It occurred to me earlier this morning that I should be sharing some of the things that make me joyful, and give me such good humor for the day’s duties and challenges. Let’s face it, we’re living in a real shitstorm these days; a singularly-unique placement on an historical continuum in a mysterious and continuously-unfolding dynamic of shared social experience that is “conscious,” some of which experience we can remember, talk to others about, store for posterity, and use as the basis for planning the future. Part of the uniqueness is that we are in a time – the end-times – wherein (as prophesied in Scripture) the devil and all his demonic forces and minions – both the spiritual ones (angelic demons) and the human ones (men and women with material bodies and spiritual souls) have been unleashed in a full-on frontal attempt to fulfill an ambitious demonic plan of One World Government established under the control of Satan and his chief human minion, the Antichrist. There are subtle distinctions in the words used in Scripture that most preachers and teachers unfortunately don’t seem to care enough about to double-check to ensure they get them right, i.e., to check the original language of Scripture to ensure accuracy with God’s immutable, eternal Word. It’s not that hard anymore with the excellent online tools. It’s a question of clicking on a word, seeing what the transliterated Greek or Hebrew word is, and what it means in Strongs dictionary. Preachers are teaching improperly likely because most Bibles have wrongly translated many key Greek or Hebrew words, or thought that they could “modernize” with a different word in English more palatable to the secular age perhaps (but unfortunately, resulting in different meanings, again, apparently unseen by the translators). To “gather” and “collect” might seem like the same word at first glance, but in Scripture they carry moral and spiritual significance: good things are “gathered” (like a hen gathers her chicks under the wing); and bad things are “collected,” (like garbage to be burned, i..e, “darnel” growing among the wheat). You gather gently with care, you collect roughly to remove what is deemed of little or no value. With the parables on “sowing seed” – and there are a few of them, all having important and distinct messages in their own right – they are unfortunately often “lumped” together by pastors and priests to convey the “one version” interpretation they know, often completely obscuring the true meaning and message in the particular parable they are expounding upon. The words must be the correct ones if we are to get the true message from Jesus that He intended us to get. So who actually does the sowing of the darnel or ‘bad seed’? The devil, or men?You see! That’s why it’s so important to get the correct words, because the truth is, in some “seed parables” it is the devil, because the context is different; in others, it is “evil men,” so both do bad-seed sowing, and we need to go to the original language to circumvent the block from the bad translations to get the wisdom concerning who sows what when and how. The “devil” and “men” sow in different ways which are not confused in Scripture (the devil sows “evil seeds” in the MINDS and HEARTS – spiritual); and men sow evil in the WORLD in which we live (physical) with evil actions. The agency for evil in the world impacting humans is kept straight in the parables…. it is the work of evil people influenced by evil spirits! The parable about the “darnel among the wheat” in Matthew, for example, is rendered in most Bibles simply as “an enemy has done this” [i.e., sowing bad seed among good seed]; and almost without fail, in the Catholic Church homilies I’ve heard on this particular parable at least, the “enemy” is said to be “the devil” in the commentary. Not true! Which of course makes the true meaning and teaching of the Gospel disappear for the hearers completely. They might get a good message, just not the one from this Gospel, which is an incredibly important one for the end-times! This is a parable about evil in the WORLD of humans on earth, the “physical minions” at work. It is a “man” who is the enemy in the Greek original in this parable, as Young’s Literal Interpretation version gets correct: “And he saith to them, A MAN, an enemy, did this;…” The two streams of “darnel sowing” happening simultaneously in our world do, however, happen in a coordinated way, within the constructs of a plan with a goal, a plan originating with Satan, because it is a plan to deceive, control and destroy by ‘feigning’ good coming from the spirit of deception itself, the “father of lies” (as Jesus referred to him) aka Satan, the slithering, slimy snake that was once the greatest angel in heaven, but aspired to be as great as God and became his dark opposite, with powers to pretend he is still an angel of Light to us. Or at least until recently! During a very recent exorcism by a Catholic priest (Fr. Jim Blount) the demon apparently revealed that Satan is no longer permitted by God to use the title “Lucifer,” which makes PERFECT theological (and even logical) sense to me. I’ll explain. Satan’s greatest ‘trick’ (as everyone has heard, I’m sure) is to make us think that he doesn’t exist; to operate subtlety in the shadows. That’s the essence of the meaning of the word “Lucifer” (angel of light) as a fallen angel, when you think about it, because although this great angel in heaven was originally “light,” and knows what that looks like exactly, coming from God, he can now only mask that light, as a counterfeit. And this requires that he HIDE himself and his hideous nature that reveals his true identify, as well as the truly evil and destructive nature of his works being made manifest in the world through evil men and women serving him. That’s no longer the case though is it? Satan is not hiding now. He is playing his hand, attempting to establish evil by celebrating it in his followers, by intensifying the promotion of hedonism and the glorification of selfishness, completely out in the open. This manifestation of evil in the world is (like the ‘tares’ growing among the ‘wheat’) the work of “men” inspired by evil, which is incredibly important to know, because how we are to respond to evil people and evil demons in the spiritual warfare are not at all the same. In this parable, Jesus tells the disciples they are to let the tares continue growing until judgment, or the Harvest, when that culminating day of reckoning with God and Truth happens by the hand of the Father. Yet we are also called to expose evil. Is this a contradiction? No it is a clarification of the goal of the work of our exposing of evil: it is not to overcome evil in the world, it is to overcome evil in the souls of our brothers and sisters by raising high the glory of Truth, which is the real Light, Jesus! Satan is working openly, as well as his human minions in the world we see on television and movies, but primarily by directing and reinforcing those efforts in individual souls, as his minions continue implementing the grand scheme of control and destruction. The opening of various international “games” ceremonies in the last year offer good examples of paying celebratory homage to various demons from old, as well as the Satan-worshipping routine at the telecast Grammy awards recently, and demonic statues being placed in front of courthouses and town halls in US cities. Those followers, some aware they are and perhaps some who aren’t, have now managed to implement and establish coordination of the “physical” infrastructure and technology required to establish a new “Code of human interaction with reality” globally [referred to as ‘transhumanism’ by the elites, but it is looking more like ‘sub-humanism’ for the masses] that denies reality itself by establishing “feelings over thinking” in humans as the dominant mode of consciousness, displacing critical thinking and discursive reasoning as the means of decision-making. This is destroying us as creatures made in the “image and likeness” of God, a phrase understood to mean our unique capacity for self-reflection (leading to self-awareness) and autonomous decision-making (made possible from self-awareness) as we navigate life intelligently, seeing the order and connections between things, the logic and wisdom in those connections, discerning what is good and what is evil, and deciding what to choose accordingly. Satan is openly attacking and destroying that image of God that allows us to participate in the very life of God through our faith, by means of powerful and very-controlling technology, media and politics, and we see it daily, with intensifying pressures to “hedonize” and demoralize us and our social lives together on this planet. Satan has now unleashed nearly his full armory of evil in a last bid to destroy what God has so beautifully and marvelously created: the more vibrant and perfect, the more likely the attack will be directed to that part of God’s creation. God creates a new human (miracle of conception); devil deceives humans into making infanticide in the womb a ‘good thing’, resulting in millions of abortions annually;God creates an open innocence in young children, with simplicity and openness to life and others; the devil strives to steal that childhood by making humans believe that children should participate in the adult world, adopt the language of adults, gain access to adult material, adopt sexualized gestures, dress and body language, etc. and be allowed to choose things that only adults should be allowed to choose. It seems that the devil is now doing his utmost to put the entire globe into a hand basket! So, to get back on track, earlier this morning I laughed at something which was a great way to start the day, and there were more opportunities for that throughout the day, because I planned for it, and I thought to myself: “Self, ya know, with all that ‘get in the damn handbasket NOW!’ stuff going on in people’s lives, maybe others could avoid getting depressed (if not downright despondent) if I shared some reasons for my joy and good humour!” So I decided I would do a little series – my posts are always too long, so the posts in this series will be very short. I promise. I’ll give one example for my joy, and one for my good humor per post. We need to keep in mind that maximizing happiness in this valley of tears requires both joy (spiritual source) and humour (human source – earth) because we are a unity of body and soul, not a duality, so we can be joyful while sad, but with enough good humour we can overcome a good deal of that sadness as well. Here’s the joy one for today: JOY I’m joyful because I have the power of the Holy Spirit in me, which makes me abound in hope for the future victory of God over Satan, and that God’s chosen will never get in that basket, with thanks knowing that the hope I have is coming from the great gift of faith I have received from the Father. St. Paul got it right! Romans 15:13 ~ May the God of hope fill you with all JOY and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. GOOD HUMOUR I laughed when I got my daily email this morning (as I do every day) from Saltwire. I signed up for the email “Daily Brief,” and it literally kills me every day looking at what that rag is covering and bragging about putting out in the public for consumption.But it’s the blindness, arrogance and sense of self-importance about that garbage that I find so humorous, especially the headline of the email: “HERE ARE YOUR MUST READS FOR APRIL 24.”HA HA….If they had any idea how far down my “must read” list their crap is they’d find it funny as well.