The Miraculous Staircase of Loretto, N.M.

October 6, 2017

“Friday’s child is loving and giving…” 

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.“[Psalm 91:1 KJV]*

   

 

 

   The story of the building of, and the existence of, the miraculous spiral staircase in the Loretto chapel, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is one that needs to be made better known.  The chapel has since been turned into a museum of sorts and a wedding chapel, after the Catholic Church decommissioned it.  It was built between the years of 1873, to 1878.  Once it was nearly finished, it was discovered that the architect, Antoine Mouly, who’d come over from France to design and build it, but who had died before it was finished, had forgotten to include a staircase leading up to the choir loft, some 22 ft. above the main floor.

  The story goes that the Sisters of Loretto, who’d come to that area from Kentucky in order to teach, decided to say a Novena to St. Joseph, who is the patron saint of carpenters, asking for his help in having some sort of staircase built.  At the end of the 9th day of the Novena, an elderly man suddenly showed up, asking for work, and when told about the need for a staircase in the Chapel, told them he could build them one.  He was equipped with just a tool box. 

   The story told in the first video[above] explains that the elderly man used no nails in it’s construction, only wooden pegs that he apparently fashioned himself.  Also, the wood he used did not come from New Mexico, yet he always had a good supply with which to construct the staircase.  It’s not known how long it took him to finish it, but once it was finished he left without collecting the money owed him, nor did he say goodbye to anyone before he left.

  To this day architects can’t explain how in the world it not only held when walked upon, but how it’s managed to remain standing, and useful, to this day, some 139 years later.  The elderly man built it without any railing, so the railing was added about 2 years later, after the sisters complained that they feared falling off of it as they descended down from the choir loft.  

   Those who can’t find enough faith in God’s abilities always seem to find a way to explain away anything that smacks of being miraculous, and so it is with this staircase.  It seems that supposedly another Frenchman, associated with the late architect Mouly, came over to this country explicitly to build that staircase, unbeknownst to the Sisters, or anyone else.  He seems to have brought the entire staircase with him in crates, or that’s the idea.  Yet, the elderly man who arrived at that time, inquiring for work, had only his donkey/mule, and his toolbox with him at the time, and no one ever saw anyone else arrive to provide him with the pre-fabbed staircase, that it’s said had been built in France and brought over here in crates.  Also, after testing the wood used in the staircase, no exact match for the wood could be found anywhere on this earth.  The type of wood, yes–the exact species of wood, no.

  Architects from around the world who have examined the structure marvel at how perfectly it was constructed–yet, it was constructed by an elderly man, using only what he brought with him inside his toolbox.  The Sisters said that they saw wood soaking in barrels, that he would bend into shape for the stairs, but that was all.  Yet, he always had what he needed, never buying any wood locally.  No evidence of him purchasing any wood from any local wood supplier was ever found.  No evidence exists that he had taken delivery of crates during that time, either.

 What else is marvelous about the staircase is the fact that there is NO center support for it, yet usually one is needed.  One architect said that, by all rights, it should have collapsed the first time anyone set foot on it–yet, it’s taken constant foot traffic on it for the last 139 years!  It, also, consists of 33 stairs–one for each year of Christ’s life before He was crucified.  It was also found that, the two supports at it’s base, on which ALL the weight rests, were strong enough to support the structure because the carpenter twisted the two of them into a  helix formation, causing them to become stronger by nature.  The staircase also consists of 2 360 degree turns as it rises from the floor.  Without it’s railing, it reminds me of a single spiraled ‘helix’ of DNA.  Perhaps that’s exactly why it was fashioned as it was, even though when built no one had any idea what DNA was, let alone what shape it took.

  So, the true life mystery of how an elderly man, using only some tools he’d brought with him on the back of his pack animal[either a donkey or a mule], who bought no wood locally, and had none delivered to him on the site, who worked alone without benefit of any electrically run equipment, or electric tools, whatsoever, managed to construct what appears to be one of the great mysteries in this world.  I think perhaps it needs to be categorized among the great wonders of this world–befittingly making it the 9th.

 

   “We love the things we love for what they are.”
~ Robert Frost ~

                                                                               The “Sun Bonnet” Squad

A “White Knight” Production

*https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+91&version=KJV

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Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday, Honey!!!

October 3, 2017

“Tuesday’s child is full of grace…”   

 

                            

My Darling Husband of 47 years:  

No Birthday card,
Holds more love than this,
‘Cause it’s written with a Hug,
And it’s published with a Kiss. 

You are so very special to me,
And you deserve the VERY best;
I wish you nothing but wonderfulness in life,
A life that’s filled with love and warmth, and lots of happiness.

So, this greeting brings to you my love,
To wish you Birthday Cheer,
And greater, truer happiness
That increases year by year.

Happy Birthday, Bob!

Love, Hugs, and Kisses, from your long-standing wife,

Chris     {Queen of the ‘Royal’ Broom Closet}

{I love you, Hon!}

       

       

     
            

Ah Fall!

October 3, 2017

  In Autumn
by Winifred C. Marshall*

They’re coming down in showers,
The leaves all gold and red;
They’re covering the little flowers,
And tucking them in bed
They’ve spread a fairy carpet
All up and down the street;
And when we skip along to school,
they rustle ‘neath our feet

rabbit in a basket

            

 

        

                 

            

       

           

  “…when Autumn leaves begin to fall…” *sigh*

   It’s no secret that I love Fall more than any of the other seasons of the year.  I love the sights, sounds and smells of Fall, especially those from days gone by:  the trees beginning to drop their summer foliage, leaf by leaf, as they ready themselves for the onslaught of ferocious Winter;  the crackling of burning leaves as neighbors begin piling them into the gutters, and lighting them afire; the chimneys wafting luscious smelling smoke from their burning logs into the cool Fall air; the steaming cups of hot Apple Cider, the sight of delicious caramel apples, with the promise of even more good food to follow as Thanksgiving draws near.  Ah Fall!  No other season can match you for sheer emotional comfort! 

  “A hundred million Miracles;  they happen every day!” 

         

         

         

   I don’t know if any of you believe that we are now approaching a time when Christianity will not be apparent anywhere in the world as it is now, because all Christians alive at that time will be with the Lord.  He removes us.  And, that, after that, ‘chaos’ will reign until the New World Leader finally ends up in control of the entire world. He will seem benign, and charismatic and helpful, but he will kill all who defy him.  To me, however, it’s becoming very apparent that we must be living in that time just prior to the one spoken about in the Holy Bible, both in the book of Daniel and Revelation, that is referred to as “The End of Days”, or “The Great and Terrible Day of the LORD”.  That awful period of time will last for 7 years, though, not just for one day. 

   According to the book in the Holy Bible entitled, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”, at the end of that 7 years the Lord Jesus will return to face off against anti-Christ and his minions in “The Valley of Decision”–Armageddon. And, Jesus does not lose that one, just as He didn’t lose the battle at Calvary.  He rose from the dead, and that spelled the total end of satan’s chance to win out over God Almighty.  Satan and his followers didn’t know that, though:

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” [1 Corinthians 2:7.8 KJV]

“Which NONE of the princes of this world knew:  for had they known it, they would NOT have crucified the Lord of glory.”[1 Corinthians 2:8 KJV][Emphasis added, mine]

   The title of the last video I’ve placed in here contains the very true words, “…A Shaking To SAVE the wicked…”  That’s because this is still the age of Grace, of God drawing mankind to faith in His Son, Jesus, for their salvation, not a time during which God pours out His justifiable Wrath on the heads of the completely unrepentant wicked.  Right now, He wishes to SAVE them, save their souls, not annihilate them!  Those who claim He is judging the wicked right now, and trying to punish them in order to kill them off, are all WRONG.  Right now, it’s still “The Day of Salvation”, through our placing our FAITH in Jesus, as our Lord and Savior–not the horrible, “Great and Terrible Day of the LORD”!  We are never to pray for that horrible day to come, according to God’s word–we are to pray for one another, for the lost souls in this world, and for peace in Jerusalem–never for the arrival of the Day of God’s Wrath.  That, His word tells us, is a day that contains no joy:

 ” And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?

12 Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:

13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.” [Joel 2:11-13 KJV]

“…for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?”[Joel 2:11 KJV][emphasis, mine]

BUT:

“…rend your heart, and NOT your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God:  for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness…”[Joel 2:13 KJV][emphasis, mine]

Amen!

   I actually wish I had lots more to say on all of this, but I think I want to let those videos, including the beautiful musical ones, speak for themselves for now.  I’ll just move on and submit this for publication. 

   “Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.”  ~ Gen. George S. Patton ~

                                                                                         

A “White Knight” Production

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.teachingfirst.net/Poems/Autumn.html#inautumn

 

This Too Shall Pass

Amen to this–she is so right!

Eclipsed Words

“And this, too, shall pass.”

This is a proverb indicating that all material conditions, positive or negative, are temporary and time solves all problems.

I once read that the great Abraham Lincoln used to have a grand affinity for this proverb. On September 30, 1859, Abraham Lincoln included a similar story in an address before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society in Milwaukee. This is what he said;
“It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: “And this, too, shall pass away.”

How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!

When we are in trouble, we feel that we are the only person who is facing these mountains full of doubts…

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“T’is A Puzzlement!”*, Exclaimed the King of Siam…

  September 22, 2017

“Friday’s child is loving and giving…”      

 “Mmmm…Good to the last drop!”           

           

          

   As I sat down here I thought I had something definite to say on a certain subject, but after listening to Debra Kerr sing that beautiful, warm song my determination seems to have gotten somewhat way-laid!  However, I’ll try and press on, because the subject I have in mind to speak about is one that’s very important to me, personally.

   Ever been treated badly by total strangers?  It really is a “puzzlement!” when that happens, isn’t it?  I mean, you’ve never met them, and vice-versa, so why are they being so rude to you, when all you did was walk into the room?  You had been in a great mood prior to meeting up with the one type of person you never wanted to meet in this life–the dreaded nasty grump! 

   Well, what I plan on talking about in this blog has to do with something similar to that, but is even more of a “puzzlement!”–as well as downright heartbreaking when you are told that, due to seemingly asking “too many questions!”, someone tells you that you will not be allowed to take a class in order to learn about the Church you’ve longed to belong to since you were 18.  The way to that dream had always seems elusive, but after that, it seemed impossible.  However, this was the last time, or so you’d thought.   You were finally going to go through with taking the classes, then actually becoming a full-fledged member!  You still lived with some nagging trepidation about leaving one form of the Christian faith, and linking up with another one that was so looked down upon and despised by other fellow Christians. 

      However, in spite of all of the road blocks that seemed to jump out and in your way for decades, this time you were going to go through with it–after all, looking back over the decades, all the way back to when you were 18, and you honestly believed the Lord was the one behind your love for this particular denomination, this time you weren’t going to let anything come between you and finally finding the answers to what you fully believed to be the Lord’s calling–you still had some rather severe questions, yet you felt confident that, once asked, they would be answered satisfactorily, and they would then be out of the way once and for all.

   Therefore, imagine how surprised you were to find out that it would be nothing of the sort, and that you would be banned from taking those catechism classes.  Yet, that wasn’t the worst of it.  The worst of it would be hearing a complete stranger ‘inform’ you that, due to you alone, your family had wanted nothing to do with you at all after your son’s death.  That, from the lips of this complete stranger, you heard that you were to blame for all the strife that had come between you and this particular branch of your family, and that you really were ‘crazy’, and in need of being placed in a psychiatric institution–that you were a liar, who was so completely disruptive through the questions you’d asked about the faith you wished to belong to, that it had been ‘decided’ that you were not to be allowed to take those classes.  Would you be shocked at hearing those lies about yourself coming from the lips of someone whom you’d never met in your life?  Would you almost feel as though you were in an episode of “The Twilight Zone”, yet no one had told you about it?   And, to make things worse, you weren’t even going to get paid for being in it! 

   So, there you sat on this gorgeous, sunny afternoon, mouth agape at hearing that type of ugly, gossipy nonsense coming out of the mouth of this Church official–the one who had invited you over to the Church via email, to speak to you–you had envisioned him to be someone in whom you could trust to help answer your questions.  You had been expecting him to be kind, and helpful.  Instead, guess what?!  Plus, what he was saying about you he could not possibly have even come close to knowing unless he’d been speaking to others within that ‘branch’ of your family tree—you know, the ones who seemed to hate you for no good reason, and you could never figure out why–the ones who must be gossiping about you even with someone like this Church official whom you’d never met, nor heard of, until that fateful afternoon. 

      You heard the distortions, the outright lies, the twisted view of you that you recognized as needing to have it’s origin in someone who hated you far more than you ever thought possible in your life–yet, here the lies were being repeated back to you by this total stranger, as though they were all true, and that he’d believed every, single word of those damnable, baseless lies, and had sentenced you to ‘death’ without even so much as a trial!  So, in complete shock at what this man is saying to you, and after he’d called you a liar to your face, when you’d tried to explain about the two priests who’s YouTube channel you’d come across, who had been behind why you’d asked what you did about ‘the seat of Peter’ being ‘vacant’–you had only needed someone to explain what in the world those two, apparently renegade, priests had been talking about–yet, there is this stranger suddenly telling you that you are lying, that there really had been no two priests, etc.!  

   Then, as you ask him if he’d actually read the emails that you’d written to the head of the class, asking him for his help in clearing up your questions, he exclaims that he has–yet, you could tell just from what he’d been saying that he had not read all of them–he’d stopped prior to reading the one in which you’d let the class instructor know that everything was ok, that you’d finally done enough research on your own so that your questions had been answered–but, the one who’s calling you this “Trouble-maker!” [his very words about you] is now sitting there, lying to you about having read them all!  So, you quickly rise to your feet, mumble something about how you’re going to ‘stay a Lutheran!’, then you turn and walk out the door as fast as you can, and you call for your spouse to please come and pick you up–that you’ll be walking down the other side of that road, but you just feel this dire need to get off that Church’s property as quickly as your legs can carry you!

  Ever have one of those days?  Well, I pray you never have, nor ever will!  It would break your heart, as well as freeze your mind in place, due to seeming so surreal!  Your puzzlement would last for hours-in-to-days, with questions swirling through your head day and night.  You demanded answers to be found among the facts of what you’d just been through, and you knew the answers were there, among those facts surrounding what happened.  You simply needed to sift through it all to find them. 

   However, the worst thing of all is the fact that now you have been literally banned from taking those classes you needed so badly, as well as from having any of your concerns about conversion answered by those giving the classes–it seemed as though the way to converting had just been successfully blocked to you, and it shocked you to your very core!  You realized that the story of your journey to joining that Church was a very long, and detailed one, and that you believed the Lord had been with you the entire way, helping you cope with disappointments, with misunderstandings, as well as with fears that would well up inside your heart due to the awful things that you’d been told about that Church by fellow believers.  Yet, you had the memory of how you fully believed that the Lord Himself had helped you feel such love, and sense of belonging, for and with that particular denomination, way back when you were so young. 

      That He also was behind the love that welled up inside your heart each time you’d even think about that Church, and how you longed to be among it’s parish members, being able to finally feel like a part of the earthly family of Christ.  Yet, you could never quite get there over the years, and the reasons are manifold, and even complicated.  You’d never given up hope, though, that sooner or later He’d be able to help you overcome what stood in your way, so you could finally become a part of the Church you seemed to even love, without knowing a thing about it, so long ago. 

   Yet, in spite of everything you’d had to deal with that had kept you from becoming a member of that denomination, you’d still kept that hope alive–but, at that awful moment you realized that another obstacle had just landed between you and your dream, and this time it was far more serious than anything had ever been before.  This time someone was telling you not only that you were ‘crazy’, but that you also were a liar, and worst of all–a “Trouble-maker!”–who was being forbidden the chance to become a member of that particular branch of the family of God and Christ.  Now, what do you do?!  How do you go about being able to clear your name, and ‘set the record straight’?!  You are so traumatized over what happened that you can’t even think clearly, let alone make any plans to clear everything up.  You see that your hopes and dreams about it all have suddenly landed at your feet after being tossed back into your face, and the shock, dismay and deep-down hurt seems like the end of the world, as though you’ll never be able to overcome things this time around.  It’s all over. 

   Yet, you finally realize that, since:

“All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”[Romans 8:28 KJV]

That, even though things seemed about as bleak as they could ever be, you still had to remember the words of God within that verse, and trust the Lord had good answers for what had just happened, and that He would make it all work out for the best in the end. 

   So, you remember to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding”[Proverbs 3:5 KJV], in spite of wanting so desperately to find a way to clear things up somehow, and charge forward in your attempt to reach what has always been your goal.  Yet, there you sit, so many years later, still haunted by what had happened that fateful afternoon, with still no answers in sight as to how to remedy the situation.  You’re still considered a “Trouble-maker!” by the local Church, so going ‘over their heads’, and finding a way around it all by seeking out another Church in some other area within the state, or within a neighboring one, almost seems too, too daunting–and, the explaining that you know you would be facing all makes finding a path into the Church way too tough a ‘row to hoe’–you’ve already met with the world’s worst heartache after your son was killed in the war in Afghanistan, then having that particular ‘branch’ of your family seemingly reject you–how in the world does one overcome an obstacle as daunting as this hate filled slander?! 

      Also–could the Lord possibly be showing you that He has other plans for you, and they do not include your becoming a member of that particular denomination, no matter how much you’ve set your heart on doing so?   If so, then why in the world did that love ever grow inside your heart the way it did, beginning back when you had even decided to be an atheist after encountering a persistent but sweet elderly lady who told you the Lord had told her to witness to you about Him?  You didn’t want to be rude to such a sweet elderly lady, but you just couldn’t accept what she was telling you about Him, so you announced that you were going to become an atheist, so she would leave you alone–but, then, as you picked up the phone to call your mother, who was at work, you found yourself inexplicably saying to yourself, “Oh, is God ever going to be mad at me now!”, and then finding yourself ducking as though to miss an invisible smack against your noggin! The whole thing was just so confusing to you!

      You can chuckle about it all now, so many decades later, because some of what you went through back then all does seem so sweet, so innocent due to how young you were, and how ‘unchurched’ you were, due to never really having attended any denomination your entire young life.  Yet, you are no longer young, and you’re feeling left on the outside, looking in, and it’s about as heart wrenching as it could ever get, right then.  With no real answers in sight, no end to this misery appearing ‘on the horizon’ for you.  The Lord still has not helped to find a suitable conclusion–not within your heart, at least.  Maybe the end of the dream might be the real conclusion after all, but you simply have not recognized it for what it is–not just a temporary ‘road block’, but a permanent one instead?  If so, then, why-oh-why does your heart still ache, and the longing to belong still well up inside? 

“But the angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side.”[Numbers 22:24 KJV]

   Not linking yourself to Balaam or anything, since he was the reason the Lord stood there in his way that time, and refused to allow him to pass by, but those words in that verse do seem to be apropos–could they really be the answer as to why you can’t seem to find a path to joining that Church, after all?  If so, then, quite possibly you need to stop ‘beating’ your poor little ‘donkey’ of a dream, and check to see if the Lord truly isn’t why no forward motion towards that Church seems possible for you.  Perhaps.  Maybe.  Ok.  *sigh* 

We’ll see–time will tell, as they say…

     

“Of all the seasons, I love Fall best of all!” I’m so glad it’s finally here!

       

  “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”  ~Martin Luther King Jr.~

                                                                                                                                                    
A “White Knight” Production

*Spoken by Yul Brenner, in the movie, “The King and I”.