BLACKSMITHING DAY is the official beginning of the 2015 ROLLERCHAIRBALL season see the video below for details!
Some thoughts on the end of the world.
As we see more and more evil happening on TV and around the world, I keep getting asked what I think about the world ending soon. New TV series seem to pop up almost daily dealing with The End Times or “Left Behind” types of Movies.
So I must ask; Is it all just a great big Disney Fun House ride? (Think “Pirates of the Caribbean” or “It’s a Small World After All”)
Perhaps this world and this life is all set up just to see what your actions and reactions will be. Maybe everyone deflates when you leave the room and it’s only you and God all along. Not to say that others don’t matter. Because they do (more than anything), but maybe they’re just part of the big ride.
We are all so concerned about the end of the Fun House itself rather than the end of our individual ride in it. Who cares when the ride is retired and put away? We better care more about when our own Fun House cart pulls up to the exit ramp. What kind of state are we in then? How did we react to the characters along the way?
Maybe the people and situations we meet daily are part of God’s vetting program to see if we are the kind of people with which He wants to share eternity. Of course He loves us, but He is checking to see if we can and will choose to love Him, through others. How do we demonstrate selflessness over selfishness? It’s a learning process.
How many times have we heard stories of saints who helped out a stranger in need and then the stranger disappeared? Or the saint is told by Christ Himself that it was really Him in disguise? What is that all about? If this whole life is not a proving ground for the next?
So, yes pay close attention to those around you. Meet their personal, spiritual, and temporal needs as best you can. But don’t be surprised when the ride is over for you. Keep your eyes on that ending rather than the Fun House burning down!
Hopefully the guy who took your ticket and strapped you in at the beginning, will offer you a hand up and out of your little Fun House cart as He speaks the words we are all “dying” to hear, “Well done good and faithful servant… now enter into the home of my Father”.
Dear Friends, Catechists, Edge Leaders, Core Group, Parents and Teens,
Click Here to listen to the interview I was able to do with Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana while I was with St. Gabriel Radio (then 1580 AM now 820 AM Columbus, Ohio).
He addresses the workings of the conclave that voted for Pope Benedict XVI and the possibility of him being elected Pope at this current conclave around 45:30 into the interview and up to about 55:30. Very worth listening to. Check Him Out!
Michael A. Barone ~ www.Stmichaelspod.com
POPE BURKE???? MAYBE, STAY TUNED!
I don’t get to vote really! But if I did, I would be hoping for Cardinal Raymond L. Burke to be elected by his fellow Cardinals to the Chair of Peter.
As the Bishop of the Diocese of Lacrosse, WI, he hired me and Ed Cotter to come up there and bring the Dead Theologian’s Society to his diocese. At the time I was the President and Co-Founder of DTS. He hired me as a Director of Youth Ministry over a Deanery of 14 parishes and helped Ed secure funding to become a full time National Director of DTS. He was the first bishop to examine DTS in detail and approve it for his diocese. He was (and I believe he still is) a great supporter of the organization. He has a real heart for Catholic Youth Ministry and he is a brilliant man. He was whisked away from us and made an Archbishop of St. Louise, MO, and then shortly after he was made a Cardinal and asked to be in Rome at the Apostolic Signatura. Which is a very high office in the Church and a perfect way to get to know the inner workings of the Vatican. More than all this though, he is a very Holy and Pro-life man. I hope God blesses us with Cardinal Burke as the next Holy Father. We could use his youth, his wisdom, and his heart!
Michael A. Barone ~
Former President of DTS
In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elm shootings I was asked to join a Facebook page titled “A reasoned Approach to Gun Control”. Here are my thoughts on the issue of the day. I hope they seem reasoned and balanced.
I think until we begin to teach that all life is sacred from womb to tomb, we will just be re-hashing the same old same old. Was the life of any of those beautiful souls worth any more or less than any other child? The problem is a systemic devaluation on human life across the board. If we take God and His laws out of society, we only make room for evil to take His place. The fifth commandment presupposes there is a God who loves us enough to show us the way to live.
Our laws, our culture, our media, and many of our video games, laugh at the idea that there even is a God who has the right to tell us what to do. If this killer did not use guns he could have just as easily bombed the school, if not a bomb then fire or poison or whatever else a madman can conceive in a warped and angry mind.
The 2nd amendment was put into place so we the people could fend off tyranny if our government got out of control. I don’t believe for a second that we need assault rifles for home defense or hunting, but we may need to be somewhat equally matched should our government ever declare war on its own citizens (Waco, Ruby Ridge, etc.). I don’t like either side of the argument. But I think the answer is a return to the Judeo-Christian value system not gun control. We need to instruct ourselves and others about the sanctity of human life.
Our own president does not understand this value system. As a senator he would not vote against partial birth abortion, he would not even vote to save the lives of babies that survived an abortion, were born, and were outside their mother’s womb already. Perhaps it was a hard lesson for him to stand there at Newtown, CT. and try to articulate the depth of sorrow for loss of innocent lives. Yet for me I saw a man who is deeply involved in and supportive of the culture of death trying to grapple with things which he must consider to be “not above his pay grade” since when asked, he thought the question of when life began was above his pay grade. A society that allows the killing of unborn children must and will systematically devalue human life throughout.
It offends me that people want to ban guns rather than ban killing. It offends my sense of freedom that a madman’s actions will infringe on my right to responsibly live out my citizenship and my 2nd amendment rights. Let’s not be too hasty to give even more power to those who do not value human life. If our president can’t see that killing a child in the womb is wrong because they are innocent and have God given intrinsic dignity, value, and a right to life, if he cannot see that allowing an abortion survivor to die because its parents do not “want” it is wrong, then I’m not so sure he wouldn’t feel free to turn the sites on me and others like me someday.
Gun control is not the answer. Love is the answer. God is love. God’s law is the answer. Hug your children close and teach them in the ways of the lord.
Sorry I had to turn the comments off but there were just too many spam-bots working 24/7 to screw with the contents of my pages. I will be happy to post any comments I think are good if you send them to my email which is email@example.com God bless you all!
Michael A. Barone
The blank page… the hardest part is just starting. Writing whatever comes to your mind and hoping it forms into something better. Spell checking every line to be sure there are no leaks in your structure where someone can belittle your ignorance. Wondering if the world is ready to hear what you have to say. Doubting your own ability to keep their interest very long. Knowing your own limit to wanting to read anything laborious. How do you keep them from falling away from your anecdote without going over the lines in which you actually live? Wondering if people assume you are the characters you write about. Pondering if they assume you have traveled through or wish to live the lives in the stories you write. Fearing judgment. Will you lead others astray? Are you responsible for their actions if they read what you write and want to act out on those temptations? All these elements bring on a profound paralysis as you embark on the new ocean liner of your caffeine driven thoughts. Where will you end up? Who will be affected by the path you lay down? What lives will be changed and will they be affected for the better or for more tragic endings? All these weigh you down. All these fleeting emotions bring wax to your heart and lead to your hands as they type. It is a slow process; a snail’s pace of progress, and yet you hammer on, banging out the tale like a blacksmith of narrative forging the people and places of your imagination through the white hot conflagration of your tortured mind. Smelting the golden yarn in the crucible of your experiences, your unlived hopes, dreams, and conquests. Scraping away the dross and refining the yellow brick passage to your own personal Oz. Who will accompany you? Who will drop by the wayside? Will there even be a wizard at the end to give you knowledge, heart, or courage to examine where you have been? These frigid musings keep us locked in stone, frozen in an antiqued silence with a rich patina of uncertainty. Firmly buckled in our mental strait jackets we writhe in birthing out tortured prose. The process works hard against us like an overwhelming riptide pulling us out to the sea of our undoing and drowning us in the syrup of surging and demanding procrastinations. Nagging constantly at our core. Do you really want to share this notion? Can you bring anyone to anything good? Is there a purpose or higher goal which can even hope to redeem this egotistical blathering of your chaotic mind? Nausea, paralysis, and fear, these are all you are left with as you sit down to write. Will you be the master? Are you the Buonarroti of the hard, marble-white, blank page? Can you remove from it only that which is not the art you wish to express? Is your chisel sharpened enough to begin? Is your mallet unsentimental and your eye clear? Or are your literary offspring just cheap pulp fictional paupers masquerading as kings in fine clothes while the universe gawks at your pathetically naked soul? Only time will tell. But first you must begin. So onward you press!
“It was a dark and stormy night…”
Hey All, I’m working on a tune for GoMoGo.org and PDHC here in Columbus. Their President Tim Welsh asked me to consider writing something for them at the Catholic Men’s Conference this year. I recruited Neal Havener to help me with the bridge to the song and off I went.
The tune is supposed to help a runner or walker in a marathon or 5K or whatever to set a pace. They walk or run to raise money for the Single Mothers who are looking to be able to keep their children rather than abort them. It is a very worthy cause and takes care of those who are here and alive now so please visit their site and pledge to support Tim Welsh as he runs for the cause.
You can make a difference. Let me know what you think!
Michael A. Barone
Oswald And The Herringbones