Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi: (n) the body of Christ

I suppose they thought it was extremely clever, to manufacture a rubber bodysuit—bruised, beaten and bloodied.

When they made the movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” they had their actor don this monstrosity of an outfit, believing it would convey the suffering of Jesus on the cross.

It is a classic case of over-kill.

To understand the true indignity of the sacrifice of Jesus of Nazareth, you must step into an operating room in a hospital and breathe in deeply. The smell of funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
blood will rattle your nostrils. It is a nasty odor, meant to be foreign to our consciousness.

Perhaps you want to go on the scene of a horrible car wreck and see the blood still pouring out of the wounds of dying people to understand his situation—there was no time for clotting because the beating continued and the blood was pouring forth, dangerously leaving the body and threatening death long before he was nailed in the hands and feet.

Perhaps if you were around someone bleeding to death and you heard their screams of thirst and realized they were in agony just from the lack of water…

As always, Hollywood dramatizes but never actually captures the drama.

The most tender, gentle man who ever lived, who healed lepers, hugged children, granted women equality and offered love as an alternative to the futility of fear, was beat to a pulp by religious people who thought they were acting in the name of God.

May we learn from that image: Corpus Christi—the body of Christ—which was ravaged by the self-righteous.

May we quietly, humbly and reverently realize how the stupidity of hatred, lying, cheating and self-promotion continues to murder him today.


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Copy

Copy: (v) to make a copy of; transcribe; reproduce:

My mother was totally convinced of it.

You could not change her mind.

She believed if I hung around with bad kids, I would copy their behavior.

It made me mad. I didn’t understand why she didn’t think they could hang around with me and copy my behavior.  Of course, the problem was, I always turned funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
up lame and proved her point.

Why is it so much easier to copy stupidity than intelligence?

Why are we able to Xerox a bad attitude instead of making copies of good ones?

It is because all of us are basically frightened that we’re missing out on something. If we do too many good things, then we’ll never know how much fun the bad ones could have been. So we continue to pursue errant behavior, hoping it will bring a thrill, and then suddenly, without warning, we face the consequences of our actions, and are shocked when we either find ourselves defiled or dead.

Why can’t we have people who pursue joy, goodness, praiseworthy activities and creativity, who are secure enough that they could sway the sinner instead of slipping from sainthood to mediocrity?

I don’t know.

But my mother always felt self-righteous about being accurate concerning me hanging out with questionable characters.

I probably should have told her that self-righteousness is also a sin.


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Comprehend

Comprehend: (v) to understand.

“I don’t understand” is a thousand times more valuable than “got it covered.”

If only we would allow ourselves to comprehend that comprehending is comprehensive.

In other words, if there is a lack of knowing, it is much better to deal with it at the beginning of a project than to arrive on the scene of a failure pursuing damagefunny wisdom on words that begin with a C control.

Ignorant people are just damn afraid of being stupid. Matter of fact, we foolishly use the two words as synonyms.

Facts are, I can be ignorant without being stupid.

And the truth is, I am stupid when I refuse to admit my ignorance.

There is something refreshing, renewing and truly spiritual about stopping all endeavors and saying, “Wait–I don’t get it.”

Just think how many wars could have been avoided and graves prevented.

 

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Collateral

Collateral: (n) something pledged as security for repayment of a loan

No one is ever interested in hearing about my successes.

Perhaps it’s the flash of arrogance that enters the human voice whenever we talk about ourselves in a positive way.

I gain empathy, friendship and humor with my fellow-travelers by “pranking” myself in a snarky way–especially when remembering a time when it appears that I was infested with the demon of stupidity.

To protect myself I always begin these stories with: “It happened many years ago.”

That way you know that I would not pursue this particular adventure today–and if I did, since I am older, I would have more money to address it.

I wanted to borrow two hundred dollars. This was back in a time when two hundred dollars was my “guesstimation” of the value of Aladdin’s castle.

The person from the bank told me that if I had some collateral he would be “willing to consider” such a loan.

I didn’t question any further–I asked myself, What do I possess that’s worth two hundred dollars?

Ruling out my kidney, liver and lungs, I came up blank.

Yet all at once, I remembered that in the basement of my parents’ loan company, there were some huge slabs of marble left over from when they had decorated the office. It seemed to me–since they were marble–that they were certainly expensive.

I wasn’t a rube, so I called a local lumberyard person and asked him what he thought such a slab would be worth.

After he understood the dimensions, he said that if I bought them at the store each one would cost me a hundred dollars.

I was thrilled.

All I had to do was carry three (playing it safe) marble slabs up a flight of stairs, around a corner and out the door, and I would have my collateral.

The problem was, the only person available to help me was my wife. Though sturdy, she was not at a strength level to lift her share of what probably was two hundred pounds each. This did not deter me. I decided the best thing was to put her at the bottom and me at the top.

It took two days. (Not full days. Twenty-minutes-at-a-time days.)

We took a lot of breaks.

Finally we actually unearthed from the basement tomb three two-hundred-pound slabs of marble, got them into the back of our van and drove them to the bank.

I was so damn proud.

I coaxed the banker to come out and see what I had to offer for collateral. Opening the back door of the van, he stared at the dusty pile of stone.

He laughed.

And not just a little. It may be the first time in my life that I was laughed to scorn.

He patted me on the shoulder, shook his head and said, “That’s a good one, man. I can’t wait to tell everybody about this one.”

I assumed the loan was a no-go.

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Cohort

Cohort: (n) a group of people banded together

I have a son who’s convinced that I am becoming more conservative as I get older.

Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. Age has done one thing and only one thing for me–it has insisted that I be practical.

It stands over me, often in a threatening pose, barking in my ear that the plans I had made to do something beyond my physical abilities are not filled with initiative, but rather, reek of stupidity.

I become more and more astounded with the simplicity of the statement, “Those that are not against us are for us.”

Therefore, mankind is my cohort, and I, its.

I am looking for reasons to enjoy the people around me instead of tagging them as enemies to be avoided.

Every time I read something, I find one little tiny nugget of valuable common sense. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Bible or the Communist Manifesto–each document has a golden gleam which makes its writing valuable and worthy of human hearing.

But also, each document is chock-full of filler–statements thrown in, sometimes as afterthoughts and often in ignorance.

So when a Republican talks, I listen for sense. Likewise, when a Democrat shares, I probe the speech for reasonability. In the process of doing this, I find myself making more friends and being far less critical.

Recently a friend asked what I thought about a song that was being touted on the Internet. I replied, “They started on the same beat, didn’t miss a lyric and ended in pitch.”

There’s a lot to be said for that. It is a fine beginning for discussion. But often, humans will find one word within the body of the poetry which they consider distasteful, and relegate the entire presentation to being hellish nothingness.

A cohort of critics.

How boring.

How boorish.

How stubborn

How meaningless.

I found out some time ago that the world never gets anything right. Celebration occurs when the effort comes close.

 

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Calamity

Calamity: (n) sudden damage; a disaster

Regeneration.

I think that’s when alligators grow their tails back if they’re chopped off.

That doesn’t happen with humans. I know we don’t have tails–but if you cut off an arm, you’re left with only one.

Yet in many ways, the human race continues to contend that “things will get better if we just leave them alone.”

We will regenerate passion.

We will regenerate the values that seem to have slipped away.

We will regenerate racial equality (which was really never here in the first place).

Some people are waiting around to grow a conscience.

Other people insist they don’t have a soul, since they’ve stuffed it back in their closet and put a whole bunch of boxes in front of it.

Calamity is easy to understand. It is usually quite explainable.

It is not walking along on a sunny day and being struck by lightning. Rather, calamity occurs when we wait for solutions instead of working with the information we have to make things better.

It is the thought that since your tires are bald, they will not become balder.

Maybe it’s the notion that your child is no worse than any of the other kids in the neighborhood, simply because he has a similar haircut–but likes to kill cats.

Calamity occurs when life has warned us sufficiently, and reluctantly renders a judgment against us.

Without it, nothing would be fair.

And those who believe they are divinely protected from the by-products of stupidity need to be warned: God is not mocked. Whatever we sow, we shall certainly reap.

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Brake

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Brake: (n) a device for slowing or stopping a moving vehicle

Oblivion is the condition we find ourselves in just prior to the tragedy we refer to as “an accident.”

This was my situation many years ago when I was driving through the Sierra Mountains in California, completely enraptured in the scenery and infatuated with a gorgeous waterfall.Dictionary B

I had a car with a trailer attached to it. There’s nothing particularly unusual about that. But when you pull such a trailer, you require additional brakes placed on the rear, so that when you want to stop, it helps you instead of mocking you.

So having ascended a high peak, it was time to come down the other side. I remember thinking to myself, how fun this will be–just placing the car in neutral and coasting down the side of the cliff.

The immediate problem was that the trailer I was hauling was actually heavier than the car I was driving. As I was coasting down the mountain, I noticed I was picking up a little too much speed.

I tried to slow down by hitting the brakes. I quickly discovered that my brakes were no longer willing to brake.There was too much weight from the rear.

Faster and faster I careened, descending the precipice.

To my left were rock formations and to my right was the end of the road and a really big fall. Straight ahead were twisty roads which promised to send me into the rocks or over the edge.

I kept pumping the brakes, hoping they would at least consider a bit of grace to cover my stupidity.

To this day, short of divine intervention, I do not know how I finally got that trailer to slow down so I could pull off and stop.

There was a horrible smell of burnt rubber–and pee-pee in my pants.

Ever since then I have been a great believer in brakes, especially when they’re well taken care of … and you don’t ask them to move mountains.

 

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