Thursday, December 17, 2009

I see Joy

That was the license plate in the back of the red sport sedan in front of me this morning: "I See Joy." This got me to thinking that surely this person in front of me must have the Joy of the Lord in her heart, especially during this time leading up to the Christmas season. My heart glowed red like the paint job on her car.

Until she illegally passed the green car in front of her on a two-lane street. It would seem that the green car wasn't going fast enough. We got stuck at the light on the next block (4 lanes now). The green car in front of me, the red car next to the green, in the right lane, behind the cab of a tractor trailer (without a trailer). The light turns green and the red car has to wait while the trailerless tractor trailer gets going. In my rear view mirror, I see the red car pull out in front of a white van and go around the offending truck.

This gets me thinking, perhaps this woman's name is Joy and all she sees is herself.

Which now has me thinking, ought my license plate to read: "I See Amy?"

O Sapientia: “O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your
strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.” Isaiah
had prophesied, “The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom
and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge
and fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.” (11:2-3),
and “Wonderful is His counsel and great is His wisdom.” (28:29).

We start to pray the "O Antiphons" today in preparation for Christmas. Click on the quote above for a great link to an explanation of what the "O Antiphons" are.

"O come, Thou, Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightily.
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to grow."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thank them, especially at this time of year.

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear..
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.."

" So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

Monday, December 07, 2009

A day that will live in infamy...

"The surprise was complete. The attacking planes came in two waves; the first hit its target at 7:53 AM, the second at 8:55. By 9:55 it was all over. By 1:00 PM the carriers that launched the planes from 274 miles off the coast of Oahu were heading back to Japan. "
-"Attack on Pearl Harbor" from

Pray today for those who were lost on this day in 1941. Pray for all those who died in World War II. Pray for all those who fought in World War II. Pray for those who fight now that they may remain courageous in battle. Pray also for those who lead us now that the Lord might bless them with the ability to make peace.