Brian H. Gill

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  • How I see Advent, vigilance and making sense:

    “‘In the beginning was the Word…”

    “…This wasn’t the Gospel reading for last Sunday….

    “…This year’s First Sunday Gospel starts at Luke 21:25. It opens with ‘”There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars…’ and ends with some good advice.

    “I’m pretty sure a key part of that advice is to ‘be vigilant at all times.’ Looking at what we’ve been learning over the last couple millennia, and a nearly-constant background prattle of false alarms — I don’t see the verse as part of an ‘End Times Bible Prophecy.’…”

    Advent, Luke, and Good Advice

  • I saw Awestruck\’s announcement that this site will – very likely – close this month. I am not happy about that, but appreciate the folks who have been running this service letting us know in advance.

    I will miss my occasional visits here – and, more to the point, the folks I\’ve encountered.

    This will the second major change in my online habits over the last few months. My online \’front porch,\’ where I spent most of my social media time, had been Google Plus. Major changes there will almost certainly make the service unavailable to non-corporate folks like me, So I have \’moved\’ to MeWe.

    No pressure, but if you have found what I\’ve done here interesting or useful – feel free to look me up on MeWe. My \’contact\’ URL there is https://mewe.com/i/briangill1

    Again, sad news: but life goes on. I wish you well.

  • Christopher Schaefer mentioned Brian H. Gill in a public message 2 weeks ago

    @aluwir Welcome back, Brian!

  • How I see s”Another robotic lander is on Mars.

    “InSight landed last Monday, November 26, 2018. Folks at NASA and JPL are happy about that.

    “The lander has taken a few pictures and started sending back weather reports. The mission’s main ‘science’ work won’t start for another month or so. They’re hoping to learn more about what’s deep inside Mars. I’ll talk about that, too; and why I’m looking forward to whatever they discover….”
    http://brendans-island.com/catholic-citizen/insight-on-mars-now-what/cience, faith, this magnificent universe and studying Mars.

  • “We celebrated my father-in-law’s funeral a week after his death. I’d planned on writing about that, and probably will. But not today. I ended up talking about funerals in general, Psalms and science — it’s about as linear as most of my posts….”

    “…Saying that we ‘celebrated’ may sound inappropriate at best, even disrespectful. It’s not.

    “…It makes sense, considering how we view life, death and sacraments….”

    Death, Funerals — and Life

  • “Friday’s news included claims that a UN environmental protection boss and an Indian bishop have been acting badly….

    “…I’ve got far too little information to have an informed opinion about either of Friday’s scandals….

    “…That won’t stop me talking about how I see problems like these, and why I won’t stop being a Catholic….”

    This Week’s Scandals

  • “…The last I heard, all but one of his children have been told about his death….

    “…I suspect at least some of our restlessness comes from realizing that we could be doing a lot better than we are. As it is….

    “…I think mercy is important, so I’ll go over pretty much the same stuff again.

    “I’ve got a very personal interest in mercy. Without it, I’d be toast.

    “Not that I’m a particularly bad person, or guilty of some outstandingly heinous crime.

    The problem is that I’m not a perfectly perfect person either. Not even close….”

    Divine Mercy and Lawrence N. Kaas

  • This month’s big storms, Mangkhut and Florence: how I see them, what I think.

    “…Folks favoring older traditions might figure the dead and missing were guilty of being in the ‘wrong’ church. Or maybe for being gold miners — worshiping mammon and all that.

    “That sort of thing is a perennial favorite….

    “…The more avant-garde might see gold mining as an affront to Mother Nature, who rose in fury against the despoilers….

    “…Me? I think storms are dangerous. Sometimes people die during storms. Some are careless. Some do everything they reasonably can to stay alive, and die anyway….”

    Disasters, Deaths, Decisions

  • Brian H. Gill posted an update 3 months ago

    How I see this week’s police standoff, assumptions, poodle skirts and remembering what’s important:

    “With major storms headed for cities in both hemispheres and the usual political brouhaha here in America, I figure this morning’s small town standoff won’t be national news….”

    O Tempora O Mores! Oh, well

    • 1 person likes this.
    • The political cartoon on “Demon Rum” is a hoot …! Thanks for posting.

  • Brian H. Gill posted an update 4 months ago

    For Catholic Blogs, the Facebook group

    “…The excitement started late Thursday evening, August 2.

    “A small patch on my tongue’s underside went numb, as if I’d had Novocain/procaine….

    “…Listening to my wife isn’t, I think, the beginning of wisdom; but it’s pretty high on the list. Speaking of which — Proverbs 9:10 doesn’t say I should be scared of God, and that’s another topic….”

    Transient Ischemic Attack?

  • \”…My mind\’s been fogbound, becalmed, and similar metaphors. Words haven\’t flowed off my keyboard. More like oozed out….\”

    \”…I figure there\’s a spiritual component too.

    \”That doesn\’t mean I believe Distraction crept into my head, inviting Confusion and other demonic delinquents to a party….\”

    A Fogbound Writer

  • Brian H. Gill posted an update 5 months ago

    “Pictures of PDS 70b show a planet that’s still forming. It’s the youngest planet scientists have imaged so far.

    “They figure studying it will help them learn more about how planetary systems develop. I think they’re right….

    “…Our search for truth, including what we learn about the world around us, will lead us to God. If we’re doing it right….”

    Found: a ‘Baby Planet’

  • “I can see why a young man like Edward Senior would choose Swansea University.

    “Swansea’s website promises a nearly-ideal environment for students aspiring to careers in medical sciences and practices….

    “…Killing himself wasn’t the ideal coping mechanism….”

    “…Heaping abuse on suicide victims doesn’t strike me as a smart move either. I shouldn’t kill myself, but I shouldn’t give up hope for folks who do. Hope is a good idea. So is prayer….”

    Another Student Suicide

    • Here’s a question: What action was taken on the sharing of a private message on social media?

      • A reasonable question, I think. All the BBC News article said was that the university had said they were investigation what the deceased student had said.

        I’d like to believe that the investigation will at least consider the consequences of actions taken by whoever shared the private information – and maybe even their own decision to punish first and investigate later. Perhaps I am not being fair in my perception of the university’s decision.

        I did not research the event, and do not intend to do so. I’m more angry than I like as it is, and can see to practical purpose in my immersing myself deeper in the mess.

  • \”Being put on hold is a familiar and a frustrating experience for many of us, and particularly frustrating when the matter you\’re calling about is urgent. They even add pleasant music to the hold buttons now days. Maybe it\’s meant to keep you entertained but that\’s a laughable scenario too, isn\’t it? It really doesn\’t help much when the situation is serious, in fact it is even more irritating! Life is no fun when you are put on hold….

    \”…Why isn\’t the master quicker to respond, doesn\’t he know that the matter is urgent?…\”

    Being Put on Hold

  • “Pope Francis told oil company executives what he thinks about clean energy, climate change and social justice. What he said reminded me of London’s pea soup fog, horses, smog and why we have environmental laws.

    I’ve seen several published reactions to the Pope’s ‘climate and energy’ remarks. None of which quite match mine, which isn’t surprising….

    “…When I hear that a Pope said something I don’t like or don’t understand, learning more makes sense. Assuming that I’m right and the Pope is wrong doesn’t. Neither does thinking that Popes never make mistakes….”

    Power and Climate

  • “I could swap hard-luck stories with Job, but not for long. When it comes to misfortunes, I’m not in his league. On the other hand, looking over medical records before a recent checkup reminded me that my life hasn’t been perfect….

    “…Believing that God smites ‘bad guys’ and rewards ‘good guys’ promptly? Not such a good idea.

    “Simple ‘carrot and stick’ belief may be easy….”

    Job’s Friends

    • 1 person likes this.
    • Job 19:25-29 “I know that my redeemer lives,
      and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
      And after my skin has been destroyed,
      yet in my flesh I will see God;
      I myself will see him
      with my own eyes—I, and not another.
      How my heart yearns within me!”
      I’m reading a Bible-in-a-year, supposedly chronological arrangement, and was surprised that Job is, in this particular chronology, give as one of the oldest books in the bible.

      • The book of Job’s story seems very ‘current.’ I suspect it’s because it reflects a very basic human experience – the sort of thing that doesn’t change in general form form one millennium to the next.

        Job is apparently a folk-hero in several Mesopotamian cultures. I don’t know and haven’t read informed opinions about whether the book’s human author adapted a cross-cultural folktale to Sacred Scripture, or Mesopotamian cultures picked their stories up from the Hebrews . Not surprising, either way; and not unique, particularly in the older parts of the Old Testament.

  • Brian H. Gill posted an update 6 months ago

    “America’s Attorney General apparently said Americans should do what the government tells us to. That’s ‘dog bites man’ news. It’s what government officials do. ‘Man bites dog’ news would be an official telling us to go out and break laws….”

    “…The good news, for me, is that America isn’t the ‘Christian nation’ of my youth.

    “I suspect the Attorney General’s appeal to ‘Biblical’ authority won’t generate much support. Apart from some of America’s fuddy duddy fringe….”

    Law, Immigrants and Romans 13

  • Brian H. Gill posted an update 6 months ago

    “Opportunities for angst and anger abound. Just glance through the headlines. Take your pick from today’s top expert-endorsed, editor-approved crises…

    “…Feeling anxious or angry isn’t good or bad by itself. Emotions happen. They’re a part of human nature. They connect “the life of the senses and the life of the mind.’…”

    Apathy, Angst and Grenfell Tower

  • “I’ve read that spiritualism and spiritism started in the 18th or 19th centuries. Folks who take one or both seriously seem to think spiritism isn’t spiritualism. How the ‘isms’ are different depends on who’s talking….

    “…Whether central and western New York is ‘burned-over’ is debatable. I see what happened as a spiritual hangover after a religious binge episode in the early 1800s….

    “…I’ll be talking about writers and researchers, Salem’s infamous trials and why I think change can be a good idea….”

    Spiritualism, Attitudes

  • “..’Chat with the dead’ séances popularized by Margaret Fox and her sisters are still endemic in American culture. So are religious beliefs and practices they inspired….

    “…Another question is why their parents and other adults acted as they did.

    “My guess is that many Americans were looking for an alternative to gloom and predestination. Can’t say that I blame them….”

    Mediums

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