The Devil’s Sneeze

In case you missed it:Cedar Fever

When the numbers are so high you can’t tell whether it’s the Powerball Jackpot or the pollen count, you know it’s cedar time in Texas.  Even as the rest of the country is getting a respite from allergies, we are deep in the misery that is cedar pollen.  And yes, if you’re wondering why we’ve been so quiet these last few weeks, it’s because of allergies. 

By the way, that tree in the photo is not smoking, it’s releasing pollen.  Or as I like to call it, the Devil’s Sneeze.

Up close each once of those millions of pollen grains look like this, with lots of little points to latch onto everything in their path – mostly you, your clothes, your hair, they’ll take whatever they can get to make you miserable.

juniper-sem Magnified even more, each one of those microscopic bumps looks like this:

Which is why we all feel so wretched when cedar season hits.  Not just runny noses and itchy, watery eyes, (not to mention the ensuing sinus infections) but exhausted and achy, too, like getting repeatedly run over by a Mack truck.  Driven by Jaws.

So if you’re enjoying an allergy free winter somewhere nice (by nice, I mean anywhere that doesn’t have cedar pollen, which means even the inside of a volcano counts as nice), please take pity on us Texans and offer a prayer for our shark ravaged sinuses.

First posted January 21, 2013

Protecting Religious Liberty in Texas

the_village_weddingWe hope you have been reading the statements from the US bishops reaffirming their commitment to the Church’s teaching about marriage.  Civic leaders have been speaking out as well.  We are proud of our own Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, for his commitment to defend the religious liberty of all Texans and their belief that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.  Here is the statement he released after the Supreme Court handed down its decision to legalize so-called same-sex marriage:

The Supreme Court has abandoned its role as an impartial judicial arbiter and has become an unelected nine-member legislature. Five Justices on the Supreme Court have imposed on the entire country their personal views on an issue that the Constitution and the Court’s previous decisions reserve to the people of the States.

Despite the Supreme Court’s rulings, Texans’ fundamental right to religious liberty remains protected. No Texan is required by the Supreme Court’s decision to act contrary to his or her religious beliefs regarding marriage.

The Texas Constitution guarantees that ‘[n]o human authority ought, in any case whatsoever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience in matters of religion.’ The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion; and the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, combined with the newly enacted Pastor Protection Act, provide robust legal protections to Texans whose faith commands them to adhere to the traditional understanding of marriage.

As I have done in the past, I will continue to defend the religious liberties of all Texans—including those whose conscience dictates that marriage is only the union of one man and one woman. Later today, I will be issuing a directive to state agencies instructing them to prioritize the protection of Texans’ religious liberties.

Pray for Gov. Abbott, and all civic leaders, that they may be guided by the Holy Spirit as they seek to protect and defend traditional marriage, the family, and religious liberty.

Prayer for the Governor and Civic Leaders

God of power and might, wisdom and justice,
through you authority is rightly administered,
laws are enacted, and judgment is decreed.
Assist with your spirit of counsel and fortitude
the Governor and other civic leaders of this great state.
May they always seek
the ways of righteousness, justice and mercy.
Grant that they may be enabled by your powerful protection
to lead their people with honesty and integrity.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Fiesta and Flowers

Video


For the past 10 days San Antonio has been celebrating Fiesta, a city-wide celebration of our local history and culture. Today is the biggest event of Fiesta, the Battle of Flowers Parade. Hundreds of thousands of people will line the streets of downtown to watch the flower-decked floats and cheer for Fiesta Royalty. It’s such a big deal that even the schools are closed today! Here’s a one minute video on the history of Fiesta.

Now we’ve gotta get back to work – since we’re not in school we don’t get a holiday today.

Victory or Death!

The Siege of the Alamo by Howard David Johnson

Commandancy of the The Alamo

Bejar, Feby. 24th. 1836

To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World-

Fellow Citizens & compatriots-

I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna – I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man – The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken – I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls – I shall never surrender or retreat .  Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch – The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days.  If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country –Victory or Death .

William Barret Travis.

Lt. Col.comdt.

P. S.  The Lord is on our side – When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn – We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves.

Travis

In the still darkness of early morning on March 6, 1836, the most important defeat in Texas history took place as the assault on the Alamo began.  Inside that former mission were 189 courageous men ready to lay down their lives for Texas’ independence.  Outside, columns of Mexican army troops were drawn up for battle, led by Santa Ana, “the Napoleon of the West”.

The walls of the Alamo, which once gave shelter to the Blessed Sacrament and Franciscan missionaries, would soon witness these few brave men shed their blood that Texas might be free.

Once the battle began, it was over in less than two hours.  Santa Ana, called it “a small affair,” despite losing nearly a third of his troops to the greatly outnumbered Texians and Tejanos.

At the beginning of the 13 day siege leading up to the battle, Col. William Barrett Travis penned a letter calling on The People of Texas and All Americans to come to the aid of the Alamo defenders.  He closed with the emphatic declaration VICTORY OR DEATH.

Those men did indeed meet death at the Alamo – and death was their victory.

The courageous sacrifice of the men who gave their lives became a rallying point, inspiring many to come to the aid of Texas in her struggle for independence.

The same bravery which inspired Travis to declare “Victory or Death” found an amplified voice at the Battle of San Jacinto, as Sam Houston’s men, quickly vanquishing Santa Ana’s troops, roared “Remember the Alamo!”

The famous letter written by Col. Travis will be on display through tomorrow (March 7) at the Alamo. This is a once in a lifetime chance to view the letter where it was written 177 years ago.

The Devil’s Sneeze

Cedar Fever

When the numbers are so high you can’t tell whether it’s the Powerball Jackpot or the pollen count, you know it’s cedar time in Texas.  Even as the rest of the country is getting a respite from allergies, we are deep in the misery that is cedar pollen.  And yes, if you’re wondering why we’ve been so quiet these last few weeks, it’s because of allergies. 

By the way, that tree in the photo is not smoking, it’s releasing pollen.  Or as I like to call it, the Devil’s Sneeze.

Up close each once of those millions of pollen grains look like this, with lots of little barbs to latch onto everything in their path – mostly you, your clothes, your hair, they’ll take whatever they can get to make you miserable.

 

Magnified even more, each one of those microscopic barbs looks like this:

Which is why we all feel so wretched when cedar season hits.  Not just runny noses and itchy, watery eyes, (not to mention the ensuing sinus infections) but exhausted and achy, too, like getting repeatedly run over by a Mack truck.  Driven by Jaws.

So if you’re enjoying an allergy free winter somewhere nice (by nice, I mean anywhere that doesn’t have cedar pollen, which means even the inside of a volcano counts as nice), please take pity on us Texans and offer a prayer for our shark ravaged sinuses.