Daily Archives: August 15, 2020

♫ Where Have All The Flowers Gone? ♫ (Redux)

This song suits my mood tonight.  I think perhaps it suits the state of our nation tonight. Pete Seeger, who died in January 2014 at the age of 94, …

♫ Where Have All The Flowers Gone? ♫ (Redux)

Another shout out, again to Jill Dennison on her blog about a classic song. Early in the week, before she published this I couldn’t get the song out of my mind. I guess that it’s one of the things about having grown up in the 1960s and early 1970s. I heard it a lot on the radio.

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Yes Media, He’s Trying to Steal the Election

Originally posted on On The Fence Voters: Article 1, Section 8, Clause 7: Congress shall have the power to establish Post Offices and Roads. Feb 20, …

Yes Media, He’s Trying to Steal the Election

I’m re-blogging an article that Jill Dennison posted from another blogger. Since the President has actually admitted that he is doing to to influence the election, I am simply reporting.

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Follow up story for the Battle of Savo Island

With thanks to Pierre Lagacé for finding this information. https://richardharmervfn101.wordpress.com/2020/08/10/bloody-savo-revisited-sole-…

Follow up story for the Battle of Savo Island

Another shout out to Greg Cox and his Pacific Paratrooper blog for giving a shout out to another blogger I follow Pierre Lagacé, really important because it brings to light how histories written close to an event can miss significant details or actually spread false information because they don’t look for all the evidence or make assumptions, sometimes for national or political interests, especially if they were commissioned specifically to write a military or Naval history. Both of these men’s blogs should be required reading for those interested in WWII history.

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Biden/Harris campaign launches with pointed speeches while Trump admits to sabotaging the Post Office

By Robert A. Vella Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris launched their presidential campaign yesterday with pointed speeches detailing the …

Biden/Harris campaign launches with pointed speeches while Trump admits to sabotaging the Post Office

Robert Vella’s excellent commentary on the two most important political developments of the week. He has a very insightful blog and I recommend that you follow him.

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♫ Trini Lopez — A Brief Tribute ♫

I am a bit remiss with this post, but … better late than never.  On Tuesday, singer Trini Lopez died at age 83 of complications from the coronavirus.…

♫ Trini Lopez — A Brief Tribute ♫

Jill Dennison’s tribute to the late Trini Lopez.

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Sheriff’s anti-mask order risks lives for cheap headlines

Those who know me or have followed this blog know that I tend to have a slightly different viewpoint than the standard police thinking. This doesn’t …

Sheriff’s anti-mask order risks lives for cheap headlines

Friends of Padre Steve’s World, I ran across this blog a couple of weeks back. This police office offers unique insights into the rational and behaviors of some in the law enforcement profession. Recommend the blog to you. She is worth following.

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Justice, Mercy, Forgiveness, Raymond Reddington and Me

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Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

In spite of being very busy working in the house and going  back to work to deal with the crisis d’jour I have been very reflective about all I have been through over the past couple of years. Unlike past times of reflection this has been a rather uplifting experience of grace and not a de-evolution into a morbid state of moroseness.

Two years ago I put in my papers for voluntary retirement from the Navy. The previous 28 months in my old billet as the Command Chaplain at Joint Expeditionary Base, Little Creek – Fort Story had convinced me that the pain of trying to care for and fight for unappreciative people, including people who tried to destroy my life and career was not worth the fight. But just days after I put it in and the retirement request was approved I suffered a fall down my stairs while dealing with bilateral knee, ankle, and right hip injuries while making home repairs. My request was to retire on 1 September 2019, but by April 2019 with failed surgeries, injection treatments, and physical therapy, I realized that more needed to be done and requested that my retirement date be shifted to my statutory retirement date of 1 April 2020. However, when I called the retirement branch at Naval Personnel Command, I was told that there had been a mistake and that my actual statuary date was 1 August 2020.

Since everyone was planning on my September retirement, and my relief was already in place, the new situation was unbearable to the command, and something had to be done. So they transferred me to an unoccupied billet in which they could hide me while sending me on temporary duty orders to Norfolk Naval Shipyard, which turned out to be my earthly salvation. When the Coronavirus 19 pandemic hit, the Navy asked a few officers in certain specialties to volunteer to remain on service past their retirement date, until December 31st 2002. I had come to love the people I served and had my faith and call as a Priest renewed.There was no pressure, all I had to do was make myself known, get out among our people and be transparent, caring for and respecting everyone, not just Christians. In the past couple of years I’ve experienced and learned more about forgiveness and forgiving wrongs committed against me, and recognizing actions committed by me that hurt others.

The fact is that I have a tremendous ability to dwell upon injustices committed against others, especially those done by powerful people who use their position to deliberately cause harm or death to people. This you will see a steady stream of articles addressing things like slavery, racism, the Holocaust, unjust wars, government actions that do deliberately harm to the most vulnerable members of society.

While do really love the concept of forgiveness, as a Christian I have no idea of how Jesus managed to forgive, even to the point of sacrificing his life to forgive the sins of the world.  Nor do I really understand how the great saints of every faith managed to live lives full of grace and forgiveness. It probably goes back to my Irish-Scottish DNA,  that can make one a hilarious hoot one minute and a brooding bore the next regardless of whether or not alcohol is involved.

But there is something that I have learned: forgiveness doesn’t require me to be dishonest about how I feel about something. I learned that from Raymond Reddington, and yes I have been binge-watching The Blacklist of late and I find Reddington’s grip on philosophy, religion, and the human condition to be quite fascinating. Reddington observed:

“Sins should be buried like the dead. Not that they may be forgotten but we may remember them and find our way forward nonetheless.”

Truthfully I don’t believe in the forgive and forget bullshit, it’s a nice thought, but my brain doesn’t work that way. I can forgive someone every day, but the memories will still be there. That’s what makes it so hard. As Reddington said to Donald Ressler:

“There is nothing that can take the pain away. But eventually, you will find a way to live with it. There will be nightmares. And every day when you wake up, it will be the first thing you think about. Until one day, it’s the second.”

That is why the Christian understanding of the forgiveness of sins is so important to me and so difficult. It certainly wasn’t meant to be easy or painless, but it might make a difference, as Reddington noted:

“A friend told me recently that forgiveness won’t change the past but could very well change their future. Apparently, everything is forgivable.” 

So that’s all for today. Yes I know there are many things going on that I can write about but right now I need to stay in this place for a moment.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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