Category Archives: Bible

Sunday Devotional: How to fight for what is right

Luke 18:9-14

Jesus addressed this parable
to those who were convinced of their own righteousness
and despised everyone else.
“Two people went up to the temple area to pray;
one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity —
greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
But the tax collector stood off at a distance
and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
but beat his breast and prayed,
‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former;
for whoever exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Today’s reading is a sober and much-needed reminder of the difference between being righteous and being self-righteous.

Here are the definitions from Oxford Dictionaries:

  • righteous: A person who is “morally right or justifiable”; “morally good; virtuous”.
  • self-righteous: “Having or characterized by a certainty, especially an unfounded one, that one is totally correct or morally superior.

Jesus’ admonition in Luke 18 is about being self-righteous.

It’s an admonition that I especially must take to heart because I have this daily soap-box of Fellowship of the Minds.


Yes, we are to fight for what is right. But when you and I get all puffed out with righteous moral indignation, be sure that we’re not being self-righteous, for our Lord is “a God of justice, who knows no favorites.” (Sirach 35:12)

So what’s the antidote to self-righteousness?

Three things:

  1. Be sure that when we are on that moral high horse, our cause and our justice are God’s cause and justice.
  2. Humility: Don’t imagine that being righteous makes us morally superior or better than others.
  3. Love: The right kind of love. Not love of self — getting all puffy and grandiose that we are morally better than others — but love of God.

It’s always narcissism: our stumbling block is always narcissism.

Remember that the Greatest Commandment of all is to love God with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind, and with all our strength.

He is our lodestar. Always.

Jesus loves us this much

Fix our eyes not on ourselves, but on Him — while we battle for what is good, and right, and true, and just.

And then perhaps someday, when it’s time for us to go, we too can say what St. Paul said:

2 Timothy 4:7-8

I have competed well;
I have finished the race;
I have kept the faith.
From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge,
will award to me on that day, and not only to me,
but to all who have longed for his appearance.

May the peace and love and righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,


Sunday Devotional: In times of trouble, remain faithful and be persistent

Psalm 121:1

I raise my eyes toward the mountains.
From whence shall come my help?

In trying times, have we not all felt Psalm 121‘s desolation and despondency?

Yesterday, I received news that a beloved priest had passed.

Father Richard was a brilliant man, blessed with a sharp mind, ironic wit, and facile in social interactions — rare attributes in priests and any person. After a lifetime as a History professor, he answered the Call and became a priest. He was my Confessor, to whom I made my tear-drenched Confession 14 years ago and so reconciled myself with God and the Church after decades of wanderings.

Hearing that he had passed, I broke down weeping — not for Fr. Richard, for I know he is in Heaven, conversing with Erasmus, St. Thomas Aquinas, and the other brilliant intellects of the Renaissance whom he had studied. My tears were for myself, for I am still here, in this wretched world, bone-tired and battle-weary in this endless spiritual and political war, the stakes of which only mount by the day . . . .

Not coincidentally, the answer to Psalm 121‘s and my cris de coeur is in today’s Scripture readings. May you find in them the same solace and encouragement I found.

2 Timothy 3:14-4:2

Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed,
because you know from whom you learned it,
and that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures,
which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation
through faith in Christ Jesus.
All Scripture is inspired by God
and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction,
and for training in righteousness,
so that one who belongs to God may be competent,
equipped for every good work.

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,
who will judge the living and the dead,
and by his appearing and his kingly power:
proclaim the word;
be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient;
convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.

Armor of God I can do all things through Christ

For we are told —

Luke 18:6-8

The Lord said,
“…Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones
who call out to him day and night?
Will he be slow to answer them?
I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.
But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

footstepsSee also “Sunday Devotional: He will never break your heart“.

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,


Seven things that anger the Lord

Hillary's hole, with Obama at DNC, July 27, 2016

There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:

  1. haughty eyes,
  2. a lying tongue,
  3. hands that shed innocent blood,
  4. a heart that devises wicked schemes,
  5. feet that are quick to rush into evil,
  6. a false witness who pours out lies
  7. and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

– Proverbs 6:16-19

So Hillary and Barry, if the shoe fits… 

Hillary Clinton, the new Lord of the Flies

Before you read the rest of this post, let me ask you a question:

Have you ever had a fly land on your face?

My childhood was spent in the semi-tropics, but I can honestly say that while I had to swat away mosquitoes in the summer, I had never had a fly land on my face.

But flies seem to have an affinity for certain people.

“Lord of the Flies” is the literal meaning of βεελζεβούβ, the Greek word for Beelzebub.

Beelzebub — derived from Ba‘al Zebûb, a Semitic deity worshiped in the Philistine city of Ekron  is the name of one of the seven princes of Hell. Later Christians used the name Beelzebub as a term for Satan.

Flies have an affinity for Barack Obama.

The first time the phenomenon was noted was during the 2008 presidential campaign that ended in Obama being voted into his first term of presidency.

On October 28, 2008, Los Angeles Times reporter Peter Nicholas, who had been spending (as he put it) “18 hours a day covering Obama,” recalled a creepy incident on a campaign stop one hot summer afternoon in Iowa:

“Obama was flipping burgers at a backyard barbecue, in what the campaign hoped would be an exquisite photo opportunity. A fly began circling his head. Then more flies. Pretty soon flies were swarming him, the burgers — everything. It was awful to watch. But in rhythmic fashion he began waving them off with his hand. He scooped up the burgers and headed back to the picnic table, as if nothing had gone wrong.”

The next “Obama and flies” incident occurred on June 16, 2009 while he was being interviewed by MSNBC in the White House. A fly kept buzzing around his head. Without a moment’s hesitation, Obama killed the fly with his hand.

On June 22, 2010, it happened again.

Obama was speaking to the press about the new Obamacare bill in the East Room of the White House, and a fly landed right on top of the left side of his mouth.

Fly lands on Obama's mouth, June 22, 2010. Photo by AP/Carolyn Kaster

Fly lands on Obama’s mouth, June 22, 2010. Photo by AP/Carolyn Kaster

Obama also attracted a swarm of bees and a rat. See:

Last night, October 9, 2016, at the second presidential debate in Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, Hell’s sceptre of Lord of the Flies was passed from Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton.

This momentous supernatural event was signified by a fly landing on Hillary’s left (how appropriate) eyebrow. (H/t Heat Street)


After which, the fly then alighted on her torso:


It was not a hot, sweltering day yesterday in St. Louis, Missouri. The daytime high was 78°; the nighttime low was 43º (source), which meant that by the time the debate began at 9 p.m., the temperature should have gone down to the 60ºs.

See also:

H/t FOTM silent reader Maria S.


Steve Qayle sent me this reminder that our Lord Jesus Christ had twice mentioned Beelzebub in Luke 11:18-26:

If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges. But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

See also “Secret Service: Hillary and Obama stink like sulfur“.


Sunday Devotional: ‘Where are the other 9?’

Luke 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”

Are you one of the ungrateful nine?

Be the “leper” who says “Thank you,” for surely you have many, many things to be grateful for — that you are alive, to start, breathing in air, hearing the sound of a bird, tasting an apple, seeing the sun rise this morning . . . .

Eowyn's garden Sept. 2016

Some of the most miserable people I’ve met are people who are sour, entitled, unappreciative, and thankless. Study after study have found that gratitude, not money, is the key to being happy. Happy people tend to:

  • express gratitude on a regular basis;
  • practice being optimistic;
  • engage in frequent acts of kindness;
  • savor joyful events; and
  • practice forgiveness.

Despite our troubles, think of all the good things you have, and be grateful, because it’s all gratuitous. We didn’t “earn” any of it.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice always.
Pray without ceasing.
In all circumstances give thanks,
for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

And remember to tell God you love Him with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind, and with all your strength. It’s only proper, because —

Jesus loves us this much

Give thanks, and be joyful!

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,


Secretary of State John Kerry: The Bible commands us to confront ‘climate change’ and especially protect Muslims

On September 3, 2014, at a ceremony to appoint Texas lawyer Shaarik Zafar to be special representative to Muslim communities, Secretary of State John Kerry claimed that Scripture, in particular the Book of Genesis, says it is the United States’ “responsibility” to “confront climate change” and to especially protect Muslims from its effects.

In the video snippet below, Kerry says:

“When Shaarik started drafting the U. S. strategy on religious leader and faith community engagement, he began with two words: Religion matters. We’re making that a mantra here in the State Department, in our foreign policy. Our [U.S. and Muslims] fates are inextricably linked on any number of things that we must confront and deal with in policy concepts today. Our fates are inextricably linked on the environment. For many of us, respect for God’s creation also translates into a duty to protect and sustain his first creation — Earth, the planet. Before God created man, he created heavens and earth. Confronting climate change is in the long run one of the greatest challenges that we face, and you can see this duty or responsibility laid out in Scriptures, clearly, beginning in Genesis. And Muslim-majority countries are among the most vulnerable. Our response to this challenge ought to be rooted in a sense of stewardship for Earth. And for me and for many of us today, that responsibility comes from God.”

There are so many things wrong with Kerry’s speech, I’m at a loss where to begin. Here are some:

  1. “Religion matters”? By their behavior and in countless ways, the Obama administration makes clear that the only “religion” that “matters” is Islam. As an example: of the 12,587 Syrian refugees “resettled” in the U.S. in fiscal year 2016, 99.2% (or 12,486) are Muslims. Only 0.5% (or 68) are Christians. (CNS News)
  2. Where in the Bible does it say that Earth is God’s “first creation”?
  3. There was no Islam and no Muslims when the Bible was written, for good reason, as Islam was founded more than half a century after Christ.
  4. There is no mention of “climate change” anywhere in the Bible.
  5. How are Muslim-majority countries — most of which are desert countries — “most vulnerable” to “climate change”? Mark my words: Kerry is preparing the groundwork for Muslim countries to demand “reparations” for being victims of “climate change”. See “Third World countries want more than $10oB a year as ‘climate change’ reparations“.
  6. And lastly, there is no man-made “climate change” or what used to called “global warming”. The global warming Nazis switched their terminology to “climate change” because scientific data show there has been no global warming in the past 10 years and more. (See “UK’s national weather service: Global cooling for last 10 years”.) In fact, because of the lack of solar activity, solar scientists now say there will be another Little Ice Age in 2030. The last one was 300 years ago. (Independent)

YouTube commenter streetrace442 says it best:

“Really?  This coming from the very party who one, doesn’t believe the Bible. Two: Believes God can be voted out of existence. Three: Doesn’t believe He exist to begin with. Four: Never has read the Bible.”

By “Believes God can be voted out of existence,” streetrace442 was referring to the 2012 Democratic National Convention when, in a voice vote, the delegates thrice voted to exclude any mention of God from the Democratic Party platform.

See also:

H/t Breitbart and FOTM‘s Lola


Today is our Guardian Angels’ feast day!

Guardian Angel

Today is the feast day of our Guardian Angels!

A 2007 Harris poll found that 74% of U.S. adults believed in angels.

The word “angel,” in Greek is angelos, in Hebrew is malach, in Arabic is mala’ika– which all mean “messenger.”

Angels are incorporeal (bodiless) spiritual beings who act as intermediaries between God and humanity. Although the word “angel” means “messenger,” this does not limit their activities. Instead, they are created by God to serve Him by fulfilling any and all tasks assigned to them.

St. Thomas Aquinas maintained that each Angel is unique, a species unto itself — a truly mind-boggling idea. (Sidenote: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ents are analogous, in that each Ent is also a species unto itself.) That means each Angel is truly an individual, with his own personality and quirks. This may explain why some guardian angels are pro-active, while others are not.

Major philosophers — such as the great medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), René Descartes (1596-1650), John Locke (1632-1704), and most recently, the American philosopher Mortimer Adler (1902-2001) — have put forth compelling reasoning for the existence of Angels. (For the conversion of Adler, a Jew, to the Catholic faith, see the moving account, “A Philosopher-Pagan Comes Home“.)

Scripture tells us there is a hierarchy of Angels — there are various gradations or “orders” of Angels. We know this because in Genesis 3:24, Isaiah 6:1-7, Ezekiel 1, 10, Romans 8:38, Ephesians 1:21, 3:10, 6:12, Colossians 1:16, 2:10, 2:15, allusions are made to “seraphim,” “cherubim,” “thrones,” “dominions,” “mights,” “powers,” and “principalities” in the “heavenly places.”

According to Aquinas and Dionysius the Areopagite, there are nine orders of angels, but only the last five angelic orders (Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, Angels) minister to bodily creatures and, of them, only the last three minister to human beings:

  • Principalities are in charge of the whole of humanity — of nations or countries.
  • Archangels minister to nations — their leaders and those persons whom God tasks with special work to do on earth.
  • Angels, the last order, are God’s messengers and guardians of individual human beings.

Sidenote: By logical inference, then, the orders of Virtues and Powers minister to nonhuman bodily creatures, which would include animals whom St. Bonaventure called “creatures without sin.” Isn’t that a happy thought? — that our pets also have angels?

How do we know each of us has a guardian angel?

Because Jesus tells us so!

“See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” -Matthew 18:10

According to St. Thomas Aquinas, a guardian angel is appointed by God’s loving providence to each human being from the moment of birth because “the dignity of human souls is great.”

Throughout the lives of “changeable and fallible” human beings, their guardian angels assist them toward goodness. Although the guardians never fail or forsake their human charges, they eschew interfering with Divine providence or with our free will—to commit sin if we so choose, to endure trials and troubles, and to suffer punishment.

When I see a drunk or derelict sleeping on a bus bench or curled up in a street corner, I can’t help but wonder how very sad their guardian angels must be. Imagine what it must be like to be the guardian angel of a serial killer . . . .

In Summa Theologica, St. Thomas also wrote that at the end of a human being’s earthly life, the guardian angel of the virtuous person will be replaced with an angelic companion because the guardian’s mission will have been successfully discharged. What a wondrous thought: That our Guardian Angel who has known and loved us all our lives will be our friend and companion through all eternity!

But the wicked in Hell “will have a fallen angel [or demon] to punish him” for eternity. Let that thought sink in . . . .

Just because we can’t see them doesn’t mean our Guardian Angels aren’t with us all the time. In fact, there are many stories of angelic encounters and assistance. See, for example:

You’ll find more angel stories on FOTM‘s “Angels & Saints” page.

My days are so busy with blogging and family-, house- and garden-work that the only time when my mind is at rest is when I’m taking my solitary walk in the hills. On one such walk several years ago, I talked to my guardian angel and humbly asked him to show me he’s there. Instantaneously, I felt his presence walking alongside me, to my right. I can’t tell you what he looks like (he is a bodiless spirit after all), but what I felt was his staggeringly-profound LOVE — a love that is unconditional and wholly unearned, the depths of which I have never (and will never) experienced from a human.

Here’s a simple prayer to our guardian angels, by St. Bonaventure (1221-1274):

Angel of God, my guardian dear,
to whom His Love commits me here,
ever this day be at my side,
to light and guard,
to rule and guide. Amen.

Talk to your Guardian Angel!

He loves you very, very much, more than you’ll ever know.

Tell him you love him.

And thank your Guardian Angel today and every day — for watching over and protecting you, and for loving you in spite of ourselves.