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

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
The Gift

Our sighs, morning and weeping reached God's ears and broke his heart . In his mercy, God decided to pay us a visit to bring us a gift . The gift was not the secret of dodging the crosses of suffering that nail themselves to us as we pass through the valley of tears . The purpose of his visit was not to transform the valley of tears into paradise. The purpose of the visit was to transform us. The gift was a weapon with which we can make war against suffering . Crosses of suffering immobilize us. They plant us like a tree in the ground thereby stopping our progress to paradise. The gift he brought with him was the secret of how to pick up and carry our crosses of suffering so we can continue our journey through the valley of tears uninterrupted. Love turns us into superman endowing us with the ability to pick up and carry our crosses. Love makes the crosses of suffering bearable. Love gives our crosses wings. Love lightens the load. Love is his gift to us. Mobility in the valley of tears is essential to our survival in it. We must make our escape from holy place to holy place that define the escape route of the new exodus from godlessness to paradise. We cannot get bogged down. Jesus paid us a visit so we woundn't.

Jesus did not want to just tell us the secret. Secrets told tend to get distorted or lost in their transmission. The Son of God wanted to demonstrate the secret to us himself. Showing us rather than telling us the secret would brand it indelibly on our understanding like a tattoo to flesh. So he mounted the cross of suffering to put on the demonstration. The God who fashioned us out of the mud with his hands put himself into the hands of the mud to show the mud how to be God.

Clinging to love, holding tight and refusing to let go when crosses of suffering are trying mightily to rip love from us is sound advice hiding in plain sight on the Cross. Our natural tendency when crosses of suffering are trying mightily to rip love from us is to yield - to let go. By clinging to love, holding tight and refusing to let go, we deny ourselves. By resisting, we refuse to let crosses of suffering transmogrify us into the most misearable and hideous of beasts. Without love we become the most miserable and hiddeous of beasts and still bear our crosses of suffering as well. The victory is in resisting. The defeat is letting go of love - letting love slip through our hands. If you want to win, cling to love, hold tight and refuse to let go. Cling as Jesus clung.

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 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.

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 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 Chrisitan. Here are the steps:
  1. Shatter the illusions that hide the truth from us. Shatter the ilusions 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.

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 whose fidelity to the nature of God 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 similar or different than mine? How does it compare to the self-portrait Jesus gave us at Calvary? My questions do not seek a recitation of the official rules, regulations, rigmarole or red tape of the Church. My questions seeks the details of the "graven image" that you have made to depict God. For instance, for atheists, the canvas within the frame is blank. What is painted on your canvas? Is the image painted on your canvas clear or blurry? This is one of the most important questions in life. Try to answer it. Who is your God and how do you know it?

The Crux 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 crux of Christianity articulated in just twenty-three (23) words. 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. Divinity has another significant aspect besides omnipotence. Both aspects of divinity were revealed to us in the Crucifixion and the Resurrection - not just omnipotence. That love survived the evil baptism into which we immersed him is the proof that divinity is love. His omnipotence is awesome. However, it is his love for us that makes paradise sweet. Omnipotence without love is a crippled God - a mockery of God - a deficient God - a broken God - an incomplete God - a less than perfect God - a travesty of a God - a false God. It is love that makes God perfect. Love makes God perfect and perfect love makes God.

More and Better Theology

God poured more and better theology into the bloody wounds we opened in the body of Christ during the Crucifixion 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 .

The Recommendation

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 our natural tendency for suffering to extinguish love, his cross would have been too heavy for him. Like a tree, it would have planted him stubbornly into the valley of tears stopping his progress to paradise. Only by denying our natural tendency for suffering to extinguish love, 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. 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.

A One Gallon Tank Cannot Handle Two Gallons of Information

A one gallon tank cannot handle two gallons of information. The capacity of many clerics is limited to one gallon. Yet, the bloody wounds we opened in the body of Christ during the Crucifixion have a near side and a far side. On the near side is one gallon of information On the far side is another gallon of information. Many clerics, 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 clerics just see the near side of the bloody wounds. They do not look through them 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 heave from here on earth. What is seen when we look through the telescope of his bloody wounds? Well, to find out ... read more at

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.

 

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 ?

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?


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.

 
 
 
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)