the valley of tears. The Son of God transported the salve from heaven to earth himself as a love note that took the form of a new born baby - the symbol of love - at Bethlehem. The delivery of the salve was easy. The demonstration that the salve works, however, was much more difficult. Jesus paid the cost of the demonstration entirely out of his own pocket. He paid the cost not from his unlimited divine resources. He paid the cost from his limited human resources. He paid them all for us. He kept not a penny for himself. He has never paid more for anything else. He dismissed the exorbitant cost of the demonstration as a small price for him to pay compared to the benefit the salve brings to anyone passing through the valley of tears. To demonstrate that it works, Jesus used the salve himself as he passed through the valley of tears. Jesus coped with his Cross to show us how to cope with ours. The salve was new, non-pagan technology. It was the first Christian technology. And it is the most important Christian technology because it solves the problem of suffering. In theory, the technology is simple. It teaches us to apply love to suffering. Only love enables us to deny ourselves, to pick up and to carry our crosses as we pass through the valley of tears. Love is the only refuge in which we can take shelter when the storms of suffering rain down upon us. Love is the only weapon that the most Holy Trinity fashioned for us themselves to fight against suffering. The technology, however, crashes against a natural human tendency as the waves of the ocean crash thunderously against the rock of the shore. When suffering attacks us, the natural human tendency is to release our grip on love - to let go - to let love slip through our fingers. This tendency steers us in the wrong direction. It is contrary to our self-interest. In fact, the tendency is as harmful to us as the technology is helpful. Therefore, we must deny ourselves by resisting this tendency. Jesus did not preach the gospel of irrationality. He did not transport from heaven to earth pie-in-the-sky, head-in-the-clouds technology. He transported down-to-earth, practical technology. We can use it today, not just tomorrow, profitably. It is technology for the here and now not just for the hereafter. Suffering becomes redemptive when we love our way through it. A saint clings to love, holds tight and refuses to let go. The most Holy Trinity imagined an army of saints marching through the valley of tears, hand-in-hand, arm-in-arm together as one Church to the martial beat of the most sacred heart of Jesus all the while demonstrating the technology. Loving our way through suffering is the hallmark of Jesus. Loving our way through suffering is the hallmark of a saint. A word to the wise is sufficient.

Shorter Version of Redemptive Suffering

The saints demonstrate as Jesus demonstrated how to cope with suffering that tries to crush us under its weight as we pass through the valley of tears. The Son of God himself transported from heaven to earth the technology that greases the wheels of our passage through the valley of tears. The delivery of the technology was easy. The demonstration that the technology works, however, was much more difficult. Jesus paid the cost of the demonstration entirely out of his own pocket. He paid the cost not from his unlimited divine resources. He paid the cost from his limited human resources. He paid them all for us. He kept not a penny for himself. He has never paid more for anything else. He dismissed the exorbitant cost of the demonstration as a small price for him to pay compared to the benefit the technology brings to anyone passing through the valley of tears. To demonstrate that it works, Jesus used the technology himself as he passed through the valley of tears. Jesus coped with his Cross to show us how to cope with ours. The technology was new, non-pagan technology. It was the first Christian technology. And it is the most important Christian technology because it solves the problem of suffering. In theory, the technology is simple. It teaches us to apply love to suffering. Only love enables us to deny ourselves, to pick up and to carry our crosses as we pass through the valley of tears. Love is the only refuge in which we can take shelter when the storms of suffering rain down upon us. Love is the only weapon that the most Holy Trinity fashioned for us themselves to fight against suffering. Most do not understand. They haven't a clue. They think that the technology that teaches us to apply love to suffering is solely for the benefit of the evil doers who inflict suffering upon us. This benefit, however, is secondary. It is a byproduct. The primary benefit is to ourselves. By applying love to suffering, we maintain our resemblance to God. We prevent suffering from transmogrifying ourselves into the most miserable and hideous of beasts. We are the beneficiaries when we apply love to suffering. We are helping ourselves. The most Holy Trinity imagined an army of saints marching through the valley of tears, hand-in-hand, arm-in-arm together as one Church to the martial beat of the most sacred heart of Jesus all the while demonstrating the technology.

Maintaining our Resemblance to God

God made man in the image and likeness of God . To maintain our resemblance to God, we love as we pass through the valley of tears. By loving as we pass through the valley of tears, we maintain our resemblance to God. Otherwise, suffering transmogrifies us into the most miserable and hideous of beasts. Therefore, learn to love. Love carries you through adversity and prosperity.

More and Better Theology

God poured more and better theology into the Son of God's demonstration at Calvary that the technology of applying love to suffering works than into the heads of every apologist, theologian, Doctor of the Church, apostle, monk, abbot, mystic, priest, monsignor, bishop, Cardinal, Pope, hermit and saint who has ever lived or will ever live . He coped with his Cross to demonstrate to us how to cope with ours. He applied the salve of love to suffering as he passed through the valley of tears. Grease the wheels of your passage through the valley of tears likewise.

Pope Benedict XI

"If a person bears great love in himself, this love gives him wings, as it were, and he can face all life’s troubles more easily because he carries in himself this great light; this is faith: being loved by God and letting oneself be loved by God in Jesus Christ. Letting oneself be loved in this way is the light that helps us to bear our daily burden."

The Endorsement

So confident in the technology of love as the means by which we can deny ourselves, pick up our crosses of suffering and carry them through the valley of tears, the Son of God himself paid the valley of tears a visit as one of us, an equal to us in our humanity, a partner with us in our suffering, to demonstrate the technology. Could there be a greater endorsement of the technology than a demonstration by the son of the big guy himself?

The Chicks are Leaving the Nest to Venture into the Valley of Tears. What are they taking with them?

The chicks are leaving the nest to venture into the valley of tears. They are not taking all the Christian equipment with them. To lighten the load, they are throwing Christian things overboard. They are travelling light. They are leaving behind the intricate network of official, rules, regulations, red tape and rigmarole. Let us not pretend otherwise. It is a fact.

Therefore, let us establish our priorities. What one essential Christian piece of equipment ought they take with them on their jouney through the valley of tears? What piece of Christian equipment is indispensible?

The one Christian piece of equipment that is essential to their survival as they pass through the valley of tears is the technology of applying love to suffering. This technology is essential survival gear that they need. It is akin to carrying a medical kit through the wilderness. Without it, they cannot survive. As they pass through the valley of tears, crosses of suffering will try to poke a hole in their hearts and drain them of love. Clinging to love, holding tight and refusing to let go is the only way for them to deny themselves, to pick up and to carry their crosses. Love maintains the resemblance that they bear to God. Love transforms them into superman. Without love, their crosses will plant them like a tree in the valley of tears. Their crosses of suffering will immobilize them. With love, they will be able to proceed on their journey through the valley of tears to paradise. Therefore, after all of the other Christian equipment is rejected and tossed overboard to lighten the load, make sure that they possess the technology of applying love to suffering. This technology is what they need.

Why are we so sure that the technology is essential? The Son of God coped with his Cross to teach us how to cope with ours. He delivered the technology to us when he paid us a visit at and about the city of Jerusalem in a region of our planet known as the Middle East more than two thousand years ago and he himself demonstrated that the technology works. He used the technology as he passed through the valley of tears. He emerged from his passage through the valley of tears still alive and still in love with us.

Equip them with this indispensible piece of Christian equipment and everything else falls into place. Neglect to equip them and eveything else falls apart. Stop squandering your precious time, energy and resources on the Christian minutia. Start spending your precious time, energy and resources on the pizzazz of Christianity - the Big Picture of Christianity.

The chicks are not taking everything with them when they leave the nest to venture into the valley of tears. Therefore, we must suggest wisely. It is time for us to focus. I know you want to give the chicks all aspects of Christianity. But you cannot. They won't carry it all. So pick the best part and give that to them. Give them the best part.

How to Cope with Crosses of Suffering in the Valley of Tears

Jesus applied love to his Cross to show us how to cope with ours. He demonstrated the technology of applying love to suffering to show us that it works.

The Love Note and its Guarantee of Genuineness

At Bethlehem, God delivered to us a love note. At Calvary, the proof that the love note was genuine was put into our hands. If the love note were counterfeit, his love for us would have faded as we tortured him and died when we killed him. But it did not. it survived. Its survival is the proof that the love note is genuine. Of all the gods that humanity has worshiped, which God sends his creatures a love note? What God sends his creatures a guarantee of it genuineness as well. Our God did. Wow!

Why did God give us two Hands?

Why did God give us two hands? We need two hands to hold two important buckets of knowledge so we can contemplate the details of each and the relationship between the two. One hand is not enough. A third hand is superflous. One hand is to hold his ignominious defeat. The other hand is to hold his glorious victory. Can you articulate the details of his ignominious defeat? We tortured and killed him. He suffered and died. Can you articulate the details of his glorious victory? He rose from the dead still alive and still in love with us. Can you articulate the relationship between his ignominious defeat and his glorious victory? The evil we did to him ought to have extinguished him and his love for us. But, it did not. Both he and his love for us emerged from the black hole of death. That he emerged from the black hole of death still alive is the proof that Jesus is God. No mere mortal emerges alive from the black hole of death. He did. That he emerged from the black hole of death still in love with us, however, proves so much more than "mere" divinity. This added detail reveals to us that our simple conception of divinity as omnipotence is not quite accurate. It is incomplete. If his love for us were counterfeit, it would have faded as we tortured him and died when we killed him. But it did not. His love for us survived the evil we did to him. That love survived the evil baptism into which we immersed him is the proof that divinity is love. His omnipotence is awesome. Indeed, his omnipotence made paradise. However, it is his love for us that makes paradise sweet. Omnipotence without love is a false God. Omnipotence makes God powerful. Love makes God perfect .

The Cross is a Recommendation to Love not a Recommendation to Suffer

The God who fashioned us out of the mud with his hands did not put himself into the hands of the mud to recommend suffering to us. He put himself into the hands of the mud to recommend love to us. Only by clinging to love, holding tight and refusing to let go was it possible for him to pick up his Cross and to carry it. If he yielded to humanity's natural tendency for suffering to extinguish love, his cross would have been too heavy for him to pick up and carry. Like a tree, it would have planted him stubbornly into the valley of tears stopping his progress to paradise. Only by denying himself, was he able to pick up his cross, to carry it and to continue his progress through the valley of tears to paradise. Run from those who recommend suffering to you. Run from those who preach the gospel of irrationality. They don't know what they are talking about. They do not understand. Run from them fast and far. Clinging to love, holding tight and refusing to let go is the secret hanging in plain sight from the Cross. This secret is his gift to us. It is the life preserver to which the drowning man clings in the stormy sea after his ship has sunk.

My people are ruined for lack of knowledge .

Fill the earth with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the seas .

The Tug of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is tugging at our souls. The curious are following the tug back to its source. Along the way, the curious are exploring the mystery, majesty and magnificence of God. The question, therefore, is, 'How do we transform the indifferent and the hostile into the curious?'

The Conversation about God is Dead

We are talking about the wrong things. We spend too much time on the little things and not enough time on the big things. The little things have eclipsed the big things. The minutia has diluted the pizzazz. The official rules, regulations, rigmarole and red tape of the Church have completely watered down its pizzazz. The pizzazz of Christianity is buried deep under layer upon layer of official rules, regulations, red tape and rigmarole. Let's dig it up, scrape the nitty-gritty from it, polish it and show the world its beauty, power and pizzazz. "Shock and awe", why don't we? God is not dead. Indeed, God is very much alive. However, the conversation about God is dead. Killing the conversation about God is tantamount to killing God. The enemies of the Church knows this. The Church does not.

God has become a Stranger to us and Nobody Follows a Stranger

When we exclude God from the conversation, we empty the earth of the knowledge of God . God becomes a stranger to us. And nobody follows a stranger. Fewer and fewer go to Mass. Nobody goes to Confession. Vocations dry up. Marriages crumble. Churches wither and die. The only sacrament holding its own is the sacrament of extreme unction and this is so only because the dead have no choice. The number of pilgrims making their escape from holy place to holy place through the valley of tears on the Catholic escape route is reduced from a torrent to a trickle. And the trend is downward. Only when God stops being a stranger to us - when we establish and develop a relationship with him - when we get to know him - when he becomes a member of our family - when the Son of God becomes our brother, does the trend get reversed.

The Stranger

God has become a stranger to us because the Church has buried him alive under layer upon layer of official rules, regulations, rigmarole and red tape. God is not dead. Indeed, God is very much alive. However, God is imprisoned in a tangled and complicated web of official rules, regulations, rigmarole and red tape. Isn't it time to set God free?

The Stuff That's Left

If sin were taken away, would the Church have anything worthwhile to talk about? The stuff that's left is important. It is the treasure of Christianity. Pay attention to the stuff that's left after sin is taken away. There make your dwelling.

Shifting the Paradigm from the Ptolemy to Copernicus

Like Galileo Galilei, let it be known that sin is not the center of the solar system. Christianity does not revolve around sin. Sin is not the hub and everything does not have to be defined in reference to sin. Like Pluto, sin is a minor, dwarf planet that revolves around something else. It has its place in the solar system but it is not the star. The Church, however, thinks sin is the star. The Church always starts at sin and works outward. From sin, the spokes of the Church radiate as horns radiate from the head of the devil. The Church is in desperate need of a new starting point. Geocentrism, once again, must yield to heliocentrism. The of Christianity needs to shift its starting point from sin to love - Jesus's love for us. Sin needs to move to the wings and Jesus's love for us to center stage. No change in doctrine. Just a tweak in emphasis. Nothing more. Beware, however. The same inquisition that persecuted Galileo Galilei will persecute you if you try to dethrone sin from the center of the Church's solar system.

The Church has become a Board Game that Fewer and Fewer Want to Play

The pieces of the board game are walking away from it. They do not want to be pieces anymore in the Church's board game. The board game has become passé. Passing from holy place to holy place on the Catholic escape route from godlessness to paradise does not interest them anymore. They are looking to participate in a better, more interesting game. Fewer and fewer are going to Mass. None are going to confession. Vocations are drying up. Marriages are crumbling. Churches are withering and dying. The only sacrament holding its own is the sacrament of extreme unction and this is so only because the dead have no choice. The number of pilgrims passing through the valley of tears on the Catholic escape route is reduced from a torrent to a trickle. And the trend is downward.

Why?

The Church is not stupid. It knows it has a problem - that it has lost its appeal. That is why the Church talks about a new evangelization. The bosses of the Church, however, do not blame themselves for its decline. No boss is being sacked. All are holding on to their positions despite their failure. The New York City Police Department runs a program of self-criticism called CompStat by which it uses crime statistics to evaluate the job performance of its bosses. Given the deplorable Catholic statistics, if such a program were applied to the bosses of the Catholic Church, how many heads would roll? Shall we wait until the number for Mass attendance falls into the single digits before the bosses of the Catholic Church are fired for incompetency?

The Church has lost its way. It wants the pieces to play the game - to spin from holy place to holy place - but it neglects to explain to the pieces why. The Church has forgotten the meaning of the game. The Church, until the pieces started to defect from the board game in droves, was content as long as the pieces were spinning as items in a rotary drier spin in circles meaninglessly. The Church has lost its understanding of the Big Picture of Christianity. It dilly dallies in the minutia of Christianity and spends no time on Christianity's pizzazz. The Church is all Martha and no Mary. It has become an institution run by incompetents who haven't a clue about how to run a Church. Centuries of ideologic inbreeding and mindless conformity are killing it .

Let me give you an example. Ruby Sales was on Krista Tippet's show, 'On Being' . She talked about asking a troubled girl, "Where does it hurt?". When I heard her ask the question, I instantly knew that this is what confession is supposed to be. Confession is not about reciting a litany of sins. Confession is about the priest asking the penitent, "Where does it hurt?". Until the Church sees this too - has the same epiphany as I did -, we who still participate in the antiquated board game that the Church wants us to play, perhaps out of inertia or habit, are in for a rough ride.

The Radicalism of God

God did something radical. In the annals of creation, the deed that God did was without equal. It was the polar opposite of expectation. He adopted a policy of loving sinners as much as saints (Luke 15:11-32). This pleased the sinners. However, it aggrieved the saints (Luke 15:11-32). Even an omnipotent God cannot please everybody.

Ending The Confusion

Many false, inaccurate and conflicting pictures of the nature of God circulate through the minds of the children of Adam and Eve. The multiplicity of pictures creates confusion. “This is God” some say as they point to their favorite picture of God. Others point to a different picture and say, “No, this is God.” The controversy goes on ad infinitum. Because of the confusion, the most Holy Trinity decided to set the record straight once and forever. They decided to clear the air. They decided to present to us their own picture of God - to give us a representation of themselves whose fidelity is unequaled by any representation made by human hands. Thus, they gave us a self-portrait. On the canvas of Calvary in the pigments of pain and suffering, the brush of truth painted a self-portrait of the nature of God. The self-portrait showed us the scope, size and the duration of God's love for us. Wide is the scope, immense is the size and indestructible is the duration of God's love for us.

What Representation of God Do You Hold in Your Head?

What representation of God do you hold in your head? Is it a fair and accurate representation of God? Or is it distorted? Is it high fidelity or low fidelity? Is it clear or blurry? Is it similar or different than mine? How does it compare to the self-portrait Jesus gave us at Calvary? For instance, the canvas within the frame of an atheist is blank. What is painted on your canvas?

What is the Treasure of Christianity?

Is the treasure of Christianity the official rules, regulations, red tape and rigmarole of the Church? If so, all of them or just some of them? Which ones? Or is the treasure of Christianity something else? Is the treasure of Christianity the sweetness of paradise as revealed to us by his passion, death and resurrection? Is the treasure of Chrisitanity the nitty gritty or the pizzazz?

The Treasure of Christianity in Twenty-Three (23) Words

We tortured and killed him. He suffered and died. Yet, he emerged from the dead still alive and still in love with us. This is the treasure of Christianity articulated in just twenty-three (23) words.

A One Gallon Tank Cannot Handle Two Gallons of Knowledge

A one gallon tank cannot handle two gallons of knowledge. The capacity of many who contemplate the Crucifixion, however, is limited to one gallon. And the bloody wounds we opened in the body of Christ during the Crucifixion are two gallons of knowledge. They have a near side and a far side. On the near side is one gallon of knowledge. On the far side is another gallon of knowledge. Different stories unfolded on each side. Many, therefore, lack the capacity to understand the bloody wounds. In order to understand the bloody wounds, they need to upgrade the capacity of their tank from one gallon to two gallons. Many just see the near side of the bloody wounds. There, on the near side, is the evil we did to him and his ignominious defeat. We torture and killed him. He suffered and died. They do not look through the bloody wounds to the far side as one would look through a telescope. By looking through the bloody wounds to the far side, we catch a glimpse of heaven from here on earth. What is seen when we look through the telescope of his bloody wounds? Well, to find out ... read more at

The Purpose

The God who fashioned us out of the mud with his hands put himself into the hands of the mud to ... Finish the sentence. If you say to ransom us for our sins, you have demonstrated an understanding that is trite - an understanding that only scratches the surface. Instead of relating his passion, death and resurrection to sin, try relating his passion, death and resurrection to love. See where that takes you. Follow that road to wherever it leads you.

Leavening the Mud

The God who fashioned us out of the mud with his hands put himself into the hands of the mud to leaven the mud with the yeast of divinity. The yeast of divinity is love .

The Most Practical and Appropriate Response

When we are crushed under the weight of our crosses of suffering, what is the appropriate response? Resist. How do we resist? By loving. Only love lightens the load.

The Crane

Love is the crane that lifts up and carries our crosses of suffering.

The Grease

Love is the grease for the wheels of the new exodus that reduces the distressful friction as it passes through the valley of tears.

The Life Preserver

Love is the life preserver to which the drowning man clings in the stormy sea whose ship was sunk.

The War

As we pass through the valley of tears, we notice that suffering and love are in a constant state of war. Suffering is trying to extinguish love. And love is resisting - fighting back - returning blow for blow. The stakes are high for both the individual and for society. Society functions better when love is in the hearts of its citizens than when the hearts of its citizens are void of love. Whenever suffering extinguishes love, it transmogrifies us into the most miserable and hideous of beasts. Whenever love succeeds in resisting, we hold on to our nobility. Which will be victorious: suffering or love?

The Resistance

Join the resistance! Fight back against suffering. Love.

The Sinking Ship

Godlessness is a sinking ship. The job of the Church is not to save the ship. The job of the Church is to save the passengers. "Abandon ship!", "Abandon ship!", the Church screams. "To the life boats!" "To the life boats!" is the cry of the Church. Some sanctimonious clerics, however, even in the exigency of the sinking of the ship, turn us away from the life boats - they deny us the means of escape - on the grounds that we are unworthy. They lack confidence that God can determine who is worthy and who is not worthy when we arrive at our destination. The life boats are free public transportation open to all regardless of religion, worthiness, etc. The desire to enter the lifeboats is God's only criterion for passage. Clerics were not put in charge of the lifeboats to check for tickets. Clerics were put in charge of the life boats to facilitate our escape therein - not to frustrate it, filter it or foul it up. The escape from godlessness to paradise is primary. Nothing else matters. Everything else is secondary. Anything that interferes is suspect.

The Curious

The Holy Spirit is tugging at our souls. The curious are following the tug back to its source. The question, therefore, is, 'How do we transform the indifferent into the curious?' Shatter the illusions conjured up by the serpent that hides the truth from them. Shatter the illusions with the sledgehammer of truth as the blow of a hammer shatters glass. When the illusions are shattered, the sweetness of paradise and the sourness of godlessness become visible to them. Rational people seek the sweetness of paradise and flee the sourness of godlessness. It is contrary to their self-interest to do otherwise. The truth sets them free by making them curious. As the curious follow the tug to the source, they explore the mystery, majesty and magnifience of God.

The Three Tools of an Evangelist

In baseball, a player is evaluated by five (5) criteria: 1) running spped, 2) arm strength, 3) hitting for average, 4) hitting for power and 5) fielding. A player with all of these criteria is known as a five tool player. In evangelization, an evangelist is evaluated by three (3) tools: 1) ability to wield the sledgehammer of truth, 2) ability to share the map of the escape route through the valley of tears and 3) ability to share the key of morality with those imprisoned in cages of sin. A one tool evangelist ought not to play in the major leagues.

The Problem

The number of pilgrims making their escape on the Catholic escape route from godlessness to paradise has been reduced from a torrent to a trickle. Fewer and fewer are going to Mass. Nobody is going to Confession. Vocations have dried up. Marriages are crumbling. Churches are withering and dying. The only sacrament holding its own is the sacrament of extreme unction and this is so only because the dead have no choice.

What is the Plan?

What is the plan to solve the problem? What is the plan to turn the trickle back into a torrent? Surely, there must be a plan! I hope the plan is not to continue to let the old generals fight the last war with yesterday's tools, tactics and strategies? I hope the plan is not to let the failed status quo continue? I pray that it is not the same old sh%$. Please, tell me the plan to reverse the decline of the Church. Please tell me the plan to turn the trickle back into a torrent. What is the plan? Why are we diddling in the nitty-gritty of Christianity? We have we allowed the minutia of Christianity to swallow up its pizzazz? The wheels of the Church have leapt off the track. It is a train wreck. How do we get the Church back on track? What is the plan? Surely, there is a plan? Please tell me there is a plan.

Eliciting Two Questions

Evangelization is the process of eliciting two questions from the children of Adam and Eve. "How do we get there from here - from godlessness to paradise?" is the first question. This question is elicited by shattering the illusions conjured up by the serpent that hide the truth from us. When this question is asked, the opportunity has come for the Church to declare that 'we have the map and know the way.' PIlgrims who are using the map to make their escape through the valley of tears from godlessness to paradise ask for the key of morality to free themselves from the cages of sin. When this question is asked, the opportunity has come for the Church to declare that "we have the key that can free you." "

The Foundation of a Christian

To build a Christian, it is first necessary to lay a foundatiion. A Christian cannot be built until a foundation has been laid. The material of the foundation consists of directions from here to there - from godlessness to paradise. Unless and until a Christian is seeking paradise and fleeing godlessness of his or her own free will, a Christian cannot be built. Transforming settlers into pilgrims is the foundation of a Christian. Here are the steps:
  1. Shatter the illusions that hide the truth from us. Shatter the illusions that hide the sweetness of paradise and the sourness of godlessness from us. Shatter them with the sledgehammer of truth as the blow of a hammer shatters glass. When the illusions are shattered, the sweetness of paradise and the sourness of godlessness exit the darkness of illusion and enter the light of truth. They become visible to us. Rational people seek the sweetness of paradise and flee the sourness of godlessness. It is contrary to our self-interest to do otherwise. The truth sets us free.
  2. When the illusions are shattered and our eyes become opened, we ask for directions from here to there - from godlessness to paradise. The need for directions wells up within us.
  3. When we ask for directions from here to there - from godlessness to paradise, then and only then it becomes time to supply the directions. The Church has the map and knows the way. God built an escape route from godlessness to paradise, defined the escape route with holy places, made a map of them, established a Church, entrusted the map to the Church, and gave the Church the job of facilitating our escape - not the job of frustrating it, filtering it or fouling it up. The escape from godlessness to paradise is primary. Nothing else matters. Everything else is secondary. Anything that interferes is suspect. The trail has already been blazed through the valley of tears. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. The Church has the map and knows the way.
Lay the foundation and everything else falls into place. Bypass the foundation and everything else falls apart.
 

The King Who Loves Us

Divine Mercy Jesus is our king. His palace is the Mass. His throne is the most Holy Eucharist. His kingdom is at hand. He is not the typical king and his kingdom is not the typical kingdom. He broke the mold for kingship. He is not the king who rules us. He is the king who loves us. In place of rules, regulations, red tape and rigmarole, the means by which he governs us is love. In the kingdom of the king who loves us, the citizens govern themselves. We desire to please him. We trip all over ourselves in our eagerness to please him. Wow! Where do I sign up? How do I enlist? How do I join the kingdom of the King who loves sinners like me ?

The Rule of Survival

Our survival is governed solely by a simple but fundamental principle. Humanity in every place and in every age and of every religion is subject to its command. No exceptions. Only by including God in our lives do we live and only by excluding God from our lives do we die. To include God in our lives in the hereafter, we must include God in our lives now! By excluding God from our lives now, we exclude God from our lives in the hereafter. Take an interest in God and God will take an interest in you. Include God in your life and God will include you in theirs. Ignore your God and your God will ignore you. Absent yourselves from the holy places and the holy places will absent themselves from you.

Underestimating God's Love for Us

The greatest heresy that can enter our minds occurs when God's love for sinners is underestimated. This heresy is common amongst self-styled saints. Self-styled saints think that God only loves them and does not love sinners. The superiority complex of self-styled saints is the greater threat to God's kingdom of love than the imperfection of sinners.

Are we dangerous because our thinking is dangerous? Or are we dangerous because we think?

Avoiding the Quagmire

Keep your eye on the Big Picture of Christianty. Don't get bogged down in its nitty gritty. If you get bogged down in the nitty gritty, you will never get to explore the mystery, majesty and magnificence of God. Think big not small. We have more important things to proclaim than the nitty gritty of Christianity. We have bigger fish to fry. Never let the nitty gritty of Christianity dilute the pizzazz of Christianity - never let the nitty gritty water the pizzazz down. Can you do this?

The Backup System

Our faculty of obedience is broken. We have known this since Adam and Eve. But don't despair. God installed a backup system - double redundancy. The back up system is our faculty of rationality. When fed the truth, our faculty of rationality steers us in the right direction.

Step Up a Level

Step up a level from the nitty gritty of Christianity to the pizzazz of Christianty. Only from there, can you make a difference.


What is the new Evangelization?

The new Evangelization is the process of converting a sinner into a saint. To convert a sinner into a saint, first a settler must be converted into a pilgrim. The process of conversion consists of three stages. Each stage must be completed in order.

  1. Shattering the illusions conjured up by the serpent that hide the truth from us (Godlessness). The sledgehammer of truth shatters the illusions as the blow of a hammer shatters glass. The truth sets us free (John 8:32).
  2. Sharing the map of the holy places to would-be pilgrims who ask for directions from here to there - from godlessness to paradise. Note: The first and the second stages are the foundation. Upon the foundation, the house is built.
  3. Putting the key of morality into the hands of pilgrims so they can free themselves from the cages of sin that imprison them. 

The foundation needs to be laid before the house is built.

The First Stage of the New Evangelization

To hide the truth from us, the serpent conjured up two illusions: 1) an illusion that camouflages the sweetness of paradise and 2) an illusion that sugarcoats the sourness of godlessness . The illusions imprison us. The truth sets us free. Therefore, the first priority of the Church is to pick up the sledgehammer of truth and wield it against the illusions to shatter them as the blow of a hammer shatters glass. The Crucifixion shatters the illusion that camouflages the sweetness of paradise. Godlessness, however, is autodidactic. Its sourness shatters the illusion that sugarcoats the sourness of godlessness. When the illusions are shattered, the truth becomes visible to us. We see the sweetness of paradise and the sourness of godlessness. Rational creatures seek the sweetness of paradise and flee the sourness of godlessness. It is contrary to our self-interest to do otherwise. The appeal is to our rationality. Our rationality, when exposed to the truth, points us in the right direction. It instructs our wills to head home.

The Second Stage of the New Evangelization

When the illusions are shattered by the sledgehammer of truth, the light of truth pours into the darkness. Its brightness disorients us. We ask, 'How do we get there from here - from godlessness to paradise?' This is the moment. At this moment it is time for the Church to announce, 'We know the way. We know how to get there from here." To rescue us from godlessness, God built an escape route, defined it with holy places, made a map of them, entrusted the map to the Church and gave the Church the mission of serving the new exodus as the new Moses as it makes its escape from godlessness to paradise. The shattering of the illusions ignites the desire within us to get from here to there - from godlessness to paradise. Our problem is we do not know the way. But the Church does. God entrusted it with the map. The map shows the escape route from slavery under the yoke of Pharaoh, through the hostile desert of godlessness, to freedom with God and his holy family in the promised land. Only by passing from holy place to holy place that define the escape route can we be sure that we are heading in the right direction. The escape is the needle of the compass that always points in the direction of paradise. The escape from godlessness to paradise is primary. Nothing else matters. Everything else is secondary. Anything that interferes is suspect.

The Third and Final Stage of the New Evangelization

Morality is the third and final stage of the new evangelization. Morality comes last after a settler has been transformed into a pilgrim by exposure to the truth. Trying to get settlers to take the bit of morality into their mouths, the bridle of morality onto their heads and the reins of morality into their hands is like throwing pearls before swine. As settlers, they see morality as the straight jacket that imprisons them. Pilgrims see morality as the key that sets them free. The chance that morality takes hold is better with pilgrims than with settlers.

No change in doctrine. Just a change in emphasis - a tweak, nothing more.

Unlike coffee, there is no such thing as an instant Catholic. It takes time to make a Catholic. We do not become Catholic overnight. A human being develops from a baby in the womb through other stages of life including infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age. A similar framework of development takes place in the thinking of Catholics. A Catholic whose thinking is not quite up to speed with the thinking of the self-styled orthodox Catholics is still a Catholic for the same reason that a baby in the womb is still a human being.

Navigating the Big Picture of Christianity

  • The Sledgehammer of Truth is Shattering the Illusions [Note: This is the first stage of Evangelization]

      The Two Engines that drive the current of Salvation from godlessness to paradise. They create the gravity of salvation. They work on our rationality. Rational people seek the sweetness of paradise and flee the sourness of godlessness. It is contrary to our self-interest to do otherwise. The Sourness of Godlessness pushes us to its exit. The Sweetness of Paradise pulls us to its entrance. However, between the world of godlessness and the world of paradise is an abyss. To bridge the abyss is the Son of God. He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). He is the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14). No one comes to the Father except through him (John 14:6). The great leap from time to eternity (Our Lady of Good Success, Quito Ecuador) takes place through the bloody wounds we opened in his body at Calvary.

    • The Sweetness of Paradise [Note: Here you will find the reason that dervishes whirl - the reason why Catholics whirl from the Mass, to Confession and to the other holy places that define the escape route from godlessness to paradise. Here you will find the inspiration. Here you will find the pizzazz of Christianity not its nitty gritty. We get bogged down in the nitty gritty of Christianity and, bogged down, we cannot climb the holy mountain to explore the mystery, majesty and magnificence of God. Jesus did not pay us a visit just to reveal his divinity. This was only one detail. There is another. The second detail that Jesus revealed to us during his visit showed us that our simple conception of divinity as omnipotence is not quite accurate. Divinity has another significant aspect besides omnipotence It is this second aspect that makes paradise sweet. What is the ingredient that makes paradise sweet? ... well, go to the page to read more.]
    • The Sourness of Godlessness [Note: Here you will find the explanation of suffering and the role that suffering plays in God's plan to rescue us from the valley of tears. The serpent gave us suffering by inducing our parents, Adam and Eve, to run away from our home with God in paradise and to take us with them into godlessness, that is, into the valley of tears. [What schmucks we are!] God did not do this. The serpent did. However, God lets us stew in the valley of tears - he exploits suffering - he delays our rescue - for his purposes. Our experience in suffering accomplishes multiple objectives. However, our exile in the valley of tears is the source of all our complaints against God. In the eyes of God, however, its harshness is justified by its effectiveness. Indeed, our exile in the valley of tears is harsh but effective medicine. It vaccinates us against ... well, go to the page to read more.]
  • The Map of the Escape Route is giving Pilgrims Directions from Godlessness to Paradise [Note: This is the second stage of Evangelization]

      The Holy Places that Define the Escape Route. During a close encounter, a connection is made between heaven and earth through which the light of paradise illuminates the darkness of godlessness. No one leaves a close encounter with the living God unchanged. No one leaves a close encounter with the living God empty-handed. Close encounters with our living and loving God transform us. During close encounters, God transforms sinners into saints. Therefore, to transform sinners into saints, it is first necessary to transform settlers into pilgrims. Settlers are not interested in close encounters with the living God. Pilgrims are interested.

    • The Mass
    • Prayer
    • Confession
    • The Other Sacraments
    • Feeding the Hungry
    • Clothing the Naked
    • Healing the Sick
    • The Role the Church Plays in the Escape
    • More coming soon
  • The Key of Morality is Freeing Pilgrims from the Cages of Sin [Note: This is the third stage of Evangelization]

    Giving the key of morality to settlers is akin to throwing pearls before swine. Only pilgrims see morality as a key that sets them free. Settlers see morality as a straight jeacket that imprisons them. To build a Christian, first lay the foundation. Shatter the Illusions; Share the map of the Escape Route with Them. Transform settlers into pilgrims. Get them moving along the escape route. Once the foundation is laid, and settlers have been transformed into pilgrims, then is the time for morality. Pilgrims tend to govern themselves. Settlers, not so much.

    [Note: This website is dedicated to the foundation on which a Christian is built. It will only touch on the Key of Morality tangentially. The Church is obsessed with the song of sin. Its obsession is pathological. Its obsession interferes with the building of the foundation. The Church's song of sin has become tiresome. People don't want to listen to it anymore so they tune out and switch to a different station. Sin is over-emphasized in the Church. The Church has swam in the cesspools of sin for so often and for so long that it has become addicted to its stench. It has become a crutch that clerics cannot live without. Clerics do not know how to "do" Christianity without sin. One of the purposes of this website is to teach them how.

  • The Big Picture of Christianity
 
 

A Page taken from the Good News of Great Joy (Updated: 7/29/2016)

 
Notice St. Francis at the feet of Jesus near the bloody wound in his right foot (Source)

Notice St. Francis at the feet of Jesus near the bloody wound in his right foot (Source)