Equal Opportunity Gazers

Ponder Anew presents

“We say not My Father, but Our Father, for the teacher of peace and master of unity would not have men pray singly and severally, since when any prays, he is not to pray for himself only. ”  Prayer, P 223

“The mental posture of prayer calms and purifies the soul, and makes it of more capacity to receive the divine gifts which are poured into it.  For God does not hear us for the prevailing force of our pleadings; He is at all times ready to give us His light, but we are not ready to receive it, but prone to other things.”  Prayer, P. 223

“Through loving God we are aflame to gaze on His beauty.  And since every one rejoices when he obtains what he loves, it follows that the contemplative life terminates in delight…the result being that love also becomes more intense.” Prayer P. 222



sermon in a sentence 1

Tearing down Walls: From ‘Rome a Phobia’ to ‘Heart on Fire’

mike crumbie 2

mike crumbie 1

I wrote this up actually around Christmas of 2014, but it is about a most colorful guy, still worth sharing…..

Nationally known Catholic Lay Evangelist spoke at Advent Mission in Hot Springs

Michael Crumbie firmly believes the mainline Christian view of the Eucharist as “only a symbol” is “cutting America off from the grace of God.”

Michael, who has appeared on EWTN’s “Journey Home,” is a dedicated husband of 33 years, father of three, and unabashedly, passionately Catholic.  His “journey home” began as a 23 year southern Baptist pastor who held typical Bible belt, “Rome a Phobic” biases when he started becoming aware of a  gnawing awareness that something was really amiss in protestant services, however sincere and heartfelt.  He wanted something ‘more.’  That something more turned out to be a beautiful strand of liturgical pearls which he discovered in a long process of reflection and an honest, no holes barred look at Church history and tradition.  At the second all-are-welcome session of a 4 night Advent Mission at St. Mary of the Springs and St. John’s churches in Hot Springs, Michael said that while his conversion was the answer to many interior struggles, it was not a ‘misery free’ process.

“I could preach, brother, you’d better believe it.  I would go so long that I began to tell people that I would preach only as long as I had a breath mint. Then one day I went way overtime and I said proudly, ‘Oops, I had a button in my mouth instead.’ ” Eventually, however, Michael noted that his speaking gifts fell short of satisfying his longing for a deeper relationship with God.  “For awhile, I thought I had arrived spiritually, but the void kept lingering. I finally decided to listen to God’s voice in scripture for more insight. I had read them a thousand times, but the verses about the road to Emmaus and the Gentile woman who Jesus healed really started the unveiling process.  When I listened with an open heart, I discovered what both held in common- the focus on bread.”

“Since all Christians are not embracing the Eucharist,

                                    there are no crumbs available for strangers either.

                          We are a spiritually starved nation,

                             unable to share hope and

                        God’s love,  aborting our young,

                            vulnerable to vile evils.”  

“Bread is central in these passages as the vehicle in which Jesus comes and reveals Himself to us. The disciples recognized Jesus when He broke the bread, and the Gentile woman’s Eucharistic vision told Jesus that she would even take the crumbs that fell from the table of the chosen people; she wanted Him so desperately.  This is what I wanted!”  That’s when the scales started falling away from Michael’s eyes in regard to the Catholic Church, but due to long held fears and prejudices about the Church, he had a long way to go.

               “Everything in my Baptist head said ‘no, no,’

                    but my heart screamed yes, yes!”

Michael’s testimonies are genuine and honest.   “I had defended Luther.  But even Martin Luther did not set out to destroy the Church at first- Calvin and others did that- Luther just wanted some changes. I had to face that. Jesus started a Church, so I decided to visit cites in the Holy Land. I did not see a Methodist, Presbyterian or Baptist church on any of those cites; only Catholic churches and chapels.”  However, he still waffled; he started looking into worship in an “Apostolic Catholic” sect where he was eventually “ordained” a priest.  “I thought I had the best of both worlds- the rich tradition, the symbols, the sacred environment, but I was still holding back from the truth of the Eucharist in my protestant heritage.”

Then one day, Michael says God prompted him to remember Abraham’s sacrifice of giving up something very valuable.  “I sensed that I was to ‘give it all up- the fears, the tpride, the self-justifications, the facades I was presenting to others in that sect. I was pretending without committing.” As he let it all go, he began to realize more fully the “Anamnesis” of the Mass.  (‘Anamnesis’ is from the Greek for remembering or memorial.)  “Just as what God did for the Israelites before they left Egypt- commanding them to put lambs blood on their doorposts so the angel of death would pass them over; God does for us again and again in the Mass today: Jesus healing, Jesus forgiving, Jesus saving in the holy Eucharist.  This is what our country and the world needs.”

Michael’s CDs and DVDs about his conversion, the truth about misconceptions of the Mass and the Eucharist, are all available on his website, http://www.mikecumbie.org/

Till next Advent, (coming up before we know it) cheers and blessings to you!


Reblogging, brother!

The moment of Enlightenment

Detachment has a bad press sometimes. We are all urged to be so attached: involved, empathic, huggy, kissy etc.

However, if you are attached to a lump of concrete, hurtling towards the ocean’s bottom, then urgent detachment suddenly looks like a very good option indeed, dontchathink?

Here’s the bottom line:

Catholics must detach themselves from the world, the flesh, and the devil, to save their lives,

and attach themselves to the Church, the Life in Christ, and the Holy Trinity, instead.


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Aisles and aisles of Identity Crises


”Since the hidden model of all this is the market.”  

  ‘People cling onto identities… it is a world opposed to the encounter’   -Alain Badiou

sarkozy                            alainAlain Badiou is a French philosopher, formerly chair of Philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure and founder of the faculty of Philosophy of the Université de Paris VIII with Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault and Morend Jean-François Lyotard.

Speaking of the market, Mr. Badiou’s thesis on real encounters came home for me in experiences working inside a retail store. While I was in the Kid’s dept at Meijer 24 hours in Taylor, MI years ago, what mystified me were the sheer hundreds of people I would pass in the aisles. I always wondered what sort of interactions these were. What is the criteria for a real encounter? Were the contacts those I saw and those who saw me? Were they those who I shared small, animating gestures consisting of a mere polite nod? Or were the ‘real’ interactions only ones that exchanged a wholehearted hello-how-r-you? How far do you have to go to have a ‘real’ encounter? Since I was a help-er, were the help-ees the only ones I encountered ? And of course, there could be other minutiae of possible ways of acknowledgement.

It was maddening at times wondering what made these interactions so different, similar or practically nonexistent. While I would reorganize a rack or stock a shelf, I would catch myself thinking something like the following: Two persons are walking towards one another thinking of ways to greet another, but when they meet, for some reason they failed to do so-for reasons of distraction, “atomization,” disinterest, or maybe even shyness. Maybe one has a flashback of some kind. For whatever reason, even though they were physically present to each other and able to interact [there were no apparent physical disabilities or compromises], as they passed, at least one finally dismissed outright the opportunity to have another real encounter that day. In plain terms, they ignored each other. Maybe they were preoccupied with stuff.

But given that the two persons saw each other, the two did know or at least infer at the time, that each other existed. didn’t they?

Argh. Maybe I was bored with the repetitive, colored objects.

Cheeers! -Kassey

Destinations: Parallel Paths and Underway


A friend at ualr told me she would not major in philosophy because it is too ‘broad.’ I responded that philosophy only appears to be that way for the reason that there is a lot of thought that must be considered and gathered in- but that’s what makes philosophy so rich. She wasn’t persuaded- however, it made me think more about why people prefer to pursue highly specialized technical fields, technology and science, etc. versus liberal arts and its humanistic “friends,” of which philosophy serves and thrives in, or at least used to.

Please bear with me, I did not take Continental Phil so I am way out on a limb here; I did take Existentialism and it was apparent way before that philosophy is looking for another humanistic ‘home.’  But I believe philosophy has good “streams” ahead.  Why? I think along with Pieper, that philosophy is “a structure of hope” for the reason that I am comfortable with science and philosophy existing alongside; one does not nullify or threaten the other.

His view of philosophers “[…] do not dispute the inherent lawfulness of science.  They do, however, strongly insist on there being other equally indispensable forms of the human epistemological endeavor […].”  As such, Pieper contemplates what he describes as an “inner state of the philosophizing person against the physicist.” Of course, one could think of other minute differences/comparisons of each:

  • The physicist is “certainly not entering on an endless path…the question gets answered, the hope fulfilled, goal achieved. Other questions come up, but that’s a different story…..”
  • The philosophizer has “set his [her] foot on a path whose end he [she] in this world, will never reach.” Remains “underway.”

Happy searching fellow travelers!    thinker and scientist

Source: Josef Pieper. For the Love of Wisdom: Essays on the Nature of Philosophy. “A Plea for Philosophy”. Ignatius Press. San Francisco. 2006. PP. 130-132.


Oh my Goodness


“It is a great token of goodness that every creature conceives itself to be good; therefore, because God is good, so are we.”  Hope, P. 133

sainttthomasaquinas1            sermon in a sentence 1

Aristotle in Las Vegas

Las Vegas Strip

Quote From:   Reeve, C.D.C. and Patrick L. Miller. Introductory Readings in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy. 2006. Hackett Publishing Co.Indianapolis/Cambridge. P.334.

Aristotle said: “We think pleasure must be mixed into happiness; and it is agreed that the activity expressing wisdom is the pleasantest of the activities expressing virtue. At any rate, philosophy seems to have remarkably pure and firm pleasures; and it is reasonable for those who have knowledge to spend their lives more pleasantly than those who seek it.” Nicomachean Ethics X, 7, 1177a 25

Again, thanks to halfeatenmind.wordpress.com for the sign tip!    Go here to make your own:   http://atom.smasher.org/highway/

Cheers  :)