Thomas A. Droleskey
Coughing and wheezing up a storm as we arrived at a campground in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, on Monday, April 30, 2007, it was all I could do to get myself up out of the driver's seat in the motor home and then "do the things" that one does upon arriving at a campground: putting the hydraulic jacks down to stabilize the motor home whenever we are parked, sliding out to expand the space in the motor home by about eighteen inches in both the living room and the bedroom, plugging in the electrical cord (giving a signal to Sharon or Lucy to turn off the generator), detangling the water hose and attaching it to the campground's water pipe, attaching the sewer hose to the motor home's sewer pipe and then connecting it to the "dump" site, and detaching the car from the motor home (which involves removing electrical cord that provides power to the Trail Blazer's brake and signal lights, removing the safety chains that are more cosmetic than functional, and unlocking and removing the bolts that hold the tow bar to the receptacles on the Trail Blazer). I wanted nothing more than to resume the horizontal position that I had been in for quite some time earlier that morning in the Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, before we had taken off for the five hour drive to Saint Cloud. As I had to pick up medication for my cough, which was accompanied by a nasty wheeze whenever I breathed, especially when resting in bed, I had to postpone sleep until I went to a pharmacy and picked up the medication, which included an "inhaler" to help stop the wheezing.
The trip to the pharmacy from the campground should have taken less than ten minutes. The slowness of Minnesota drivers, however, extended the trip by another fifteen minutes or so. I'm not asking people to drive over the speed limit on local streets. Not at all However, I simply don't understand the reason for going five to ten miles per hour under a thirty-five mile per hour speed limit, no less gawking at a traffic light once it turns green. All to you, Blessed Mother. All to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls! Just more penance, which, of course, I, a miserable sinner (and that is a very mild understatement, believe me), need to make satisfaction for my sins.
The Price of a Reduction in Coughing: Insomnia
One of the medications that I had to take was Prednisone, which my late father prescribed frequently in his veterinary practice in the 1960s (it relieved a dog's itching caused by dermatitis, believe it or not). The steroid, which did not help me to hit a fast ball, thank you, was supposed to relieve the coughing, which it did for the first night. However, it also induced three nights of absolute insomnia thereafter. I could not be without sleep prior to the all day conference I was to give at Immaculate Conception Church in Saint Cloud on Saturday, May 5, 2007. Thus, I decided to forgo the steroid after a third night without sleep. Suffice it to say that the cough, which would not be over until after we had gotten to Spokane, Washington, on Thursday, May 10, 2007, was a true penance that just had to work its way out of my system. It is doubtless the case, however, that the antibiotics I had taken, including Zithromax and
Ciprofloxacin, kept the condition from degenerating into something worse than it was. Our dear Lucy Mary Norma got a lesser case of what had felled me. Her young immune system, which has been exposed to antibiotics only a few times in her life, was able to fight it off rather well (with the help of colloidal silver and a homeopathic cough syrup). My own immune system has been too compromised over the years by all of the antibiotics that have been pumped into my body since the days in the 1950s when my late father, with the permission of a medical doctor, would inject us with penicillin whenever a sore throat would crop up.
Dealing with the Multifaceted Aspects of Americanism and Its Pernicious Influence on Traditional Catholics
Our stay in Saint Cloud in the days prior to my all-day conference on Saturday, May 5, 2007, was spent in going to Mass each day, getting a chance to visit with Father Brendan Hughes, CMRI, on Friday, May 4, 2007, after I had addressed the high school students at Immaculate Conception Academy in Saint Cloud. And, thanks be to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His Most Blessed Mother, my all-day conference on May 5, 2007, went well, although some of the older attendees did have a bit of difficulty grasping the point that the United States of America was not founded on Catholic principles, that men must submit themselves at all times to the Deposit of Faith that Our Lord entrusted exclusively to the Catholic Church and that they must have belief in, access to and cooperation with Sanctifying Grace in order to maintain a life of virtue and to grow in sanctity. "That's not what my parents taught me," said one elderly woman. I tried to explain that the ethos of Americanism, which was supported by many of the bishops of the United States of America in the Nineteenth Century, including Minnesota's own John Ireland, leads directly to the heresy of "religious liberty" enshrined in the "Second" Vatican Council's Dignitatis Humanae, December 7, 1965, and that there is simply no reason to assist at the Immemorial Mass of Tradition if one is not committed to the totality of the Faith that is best protected and expressed therein. What a crime it was, therefore, for most, although not all, of the bishops of the United States of America in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries to act in such a way as to convince ordinary Catholics that a political system that makes no room for Christ the King and placed the true Faith on a level of equality with all other religions and even irreligion was perfectly compatible with Catholic doctrine.
Most of the points made in my lecture in Saint Cloud had been made in my all-day lecture at Saint Gertrude the Great Church on Saturday, March 24, 2007. All I tried to do on May 5, 2007, was to plant a few seeds to help people to understand that it is God's Holy Will for each and every nation to be confessionally Catholic in all aspects of its political and cultural life. A few of the "Bushies" were a bit offended that I exposed George W. Bush's anti-life policies, including his support for the chemical assassination of children by means of domestic and international "family planning" programs and his support for the surgical dismemberment of children in certain "hard" cases. Some of these folks did not want to hear that the Fifth Commandment admits of no exceptions and that those who support the surgical killing of children and funded the chemical slaughter of the preborn were not "pro-life," only less pro-abortion than those who support all abortions at all times without any restrictions at all. This reminder from Pope Leo XIII's Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890, was provided to those in attendance:
The chief elements of this duty consist in professing openly and unflinchingly the Catholic doctrine, and in propagating it to the utmost of our power. For, as is often said, with the greatest truth, there is nothing so hurtful to Christian wisdom as that it should not be known, since it possesses, when loyally received, inherent power to drive away error.
One of the great tragedies wrought by Americanism is the fact that most Catholics in this country have never been taught the authentic Social Teaching of the Catholic Church, being utterly unfamiliar with this simple (and quite binding) reiteration of that teaching found in Pope Saint Pius X's Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906:
That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Based, as it is, on the principle that the State must not recognize any religious cult, it is in the first place guilty of a great injustice to God; for the Creator of man is also the Founder of human societies, and preserves their existence as He preserves our own. We owe Him, therefore, not only a private cult, but a public and social worship to honor Him. Besides, this thesis is an obvious negation of the supernatural order. It limits the action of the State to the pursuit of public prosperity during this life only, which is but the proximate object of political societies; and it occupies itself in no fashion (on the plea that this is foreign to it) with their ultimate object which is man's eternal happiness after this short life shall have run its course. But as the present order of things is temporary and subordinated to the conquest of man's supreme and absolute welfare, it follows that the civil power must not only place no obstacle in the way of this conquest, but must aid us in effecting it. The same thesis also upsets the order providentially established by God in the world, which demands a harmonious agreement between the two societies. Both of them, the civil and the religious society, although each exercises in its own sphere its authority over them. It follows necessarily that there are many things belonging to them in common in which both societies must have relations with one another. Remove the agreement between Church and State, and the result will be that from these common matters will spring the seeds of disputes which will become acute on both sides; it will become more difficult to see where the truth lies, and great confusion is certain to arise. Finally, this thesis inflicts great injury on society itself, for it cannot either prosper or last long when due place is not left for religion, which is the supreme rule and the sovereign mistress in all questions touching the rights and the duties of men. Hence the Roman Pontiffs have never ceased, as circumstances required, to refute and condemn the doctrine of the separation of Church and State. Our illustrious predecessor, Leo XIII, especially, has frequently and magnificently expounded Catholic teaching on the relations which should subsist between the two societies. "Between them," he says, "there must necessarily be a suitable union, which may not improperly be compared with that existing between body and soul.-"Quaedam intercedat necesse est ordinata colligatio (inter illas) quae quidem conjunctioni non immerito comparatur, per quam anima et corpus in homine copulantur." He proceeds: "Human societies cannot, without becoming criminal, act as if God did not exist or refuse to concern themselves with religion, as though it were something foreign to them, or of no purpose to them.... As for the Church, which has God Himself for its author, to exclude her from the active life of the nation, from the laws, the education of the young, the family, is to commit a great and pernicious error. -- "Civitates non possunt, citra scellus, gerere se tamquam si Deus omnino non esset, aut curam religionis velut alienam nihilque profuturam abjicere.... Ecclesiam vero, quam Deus ipse constituit, ab actione vitae excludere, a legibus, ab institutione adolescentium, a societate domestica, magnus et perniciousus est error."
Indeed, Pope Pius XI's condemnation of social modernism, contained in Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922, has fallen on deaf ears on most Catholics, including those in the "indult," "resist and recognize" and sedevacantist camps:
Many believe in or claim that they believe in and hold fast to Catholic doctrine on such questions as social authority, the right of owning private property, on the relations between capital and labor, on the rights of the laboring man, on the relations between Church and State, religion and country, on the relations between the different social classes, on international relations, on the rights of the Holy See and the prerogatives of the Roman Pontiff and the Episcopate, on the social rights of Jesus Christ, Who is the Creator, Redeemer, and Lord not only of individuals but of nations. In spite of these protestations, they speak, write, and, what is more, act as if it were not necessary any longer to follow, or that they did not remain still in full force, the teachings and solemn pronouncements which may be found in so many documents of the Holy See, and particularly in those written by Leo XIII, Pius X, and Benedict XV.
There is a species of moral, legal, and social modernism which We condemn, no less decidedly than We condemn theological modernism.
Many of the same points were made the next day in summary form in talks given after the two morning Masses. Some listened attentively, Others had difficulty even with this quotation from Pope Saint Pius X's Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910:
No, Venerable Brethren, We must repeat with the utmost energy in these times of social and intellectual anarchy when everyone takes it upon himself to teach as a teacher and lawmaker - the City cannot be built otherwise than as God has built it; society cannot be setup unless the Church lays the foundations and supervises the work; no, civilization is not something yet to be found, nor is the New City to be built on hazy notions; it has been in existence and still is: it is Christian civilization, it is the Catholic City. It has only to be set up and restored continually against the unremitting attacks of insane dreamers, rebels and miscreants. omnia instaurare in Christo
The Humor Gap
On balance, however, most of those who attended the talks in Saint Cloud were pleased. Each part of the country is different. Saint Cloud, Minnesota, is located in an area where people do not respond to humor outwardly, which is always quite an adjustment for a fast-talking New Yorker prone to the ready belly-laugh at a funny line. I had encountered the restraint of some parts of the Midwest when teaching at Illinois State University from 1977 to 1979 and while working for the Diocese of Fargo, North Dakota, between September of 1988 and August of 1989. As I "feed off" of the "feedback" from my students or audiences, I am at my best as a teacher or speaker when I can make an off-handed comment to lighten the mood, preparing my listeners for serious points by the use of a bit of humor. Anyone who has spent any amount of time in New York knows that us fast-talking, fast-paced New Yorkers joke with each other all of the time. It is not so in every part of the nation. My presentations in Saint Cloud, therefore, although a very thorough review of the Social Reign of Christ the King, may have been influenced negatively by my attempting to limit my extemporaneous use of humor. I do hope that a few seeds were planted despite the cultural differences. All to you, Blessed Mother. All to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
The "humor gap" notwithstanding, we certainly enjoyed our stay in Saint Cloud. Father Brendan Hughes is a gifted priest who works tirelessly in behalf of his flock. This is characteristic of each of the priests in the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen, trained as they are to serve souls in the midst of an unprecedented revolution against the Faith. We also got a chance to visit with Dr. and Mrs. Matthew Kent, who were kind enough to treat us to lunch after my last lecture on Sunday, May 6, 2007. Dr. Kent is a brilliant young Thomistic philosophy professor. His wife, Kristen, hails from Father Thomas Zapp's chapel in Martinez, California, and passed the "Lucy test" with flying colors. That is, Lucy, is who very articulate, is somewhat skittish of people she meets for the first time. She "sizes up" folks before she begins talking to them. Well, Lucy it off very well with Mrs. Kristen Kent. We are, once again, grateful to the Kents for their generosity in taking us out to dinner.
Crawling Into Our Shells Over Turtle Soup
Our final full day in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, was Monday, May 7, 2007. Father Brendan was to offer Holy Mass in a convent located outside of Saint Anna, Minnesota, about thirty miles from the campground where we were staying. Although I have always had a good sense of geographical direction from the time I was a very young child, I got turned around when searching for the convent where the sisters who teach at Immaculate Conception live (Father Brendan says Mass there once every two weeks so as to renew the Blessed Sacrament in their chapel's tabernacle). We got there about ten minutes after Mass was supposed to have begun at 5:00 p.m. As it turned out, however, Father Brendan was late himself, providing us a chance to pray before Our Lord's Real Presence before Holy Mass.
Father Brendan took us out to dinner at a local restaurant near Interstate 94 in Avon, Minnesota, that didn't look like too much from the road. However, the restaurant, which specializes in barbecued ribs, turned out to be surprisingly good. Quite delicious, truth be told. Unfortunately, the restaurant closed at 7:30 p.m., giving us little time to complete our meal. Father Brendan was still chowing down on his coleslaw and yummy corn bread as the lights were being turned off. Yup, they roll up the streets pretty early in Avon, Minnesota, which is located at Exit 153 on Interstate 94, for those of you planning a family trip for a bite of ribs. Better get to that place early, folks, real early. (You see, this is the sort of humor that's kind of missed by some in Minnesota.)
We enjoyed our last visit with Father Brendan, whom we would see briefly on Tuesday, May 8, 2007, not only at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass but as we sheepishly returned a gallon or so of "turtle soup" he had given us four days ago. We did not have the courage to tell him when he gave us the turtle soup on Friday, May 4, 2007, that we had absolutely no intention of eating one little bit of it. It was just kind of disconcerting to cut-up pieces of a turtle floating around in a plastic jug, replete with bay leaves and other assorted fauna and flora. Sharon and I shook our heads, knowing we'd have to find some way to tell Father Brendan that "turtle soup" was a little too rich for our blood.
Look, human beings are funny, all right? There's something about the sound of "turtle soup" that just rubs a city boy the wrong way. Sure, I'll eat raw clams and raw oysters with ready and happy abandon. I've also eaten escargot (with melted blue cheese) once or twice (my late mother loved escargot!) I'm a Long Islander. Everyone on Long Island eats raw clams and raw oysters with the possible exception of those who follow the incarnation of all evil, the New York Yankees, a contrary lot of people prone to odd habits. Seriously, however, we had to confess to Father Brendan that the thought of "turtle soup" was not appetizing. He understood. He was most kind. What is common for some is simply out of the ordinary for others.
(This was reminiscent of my refusal to eat "pig blood soup" in the Philippines in August of 1991. I told Bishop Felix Zafra, who was a real bishop, having been consecrated in 1967, that I never ate "pig blood soup" on Tuesdays. What I didn't tell Bishop Zafra, however, was that I also did not eat "pig blood soup" between Wednesday and Monday. Once again, cultural differences.)
We said goodbye to Father Brendan with our motor home parked in front of Immaculate Conception Church on Tuesday, May 8, 2007. Although I toyed with the idea of trying make the entire 1300 mile drive from Saint Cloud, Minnesota, to Spokane, Washington, where I was scheduled to give my "Living in the Shadow of the Cross" lecture program, in one sitting, I knew that I would have to stop somewhere along Interstate 94. My goal was to drive about twelve hours, which would have placed us in eastern Montana by around 12:30 a.m., Mountain Daylight Savings Time, on Wednesday, May 9, 2007. Once again, however, it was in God's Providence for us to have a few adventures on this trip. All to you, Blessed Mother. All to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
Beep, Beep, Beep: More Carbon Monoxide, Please
The first part of our trip went well. I was recovering from my cough. Lucy was recovering from hers. We crossed into North Dakota around 4:30 p.m., Central Daylight Savings Time, passing through the Fargo area rather rapidly (no, no nostalgia for Fargo whatsoever; some who read this will understand, others will find out on the Last Day). It was when we were about three quarters of the way through North Dakota when the carbon monoxide detector went off. We just couldn't figure out what was going on this time. Was it the high winds kicking the exhaust from the generator back into the coach? Was it a leak in the generator's exhaust system? Was it the hole in the engine's exhaust muffler that should have been repaired by the shop in Peotone, Illinois, that had the motor home in its service bay for eight days as the new engine was being installed in late April? We would not find out until we got to Spokane that the problem was indeed caused by the faulty exhaust muffler for the engine, whose exhaust fumes were being fanned by the generator and blown up into the motor home. However, we knew none of that on the evening of Tuesday, May 8, 2007. We had to turn off the generator and open up the windows to permit the air to circulate to get rid of the carbon monoxide that had caused the detector to beep incessantly.
An additional problem cropped up shortly after I had turned off the generator. Sharon noticed that smoke was billowing up under the dashboard never where I was sitting in the driver's seat. "What's this?" was our mutual, simultaneous, synchronized reaction.
I, who have never smoked anything, legal or illegal, at any point in my life, will probably die of lung cancer induced from all of the toxins I have ingested from the gasoline fumes that filled the motor home following the blown spark plugs and from various and sundry incidents of smoke from the moving parts filling our coach. It was this that prompted me to stop unexpectedly in Dickinson, North Dakota. We had to stop in Dickinson, which is in the far western part of North Dakota, to get gasoline.
Indeed, I "pushed" that issue just a little bit, praying and praying and praying that we would not run out of gasoline before we found an open station. The motor home's gasoline tank took a full eighty-two gallons of gasoline, which is about its maximum capacity, when I filled up. After filling up, however, I decided that we had to get off the road for the night, not knowing whether there was a muffler shop in Dickinson that could accommodate a motor home and have an opening for us to determine what was causing the exhaust leak. The smoke that was billowing into the motor home was from the leaking power steering box that should have been repaired at some point during those eight days in late April in Peotone, Illinois. It was indeed the case that the leaking fluid was producing smoke as it dripped onto hot moving parts of the motor home. Just another offering to give to the Most Holy Trinity through Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. As Lucy noted through a screen window of the moor home as I was filling up the fresh water tank when we stopped at a rather rustic campground in Dickinson, "Dada, we sure do have adventures, don't we?" All to you, Blessed Mother. All to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
When All Else Fails, Try Positivism
The morning of Wednesday, May 9, 2007, brought a great deal of indecision as to what to do with the exhaust problem. I decided upon the easiest course: positivism. I pretended that the problem would go away and wasn't as serious as it was. Sharon laughs at my "rest theory," which contends that resting a broken part or piece will restore it to full functionality at some point before the end of the world. I decided, therefore, to forge ahead on our trip, preferring not to discover whether the automobile mechanics in Dickinson, North Dakota, were any more competent than the ones we had dealt with in Lafayette, Louisiana, or Peotone, Illinois. I mean, there's no true Mass in North Dakota offered by a priest who makes no concession to conciliarism or to the legitimacy of its false shepherds. And it's a pretty far way to go to find such a Mass. We just prayed that all would be well on the rest of the trip to Spokane.
Not knowing what had caused the carbon monoxide problem, I did start up the generator, only to have the carbon monoxide detector go off about two hours into our trip. This was worrisome on the human level. Should I stop and have some repair shop in eastern Montana look at the thing? After getting gasoline in Miles City, Montana, we ran the motor home without the generator for the rest of the trip. (See "rest theory," supra.) I also had to stop every one hundred miles or so to add power steering fluid to the power steering box. We got into Billings to meet with Mrs. Kathleen Plumb, the editor of The Four Marks, around 3:45 p.m., Mountain Daylight Savings Time, having an enjoyable time at an Olive Garden restaurant there.
It was back into the motor home around 5:20 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9, 2007, for the rest of the journey to Spokane, which was simply long, a distance of about 540 miles. There were no "close encounters" with elk or other wildlife. The highlight of this trip, though, was seeing the beautiful statue of Our Lady of the Rockies just north of Butte, Montana. We had seen the statue on November 6, 2003, when I gave a presentation in a private home in Butte. Lucy, who has a very good memory, simply was too young at the time to remember that trip some three and one-half years after the fact. She did look forward to seeing the statue. Sharon reported that Lucy, who loves Our Lady dearly, had tears in her eyes when she saw Our Lady of the Rockies glistening in the late twilight (yes, it was late twilight at around 9:10 p.m., Mountain Daylight Savings time). Our daughter has a very strong will (which probably skipped about ten generations, of course) and likes to get her own way a lot. However, she does love the Faith and is deeply in love with the Mother of God. It was quite a treat for her to see Our Lady of the Rockies on our trip out to Spokane.
I had to fight travel fatigue to keep myself awake as we continued to drive deep into the night, praying constantly to Our Lady and my Guardian Angel and the Poor Souls to keep me awake. Thanks be to the graces won for us by the shedding of Our Lord's Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces, we limped into a campground in Mead, Washington, around 1:00 a.m., Pacific Daylight Savings Time, on the morning of Thursday, May 10, 2007. I knew that we would have to take the motor home into various repair shops during our stay, which was supposed to end on Sunday, May 20, 2007, but was extended to Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2007, to permit me a chance to give a fuller version of "Living in the Shadow of the Cross." At the moment of our arrival, however, stumbling over pretty significant landscaping stones and shrubbery designed to give the illusion that one's motor home is not as close to the neighboring space as it really is, I just wanted to get reacquainted with sleep.
Splitting Our Time Between a Campground and Repair Shops
Upon awakening a few hours later on Thursday, May 10, 2007, we readied ourselves for Holy Mass at Mount Saint Michael's Church, although road construction near the Mount forced us to take various detours. We got to Holy Mass on time, seeing the intrepid Michael Cain of The Daily Catholic and his wife Cyndi as they were getting out of their car just as we were arriving. It was nice to be back at the Mount and to hear Holy Mass offered by Father Casimir Puskorius. It is as though we had never left last November 5, 2006, although we were aware of some difficulties that will come more fully to the surface tomorrow, Trinity Sunday, June 3, 2007, and about which I will continue to reserve direct public comment until His Excellency Bishop Mark Pivarunas addresses the matter publicly in his sermons at Mount Saint Michael's.
We had much to take care of after Mass, however, which included stopping at an automobile repair shop that had a sign advertising a specializing in power steering repairs, just what we needed to take care of our motor home's power steering box problem. The fellow at this shop appeared quite competent, hailing originally from upstate New York. He said that he would order a new power steering box for the motor home, which was to be in hand on Tuesday, May 15, 2007, recommending us to go to the "Muffler Doctor" in Spokane to get the muffler problem repaired.
Acting upon that recommendation, therefore, we drove to the "Muffler Doctor" on Division Street, the main north-south arterial in the Spokane, Washington, area. "Dr. Kent" was most accommodating, telling us to bring the motor home in early the next morning, Friday, May 11, 2007. He said that he would ascertain why the carbon monoxide detector had gone off while we were driving, which he recognized was not a good thing. With that arrangement having been made, we returned back to the motor home, from which I telephoned another place to make an appointment to replace the motor home's malfunctioning air conditioners and to try to restore electricity to the dashboard, which has been without a functioning blower since September 7, 2005.The lineup of repairs was then as follows: Friday, May 11, 2007, at the Muffler Doctor, Tuesday, May 15, 2007, at Watts Automotive, Wednesday, May 16, 2007, at Washington Auto Carriage. This meant that we would be displaced during the day quite a lot. These matters had to be repaired. We did not want to break down again along the highways and byways of the country as we had done while en route from Ohio to Michigan to Illinois to Wisconsin to Minnesota to Spokane.
The muffler repair on Friday, May 11, 2007, went amazingly smoothly. We had the motor home at the Muffler Doctor around 7:45 a.m., getting word shortly thereafter that it was the engine's exhaust muffler that was responsible for the carbon monoxide problem. As noted above, the exhaust fumes from the engine were being fanned into the coach by the generator. The new muffler and other welding cost a little over $200, which we thought to be very reasonable. We got the motor home back at around 10:30 a.m., meaning that we were able to to get it back to the campground and plugged in before we went to the 11:40 a.m. Mass at Mount Saint Michael's. It was off to Post Falls, Idaho, after Mass to afford Lucy an opportunity to visit with her beloved friends, the Kampraths, during which time I wrote the first of two articles that were posted on this site on Saturday, May 12, 2007. The second was written that evening back at the motor home.
"You see, there's a little thing called a gasoline station"
However, we did not get back to the motor home as early as I would have liked, something that was entirely my own quite stupid fault. Let me explain.
The fuel gauge on the Trail Blazer broke last August after we had assisted at Holy Mass at Saint Michael's Chapel in Glenmont, New York. It reads "E" all of the time. All of the time. I must thus keep a careful track of how many miles we have driven from one gasoline stop to the next, relying upon the "trip" odometer to monitor this situation. Although the trip odometer read "233.0" as we left a dry cleaning store in the Wandermere section of Spokane, Washington, on Friday, May 11, 2007, I figured that we had enough gasoline to get us back the five miles to our campground in Mead, Washington. I don't really have to worry about getting gasoline the Trail Blazer until we reach about 250 or 260 miles on the trip odometer. Well, I figured wrong. I had forgotten--and did not remember until after we had been rescued by Mr. Michael Cain--that the last gasoline stop in the Trail Blazer in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, on Saturday, May 5, 2007, was not a complete fill-up. The fuel pump at the gasoline station shut itself off once fifty dollars of gasoline had been pumped, a ridiculously low limit in light of the extortionist prices being charged by the corporate robber barons of the American oil industry. Although I figured it was a good idea to get gasoline, I was just too tired or lazy (or both) to stop. I paid for that mistake. Big time.
Yes, we ran out of gasoline about a half a mile or so from the dry cleaners. I negotiated the Trail Blazer into the middle turn lane on Farwell Road, thus getting ourselves out of the way of traffic. Lucy was very, very tired. She had had a long day and was pretty well tuckered out from her visit with the Kampraths. I was concerned about getting Sharon and Lucy home quickly, deciding to call for a taxicab to take them back to the motor home. I was informed, however, that it would take about an hour for a cab to get to us. All to you, Blessed Mother. All to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls.
Sharon needled me pretty good about my mistake. "You see, there's a little thing called a gasoline station. They have pumps. All you had to do was to stop at one." She was simply giving back to me what I would have said to her in a similar circumstance. Oh, did I get my New York sarcasm thrown back at me, and I deserved every bit of it.
I telephoned OnStar to get assistance. However, OnStar was not immediately responsive to my request for assistance. Our account was not current because our debt card had been changed. I had to pay the outstanding bill and then request assistance, which I was told would take up to an hour to arrive. I just wanted to get my family home. Oh, I messed up but good. I felt terrible.
It occurred to me after speaking with OnStar that our friend Michael Cain lived not far away in Mead. The only problem was that I did not have his telephone number handy. I tried calling the rectory at Mount Saint Michael's, figuring that Brother Joseph might have Mike's number at hand. I remembered that I had Mike's number in my computer, which I thought was back in the motor home. Sharon reminded me, however, that I had brought it with us and that I had written an article at the Kampraths. I was not functioning on "all the cylinders" at that time. Out came the computer and I looked up Mike's number. Mr. Cain, who was ahead of me about sedevacantism by several years, said that he would be out in several minutes. As Sharon said, "The Catholic solution was quicker than all of the others."
Mike Cain arrived within ten mintues with a container of gasoline. The only problem was that a lot of it was spilling onto the ground. Mike's container had no spout and we had no funnel. Sharon, always "Mrs. Fix-It" when it comes to these sorts of things, thought that a used FEDEX envelope could be folded up and used as a funnel. It worked well enough to get the Trail Blazer started again. We thanked Mr. Cain, whose father, Lowell "Mickey" Cain, died at the age of ninety-one on Thursday, May 24, 2007, for bailing us out of the mess that I had created for my family. And we got a full tank of gasoline at a gasoline station near the campground before we packed it in for the evening. Never worry about my being kept humble, folks. My own stupidity keeps reminding me how dense I am, believe me! Humiliation is good for the soul.
Stuck On Top of a Ferris Wheel
Yet another article was written on Saturday, May 12, 2007, before we took Lucy Mary Norma to Riverfront Park for a spin on the carousel and for a ride on a ferris wheel. I love a good carousel. However, it had been quite a long time since I had been on a ferris wheel. No longer svelte of build, I could not get into the same car with Sharon and Lucy, having to wait for another car and then watching the attendant try to close the bar on my flabby corpus. I was pretty squished. All to you, Blessed Mother. All to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls! And it was a bit interesting to be in this squished state in a ferris wheel car while it was stopped at the top of the wheel's spin. The ferris wheel was stopped for quite some time as the attendant let off and put on passengers. I am not afraid of heights. However, it was an adjustment, shall we say, to be up in the air on the ferris wheel while it was stopped. This was reminiscent of being in the upper deck at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, July 8, 2000, during the first Shea Stadium/Yankee Stadium"doubleheader," necessitated by a rain out at Yankee Stadium in May. The angle of the steps in the box seats in the upper deck at Yankee Stadium is very, very steep. That was an adjustment from sitting in my then season seat on the field level at Shea Stadium between home plate and the visitors' on-deck circle (and it was from that vantage point in the upper deck at Yankee Stadium on July 8, 2000, that I saw Roger Clemens bean Mike Piazza in the helmet, staring in disbelief as Clemens just stood on the mound without making any move to inquire about Piazza's condition). Suffice it to say that I have no intention of returning to a ferris wheel any time soon.
Honoring Our Lady with a Rosary Procession Ninety Years After Her First Apparition in the Cova da Iria
We were back at Riverfront Park in Spokane the following evening, May 13, 2007, for a Rosary Procession in honor of the ninetieth anniversary of Our Lady's first apparition to Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Lucia dos Santos in the Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal. The procession, which takes place on the thirteenth of each month between May and October, was very inspirational. Our dear Lucy held a banner of Our Lady throughout the course of the entire procession, during which time the entire fifteen decades of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary were prayed. Passersby stared at the site of about a hundred people, including a number of the sisters from the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen, known to the local populace in Spokane as the "Singing Nuns," and some of the Congregation's priests, including Father Benedict Hughes, the pastor of Mary Immaculate Queen Church in Rathdrum, Idaho, and the brother of Father Brendan Hughes whom we had visited at Immaculate Conception Church in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, on the way out to Spokane. We were very happy to have participated in the procession, which should be replicated in traditional venues throughout the country (Saint Gertrude the Great Church holds a Fatima Rosary Procession on the thirteen of each month between May and October in and around the "First Watch" parking lot in West Chester, Ohio).
Back to Work, Hard Work
The "Living in the Shadow of the Cross" lecture program began on Monday, May 14, 2007. As Father Casimir Puskorius had been ill the previous day, he could not promote the program as he had planned on doing. The turnout of the laity was very sparse. There were a number of sisters in attendance, and this alone made the program worthwhile. God had known from all eternity that only a few people would be in attendance. Everything that happens is within His Holy Providence, which we must accept with equanimity. His Most Blessed Mother takes care of us quite well. And while I always look forward to addressing as many people as possible so as to instruct them in the Social Reign of Christ the King, whoever happens to show is whoever happens to show up. The lectures were recorded and we pray that those who did not attend them in person will avail themselves of their contents by means of compact discs. Even though we took some real "hits" financially to make the trip to Spokane and then to finance our way out of there, we are happy that we made the trip.
Although those who do not teach or lecture may not realize it, the effort to organize a lecture and to present it is very time-consuming and tiring. It's hard work. There's nothing easy about standing on one's feet for two hours or so and attempting to make cogent points that one's audience can understand. Such work must be founded upon a firm reliance upon Our Lady's graces. Humanly speaking, however, I was pretty wiped out after the evening lectures, although efforts were made on some nights to write articles for this site so as to "keep faith" with those who have been so generous to us and who never have an opportunity to hear my lectures in person. It is in God's Providence, we believe, that the writing of articles for this site and the giving of lectures about the Social Reign of Christ the King constitute the work I am supposed to be doing, at least until the unlikely day when I can resume my college teaching career on a full-time basis.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007, started with packing up our motor home and getting it ready for the short drive to Watts Automotive in Spokane for the installation of a new power steering box. This started a period of three straight days of displacement from our home, during which time we attended to various errands and spent time in prayer at Mount Saint Michael's. As it turned out, Watts Automotive had ordered the wrong power steering box, necessitating a return visit there on Thursday, May 17, 2007. We found out about this after we had returned to Spokane following a luncheon with our friends the Kampraths at a restaurant named Nino's Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, a facility that was adorned with Crucifixes and images of Our Lady and the Holy Family and various saints. Its sister restaurant in Coeur d'Alene, Angelo's, is similarly decorated by good Catholics. No need to ask these proprietors to change the music. They wouldn't do anything to hurt the souls of their customers.
We had to offer up the inconvenience of bringing back the motor home to Watts Automotive. We knew that we would be without the unit for almost all of Wednesday, May 16, 2007, but had to accept the inconvenience as additional penance for our sins and offer it up to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, just as I had to accept the frustration of the exceedingly slow drivers in Spokane, who are even slower than the ones in Minnesota and who exhibit an utter lack of comprehension concerning the necessity of depressing the accelerator when driving up a grade. This phenomenon of driving five to ten miles under the speed limit even on major arterial highways in perfectly dry weather conditions is going to make the completion of a limited access expressway, being built to alleviate traffic congestion, on Division Street/Newport Highway, a moot point: monstrous traffic jams will occur as a result of the failure of drivers to maintain even their lower rates of speed as they driving up grades. Oh, well, logic and common sense can't be found everywhere. Just a bit more penance.
Speaking of penance, we had a lot of it to do on Wednesday, May 16, 2007, as we brought the motor home into Washington Auto Carriage for the installation of new air conditioners. Living in a hollow, moulded piece of plastic means that the temperature inside is pretty much the temperature outside absent heat and air conditioning. Those of you who read
It's Still Better This than Purgatory (or Worse!), part 2 might remember our lacking heat on some of our trips during winter. It got down to thirty-nine degrees Fahrenheit in the back bedroom of the motor home during our drive from Monroe, Connecticut, to West Chester, Ohio, on Thursday, January 25, 2007. Inside temperatures can rise to around 110 degrees Fahrenheit without air conditioning. Thus, Sharon asked me to get new air conditioners so that we might be sweltering quite as much during the summer. It was also my hope to restore heat and air conditioning to the dashboard area, where I either freeze in the winter or swelter like a little piggy-wiggy in the summer when it is blazing hot. All is accepted as penance, of course. It is not opposed to Faith and morals, however, to seek the restoration of functionality to one's vehicle's component parts.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007, was thus a very, very tiring day. The air conditioners were not installed until around 4:30 p.m., affording the very competent repair man little opportunity to diagnose and and repair the dashboard problem, which may never get repaired (it has defied and baffled repair facilities from coast to coast and border to border). We had to drive a very hard sixteen miles back to the campground from Washington Auto Carriage (after providing them with a payment of over $1800) and then return to Mount Saint Michael's in time for lecture, no mean feat, let me tell you. We did see, however, that our fresh water tank was leaking rather badly as we drove off for my lecture at Mount Saint Michael's that Wednesday evening. It was confirmed the next day that there was a crack in the fresh water tank, the third one that has been in the motor home since we purchased the thing new in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on July 12, 2001. This one lasted for over four years, probably "done in" by the street in Lafayette, Louisiana, that was being re-graded and most likely was also the culprit of of how our muffler got damaged.This problem will not be rectified until we return to Long Island, however.
There was no rest for the weary the following day, Thursday, May 17, 2007, as we took the motor home back to Watts Automotive for the installation of the correct power steering box before going to Holy Mass on Ascension Thursday in the rectory of Mount Saint Michael. I was in for a huge shock when we retrieved the motor home after having a light lunch at the rectory prepared for us by Brother Joseph, whose Christ-like humility and guilelessness is truly one of the great highlights of any visit to Mount Saint Michael's. The power steering box, which I had been told at first cost somewhere around $300-$400, wound up costing $1500 to purchase and install! Gulp! Double gulp! There went any plans of returning the motor home to Washington Auto Carriage to get the dashboard problem repaired. That was big hit that I was not anticipating having to take. All in God's Holy Providence, however. He knew from all eternity we would get hit in this way. All to you, Blessed Mother. All to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
What was a little irksome, however, was not being informed of the costs beforehand. Also a little perplexing was that the "new" power steering box was rebuilt, not new. I was told that there is no such thing as a "new" power steering box. All right. Then why did the rebuilt power steering box cost $900? The mechanic who worked on the repair said that there would have been an additional $500 charge if I wanted to keep the "core" of the original power steering box. Isn't Calvinist capitalism wonderful? You get charged money if you want to keep what belongs to you. Thus it is that corporate robber barons get a free power steering box to rebuild. A wonderful world of greed and corruption, isn't it? Thank you, John Calvin. Thank you, John Locke. Thank you, Adam Smith. Thank you, David (not Ricky) Ricardo.
Getting the motor home back at around 2:30 p.m. was better than getting it back at around 5:00 p.m., just before my nightly lectures. There was a bit of time, therefore, to start an article, which was completed after my fourth lecture at Mount Saint Michael's later that evening. Father Casimir Puskorius was good enough to give me permission to extend my lecture program by one week, thereby affording a fuller version of the "Living in the Shadow of the Cross" lecture series (the full series, which I will endeavor to reprise somewhere in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area, in July and August, takes between thirty-six and forty hours; the one at Mount Saint Michael's wound up being somewhere in the neighborhood of eighteen hours). We are very happy that we stayed, grateful to Father Casimir for giving us permission to do so.
A Little Victory for Christ the King: Goodbye, Tomato Street
A little victory for Christ the King was won after Holy Mass on Friday, May 18, 2007, as we endeavored to have a meal at Tomato Street, a popular Italian restaurant in Spokane, Washington. The restaurant, which features affordably priced and quiet edible fare, plays the Dean Martin-Tony Bennett-Perry Como-Frank Sinatra genre of music most days. Ah, but then there is Fridays, when the horror of "rock" "music" is played. We had convinced a young manager on Friday, May 11, 2007, following our visit in Post Falls, Idaho, with the Kampraths, to change the music. The manager-on-duty on Friday, May 18, 2007, was ready for me, however. He would not be moved by my appeal to protect our daughter's immortal soul, saying that his customers (and his equally young workers) "wanted" that kind of "music" on Fridays. He would not change the music. We told him that he had lost customers and that we would not return, explaining to him that "majority rule" is a bad rule when it comes to most everything, especially when it comes to polluting the souls of customers. "Rock" "music" comes from Hell and is played there for all eternity. The "invisible hand" of Adam Smith demands concessions to the "people" to maximize profit. Too bad that some parents just don't "get with the times," huh?
We just walked out of Tomato Street. We will never return, just as I never returned to Shea Stadium once I walked out of there on Tuesday, July 16, 2002, following the second straight day of advertising of a certain pill once popularized by Robert Joseph Dole, Jr. (and that boycott continues to hurt; I miss going to baseball games, believe me!) Sharon told Lucy, "I just want to shout, 'Viva Cristo Rey!' We love Christ the King more than we love good food." Indeed. Yup, and we love Christ the King more than we would like going to a baseball game and having to listen to the rock music and the horrible images displayed on the giant television screens and the obscenities shouted by fans even in the box seats. These little stands help to show God that we love Him more than we love the things of this passing world.
"Mama's Going to Have to be in a Wheelchair Like Ironside"
The rest of our stay in Spokane was relatively uneventful, save for the fact that my dear Sharon's back went out on Tuesday, May 22, 2007, paralyzing her for a good half-hour before she prayed to the "saint of the day," which turned out to be Saint Rita (!) to get her up and going again. A chiropractor who had adjusted both Sharon and Lucy in October and November during our earlier stay in Spokane, Dr. David Glass, accommodated the emergency and saw her that afternoon and also the following afternoon, Wednesday, May 23, 2007. This made Sharon a lot better. Lucy was joking that "Mama's going to have to get a wheelchair like Ironside." (No, Lucy has not watched my favorite television program, whose first season was forty years ago this year. She has simply heard me talk about the fictional Chief Robert T. Ironside. Although I've given up broadcast television for good, Ironside was a very good show.)
Some Playtime for Lucy
Lucy also got to visit her friends the Kampraths once again. Mrs. John Kamprath was good enough to drive her daughters from Post Falls, Idaho, up to Mount Saint Michael's on Thursday afternoon, May 24, 2007, saving me the wear and tear of having to drive the thirty-three miles or so from Spokane to Post Falls and back. As I wound up giving a two-hour lecture on Thursday night and one that last an aggregate of two hours, forty-five mintues on Friday evening, I am very grateful to Mrs. Kamprath for taking the time to make the trip over to Spokane. Lucy enjoyed playing with her friends. Our little girl may live in a motor home. However, she has been blessed with friends around the nation. Hungry, however, after the Kampraths left but lacking enough time to get back to the motor home to make something to eat here, we stopped at a Tony Roma's in Spokane, being pleasantly surprised when the young manager there did agree to change the music they were playing. Deo gratias! A nice treat to have ribs and an onion loaf on my "half birthday," May 24. (Yes, I am closer now to fifty-six than I am to fifty-five. "Time marches on" as the old "March of Time" newsreel commentator used to say.)
Farewell to Eighteen Days at Mount Saint Michael's
It was with sadness that we had to say our goodbyes to the faithful few, including some of the sisters of the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen, who were good enough to come out night after night to my lecture program at Mount Saint Michael's. We had toyed with the idea of leaving the Mount that night to drive to Saint Cloud, Minnesota, a trip of some 1300 miles or so, so that we could be present when Bishop Pivarunas administered the Sacrament of Confirmation to Father Brendan Hughes's parishioners on Pentecost Sunday. Such a trip would be suicidal. I was very tired from the lecturing and the writing that I was doing late into the night after some of the lectures. Additionally, we had to await our forwarded mail from New York on Saturday, May 26, 2007, which was not quite as "full" as it had been three weeks' earlier when we had gotten it during our stay in Saint Cloud. We decided, therefore, to leave after morning Mass on Pentecost Sunday at Mount Saint Michael's, driving to Billings, Montana, to visit with Mrs. Kathleen Plumb once again before continuing on to Omaha, Nebraska, to visit with Bishop Pivarunas there, making our way from there to West Chester, Ohio, and thence to New York and Connecticut.
Well, that was our plan of action. God knew from all eternity that our plans were not His.
"O Holy Ghost, Show Us Your Spouse, Please!"
The drive to Billings commenced later than we had wanted. We had much to do before we left. We did not get on the road until 3:30 p.m., Pacific Daylight Savings Time, on Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2007. The day turned rainy and cloudy as we entered Montana. Many of the mountaintops were covered by low-lying clouds. I was very concerned that Lucy Mary Norma would not get to see Our Lady of the Rockies again, something that she was very much looking forward to seeing. I just prayed and prayed and prayed that Our Lady would remove the cloud cover so that Lucy could get a glimpse of her statue in a mountain above Butte, Montana. Things were not looking so good until we got right into the middle of Butte, where we had to get off to get some gasoline in the motor home. Sure enough, thanks be to Our Lord and His dear Blessed Mother, Our Lady of the Rockies was visible. Lucy was very excited, and I made sure to position the motor home at a pump at an Exxon station in Butte that gave her a wonderful view of Our Lady of the Rockies.
As I was refueling the motor home, however, a cloud cover rolled over the mountain. Sharon told me that Lucy, who had been looking at the statue through a pair of binoculars that she is learning to use, was disappointed that she could no longer see Our Lady. Lucy then sang the following prayer of her own composition on the evening of Pentecost Sunday, "O Holy Ghost, show us your Spouse, please!" (sung to the cadence of the Litany of the Saints.... i.e. Sancta Lucia, ora pro nobis.) The cloud cover lifted immediately, Sharon told me. The power of a pure little soul's prayer! Lucy had a clear view of Our Lady of the Rockies from the moment she uttered that prayer to the time that she disappeared from view as we drove eastward along Interstate 90. That was the highlight of the long trip for us and for our wonderful daughter.
The World's "First" KOA Kampground
We rolled into what is billed at the "World's First KOA Kampground" in Billings, Montana, the world headquarters of Kampgrounds of America, at around 1:00 a.m., Mountain Daylight Savings Time, on Monday, May 28, 2007. Actually, a placed called Yellowstone River Campground is on the actual grounds of the first KOA Kampground, which moved a few yards to the west in the early-1970s, prompting the then Governor of Montana, Forrest H. Anderson, to proclaim the newer campground to have been the original KOA Kampground. Talk about positivism. All of that notwithstanding, however, the campground in Billings was quite nice. Each site, including ours, had a swinging bench, something that appealed very much to Lucy when she saw it after awakening in the morning on Monday, May 28, 2007. She could have spent all day out there on the swinging bench if we did not have to meet with Mrs. Plumb and then commence our 914 mile drive to Omaha, Nebraska. I could have spent all day in bed, sound asleep! We did want to get to Holy Mass on Whit-Tuesday, having missed on Whit-Monday. God, however, had other plans in store for us from all eternity.
"Yup, we's gonna fet golf-ball size hail around here real soon"
We left Billings, Montana, around 2:00 p.m. on Monday, May 28, 2007, making decent time through Montana and into Wyoming before some truly terrible weather began to slow us down a little bit in eastern Wyoming, where there were remnants of a recent snowstorm along the shoulder of Interstate 90 (!) and western South Dakota. Heavy winds buffeted the motor home before heavy rains began to fall. It is my wont in such situation to try to out drive storm fronts, knowing that our vehicle is moving faster than the storm front. The longer we drive, therefore, the more ahead of the storm we can get. This is a very good theory as long you don't start hydroplaning on a wet highway, as we did at one point, being careful to following the old driver's education manual instructions (drive in the direction of the skid). We also had a small car kick up some gravel in South Dakota, causing a small chip in the driver's windshield. "Not again," I told Sharon. "Look at this. A little bitty pebble." All to you, Blessed Mother. All to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
Well, we got somewhat ahead of the storm front until we had to stop for gasoline near Spearfish, South Dakota. This made it possible for the storm front to catch up with us. One local said to another, "Yup, we's gonna get golf-ball size hail around here real soon. Might even get a twister or two." Paraphrasing Ralph Kramden, I said to myself, "That's it! We're not getting a full tank of gasoline this time. Let's point the motor home east to Sioux Falls and get out of here!" I got enough gasoline to take us some distance down the road before we had to stop about sixty miles east of Rapid City for a full tank.
Things were going swimmingly well as we put the storm front well behind us, although we were being buffeted by some pretty strong winds in the northern plains as we approached eastern South Dakota, at around 12:30 a.m., Central Daylight Savings Time, on Tuesday, May 29, 2007. I had had a nice telephone conversation with Bishop Pivarunas, who has been spending a lot of his time in recent weeks on the telephone, a short time before approaching getting into the eastern part of South Dakota. Indeed, Bishop Pivarunas informed me that we would have to get to the 7:00 a.m. Mass as no priests would be available for a later offering of the Holy Sacrifice. I was very tired at the time I spoke to His Excellency. Very tired. However, I decided to make every effort to get down to Omaha in time for Mass. Our estimated time of arrival would have been somewhere between 4:30 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 29, 2007, had things gone well, which they did not.
"We're Under Demonic Attack!"
Yes, sure enough, almost exactly forty miles east of where that bird from Hell had smashed into the driver's windshield on Wednesday, October 4, 2006, the driver's windshield began to crack and shatter. Nothing hit it, other than heavy winds, that is. The passenger's windshield then began to crack. I couldn't believe what was happening before my very eyes. I pulled off to the shoulder of the road, a bit dazed and stunned by this all, saying to myself, "We're under demonic attack!" The scene was something out of an old Hollywood horror motion picture (and I've never been a fan of horror films--or science fiction, for that matter), you know, the kind of scene where a mirror is shown cracking for no apparent reason. Well, that was what was happening to us around 1:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 29, 2007. All to you, Blessed Mother. All to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls. Sharon and I prayed the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer and the August Queen of Heaven Prayer (in addition to lots of Ave Marias!)
Given the rapidity with which the windshields cracked and shattered from side to side and from top to bottom (no, the driver's windshield was not smashed in the way it had been back on October 4), I did not want to take the chance of continuing to drive, other than to get us to a campground. I found a KOA Kampground near where we I had pulled over to the shoulder of Interstate 90, calling 911 to seek permission to make a U-Turn in an "authorized vehicles only" opening in the median strip. "Under no circumstances can you do this. You must proceed to the next exit and then drive back." Well, I was not going to drive miles upon miles on end to another exit with the possibility of the windshield cracking completely. I was actually in an "authorized vehicles only" openly in the median strip by the time I told the operator that I would "proceed with caution" and then left it at that. (Why did I seek permission? Because I am a parochial school boy who doesn't like to break safety rules. That got drilled into my head. I broke the rule in this instance out of epikeia.)
Driving very slowly on Interstate 90, I made our way to an exit that would take us to a KOA Kampground. As we had no reservation, I prayed that there would be an available site for us, which there was. I did, however, have to fill out a "night registration" form while fighting off various biting flies, including a wide assortment of mosquitoes. The attack of the biting flies got to be so bad that I took shelter in the motor home to fill out the form, fighting through the cloud of flies once again as I deposited the envelope into a box and then moved the motor home to a "pull-through" site, whereupon I had to fill up our leaking fresh water tank with water and plug in the thirty amperage electrical cord to give us electricity in the coach for the night. Sharon and I were amazed at the whole thing. Lucy was, thanks be to God, fast asleep and oblivious to everything that was going on as the windshields shattered.
Not wanting to deal with GMAC Insurance at 1:30 a.m., knowing that the subcontractor that ships out motor home windshields was not open at that hour in Elkhart, Indiana, I posted an update on this site and then got a few hours of sleep before Lucy got us up fairly early, at which point I had to make the phone calls to the insurance company and subcontractor to file the claim and thence to find a glass repair shop in the community where we had stopped. (As we have many people who wish us ill, sending us "fan mail," shall we say, and seek to cause temporal harm to us, I don't always reveal our exact location during an ongoing adventure until well after the fact.) I was on the telephone for the better part of an hour before I reach the subcontractor, who found a glass repair shop near the campground that would install the windshields once they arrived, which will be this coming Monday, June 4, 2007, the transferred feast of the Queenship of Mary.
There was a little hesitancy on the part of the shop's manager to schedule us for a definitive appointment before the actual arrival of the two new windshields. However, I explained that it was enough for us to have to drive to Omaha, Nebraska, to get to Mass for the next five days. We couldn't afford to be stuck in that community in South Dakota upon our return from Omaha until the shop could get us in. We needed some accommodation to the fact that we were transients who had to be on our way. The representative of the subcontractor made it clear to the shop manager that her shop would not get the insurance company's business if she was not willing to get us back on the road soon after the windshields had arrived at the shop. Ah, people no longer care about seeing Our Lord in others. Oh, no. What matters is the profit-margin. Nothing else. Thank you, John Calvin and Adam Smith. Only the threat of losing the insurance company's business (and the $500 deductible we have to pay out of our own pockets) got the repair shop manager to change her attitude and pencil us in last Tuesday for an appointment this coming Monday, June 4. (The windshields did arrive on Friday, June 1, 2007.)
Displaced Once Again: Giving the Cross to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Hear of Mary
What remained to be arranged was finding a hotel in Omaha reasonably close to Mary Immaculate Church and the process of having to pack up our things for yet another period of displacement from our home on wheels. Although we do indeed accept all penances as coming from the hand of God Himself, Who has fashioned each of our daily crosses, whether big or small, to fit us exactly, we did not choose this particular cross for ourselves. It was given to us. We accept it. We offer it back to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary as her consecrated slaves. We don't like it when these things occur. We don't like having to be displaced from our motor home. We don't like having to spend our time in a hotel room. However, we must accept all as coming from God, knowing that it is, yes, much better this than Purgatory (or worse!). And it is nice to know that the adversary believes that this sinner, who has done his bidding for him much too frequently, is not really his friend and wants to promote Total Consecration to the woman who has crushed his head. We must be doing something right, despite our sins and failings, for the adversary to attack us so ferociously and unremittingly. Over and above that, however, it is good to be able to give comfort to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary by accepting our crosses, knowing that our sins deserve far, far worse than we can suffer in this passing, mortal vale of tears.
After loading up the Trail Blazer with enough clothing and provisions for a five-day stay in Omaha and moving the motor home to a different site, we left at around 2:00 p.m., Central Daylight Savings Time, on Tuesday, May 29, 2007 (which would have been John F. Kennedy's ninetieth birthday; just a bit of trivia about the man who supported the heresy of the separation of Church and State), taking about five hours to get down to Omaha. We were very tired. Holy Mass at Mary Immaculate Church was at 7:00 a.m. the next day, Wednesday, May 30, 2007, Ember Wednesday in the Octave of Pentecost (and also the forty-eighth anniversary of my First Holy Communion at Saint Aloysius Church in Great Neck, New York). We got settled in our room and tried to get some sleep after our unexpected exile from the motor home.
It was, however, good to be back at Mary Immaculate Church. We had a chance to visit with Bishop Pivarunas on Wednesday afternoon, May 30, 2007, the day before he took off to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation at Mount Saint Michael's in Spokane, Washington. He is such a wonderful shepherd of souls. He has been handling his quite substantial crosses of the past few months with perfect equanimity, as will be made clear when my commentary about the situation at Mount Saint Michael's is posted in a few days. We are truly blessed to know him and the priests of the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen who serve under His Excellency. Each seeks to advance the cause of the salvation of souls. What a privilege to know true bishops and true priests in this time of apostasy and betrayal.
Another Victory for Christ the King
There was another little victory for Christ the King following our nice visit with Bishop Pivarunas and Father Gronenthal. We asked the proprietor of a miniature golf course in Omaha to turn off the horrible rock music he was playing. The man growled, "Not unless you bring me thirty people who want to play with you at the same time." Ah, once again, the bottom line. A heavily tattooed man, who was accompanied by his young son, came up to me and just laughed in my face quite mockingly. "This is classical "rock and roll!" he screamed. "You're crazy to object to this." The proprietor shot in, "Yes, you're crazy. You're not with the majority." The other man was laughing hysterically at me. All to you, Blessed Mother. All to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls! (Sharon had put Lucy in the Trail Blazer as soon as she saw that I was going to be under attack.) Viva Cristo Rey! We did give Lucy a treat on the next day, Thursday, May 31, 2007, by taking her back once again to Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo, which is actually one of our favorite zoos in the nation. Lucy enjoyed the zoo tremendously.
And here we wait. It's now shortly after Midnight, Central Daylight Savings Time, on Ember Saturday in the Octave of Pentecost. It is our plan to return to South Dakota on Trinity Sunday after Holy Mass at Mary Immaculate Church. We do not know what adventures will await us as we drive to Saint Gertrude the Great for the Feast of Corpus Christi next Thursday, June 7, 2007. We do know that it's not looking too good for the speaking event at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall in Hicksville, New York, on Tuesday, June 12, 2007. Only four people, including three from one family, have said that they will be coming. We will probably reschedule the event to coincide with my talk in Boston on Saturday, June 23, 2007, and my lecture the next day in Connecticut. An announcement about the revised speaking schedule will be made on the home page of this site in a few days.
A Word of Thanks
We thank you for your prayers. We continue to thank those of you have assisted us financially, especially when we had to get a new engine for the motor home six weeks ago. We remember our benefactors and our readers, both those who support the work of this site and those who are adamantly opposed to it, in our prayers before the Blessed Sacrament each day (and in our Rosaries). Keep praying for us. I don't think our adventures will ever end until we reach the point of our Particular Judgments.
All to you, Blessed Mother. All to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we love you. Save souls!
Viva Cristo Rey!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, pray for us.
Saint Angela Merici, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Philip Neri, pray for us.
Saint Augustine of Canterbury, pray for us.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us.
Saints Monica, pray for us.
Saint Jude, pray for us.
Saint John the Beloved, pray for us.
Saint Francis Solano, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint Dominic Savio, pray for us.
Saint Scholastica, pray for us.
Saint Benedict, pray for us.
Saint Anthony of Padua, pray for us.
Saint Antony of the Desert, pray for us.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Saint Bonaventure, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, pray for us.
Saint Francis Xavier, pray for us.
Saint Peter Damian, pray for us.
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, pray for us.
Saint Lucy, pray for us.
Saint Monica, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, pray for us.
Saint John Mary Vianney, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, pray for us.
Saint Isaac Jogues, pray for us.
Saint Rene Goupil, pray for us.
Saint John Lalonde, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel Lalemont, pray for us.
Saint Noel Chabanel, pray for us.
Saint Charles Garnier, pray for us.
Saint Anthony Daniel, pray for us.
Saint John DeBrebeuf, pray for us.
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, pray for us.
Saint Dominic, pray for us.
Saint Hyacinth, pray for us.
Saint Basil, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Sebastian, pray for us.
Saint Tarcisius, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Gerard Majella, pray for us.
Saint John of the Cross, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Saint Genevieve, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us
Pope Saint Pius V, pray for us.
Saint Rita of Cascia, pray for us.
Saint Louis de Montfort, pray for us.
Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Venerable Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Father Miguel Augustin Pro, pray for us.
Francisco Marto, pray for us.
Jacinta Marto, pray for us.
Juan Diego, pray for us.
The Longer Version of the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII, 1888
O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
Verse: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
Response: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
Verse: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
Response: As we have hoped in Thee.
Verse: O Lord hear my prayer.
Response: And let my cry come unto Thee.
Verse: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls.