The All Knowing God

Planning a party that will take place next month, I realized the innumerable aspects this involves: the details of timing, guest lists, possible glitches etc.With all the planning unexpected events occur and unforeseen obstacles come up. Such is the plight of our human condition. This brings me to the point of this post.

For the past two weeks while planning a party for friends and family, I was also allotting time for my novel Hadar’s Son and spent endless hours researching the book of Acts and related sources including books, Old and New Testament readings as well as on line articles. Yesterday morning I sat looking at the title of Chapter 29 The Council of Jerusalem and the blank page beneath. I had not written a single line for two weeks and still with all the knowledge I gathered, nothing came to me.

I gave it up and decided to go to EWTN Daily Mass readings which I often do in the morning. The first reading Acts 15 was titled The Jerusalem Council. My first thought was how did this happen? Was it by chance? But in my heart I knew it was a detail of God’s planning. But how could He have known the exact time and place I would be in my novel?

Then it came to me God can do all things. He planned the world. He knew me before I was in my mother’s womb. Does this mean God’s will prevails and overrides my own free will? I don’t think so. He may have sent the thought of reading the scripture but I could have ignored His prompting. I had already spent too long sitting at the computer. The good news is I went back to the chapter and wrote three pages.

Freedom of Speech

For a number of years I engaged in writing letters to the editor of our local newspaper. They included responses to other letters and events; things that really matter to me. Among the letters were those concerning abortion, Donald Trump, and other issues. The paper printed every one of them. At one point our privately owned newspaper was sold to USA Today Network. From that time on, not even one was printed.and I gave up on them.This blog post was inspired by the sudden move away from his strong stand on the former President Donald Trump. I know the democrat party is filled with glee because the pro-life voters will not support Trump.His criticism of Governor DeSantis, who has not yet declared a candidacy, just gained the governor a number of passionate supporters.

Note: Other posts on this site can be found by date on the right side of the posts. Check out:the following dates: 7/21/22, 6/15,22, 1/29/21, 1/25/20, 2/1/20

How many of us are there? Have the media and polls underestimated the numbers as they did with the numbers at the March for Life? And how many of those at the January 6th protest were pro-life. After all it was truly a protest and not an insurrection. It was a visual exercise of free speech. Our country is on the brink of destruction financially, culturally, and morally. Yes, we do need to speak about abortion. It is the number one issue!

Note: I did not intend to put this photo here but did it by mistake. However you may draw some relevance from it to this blog. However it is found in a post from May 6, 2020.

On Daffodils and Souls

How I will miss the daffodils, that only bloom in spring,

But on this day in April I’ve come to say good-by.

Their cheerful heads are drooping. I miss their happy smiles.

Just a few still lingering, where dozens filled the space.

Yet as I sit and listen, the birds refuse to mourn.

Perhaps they know the hidden bulbs retain the seed

To wait and sprout in just another year.

And is it so with people how we mourn for spring once more?

Could we not just rejoice in those present on this day?

For both daffodils and people are forever, never truly gone

The bulbs and souls are hidden Still they never really leave

So on this day in April though sad to see them wilt.

Lift up our hearts and thank the Lord for yet another blooming

And yet another spring to say hello to daffodils and souls

And never mourn again.

DJ Pasternak April 18, 2023


Excerpt from Daybreak: The Crucifixion

If I knew what Columba and I would experience that night and the next day, I wondered if either of us would have pursued Yeshua and those who arrested Him. Still I am thankful for having been there.

Part 10 Truly this man was the Son of God! Mark 15:39

The Passion and Burial of Our Lord

Columba cried out: “Jon, will your God rescue His Son? Why must He suffer such pain?”

I knew why and needed to tell my friend the reason. “He suffers for our sins and for those of all men. He pays the price for justice. We know that God is just as well as merciful. The mystery is one of God’s love for us. Yeshua is like a lamb led to slaughter, a sacrifice offered like the lambs that are being slain for the Passover Feast.”

Yet it was even difficult for me, raised a Jew, to accept this. How much more beyond the understanding of a Roman. If God allowed this for His own Son, what would become of the friends of Yeshua?

“He is trying to speak. Listen,” Josephus said.

Woman, behold, your son! Son, behold your mother! He said, looking down at His mother and John who stood close to the foot of the cross.

In His agony the Son of God expressed concern for His mother. It was a human quality, love for one’s mother. This man hanging on the cross was both human and divine.

Yeshua said, I thirst.

One of the guards took a sponge, dipped it in a vessel of wine, and stuck it on a sprig of hyssop. Lifting the sponge to Yeshua’s mouth, they tried to make Him drink, but He refused. The guard removed it from Him.

Yeshua spoke saying, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

He felt abandoned by our Lord just as I had at times. I knew He was God’s Son yet also human. We never saw His Father. Now we had seen the Son face to face.

Minutes later he said, It is Finished.

We realized Yeshua would not be rescued by His Father. He spoke from the cross one last time.

Into Your hands I commend My Spirit.

The wind swept over Golgotha. The earth shook, and a chasm in the solid rock surface separated us from our friends. Columba and I were nearer the cross on one side of the fissure and Josephus and Simon on the other. Darkness unlike any I had seen in daytime covered Golgotha and the Temple area beyond.

Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!

Intro to Part 8 and short excerpt from Daybreak novel:

With the gifts of Purim given, I experienced sadness yet freedom. Unaware of what was about to take place in the following month of Nisan, I embarked on relocating to a place overlooking the Kidron Valley and the Mount of Olives. Still grieving the loss of my mother I was comforted by friends with whom I survived the best and the worst of days.

Part 8 Hozanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord Matt.21:9

Entrance of Yeshua into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday

The following morning, the eighth of Nisan, proved to be extremely busy for me. After many sales that morning, absolutely no one passed by after noon and I decided to go home and relax. The sun was well past the highest point in the sky as I sat outside with a cup of wine and some figs and barley bread.

My view to the east faced across the Kidron Valley to the Mount of Olives. I leaned back as far as possible to see the summit but could not view the highest point. Walking out past the cover of the arbor, I was able to see the crest of the lush mountain. It was actually a range of peaks ascending and descending with the final drop being deep into the Kidron Valley before me. I heard commotion off in the distance and saw what at first I thought I imagined, a mass of heads appearing as people approached the summit. Soon I could see a great number in a procession as they came to the crest of the hill.

The river of people streamed down the mount strewing something like branches. As they progressed further, a wide path of greens appeared covering the brown dirt road. It mystified me. What was all this? The sound of singing and laughter like a celebration, perhaps a royal wedding.

The procession continued and I strained to see a man seated on an animal, a donkey. How very strange. After perhaps an hour, some of them were already coming through the valley and back up toward the Sheep Gate, where the lambs to be slaughtered for Passover would soon pass through. The flow of people began to process by on the road to the temple, which lay to my left.

I heard the words they kept singing.

Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest

I ran back to my dwelling, grabbed my cloak and walking stick, and went to join the procession. By the time I caught up to them, there were hundreds ahead of me. I caught a glimpse of the man on the donkey a ways behind, and the remainder of those processing jubilantly.

“Who is that?” I yelled to get the attention of a poorly dressed man next to me.

“That is a great prophet and wonder worker from Nazareth!” he shouted back.

Plan of Life: Reflection

Years ago due to a difficult time in my life, I found my way to a lay group called Disciples of Jesus and Mary. The focus was to determine one’s plan of life and followed the program of a Catholic priest from India, Father Santan Pinto. There were tapes and books to use as Guides along with a local leader who became a good friend. Each of us was to write a letter to Fr Pinto concerning what we had determined was our plan of life. It was quite involved and I struggled with the task. I did my best and sent it.

But I was uncertain if I really knew what this plan was for me. One night I lay awake and thought about the letter and finally asked, Dear God tell me: What is your plan for my life? We had a clock radio back then and I awoke the very next morning to the voice of a minister on a Christian station saying: This is my plan for you: that you should be sanctified. It came to me that God would be the one to show me how this would happen and I felt at peace with my own efforts imperfect as they were.

Looking back I now see how all along there was a plan through events, people, trials, good things etc. Somewhere in the Gospels Jesus told his disciples: now you know in part but then you will know everything. In short, his plan for each of us is to become a saint through living our unique life and keeping our faith in Him.

What’s It All About Alfie?

Since my last blog a month ago I have opened the page to write a new post many times and … nothing. No inspiration, just a series of unconnected thoughts. This morning after deleting emails and sending one, I tried once more. A friend who just lost her husband suggested I write about my family for the grandchildren; something to remember about their heritage.

My mother was someone I want them to remember. She stayed with us about a year before she passed on. While she was here people thought something was wrong with my land line because of the constant busy signal. It wasn’t the phone; it was my mother. So many calls in and out for her. But she also received a call from one particular friend occasionally who also wrote her letters; you know with actual pen and paper. The point is, the inspiration for this blog came remembering the ending of one of those ‘ancient writings’. It was simply a question she asked: What’s It All About Alfie?

This friend of my mom was about ninety years old. A widow who lived alone and had two grown children. Their stories were not something I should tell. But just know they were sad ones. She wrote beautiful letters in both the penmanship and content. I looked up the words written by Burt Bacharach and sung by Dionne Warwick in a movie by that name. The answer is revealed toward the end speaking of heaven and that well known four letter word LOVE.

This made me think of my friend who lived that word caring for her beloved husband for about a decade. Love is patient, love is kind… love never ends and that forever part is in heaven! And I believe my mother’s pen pal also lived the word in continuing to love her children. That is what it’s all about, Alfie.

The Pros and Cons of Words

When you hear or read the adjectives pro and anti their meanings are clear. simply for and against. Some years ago I remember hearing the term pro choice used referring to a woman’s ‘right to choose’ in regard to abortion. And along with that came anti abortion replacing pro life. The interesting thing is that today people who on the side of the right to life use pro life. You do not hear anti life from either side. Instead the pro choice advocates refer to the opposing side as anti abortion. But they never use the term anti life.

I remember some years after the 1973 decision when the term pro choice replace pro abortion and it was quite obviously a smart tactical move on their part. The same people use anti abortion to replace pro life. It worked quite well. So well in fact that a new more positive term has come into use, reproductive rights. Interestingly enough our present culture are pushing to eliminate the word, mother.

In the late 1960’s I read a book by George Orwell written in 1949. In the prophetic novel mainstream society who were thought controlled by The Party mothers were not able to mother their children and many did not know how. The children became violent and vicious. I recently asked the local library for the book and the librarian said they actually had several copies but they were all out. The other day I received an email to pick up a copy and I did. I skimmed much of the book and also did that with another Farenheit 451. Words matter and when used to manipulate and control can wreak havoc.

Holy Moments: Part 3

(If you din’t read Parts 1&2 scroll down and read them first)

What a night it was so far. Still dark and foggy outside as we opened the church door and walked into the foyer and went through the door into the sanctuary, I felt as if it was a movie set. The lights were on and Father was kneeling in front of the altar in gold vestments. The the gold monstrance was on top of the altar holding the Eucharist. The Christmas poinsettias, red, white, gold and blue, formed a grand display at the base of the altar along with the other Christmas decorations on the aisles and on the side ledges.

Our lost friend was sitting in a pew toward the back and we tapped her on the shoulder and sat in the pew behind her. She turned and smiled and we smiled back. Another friend of ours and her daughter sitting near the front were the only other people in the church. We came at the ending of Adoration in time to say the last prayers and sing the closing song while our pastor put the Eucharist in the tabernacle. After the blessing he said that it was exactly midnight and wished us Happy New Year.

As we left this heavenly place, we began telling our ‘found friend’ our story. She explained on her way home she remembered reading in the Flocknotes on-line earlier that day there would be Adoration from 9 pm to midnight and took the route passing the church on the way home. She went in and stayed to the end.

She said how sorry she was that we went through all the worry for her. I said, “Don’t apologize. It was wonderful to be here and find you in the best of all places in the New Year. Should we call you when we get home?”

“I’m only a mile from the church and you are several miles away, I’ll call you!”

This was a Holy Moment gifted to us from the Lord himself. We will always remember the New Year’s Eve of 2023. And also hope to heed the prompting of the Holy Spirit – to go and do likewise.

Holy Moments: Part 1&2

Part 1

This Christmas we received a book from our priest titled Holy Moments by Matthew Kelly. You might say the author writes to encourage his readers to put into action the daily exercise of living their faith. It isn’t rocket science just the idea that every day of our lives these holy moments come to us through the presence of the Holy Spirit. Most everyone experiences them when thoughts come into our mind of some kindness we can do for someone. For example letting another driver in when it will help him pulling onto a busy road Or it might be a thank you to someone checking you out in a store who seems particularly busy and upset.

This past New Years Eve I had one of these moments when I called a friend to have dinner with us. We enjoyed a meal as she brought appetizer, Prosecco wine, and desert in addition to our main meal. It really benefited myself and my husband as well because we had a wonderful meal and conversation. We said good-by at 10:30 pm. She lived alone on an unpaved road with several other homes; she lived a few miles away.

Around 11pm I called to make sure she arrived home as I had done before when it was late. I left a message on her home phone and waited for a call. None came so I tried a second time and left another message. Now my husband was worried about her and after some minutes I called her cell. No answer. At that point we became concerned because there was nowhere she would normally go that time of night and had told us she was going home.

We waited a while and decided to go to her house just to make sure everything was all right. When we went to our car, we noticed it was extremely foggy and as we drove it got worse. My husband took the most direct route to her house and as we drove I kept a lookout for her car on either side worried that she might have gone off the road. It was difficult to see our way and no other cars were around..

He said, “We are going to her house. If she isn’t there we have to call the police.”That scared me and I also hoped the fog was not too thick for us on her road. It was foggy when we turned onto the bumpy dirt road but we could see our way. As we passed the other houses I wondered if we’d find her home.

Part 2

As we approached her house and noticed there were lights on the floor above the basement. I felt relieved. But when we turned into the driveway my husband said, “She isn’t home. Her car isn’t here.”

I said, “She must be home. The lights are on. Go around the back and up the on deck to the door.”

He went to look and I heard her dog barking. He came back.. “She isn’t home. We have to call.”

Let’s go back the other way.”

“OK but I don’t think she’d go that way. It it has so many curves but we’ll try it.”

We sat silently looking through the fog for some sign of her. Now I feared the worst. After less than a mile My husband asked, “What’s that?” He pointed to a number of lights ahead we did not recognize.

Coming down the hill, I said, “It’s the church! But why is it lit up so late? There must be twenty light posts in the parking light.”

He said, “I don’t know but I think she must be there.”

The lights of the church shown through the stained glass windows. It was dark and foggy outside but we saw her car parked in ahead of us in front of the church.. We were relieved. But it was still a mystery to us. Why was she there and why were all the lights on?

Part 3 Coming soon!