Post 318

Reflections on Zelenskiy's Conversation with Trump

I feel very busy these days. I feel that I don’t have enough time to do all of the good things that I feel I am supposed to be doing. I spend a lot of my time driving, and a lot of my time cooking. They are both time-consuming. And, as WiseOne once noted, they’re both dangerous but necessary. Cooking is knives and heat. Driving is speed and heavy machinery.

But I do want to write, even at the cost of not tidying up my kitchen just yet.

Moral choices pop up when you’re not expecting them. I will give you three scenarios involving moral choices. These are all true stories. One or two have happened to me, but let’s pretend they’re your dilemmas:

Story one: You are almost certain that the grocery cashier has made a mistake. You are glad that the chicken is on sale — if you purchase one, you get one free (“BOGO,” meaning ‘Buy One Get One free’) — but the cashier also has to deal with the rain check, and she has hit ‘cancel’ one too many times. Do you point out the error, or do you just pay and leave? It’s not your fault she’s made a mistake.

Story two: You receive an email that you have won a scholarship, but that one condition of collecting this award is working at a casino. It is required, not simply requested. You know that casinos exploit people. You know that many people are tempted by gambling, and that some people lose great amounts of money there, but you have earned this scholarship fair and square.

Story three: The judge has ordered your client to attend for an assessment of her mental health. You know that she is perfectly sane, and that she does not deserve to be put through this. It is a very dirty tactic. Nevertheless, opposing this will require you to go to the Court of Appeal, a prospect which is intimidating, because you’ve never done it. It will take a lot of your time and energy and it will be stressful.

You see, in all of these cases, doing what is right is painful. Did you catch that? Doing what is right can be painful. Sometimes it’s just a little bit painful, and sometimes it is excruciating.

But this is how God sets things up. He wants to know whether you can give up something that you (really, really) want or even something that you think you need, in order to do what is right.

Can you do it?

So let’s say you walk away with the chicken. You argue to yourself that it doesn’t matter. You are, in fact, kind of excited that instead of BOGO, you got BOGT (buy one get three), and you happen to mention it at supper. Your children say, “So you didn’t tell the cashier that she made a mistake?” They ask, “Is she going to get in trouble?” You assure them that the cashier won’t get in trouble. They ask you if you are going to tell the store that you should have paid more. You weren’t thinking of it. It’s true that you still have the receipt, and, in theory, you could go back to the store to pay more. You wonder to yourself what kind of an idiot would do that.

So let’s say you accept the scholarship and you sign up for the casino. The hours are long, and instead of studying more, or doing something wholesome, you’re there adding your energy and friendly face to the gambling industry. The entire atmosphere is foreign to you, and you wonder why anybody would do this. As a game, you think to yourself, which game would I play if I absolutely had to play one?

So let’s say you let your client be tested. The psychologist, being a psychologist, identifies some ‘issues.’ You meet with your client, and now you will tell her that, according to this report, she has such-and-such a condition. In layman’s terms, you will tell her that the professional says she is crazy. She will be distraught, and she will tell her husband and her family that she has been diagnosed with a mental condition. Her family, including her in-laws and her children, will never forget this, and neither will she.

The point is that the consequences of your choices are hidden from you. If you choose to do what is wrong, because it is easier or because it is, in the short term, more pleasant for you, you will set off a chain of events that are problematic. These create new moral choices for you and for others. In general, the second dilemma will require greater effort than the first, but it is God’s second chance for you to fix things.

Let’s do it again. Here’s what really happened.

You pointed out to the cashier that you think she didn’t count all the chicken. She makes you pay for the initial total, and says she will figure it out afterwards. You pay, and then she studies the receipt. Then she realizes you’re right, and she scans one of the chicken packages again. She needs your debit card again because now she’s going to charge you. You were already in somewhat of a rush, and she doesn’t apologize for her error. On the plus side, months later, when you’re trying to think of examples of moral dilemmas for your blog, you can remember this one.

You write back to the lady who offered the scholarship and say thank you very much, but I cannot accept the terms of accepting this scholarship. A few weeks later, you receive another email, and she tells you that the scholarship committee had a meeting, and they have decided that students should not be required to work at casinos. They have changed the policy, and she says that the cheque is now available for you to collect.

You go to the Court of Appeal, and you win. The three Court of Appeal judges rule that a person should not be required to submit for psychological testing when their lawsuit has nothing to do with psychological harm. The case makes its way into the handbook about litigation procedure and also appears in the online case databases. Other lawyers rely on your case in future years, and protect their clients from this dirty tactic.

There’s an expression, “a hill worth dying on,” which asks you whether you feel it is worth suffering or fighting about a certain point. In many cases, it is not. It is not worth arguing with your sister about whether such-and-such a celebrity or athlete is more talented than another, for instance. However, when it comes to moral decisions, they are all hills worth dying on.

Every time you have a moral decision, always choose what is better, even if it hurts.

Shall I retype that?

I urge this. Perhaps I am nobody to you, but consider what I say because it’s true, and not for any other reason.

Always choose to do the right thing, no matter what you believe the consequences will be. Do not give yourself the excuse that you are doing this TEENY wrong thing in order to bring some greater benefit overall. The expression “the end does not justify the means” is the best guideline.

It doesn’t matter that nobody will ever know what your moral choice was.
It doesn’t matter that nobody will get hurt if you don’t do what’s right.
It doesn’t matter that somebody else would probably do the wrong thing if you don’t do it.

Choose what is right, no matter how much it costs you.

For you see, this moral dilemma was part of God’s plan for you. He wanted you to win these moral battles. He wanted you as his soldier.

Let’s consider the case of Volodymyr Zelenskiy (Зеле́нський is sometimes written as Zelenskyy or Zelensky), President of Ukraine. He was elected recently, and his life’s story has been interesting so far. LoyalOne follows Ukrainian politics closely, and keeps me up to date. He has made significant changes to Ukraine in his fight against corruption. He has fired many people, and replaced them with those of his choosing. He is so popular that he has been able to fill his parliament with politicians who are loyal to him.

God of course had a plan for him too. God is good, and he always has a plan. His plan for Zelenskiy was to allow him to be a light for the Ukrainian people, to give them hope. For too long, the people of Ukraine have suffered under corruption. They took a chance when they gave Zelenskiy, this non-politician, the right to govern.
In many key ways, Zelenskiy has been doing what is good. Sometimes the decisions have been rather unpopular, but Zelenskiy has, for the most part, enjoyed his role as the Leader Against Corruption. Doing the right thing can be enjoyable.

God knows that Russia continues to harm Ukraine, and that Ukraine wants foreign help. God knows that the war is unjust, and that people are dying. He also knows that it is good for other countries to help Ukraine, but that most are not helping as much as they could. His plan was for the world to know that Zelenskiy is trying to fight corruption, and that countries can be changed for the better. A leader who makes good moral decisions will set his country on a new path, and God wanted Zelenskiy to be that leader.

God had a message to the world about corruption, and he wanted Zelenskiy to demonstrate that corruption could be fought, and how to fight it.

So God allowed a moral dilemma to be presented to Zelenskiy.

Zelenskiy would be asked to do something wrong, in exchange for things that Zelenskiy really wanted. You know this story. Zelenskiy knew, before his telephone call to American president Trump, that Trump would not be willing to talk with him unless he were willing to discuss the case of Hunter Biden.

The name “Hunter Biden” would have initially been unfamiliar to Zelenskiy, and he would have asked his aides to explain why Trump would care so much about Hunter Biden, an American. The aides would explain that the Biden family is a personal, political rival for Trump.

Zelenskiy would be asked to assist Trump in its attack on Hunter Biden. Before the telephone call, Zelenskiy would not have known the exact form of the help that Trump would request, but it would probably involve prosecution of Hunter Biden using the Ukrainian legal system.

This is wrong because neither Trump nor Zelenskiy should be involved in prosecutions. There must be a separation between the leader of a country and the prosecutors. The prosecutors should not begin prosecuting people just because the leader personally wants it. Similarly, prosecutors should not desist from prosecuting people because the leader wants it. That is corruption of the legal system. The legal system, in order to be a good legal system, must be free from interference by politicians. It is also an abuse of political power. Political power is given by the voters to leaders so that the leaders will govern well, not so that the leaders can fulfill their personal wishes. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did wrong in pressuring his Justice Minister to proceed differently in the criminal case against a big Canadian company called SNC-Lavalin which was involved in bribery in Libya.

As a reward for agreeing to do what Trump wanted, Zelenskiy understood that he would get so much of what he very much wanted. In the first place, he would receive hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid. This aid would allow him to fight Russia, and possibly enable him to achieve his goal of ending the fighting and ending the deaths. Success on this front is so important to Zelenskiy. In the second place, Zelenskiy could gain a powerful ally, and thereby achieve economic success. In the third place, friendship with Trump would prove that Zelenskiy was as skillful a diplomat as the previous president.

During the July 2019 telephone call, Trump gave details to Zelenskiy about the “favour” that he wanted. Trump was wanting a foreign government to begin investigations against one of his own citizens. Zelenskiy did not ask, “Who is Mr. Biden?” because he already knew. Indeed, Zelenskiy said that he was “knowledgeable about the situation.”

We all face moral dilemmas, and this one was Zelenskiy’s. You can see that it would have been painful to do the right thing. But a leader must be morally clean.

Zelenskiy’s past includes script-writing. Mine does too. Here’s what he could have said, “I am knowledgeable about the situation, and I can sympathize 100%. Indeed, I can sympathize 1000%. You know that I hate to see corruption in any form, and if this Hunter Biden was involved in any corruption, it would be very unfortunate. At present, I do not have a general prosecutor assigned, but I will be doing my best to choose someone who is very competent and ethical. The problem, however — and I hate to say this because we rely on the United States as our very great friend, and because we are counting on the military financial support that has been set aside for Ukraine — is that I cannot raise this subject with my prosecutor. Even if I wanted to, I cannot. Our system is arranged so that the prosecution is independent from the office of the president and the prosecution pursues cases based only on the information gathered by our police force or own intelligence agents. I hope you are not too dismayed, because I am hoping to be on good terms with you and the United States.”

Yes, it would have been difficult. I know this. I know it would have felt very scary to break the news to this famous and powerful world leader that he could not cooperate in this way.

But he should have resisted Trump’s plans as soon as he could see that there were any immoral elements in it. Immorality means that you have deviated from God’s plan. And God’s plan is always superior.

And what was God’s plan? How would it have played out?

Allow me to provide you with my theory.

This telephone call would have become public, not based on what Zelenskiy agreed to, but based on what Trump had requested. The entirety of the slimy request would have become known, and Zelenskiy would be on record as having stood his ground against this type of corruption. Immediately, Zelenskiy would have been known everywhere and hailed as a hero. It would be the David and Goliath story, believe me. He was born for the role of a young David — he is short (5’6” or 5’7”), he is Jewish, he is energetic, and he is ready for a challenge.

This was his moment.

We would have seen the pressure put on him by a lumbering Goliath (6’3”), who is used to having his way, who is uncouth and who has his mind in the gutter, and we would have seen how the hero, Zelenskiy, was polite yet firm. We would have admired him. The world would have admired him, and the stature of Ukraine, Ukrainians and Zelenskiy would have risen. This was what God wanted for him.

Instead, we have this.

The document which has been released, referred to as a transcript (even though it is not verbatim), may be followed later by the verbatim transcript, which is currently (and suspiciously) under lock and key.

But even this unclassified document is enough to show that Zelenskiy was excessively deferential to Trump. Zelenskiy must be so embarrassed that everyone can see how pathetic and groveling he looked. But what is worse is that Zelenskiy agreed to do Trump’s bidding. Zelenskiy said “I will:”

Zelenskiy: I wanted to tell you about the prosecutor. First of all, I understand and I’m knowledgeable about the situation. Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament, the next prosecutor general will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved, by the parliament and will start as a new prosecutor in September. He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue. The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case. On top of that, I would kindly ask you if you have any additional information that you can provide to us, it would be very helpful for the investigation to make sure that we administer justice in our country with regard to the Ambassador to the United States from Ukraine as far as I recall her name was Ivanovich. It was great that you were the first one who told me that she was a bad ambassador because I agree with you 100%. Her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous President and she was on his side. She would not accept me as a new President well enough.

Some have shown ‘understanding’ for Zelenskiy in this situation, by which I mean that they have — almost without thinking — excused Zelenskiy’s behaviour as being unavoidable. The idea is that Zelenskiy is a new, inexperienced, and weak politician who is understandably desperate. The idea is that nobody could have expected Zelenskiy to do any better.

I disagree. Zelenskiy is very intelligent. He is observant and socially skillful. He understands the law. He went to law school. He didn’t need to be a pawn. He didn’t need to agree to be a puppet. I am not surprised that Zelenskiy insists that he was not pushed, that he was making his own decisions. Unfortunately, people are not listening, because they want to write their own narrative.

Furthermore, Zelenskiy had help in this moral dilemma. He had two kinds of help.

First, he had human help in the form of advisors, as many as he wanted. If he had doubts or questions about ethics or legality, he had access to almost anyone he could have wanted. Yet he would have needed less help than someone less educated; a law school graduate does not always know the answers, but at least he has learned to see where the issues are. Indeed, he knew there were issues even before he had the telephone call.

Second, he had help in the form of grace. God gives grace to people all the time, but there is extra grace given to those who are faced with moral dilemmas, and there are extra graces given to those who lead others. This grace gives people wisdom to know what to do, and gives people strength to do what is difficult.

So where does this leave us?

God, being good, always has a plan. In his love for Zelenskiy and for Trump, their plan did not go any further. It was exposed before either could act on it. Zelenskiy wants to point out that he hasn’t contacted his prosecutor, and he wants to tell the world that his prosecutor is professional, and educated in the west, because Zelenskiy knows what is ethical and what isn’t, but that isn’t the part that the media is interested in. It’s too late now, and it shows he knew exactly where the problem was.

And as a side note, I will say that the era we are living in is one of revelation. What is spoken in secret is being proclaimed from the rooftops. All manner of wrong-doing is coming to light, and we are discovering that so many powerful and admired people have done so much that is wrong. It is good for all of this truth to be revealed. Sometimes, contrition doesn’t even begin until sins are exposed. Now is the time for people to be contrite; now is the time for people to admit what they have done wrong.

God’s immediate plan for Zelenskiy is for him to apologize. Zelenskiy knows that what he did was wrong. He was wrong to agree to cooperate with Trump’s plan. He should apologize to Ukraine. This apology will be more difficult than saying ‘no’ to Trump in the first place, but it would be the best starting point. And besides, being who he is, Zelenskiy would be able to apologize well. He could show the world how it should be done. God knows the world has heard too many bad apologies.

But I don’t think he will apologize. In his pride, he wants to pretend it didn’t happen, or make light of it. So that is a moral failing on top of a moral failing.

But that is not all of God’s plan for him. The second part of God’s plan is is for him to continue to fight corruption, but now he must do so with more humility. The world knows that he agreed to do what was corrupt himself, when the benefits were great, and the conversation was secret. His fight against corruption will be consequently harder, because it will always seem somewhat hypocritical. And he will not have the help that he would have received if he had acted heroically.

But that is not all of God’s plan. Zelenskiy did not allow himself to be a hero, so God will use him as an example.


Post 317

Hit List: Top 20 Posts

So, for almost no reason at all, other than the fact that I find it interesting, I decided to tell you which of my posts are the most popular so far. Back in December of 2016, I listed the top 10 as it stood then.

Just for the record, I don’t actually believe the stats on my blog, so I don’t study them or keep track of them. (I also don’t keep track of subscribers or look at their email addresses, so if you subscribe or unsubscribe, that’s entirely between you and the technology of this blog. I hope the technology treats you well.) You see, I once asked EfficientOne to hide them from me, and it seems that he has really fictionalized those numbers, because they don’t really make sense anymore. But you know, it’s better for me this way, and, in fact, I would recommend this practice of not watching statistics, because watching stats is what messes up so many people on social media. They live for the numbers, and that’s a really, really, unfortunate thing to live for. They are happy when they’ve gotten more attention, and downcast when people seem disinterested, as if their personal worth as a human being has been determined for the better or worse. (But truly, some of the people on social media with the ‘best’ numbers are doing the very worst damage to humanity, doling out advice that is very harmful, and setting examples that are unwholesome, and that will, if followed, lead to a lot of individual pain and suffering.) But people find it difficult not to care about ‘their’ numbers. And, perhaps worst of all, they don’t want to admit how influenced they are by these numbers they watch, so they feel that they can’t admit to anyone why they’re sad. It’s too bad! Please, notice how social media is making you feel, and make changes! Unsubscribe. Clear your mind. Protect your heart.

I have omitted the posts with the messages, because I didn’t compose those.

I am sure that all bloggers would say that they are surprised at which posts are the most popular, in the same way that singers would say that they’re surprised at which songs climb the charts, and in the same way that an author is surprised at which novels have become bestsellers. For the purposes of this post, I’m assuming that the numbers that I see about hits are reliable enough to show which are popular. Truth be told, I reread some of them to see what on earth I had written, and to guess at why those had been chosen. But anyway, here are my chart climbers — my best sellers:

The 20 Most Popular Posts (most popular at the top):

Post 236 Here’s My Essay, Baby! A Critique of the English 30-1 Diploma Examinations
Post 43 Zoom Zoom Beep Beep: Reflections on a Restless Culture
Post 18 Zip it: Five Reasons Not to Blog
Post 210 A Little Bit About Your Lawywer
Post 53 One Candle: Reflections at Christmastide
Post 44 Call Me When It’s Over: Reflections on Book Clubs
Post 288 Up Late Last Night
Post 286 Required Reading: Four Truths About Motherhood to Counter the Four Modern Lies
Post 293 9 Seven Steps: Reflections on Being a Prophet
Post 294 Sent
Post 285 The Grand Finale: A Recipe for December
Post 289 Hidden Depths: Reflections on Identity and Suicide
Post 229 Where Do You Go and the Other Inspired Song of 1996
Post 20 Bystander: Reflections on the Context of Suffering
Post 290 Because I Actually Like Quebec: Reflections on the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist
Post 292 Canada Day 2018
Post 291 All That Noise: Reflections on Envy
Post 19 Blogging: Reflections on Reflecting Aloud
Post 3 Unprofitable Talents: Reflections on Hobbies
Post 261 Right to Rewrite? Reflections on a Revised Version of The Merchant of Venice
Post 316

Tears of Joy

God knows everything.
God knows who you would want to see in heaven.

God knows that Julja would want to see her sister again, the one who died too young.
God knows that Jim would want to see his brother again, the one who died too young.
God knows that Laird would want to see his mother again, though he pretended he didn’t care.
God knows that Marilyn would want to see her mother again, because everything was left unsaid.
God knows that Diane would want to see her father again, because he seemed to understand.
God knows that Tonia would want to see her grandmother again, the one who loved her so.
God knows that Leah would want to see her parents again, the ones who died too early.
God knows that Donna would want to see her son again, the one who died too young.
God knows that Anita would want to see her father again, though she pretended she didn’t care.
God knows that Phillip would want to see his grandmother again, the only parent he had.
God knows that Alla would want to see her husband again, even though she divorced him.

God knows that children would want to see their fathers again, the ones who left too early.
God knows that those parents would want to see their children again, the ones who died in the crash.
God knows that those parents would want to see their sons again, the ones who died on duty.
God knows that those parents would want to see their children again, the ones who died in the fire.
God knows that those parents would want to see their children again, the ones who died in the hospital.
God knows that those children would want to see their mothers again, the ones who were taken too early.
God knows that those children would want to see their parents again, the ones who didn’t have a chance to say goodbye.

God knows that those women would want to see their babies again, the ones who were born, but didn’t survive.
God knows that those women would want to see their babies, the ones they miscarried.
God knows that those women would want to see their babies, the ones they aborted.
God knows that those men would want to see the children they lost.

God knows that women would want to meet the children that they didn’t know they had conceived.
God knows that men would want to meet the children that they didn’t know they had conceived.
God knows that people would want to meet the siblings that they didn’t know their parents had conceived.
God knows that people would want to meet the siblings that even their parents didn’t know they had conceived.
God knows that people would want to meet their guardian angel.

God knows everything.

God knows who I would want to see, even better than I do.
But I made a list anyway.

Anthony, Theresa.
Bernice, Wilbur, Yoo-hi, Kyoo-ik.
Eun-ja, John, Antony, Ram.
Tobit, Job, Noah.
Teresa and Thérèse.
Thomas and Thomas.
Gilbert, Josemaría, Karol.
Rosa, Gertrude, Orest.
Peter, Paul, Joseph,
Mary and Jesus.
And my guardian angel too.

Post 315

Remind Me

And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’”

And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth.”

And Jesus, looking upon him, loved him,
and said to him, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

At that saying, his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful; for he …

 (Mark 10:17-22)

. . . was very cool.

He had a cool truck, cool cars, and a cool motorbike. He wore cool clothes and he had cool hair. He had a cool place and cool furniture and he listened to cool music. He played in a cool band. He drank cool beer and smoked cool cigarettes. He had cool friends and went to cool parties. He had a cool job. He watched cool things on television and online. He made cool food and he ate at cool restaurants. He had a cool dog. He had cool bikes and cool skateboards and cool snowboards. He went on cool trips to cool places and did cool things. He had a cool walk and cool talk about cool things. He sent cool text messages, sometimes with cool pictures.

Those who talked to him knew how cool he was, though he would deny his own coolness (almost nothing and almost nobody — not even himself — was really cool enough for him).

And yes, he was even born cool. (He was that baby with the deep voice.)

The only problem was that
He didn’t know who he was.

He had invested so heavily in cool.
And he had lost so much in everything else.
He had lost so much.

In the first place, he didn’t know how to take the risks that mattered.

He became afraid
Very afraid
Of expressing himself
Of showing that he cared
Of fighting for the underdog
Whom he loved
With a fierce and tremendous love

He became afraid
Very afraid
Of apologizing
Of admitting that he had failed to help
In your time of need

He became afraid
Very afraid
Of making big changes
Of admitting that he had chosen the wrong path

In the second place,
He did not open doors that were there
He did not fight the battles that were his
He did not find treasure meant for him
He did not win the victories he should have won
He did not speak the words that would have healed

And he missed the people in his midst

(And when they were gone
He missed them)

Oh, I am sad for him!
I am sad for his losses.
I am sad at his stubbornness.

Please, remind me that I must not be sad
Remind me that his God is a God of second chances.
Remind me that his God is a God of starting over.

His God is bigger and better than all of this.

He can rescue even the cool.

Jesus looked at them and said, “For man, this is impossible, but not with God. All things are possible with God.”

(Mark 10:27)

Post 314
For True Sisters

Tell Me

Oh, Cinderella!
Tell me about that evening
How the moon shone upon the lake
How your carriage flew as if on wings
Your heart was full
You felt you could not be happier
You could want for nothing more

Oh, Cinderella!
Tell me about your dress
Covered in Slavic roses
Velvet and ribbons and embroidery
Embroidery and embroidery
Lace and layers
You smiled as you twirled, delighted

Oh, Cinderella!
Tell me about your slippers
Were they completely of glass?
Some say they were actually kierpce
Reminiscent of distant mountains
Is it true that the shoes were left until last?
Is it true that you almost had none?

Oh, Cinderella!
Tell me about your victory
How you went to the ball
Against the schemes of false sisters
How astounded they were
To see you radiant, lovely and sweet
Graceful, beautiful, unique

Oh, Cinderella!
Tell me about the dancing
How did it feel to step so lightly, so quickly
To twirl?
They all saw how happy you were
Music filled the evening air
You felt you could dance forever

Oh, Cinderella!
Tell me about the promise
What did the Prince
Whisper in your ear?
Did he speak of the future?
Is it true that he said he would never forget you?
That he would always be with you?

Oh, Cinderella!
Tell me, finally, about your secret ally
Who knew how to gather pieces of this and pieces of that
Your godmother, no less
What did it cost her to give you this dress?
Is magic the word, or shall we speak
Of sacrifice, determination, patience, and love?



Post 313
(A guest post by Miriam C.)

December 20, 2017

My daughter, I love you.

The time is near when your Saviour shall come again. Rejoice, for now a time of victory is coming, a time of peace, a new era. Prepare for your Saviour.


By praying and going to confession. Change your cold hearts, change your cruel ways; repent, for your Father is waiting for you to come back to him. You are his child; he made you and knew you before left your mother’s womb. I loved you when you were an innocent child. I loved you and cared for you when you turned against me. I love you still, and care for you and protect you even when you hurt me and even when you hurt what is good. Come home to where your Father waits for you and loves you unconditionally. You will be rewarded, and given the grace to do what is good. I am your Shepherd. I will give you the grace to know to follow and to follow.

My children, you do not know what awaits you, you do not know how (well) I know what you want. There will be new forests where the trees were cut down. No one will need to worry about paper; the trees will be plentiful and flourish with fruit. The grass will become green, and artificial grass will be removed. Weeds will not reproduce so vigorously, but one will still be able to blow the white fluff from dandelions. The spray-paint on buildings and tunnels shall all be gone, and (even what seemed) permanent will go. Tattoos and piercings will all vanish. Food shall be plentiful and new varieties of fish and birds will come. There will no longer be strange animals of the sea; sting rays, sea snakes, crocodiles and all that is ugly will be gone. The land animals that are ugly and dangerous will also go — the snakes and the insects, the lizards and toads. For these were signs; as the lamb and the wolf are signs, so were the ugly creatures. But now is a new era, and now I want to show you (all) something else. I want to show you new horses, butterflies like rainbows, birds in new colours, new dolphins that can leap through the oceans. Everyone who wants to return to their homeland will be able to, and nothing will stop them. It will not be so expensive to fly, so that the children of poor families will be able to travel to see the creations of God.

Disneyland and artificial beauty will be changed into useable space. Homes will not be gigantic, they shall be built (according to) what you need for your family. For if you took one big house and changed it to match the personal size that the owners need, you could fit many pretty houses, for many families.

People will come to understand the Catholic faith in a deeper way. I love my people and I know what they wanted when they were little children.

I am glad you told those in FTR my message. I have many plans for all who will accept them. I have plans for their jobs, for their homes, for a family or religious life. Some of these plans they know, and some I will reveal later. I have plans for their families as well. I have FTR as part of the plan, a plan that will affect the world now and in the future. They are my children, whom I love and care for. I have loved them and watched them through their childhood to adulthood. I loved them even when they chose wrongly. I know what they want and what they care about. I know what is best for them and I will show them the way. Those who chose to follow (in FTR) will have a special purpose and role in my plan for when I come again . . .

Rejoice, for your Saviour and Shepherd will return, with many gifts for the world.

Post 312
(A guest post by Miriam C.)

December 19, 2017

My daughter, do not be afraid to believe. Do not worry; all of your dreams will come true; all that I have promised will happen. I will not let you believe and be disappointed. Do not think about it (the promises) not happening, because it will.

Those who accept the promises of God are rewarded and never deceived or disappointed. For I promised your fathers of old many gifts, and those who believed and accepted received them. I have gifts for everyone; I have plans for everyone and those who want my gifts can have them. For the Father wants his children to be happy and rejoice, for he gave his people his only Son, whom they put to death. Your Father knows what you long for; He knows what is most precious to you and what you fear most. I know what you want when you are unsure. Trust and follow me, for I will lead you. If you follow, I will give you what you want and deserve. For you will be rewarded. Those who follow Him are blessed and exalted, but those who refuse to touch his gifts and take his hand will not receive these gifts. They are still my children, whom I love, and I still give them another chance to take my hand and follow me.

For you must forget about your worldly possessions and follow me. You must trust me and leave your home and pick up your staff and follow your Lord and Shepherd. For when your Shepherd wants to take his sheep to new rich pastures, will you leave your old fields and home and trust your Shepherd or will you refuse to follow and remain? When your Master comes, who will follow him, and who will be unfaithful to him? For this is a test. It is I, your Master, and I am ready to take you to my best pastures, I want to lead you to your home of eternal happiness. Come, follow me, and I will take you home.

Post 311
(A guest post by Miriam C.)

December 17, 2017

My daughter, I love you. You are my daughter, my child.

The father’s love is so great, beyond imagination. He loves his children more than many know. Many do not know the love of God; many underestimate what he wants for his people. Many do not realize how much he loves them, even if they hurt him. His love is unconditional; his mercy is unimaginable. He loves his children like no other. Those who are sorry for their actions but afraid to come to their Father do not understand his love. His mercy is a gift that he wants to share with all. He wants to pour down graces on all. How it pains the Father to see his children disregard his gifts. He knows what they want; I know what you want. Do not hesitate to repent, for those who come back are forgiven and rewarded. Do not be ashamed to come to him, and never assume your sin is unforgivable. Many do (great) evil and never repent. Many are not sorry. Those who return shall be blessed, and those who do not repent will not be ready. For the time is near, when your Saviour will return.

[What about FTR?]

Those in it will have a special role. They will be blessed for accepting this gift. I have (many) plans for those in it . . . It is part of my plan which I knew of before they came in. It is a gift, something special which will become known. Those who accept this gift will be rewarded, and those who (in the end) rejected it will know what they rejected. They will know what it is and they will know it was real. It is not only a social group; it is a group I have plans for. And those who accept these plans will receive them.

. . .

Do not be afraid; do not worry, for you are in my care, my arms, and no other’s. Always come to me when you are sad or distressed and always come to me when you are lonely. I am your guide and your shepherd, your Father and your brother. I am the giver of life, for those who eat my body and drink my blood will live.


. . . I gave you teeth not to worry about but to enjoy food, my gift. I inspired dentists to fix teeth and improve them, not to tell lies about them. Do not worry; they do not know. They do not know about God and His ways. Do not let them feed you falsehoods . . . There will be dentists, but not all who are currently dentists will be later, for some are not doing what they should be; they are scaring (people) and telling lies, which is not pleasing to me. I inspire dentists and some are good and do help.

But after I return, things will be very different. When I come again, the earth will change. No longer will people need to worry about natural disasters, no longer will injustice and evil reign. Everything will become straight, and everything will become as (it) should be. And those who accepted my promises will be rewarded.

Constitutions will be changed, and the law will be just and right(eous). Countries struggling for independence — the issues will be resolved. The war zones throughout the earth will become peaceful and flourish and the villages will be restored . . . There is no place on earth where there is not one innocent person who loves their home . . . After I come again, the earth shall be cleansed; volcanoes and tornadoes will be gone. Swords and spears, guns and bombs will no longer be used and will be discarded, for a time of peace is coming; lay down your swords. No longer do you need to defend your country. For war shall cease and families will return home.





Post 310


Have you ever found something in an old book? I think it’s kind of interesting to think that right now, there are many objects quietly tucked away into many books in many libraries around the world, still undiscovered.

How many times have we slipped things into books and then forgotten them? I once tucked my passport into my travel book, and promptly forgot that I had done that. It wasn’t until I had travelled to the capital (Belgrade), gotten a new passport issued from the Canadian embassy, and went through too many things that I found it. It hadn’t been stolen, and I hadn’t lost it forever. It was with me the whole time.

On February 22, 1961, Oрест Барабаш typed up his Ukrainian-language homework. He put his address on it: Едмонтон, 8919-88 вул.

This document was typed up very carefully, on a typewriter that had the ability to type in red, but no special way to correct mistakes. With the early typewriters, when you made an error, it could be a big deal. If you didn’t want to start all over again, you could do nothing better than type upper-case Xs on top of your typo. Some of the later typewriters had a lift-off ribbon that could remove characters that you didn’t want. Such a convenience! I know because over the course of my life, I have spent many, many hours at a typewriter, mainly typing out essays. I have always counted my typing class as the most useful course that I took in high school.

Anyway, this document has been graded. The instructor gave him 95% on one section, and 94% on another.

I was curious when I found it. Where was Orest now? How old was he? Wouldn’t it be funny if he still lived at the same address, and what would he think if you showed up with this document at his doorstep, 58 years later? I wasn’t even born when he typed it.

And in case you’re not keeping track, I’m 49 now. I am the same age as my dog, if you do that thing where you multiply the dog’s age by 7. My birthday landed on Easter Sunday this year, and that had never happened in my life. It will happen again in 2030 though, so I’m looking forward to that. My brother sent me a happy birthday email. Brothers are good that way.

So, being curious, I did what a person would do nowadays, and ran an online search of Orest’s name.

Orest came from Ukraine with his parents when he was about a year old. His brothers, Bohdan and Volodymyr, would have been born in Canada, but his mother must have died when Orest was quite young. His father, Harry, was a photographer, and named his photography studio after his son, calling it Orest Photography Studio and Cameras Ltd. I found out a little bit about Orest’s stepmother online too.

Orest attended St. Joseph’s Catholic high school, and received a silver medal for his high marks.

By the time he was 16, he was attending the University of Alberta, as an honours math student. He was part of two university clubs, both with Ukrainian names: Zarevo and Obnova. Off campus, he participated in a group called Plast, which is the Ukrainian Boy Scouts group, and he was a camping instructor for the Cubs. He also competed in tennis. And you could sometimes find him на лижах (on skiis) in Jasper or Banff. He competed in downhill skiing. In short, Orest was the kind of person who did his best at everything that he could, the kind of person who would easily collect all the scholarships that are always offered for people like him.

I am not sure what kind of illness Orest had, but the article in the February 18, 1966 Edmonton Journal says that he had a long-term illness, and died at the General Hospital while in third-year university. He was 18.

A funeral was held for him at St. George’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, and he is buried at St. Michael’s Cemetary.

His date of death was February 16, 1966, almost exactly 5 years after he typed out his Ukrainian language homework, got it marked, and tucked it away in a book and forgot about it. He would have been 13.

But now this document has been found, and with it, we can remember its author.

Привіт, Orest! Як справи?

When you were alive on earth, there was no such thing as a blog. But now — surprise! — you’re in it, and so is your homework!

: D





Post 309
(A guest post by Miriam C.)

December 16, 2017

My daughter, you have worked with a full effort, and that is what will be rewarded. Do not worry any longer . . . Now you can rest and enjoy what you have waited for . . . It is the effort that matters, and if you try your hardest, you shall be rewarded . . . Do not let the earthly trials and hardships disappoint you, for grades are valuable here but in the kingdom of God, they are not. Your efforts are blessed and rewarded, and if you try your hardest to learn a subject, you will be given what you want (that subject). On earth, your transcript is ‘honoured’ and of great value; one wants it to look impressive and admirable, but this is merely a document. Much of one’s earthly identity/status is shown and proven through this, however, it is your actions and intentions that are creating your real transcript, your official record. Your good actions are much higher than A’s, and your righteous intentions are much higher than 100%’s, for in the kingdom of God they are of great value.

[How will heaven be better/different?]

Heaven is much greater than earth; do not worry or doubt that heaven could be better than earth, for in heaven no one dies and there is no sadness; there are all of the worldly gifts, as well as the heavenly. There is more than one could want in heaven, and its beauty is beyond compare.

The day your Saviour comes will change humanity like never before. No longer will school and work have such unjust hierarchies, and no longer will there be unjust rulers leading countries. Food and water will be free for all. Cloth and fabric will be cleansed, and clothes shall be improved. Fashions will change, and it will an embarrassment to wear immodest clothing. The holy day of Saints will be only to honour saints, and symbols of death shall vanish. Countries’ symbols and wrong shapes will change and the idols will be destroyed . . . The Church shall reign and be above all. She will be respected. Cultures, skin colours, and nationalities will be equal . . .

New plants will bear fresh fruit, and the soil will be nourished. The stars will always shine, and the deserted deserts will be rich. Houses will be built, and apartments will (mostly) be destroyed. There will be enough land for all (and houses), for the large (useless) buildings and stores will be removed. The world will no longer be divided. And new plants will come to the earth with new flowers and fruit. There will also be new animals; there will be new birds, new fish, new horses . . . The snows will melt, and Greenland will be green. Everything will change, and peace will come.