There is an insidious evil that happened in CNN Ireport. Before this community journalism portal was able to let members post freely and be it taken up to the official CNN site or not, at least it is in the ireport blog, which they deem not CNN technically.
Now the significant change they have been trumpeting for weeks starting with a Twitter tag of #CNNireport ended up to reveal that there are no more place for posting from any member of the community, but it is vetoed and given the seal of approval by their editors, but why is it so lopsided immediately? In the First Person essays category, there is the death with dignity/assisted suicide, an atheist Christmas tree and transgenders and transgender surgeries galore. Meanwhile my post on tips in navigating the Philadelphia Papal visit or the summary of the talk of the popular Cardinal Tagle was blocked out because it violated community guidelines, most of which referred to smut, but I guess anything that is speaking of faith as a REALITY, is smut to the unbeliever.
Today, I had the unusual benefit of praying for the members of the Medical Marijuana coalition. I saw they have set up their tarp by the State House so I went by hoping to plug in the true health and healing that only the Lord can give. They had their preset speakers, then as I was about to make a comment, they said that they will now wrap up because they had to go to the Masonic Temple (oh the links!) so they began playing goodbye songs, speaking over when they can—“Marijuana!”
They were a rowdy bunch, friendly to one another, though very much stoned. They were passing a reefer—from one lip to the next to the next—and I could help but think “Is this another vehicle how the HSV 1 virus is spread so widely? I was motioned to come closer for it was raining. Bad idea. I got a headache instantly and an hour into it is still raging. How they advocate legalization of marijuana over the existing approval of medical marijuana—which has only two legit indications—multiple sclerosis and cancer pain—but they claim it can help in everything, PTSD, etc. Decrease veteran suicides, a sign said. Pot never has shown a decrease in suicides but is part of those with it, basic data from the National Violent Death Reporting system has shown. In fact it has a high contributory complicity in suicides, homicides and accidents for marijuana is invariably found in people who die violent deaths. I am not surprised. The neuroanatomic changes already have been amply demonstrated—even for transient takers—high vessel resistance in the brain which means less oxygen, increase in size of the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala which means you will be primped to be high and groovy but for no correlation to an actual reason but the drug, so it will ultimately lead to a dependence and other behavioral and judgement issues all of which point to a degeneracy.
I was less interested in being the scientific guru to these people when the women in the mic was simply giving the foreign translations for weed and she exalted that they belong to a network so they can get their supply easily. Meanwhile the joint is passed around. I still hoped to be given the change to speak like I had the last time. Then I had my moment. The second end-of-season song they played was “Ganja” where the chorus was “If you don’t love Ganja, go to hell.” They sang and danced to it with gusto, the tattooed woman next to me waving her arms, showing a doppelganger with slashes in her arms. I was prompted to tell the commentator on the refrain, “But the opposite is true!” But he couldn’t hear me so I was given the mike and aloud I said, “The opposite of that is the truth!” Meaning love ganja and go to hell or do not love ganja and go to heaven. And in his baritone, he said honestly, “You are right.”
Later I returned to this rowdy group as they were packing up. There was another set of folks across the street huddled in a circle, which looked almost like a prayer huddle, but perhaps just a weed share. Drugs have been a way to escape pain and give this camaraderie when they perceive no other access or alternative for truly a good and sanctified way of life. Anything that we are not born with, anything that is unnatural to us coming into this earth, is something that we do not need. That is a lot of stuff, and drugs are for sure, not only peripheral but harmful.
I have no time for self-proclaimed prolifers who do not give the prolife message but simply spout death stats after death news without giving a chance for solutions to be voiced. They are among the converts to scientism yet may not even know it. This belief system adheres that only material and scientific things be given forum yet in their very exclusion, deny the spirit of truth and honest investigation. This is what Bill Maher in the recent talk with Stephen Colbert in the latter’s show intuited: I cannot believe the ancient people and their stories and myths because they don’t even know the atom then or when the sun rises and shines. To Bill, I would say, are you nuts? They don’t need the atom or any of the technology smarts of the current day to know truth. This is history, geography, world events, morality tales, yes, but wouldn’t that make great impact on people. Christ lived, died and lives anew!
Yet I see these people who champion such truly “fail” causes as major “fails” because they know yet they fail to act in the right way. This is a regular fight in our spiritual life, Fr. John Gordon from the Archdiocese of Newark said yesterday, we don’t the good that we want to do and do the evil we don’t want to do, but grace and repentance are always accessible to all. Help from the Father is but a Holy Spirit dial away. These are the very tools that the “prolifers” seek to prevent dissemination. The truly helpful stuff. The evidence-proven ones—by history and natural law plus all the sciences for goodness sakes!—the ones that involve not us as instruments of healing and transformation, but the Father. God. Christ. Alcoholic Anonymous works on this premise: we cannot recover on our own but only through divine help. From their start to the present to the many other addictions that spouted from this model, countless people have been healed simply because it pointed to them the need to pray, and gave them the requirement to do it and so flowed all the hosts of graces with it.
I am saddened for the audience members who clapped at every attack from Maher on the church (Colbert, you deserve a better audience; retire the current ones you have for the glory of God!), or the people listening in to the marijuana livestream, or the peons at CNN who eliminated free speech to funnel purely the death agenda of our government. But as my friend Renee, retired lawyer and revert to Catholicism, reminded me today, “Never stop. Keep going. The enemy doesn’t stop. You know which side you are on, so rebuke satan continuously. Fight and do battle everyday. Give Jesus even the little sufferings you encounter, like a hangnail or a sprain or a hurtful word, for he loves the little things. Tell Him you are sharing in His suffering to save souls. Soon enough, our life will be gone in a blink of an eye, and we will find ourselves amidst glory regretting, why could I not have suffered more for His glory?” She tells me that it amazes her that if she knows she loves her daughter so very much, how much more God? How infinitely more God? She tells me to look at Mary who didn’t leave Her Son in his passion and bore it all with serenity because She knows it is the Father’s Will. What is the Father’s Will in our lives? My pastor said it is partly what is in our heart but that also which comes through discernment through a spiritual director and spouse. In more general terms, the Father’s will is for us to proclaim the Good News, the love of the Father for them, the Biblical realities, hope, salvation, but also damnation if we persist in our corruption.
I went around the smokers, weed in the air, and gave them pieces of paper written with the words gloriapolo.net then an arrow that will hopefully lead them to click her testimony. I told them in full honesty that her testimony will help them. They probably could surmise, “Oh, another argument to bolster legalization.” From a worldly dentist who went to hell—literally—and allowed back to preach repentance, they would probably pick up a thing or two. And no credit there, for like unworthy servants we are simply doing what we are supposed to do.
Dear Laura, I wish I would know your real name to address you properly but I know your pain is real. When I was 24, I was besieged by great doubts, depression and anxieties. This was truly the darkest year of my life that I couldn't even come to my work in the hospital and would be wallowing just in bed surrounded by darkness hoping I would get swallowed up, taken away, escape, have war break out all so I would not have to face the life that have to deal it, problems at home, problems in my work place, problems inside of me that I feel so unable to get out of, let alone find solace from. I carried it (a combinations of childhood and recent wounds) pretending everything is alright but I was between a raging monster inside and a cry baby, weakened to some point of debilitation, which aggravated some of my peers that there was even a mob that was loosed on me. Ironically, it was this raging, shouting, banging mob of fellow students that sought to terrorize and publicly humiliate me at the point when I sought to change and make a new leaf that made me realize I am not going to take this crap anymore. I literally and metaphorically shat out all my troubles in the bathroom where I chose to take refuge and promised myself, I will not return to this shit-hole again. By the grace of God I was able to do my job with patients and graduate and commemorated it with a smiling picture astride that toilet. I didn't completely emerge from my troubles, but God somehow let me have one step after another and I was able to see how He rescued me literally that I would not have to be on a shit-hole of that place or such toxic environment again. He literally against all odds of a scholarship to go abroad (which were already given out to people) had one of the winners back out and even though I was not even waitlisted, the UK Embassy decided to give the Chevening Award to me. It was God's way of answering my prayers, or at least having me see He does have a hand in everything and we are never alone in our suffering. I am 44 now. But I still remember it like yesterday. Actually it was not too long that I was totally lifted from the demons that plague me. But looking back, even when it seemed difficult, there was always a sliver, a slice or a big surprise that God let our troubles be bearable. This is called blessing. It is something that we do not have in our power to do, but in His love He chose to do it anyway. In that terrible place of work/study, He let me meet the man whom I would marry, he who had suffered ostracism in his own way too. In the place where I studied in the UK (Dundee, Scotland) besieged by loneliness (even when my parents left me to work abroad at a young age) I was piled on my thesis work, adjustment work, mental doubts, yet again, God gave me a little treasure in the form of a collective of friends, mostly fellow foreign students, who boosted one another when we can and even accompanied me in my faith journey to God (a Muslim man and a Catholic woman helped me at a crucial point) and also just moments when He let me have a break. Like a coffee invitation from another woman whom I later found out was so broken and even broke herself, yet she became one of those people who let me have an extra wind. One day at a time, one task unit at a time, one dealing with a person at a time. It would seem overwhelming indeed when one is depressed or discouraged. But ironically, this is where God strengthens our wills, bodies and hearts. It seems very taxing and depleting, but in the course of looking back, we would say, "if not for that, I would not have ..." I would be happy to hear your story and encourage you with mine. The reason why I find it so important to write to you is we have been historically have our young adulthood as challenging and trying. Many people self-harm at this time or develop habits that would be dangerous because there is earlier or present trauma or challenges. But a final solution lies only in our surrender, our surrender to a believe that there is a better life ahead in this earth because as surely as the sun shines the next day or behind the clouds it will reappear and light will stream with great and lovely clarity that that suffering was actually beautiful for something. Had I not have my testy experiences with my parents as a youngster, I would not have appreciated the relationship we enjoy now, thirty years after a cleavage. The time seems long but when healing happen, like childbirth, all the pain will be forgotten. This is like our life here on earth, which is just a pilgrimage. When we finish our 60-70 or 90 years well or even in great suffering from illness or despair, the eternal bliss that follow if we cry out to God for mercy is going to be outstanding. I ask you to cry out to God now, He sees and hears your pain but He wants you to give Him prompts that fits in what goodness He has in his plate (suicide is not one of them). Ask for a vacation, a love relationship, a pet, a break from toxic friends, a fresh start. He is God. He has all of creation at His command.
I am sharing you the gift of faith, which I didn't have when I was younger. But because I plugged on, again, day by day, feeding myself, spiritually here and there, even though I was really liberal and not religious, God ultimately accepted to expose Himself to me when I was in my total lowest five years back. I have the privilege of being healed through the Sacraments of the Catholic Church--reconciliation and the Eucharist. I was able to get medicine in the most effective way, the Healer Himself, in the Flesh, in Bread. If you are Catholic, use this right. If you are Christian, go to the Bible and see words of blessing such as Ephesians 1: 3-12, substituting your name for the "me" of St. Paul. Go to a retreat with the Order of the Cistercians such as the one in Chimay or just hang out in church or lovely nature with people seeking after God. Read the Divine Mercy diary of St. Faustina, for she was a fellow wretch like us, but whom God shows great mercy, as He does to us too if we can only truly see. Attend one of the retreats with an awesome group found at divineuk.org or drcm.org, the largest Catholic retreat center of the world, and you need not even be Catholic to attend. You can even live and study the Bible with them for a year for only US$300, food and lodging included. Or you can find out where Damian Stayne is preaching and uncover your charismatic gifts. God is good. My healing would not have been possible if I didn't go where Jesus lived, so meet Him where you can--in good people, in the Catholic or Christian faith. Not in death and sin. Our life and time on earth is worth more than that. God bless and praying for you. Friend me in Facebook. MayJen Apiado.