September 7, 2018

Can People who do not Believe in Jesus Christ get into Heaven; Dad said, “Absolutely.”

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

-
My Dad, Emil Peterson  1912--1965

There are 2.2 billion Christians in the world of which 1.2 billion are Catholic. That is almost one-third of the world’s population. Obviously, there are many Christians in our world so, to the question: Can all those who call themselves Christians, be saved?

The answer is YES! Not only Catholics but  Presbyterians, Lutherans, Baptists, Evangelicals, etc., can be saved and get to heaven. The fact is, any one of God’s human creations can be saved. If a person truly seeks God and demonstrates by living their life “loving his neighbor as himself,” how can they not? 

There are those in the Catholic Church who might insist that ”outside of the Church there is no salvation.”  The Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear on this topic; it reads, “all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body” (CCC 846). Well, what about our Jewish brethren? What about Buddhists and Hindus and others?

The Catechism follows with; “this is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church”  Indeed, if these people seek God with a sincere heart, and try, in their actions to do his will as they know it, they may also attain heaven (CCC 847). 

My dad died 54 years ago, and memories of him are faded at best. (we were all very young).  It was Christmas day and, as was the custom in our five-story walk-up, everyone traveled from apartment to apartment on Christmas sharing food and drink and laughter and conversation.

A group of neighbors, including dad, my brother Bobby and I, were gathered in the apartment below ours. Suddenly, a man’s voice, much louder than any of the others speaking, blurted out, “Sorry Emil, (my father’s name) that’s what the church teaches. I did not make it up.”

There are few vivid memories of my dad that I still have. But this is one that stuck like glue. As the people all grew quiet and turned to listen in, my father leaned forward in his chair and slowly and purposely said, “ Listen, Walter, let me tell you something. Any human being God ever created can get to heaven. All they have to do is love their neighbor. It doesn’t matter where they come from or even if they have a religion. We all are born knowing what is right and wrong. Heaven is every person’s choice.”

I never forgot those moments.  My young head knew he had it right. What he also had right was when he said, “we are all born knowing what is right and wrong.” He did not realize he was validating and defending the Natural Law; I do not even know if he had ever heard of it. It just means that each of us instinctively knows what “right” is and what “wrong” is. We all have the ability to choose.

Many years later, inside my much older head, I still know dad had it right. We are, in fact, ALL God’s children. He was a man who never finished high school no less attend a catechism class. But he had it right, and this was way before the Catholic Church clarified the question of who can obtain salvation.

The Natural Law predicated our behavior. The Founding Fathers used it as a basis for the Declaration of Independence. Whatever happened to common courtesy among people and the common respect we gave each other? Heck, recently I was reprimanded by a woman because I held a door open for her.

It was never a perfect world but the concept of  “love your neighbor” seems to have been devoured by a secular society that tolerates no opinions that might disagree with another’s life choices. The primary result of secularism seems to be “As Long as I’m Happy that is all that Matters. Too bad if you don’t like it.”

My dad was a man of faith, and because of his faith he got it right. When he said, “Heaven is every person’s choice,” he was spot on.


                                                     Copyright©Larry Peterson 2018




August 29, 2018

The Incredible Story of Four Nuns Trapped in the South Pacific during World War II. There only means of Escape---via Submarine

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

Trapped in Paradise–true story from WWII in the Pacific
Sisters of St. Joesph of Orange  pd


There is a touch of irony to this story. On July 8, 2018,  Aleteia ran a story about Our Lady of Puy. This is the site of the Blessed Mother’s very first apparition after her Assumption into Heaven. The irony is in what follows.

The Sisters of St. Joesph are a worldwide organization representing more than 14,000 Sisters around the world. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange is the congregation based in California and was established in 1912 by Mother Bernard Gosselin. It is one of many congregations worldwide. In 1966 The Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, which comprise all the congregations in the United Staes, was formed; all having their origin in LePuy.

This is about four nuns from California who somehow became stranded behind Japanese enemy lines during World War II.  They happened to be members of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. The foundation for this order was set in place in LePuy, France, in 1650. As the Feast of the Assumption approaches, it is an honor to mention them.

Two of the Sisters were teachers, and two were nurses. They had arrived in the Solomon Islands in December, 1940. These young women were new to missionary life, confronting an unknown culture for the first time, and did not speak the languages spoken on the different islands. Also, they had to learn how to get around the jungle. One year after they arrived, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

The Japanese quickly occupied many of the islands in the South Pacific. The nuns had been deeply involved in a village on the island of Buka. They had no idea that the Japanese wanted Buka for an airfield. Sister Hedda Jager was the nun in charge of journaling their experiences. No matter what kind of day she was having, she always managed to record the day's happenings.

As the Japanese get closer and closer Sister Hedda records how their lives morphed from working as missionaries to being filled with sheer terror as the invading Japanese got closer and closer. They made it to Bougainville where they learned  how other missionaries in the Solomons had been tortured and executed.

There were Marist missionary priests on the island and, knowing what the fate of the nuns would be if captured, managed to hide the Sisters for months in the jungle. On New Year’s Eve, 1942, the priests managed to get the Sisters and twenty-five others, to the beach in Teop Harbor. It was then they all learned that a submarine would be their means of rescue.

On New Year’s Day,1943, in the early morning darkness, the submarine Nautilus, pulled to within 100 feet of the beach and the terrified passengers were safely taken on board and brought to safety. Sister Hedda wrote in her journal: “You cannot put into words the feeling that one has for those of one’s own country, especially when one is miles from home and running away from the Japanese.”

When the war ended the four Sisters returned to Buka to continue their work. The last of them passed away in 1999. These Sister of St. Joseph of Orange will forever remain a true inspiration to us all.
The book by Sister Hedda; Trapped in Paradise, can be found at the link below
https://www.amazon.com/Trapped-Paradise


        copyright ©Larry Peterson 2018

August 8, 2018

How Dark the Night by Elizabeth Schmeidler

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

My friend, Elizabeth Schmeidler, created this video about five years ago. It is so timely I just had to post it again.  "and the TRUTH shall set you free"



June 4, 2018

The “Angel of Auschwitz”-- Venerable Angela Maria of the Heart of Jesus

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson


Venerable Angela Maris-The “Angel of Auschwitz”
Photo Credit: Joachim Schäfer – Ă–kumenisches Heiligenlexikon.ption
By Larry Peterson

Maria Cacilia Autsch was born in Rollecken, Germany, on March 26,1900. She was the fifth of seven children and her dad, August, worked very hard as a machinist to keep his family fed. He and his wife, Amalia, were devout and knowledgeable Catholics and worked diligently to pass the faith on to their children.

The family had little money, so when Maria was fifteen, she went to work as a nanny. Her mom died in 1921 and Maria had to keep on working to help the family. Maria had always known she was being called to religious service and harbored her disappointment at not being able to do so. Her family came first, and she turned her future over to Jesus.

Finally, on September 27, 1933, she was able to enter the convent of the Trinitarian Order in Austria. It was the Spanish branch, and the Spanish had been the first women religious to come to Austria. The purpose of the sisters was to help in securing the release of captive prisoners and also working as nurses, teachers, and helping the poor and those in need.

On July 4, 1934, Maria Cacilia Autsch received a new name. She received her habit and along with it the name of Angela Maria of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. On August 20 she took her first vow. Her duties were running the nursery school, teaching embroidery, caring for the sick and even helping with the fieldwork. At last, on September 28, 1938, she made her final vows.

By that time the Nazis had taken over Austria, and they wanted to seize the monastery where the sisters lived. Sister Angela defended their home and argued that it was legally Spanish property and the Nazis had no right to it. She even contacted the Spanish consul in Vienna and the Nazis, in an attempt to keep their activities quiet, relented. However, Sister Angela Maria was now on their radar.

It was August 10, 1940, when the most innocent of moments changed Sister Angela’s life forever. She had gone to buy some milk and bumped into a few women she knew. They began to converse, and Sister told them she had heard that the Allies had sunk a German ship and many Germans had died in the disaster. She finished by saying that she thought “Hitler was a calamity for Europe.”

One of the Austrian women was a Nazi sympathizer and reported her to the Gestapo. Her file was found, and she was arrested soon after. The charges were for “insulting the leader” and “sedition of the population.”  All attempts by her co-sisters to obtain her release were simply ignored, and Mother Superior pleaded for her release with the head of the Gestapo several times but to no avail. Even the Spanish consul could not save her.

Sister Angela Maria of the Heart of Jesus spent seventeen days at the brutal police detention center in Innsbruck. She was then assigned prisoner # 4651. With her name now a number and without trial, she was transported to the women’s camp at Ravensbruck.

True to her calling as a Trinitarian Sister, Angela Maria,  in the most horrendous place imaginable, went right to work representing Jesus. Many reported of her unceasing efforts to maintain human dignity. She is frequently beaten by the guards but, as one inmate reported, “her smile and courage was a ray of sunshine in deepest hell.”

On  August 16, 1942, she was transferred to the death camp at Auschwitz and assigned to the medical department. Because of her continued  good spirit, self-sacrificing helpfulness and her efforts to alleviate as much misery as she could, she became known as the “Angel of Auschwitz.” Many of the other prisoners had no idea she was a Catholic nun.

In October 1942, Sister Angela came down with Typhus. She never fully recovered from this disease and was placed in the SS hospital as a nurse. On December 23, 1943, a bombing raid began, and Sister Angela was killed when she was struck in the chest with shrapnel that pierced her lungs.

On May 21, 2018, Pope Francis recognized the “heroic virtues” of Servant of God, Angela Maria of the Heart of Jesus. She now has the title of “Venerable” before her name, and the next step in her journey to canonization will be beatification.

We ask Venerable Angela Maria of the Heart of Jesus, to pray for us all.

                              Copyright ©Larry Peterson 2018




May 21, 2018

Choosing Government over God has a Difference; One is Death, and the other is Life.


IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson
AP Photo









“I do not hesitate to proclaim before you and before the world that all human life — from the moment of conception and through all subsequent stages — is sacred because human life is created in the image and likeness of God.”
Pope St. John Paul II








The saga of Alfie Evans sickened me. Except for two overriding factors, his death was unnecessary. First, the feigned necessity of his death is embedded within the secular practicality of a 21st-century  judicial system. Secondly, among many medical practitioners who lean on their own omniscient ability, it was in Alfie’s “best interests” to die. You see, they had to help him because he refused to do it on his own. He had become a “burden” to secularism.

I write this because I have experienced circumstances similar to Alfie’s parents. My wife was on life-support, but unlike Tom and Kate Evans, I had the task of allowing the machines to be turned off.  It was not a judge or a doctor or the courts or anything like that. It was ME,  the woman’s husband. The end result was different.

My wife, Loretta, had been ill for a long time and on April 6, 2002, she fell into a coma. By that evening she was on life support. There was a Catholic living will on file for each of us, and I signed a DNR (do not resuscitate). A DNR gave me control over life ending processes. Even though her final breaths were expected, signing the DNR was, for me, akin to signing a death warrant.

Although my wife was a middle-aged adult and Alfie was a baby, the parallels in each case are quite similar. Alfie, at the age of seven months, developed seizures and they caused him to go into a “semi-vegetative state.” Alfie did have brain function, but most doctors agreed that his condition (which they were not sure of) was incurable. Most importantly, his parent’s rights to try to save him were stripped from them by the courts.

We tried for three days to wean Loretta off the ventilator. Each time her breathing stopped in less than a minute. Six doctors told us it was “no-use.” On the third day, my grown children took turns going to their mom’s bedside to say their “good-byes.” One at a time they came from that room sobbing like babies. I was last and sat by her side, looking at her, holding her hand and saying whatever it was I was saying. Those words I do not remember. I do remember one word; I was called a “murderer” by someone in Loretta’s family.

Unlike Alfie’s parents, I had control over the machine that was doing her breathing (she had been on life-support for three weeks).  Three of the doctors were there and the chief-of-staff. I asked them to pray with us, and they all did. The machine was switched off, and the intubation tubes were removed. A minute passed by and she kept breathing. Then two minutes passed by and then five and ten and then one hour. The cardiologist said, “Don’t be fooled, she won’t make it.”  

Three days later she was up in a room, and three weeks later she came home. She had earned the title of “The Miracle Woman of Northside.” Her recovery was not only baffling; it was unexplainable. Ironically, cancer killed her exactly one year later. The “murderer” comment was never retracted.

In Alfie’s case, his parents had no choice. They were invoking God along with countless others around the world.  The Pope had secured citizenship for Alfie, and the Italians were ready to transport him to Italy to be cared for. Unfortunately, in the world of the “nones,” secularists, and atheists, God is not part of the equation. He was the common denominator in ours.

Virtually every court in the U.K. ruled against the parent’s rights. The government and their “experts” knew best; Alfie must DIE. I cannot imagine standing by as my child’s life was taken from him by court order. It is incomprehensible to me.

So the state took away the parent’s right to protect their child. They subjugated Natural law and vanquished the very nucleus of any successful civilization, the family.  They pulled Alfie’s tube.  He lived for five days breathing on his own. Was that a message from above that those in charge should have tried harder?

Unfortunately for Alfie, his “quality of life” was not deemed worthy to move forward. Loretta kept breathing and did use oxygen intermittently. If the doctors were in charge of the breathing apparatus, they might have simply left it off when her breathing failed on the first day.

Unlike the Evans, we were able to take three days before we agreed to leave it off.  On the third day, she kept on breathing on her own and came out of the coma. Doctors do NOT know everything. They are definitely not equal to the God who created each and every one of them.

I can end this with one irrefutable fact. Tome and Kate Evans will go home, and when they close the door behind them, they will realize that little Alfie is gone—permanently. Therein lays the lonely heartache they will forever live with. You cannot understand that unless you too, have lived it.

Please pray for them both that within each other they find the strength to move on. What happened to them and their son was a terrible thing.



                                          copyright©Larry Peterson 2018

May 10, 2018

Hell Rises--A new Thriller by Best-Selling Author; Joseph Max Lewis





IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

Joseph Max Lewis has written three "Best-Selling Thrillers and has now added the creme de la creme to the mix with his latest novel, "Hell Rises".

A small group of almost "invisible" people was sitting around the table. They were all powerful, influential, well-connected individuals who made up the Board of Directors of the Society for Human Enlightenment. Wealthy, polite, and impeccably dressed it was virtually impossible to grasp the truth hidden in their souls. They craved not money, nor fame. They only desired power, power over humanity. They were, each and every one of them, Satan worshippers.

The Society had been secretly using their own particle-collider to wear down the quark-gluon plasma barrier between the Earth's crust and hell. The objective was to provide the opening for the anti-christ to get to Earth. But something was beginning to interfere with their plans. They were pretty sure it was Astrophysicist, Valerie Langal. They immediately decided that she must be killed. Their "Master's" objective could not be opposed no matter what.

Join the adventure to save humanity as Valerie Langal, attempting to save the plasma barrier is hunted by the "dark-side". Be part of the team trying to save her and help her succeed.  The team is a mixed bag of professionals and includes;  Deputy Director of the CIA, Robert Cartwin; Special Agent, Ashta Lamonta; "go-to-guy, Hank Jenkins; and Director, Dannis Landsberry and many others to keep you turning the pages.

You will definitely want to read this book from end to end to see if, in fact, "Hell Rises". You will not get that answer from me and you will not find out until the end of the book. You just have to read it.  It is worth the adventure. All I can say is E N J O Y!


                                     copyright©Larry Peterson 2018

April 27, 2018

Mother Mathilda Beasley; "The "Idol of the Poor"

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson
Mother Mathilda Beasley  Old Trolley Tours Blog

 Meet Mathilda Taylor Beasley.

Oftentimes there is scant and/or inaccurate documentation with birth records, especially for people born into slavery. That holds true for Mathilda Beasley. It is thought that Mathilda was born on November 14, 1832, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Some folks insist she was born in 1834. Her mother's name was Caroline and she was French Creole. It is not certain if Caroline was 'free" woman or not. Her father's name was James C. Taylor and not much information is available about him either.

There is a period of Mathilda's life that trails off into the unknown. It is speculated that she was orphaned at an early age. It is thought that Mathilda's mom may have died from one of the widespread illnesses that were a constant threat to the people of the time.

It is assumed that Mathilda received her early education from her "owner" who was also her biological father. It is also thought that Mathilda spent time in a Catholic orphanage after her mom passed away. This is where her learning about Catholicism began to grow and flourish.

She also, because of her own circumstances, developed an understanding and compassion for the poor, uneducated and lonely. What is known for sure is this: In the early 1850s, Mathilda Taylor, filled with an empathy for those less fortunate, moved from New Orleans to Savannah, Georgia. This is where her life's story is transformed.

In 1817, the city of Savannah passed a law forbidding the education of black children by white and black teachers.  Then, in 1829, the State of Georgia, passed a similar ordinance. Mathilda was about 20 years old when she opened up her home to black children as a school. It was a"secret" school and the penalty for a black teacher, whether slave or free, was a $100.00 fine and up to thirty-two lashes with the whip in the public square. White teachers were fined $500.00 sans the public flogging. Mathilda Taylor was risking her very life to help uneducated children.

Mathilda managed to keep the "school" open up until 1860. Children devised ways to keep their school activities hidden from the authorities. They used different routes to Mathilda's home, they wrapped their books in old newspaper and even put the books in baskets covering them with wood chips used for fuel. Mathilda's home even had a hiding place in it if the authorities came knocking at the door. Amazingly, her “underground” school was never discovered. Sadly, there are no school records left to document the school and the children that attended there.

As the Civil war began Mathilda began working as a seamstress and then found herself working at a restaurant called the "Railroad House". Here is where she met Abraham Beasley who was a prosperous free-man of color. Besides owning the restaurant, Abraham owned land, a produce market, a saloon and a boarding house. He also earned money in the slave trade.

The records at St. John the Baptist Cathedral confirm that Mathilda was baptized there in early 1869. She and Abraham married on February 9, 1869. They never had any children of their own and Abraham died in September of 1877.  He left his widow five acres of land worth $300.00 and property holdings on the Isle of Hope, Skidway Island, within the Savannah city limits. Mathilda’s life's work was now before her.

Mathilda now embraced her Catholic faith without reservation. She gave her inheritance to the Church with the request that part of the funds be used to establish a home for African-American orphans. She also decided to become a nun and in 1885 traveled to York, England joining the Franciscan novitiate. It is said that Mathilda met some nuns known as "Poor Clares" (which is also the Second Order of St. Francis) on Skidway Island and their influence prompted her to travel to England for vows). She returned in 1887 and opened the St. Francis Home for Colored Orphans.

Around the same time, Sister Mathilda formed the first group of African-American nuns in Georgia. From this point on she would be known as Mother Mathilda. The community she founded was associated with the Third Order of St. Francis. Mother Mathilda and her fledgling group faced many hurdles such as lack of money, being understaffed and being physically attacked at the home. Several attempts to burn the orphanage down were unsuccessful.

Mother Mathilda did whatever she could to keep the orphanage up and running, and even took in sewing to raise money. She operated the orphanage as long as she could take in a breath. On December 20, 1903, she was found in her private chapel, hands clasped together pointing toward a statue of the Blessed Virgin. Next to her were her shroud, burial garments and her last will and testament.

Blacks and whites, Catholics and Protestants, attended her funeral Mass. The Savannah Morning News reported there was standing room only. The newspaper called her, “the idol of the poor, especially among the Negroes”. She was buried in Savannah’s Catholic Cemetery.

Today the Mother Mathilda Beasley Society honors her work and promotes her unselfish devotion to those in need. The Society also promotes awareness of African-American contributions within the Catholic Church. Mother Mathilda has been honored as a “Georgia Woman of Achievement”. Her cause for sainthood is under review. (The canonization process can be found here)

Mother Mathilda Beasley, please pray for us.


                                      ©Copyright 2016 Larry Peterson

April 18, 2018

Mesothelioma---The Asbestos Cancer that has no Mercy

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

I spent over fifteen years working in the building trades in NYC. I was a member of Local 46 of the  Metal Lathers & Reinforcing Iron Workers Union. In  1978, I came down with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and that ended my career in that business. But not before being exposed to asbestos---over and over and over.

To this day, I still have the "webbing" that was left by asbestos visible on a chest x-ray and/or CT Scan of my lungs. It was first discovered over twenty years ago. It is there forever, waiting and lurking, and God is the only one who might know if it will turn into Mesothelioma. So far, so good. I just had a CT Scan last December and I am "good to go". Others are not so fortunate.

Many people are under the false notion that asbestos is totally banned in the United States. Guess what...it is not.  (Please refer to this ASBESTOS link and find out what is and is not banned in the asbestos world.)

 Mesothelioma.net is trying to educate as many people as it possibly can through its incredibly, informative web site. I am posting it here to help spread the word. Mesothelioma is a terrible cancer to get and to receive such a diagnosis is, in most cases, a death sentence.

The link below will direct you to the site. Please take a look, learn a bit about this dreaded disease, and consider helping if you can.

 https://mesothelioma.net/mesothelioma-causes/ 

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Asbestos Exposure Causes Mesothelioma
In recent decades, the association between long-term exposure to asbestos and the development of malignant mesothelioma cancer has become well-established. Although the latency period (or the time from initial asbestos exposure to the first display of symptoms of mesothelioma cancer) for mesothelioma is quite long, the majority of mesothelioma patients are people whose vocations involved repeated exposure to asbestos-containing materials over a lengthy time period.
Most people with mesothelioma worked in construction, shipyards, HVAC, or in vinyl manufacturing—all occupations which frequently involve working with materials that contain asbestos. Thus, most cases of malignant mesothelioma can establish a clear line between asbestos exposure and development of the cancer.