Category Archives: My Writings

VA is getting better? Like Hell it is, after reading the VA Director recent comments, I wrote this..













I seen this quote in the full article, And Was SO PISSED (Takes Me OVER 3.5 MONTHS to see someone. not to mention when I called about a chronic condition I have, then ased another question, the Nurse said (I am sure not knowing, but corrected herself very fast) said the Dr gets points for each time they see someone, not a wonder why I only get less than 10 minutes a visit with the Doctor, and at least 25 with the Dr's Nurse But I digress, and continue….

""McDonald insisted there has been improvement. According to VA statistics, 97 percent of all VA health care appointments are scheduled within 30 days. Specialty care wait-time averages six days, mental health appointments are three days.""

WTF, are you KIDDING ME, WHERE THE HELL is he getting his information from, the National Enquirer ??? When I call for a VA appointment, I have to wait 3 1/2 months to get a spot. that's 14 FULL WEEKS Mr McDonald. 14 Weeks, 

Honestly, Screw the points system they have in place (aka a visit a point for the Dr) go back to real medicine and TREAT PEOPLE AGAIN, Like REAL Doctors do in the REAL World, not dome dammed fantasy someone is blowing up the directors nose each month saying its perfect. Veterans are NOT being served correctly, NOT being taken care of as WE SHOULD BE, We have Served our Country with Pride, and Honor, the least we can expect from our Government is to TAKE CARE OF US AFTER WE HAVE SERVED. that is not asking much. But apparently the VA has its own agenda for things, which is CRAP pure and simple.

Ash Wednesday, The Meaning & Purpose ….


Ash Wednesday, The Meaning & Purpose ….


In the Roman Catholic Church, Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, the season of preparation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. (In Eastern Rite Catholic churches, Lent begins two days earlier, on Clean Monday.)

Ash Wednesday always falls 46 days before Easter. (See How Is the Date of Ash Wednesday Calculated? for more details.) Since Easter falls on a different date each year (see How Is the Date of Easter Calculated?), Ash Wednesday does, too. To find the date of Ash Wednesday in this and future years, see When Is Ash Wednesday?.

While Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of Obligation, all Roman Catholics are encouraged to attend Mass on this day in order to mark the beginning of the Lenten season.


Quick Facts


46 days before Easter Sunday;

Type of Feast: Commemoration.

Readings: Joel 2:12-18; Psalm 51:3-4, 5-6AB, 12-13, 14 and 17; 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

Prayers: Prayer of Saint Ephrem the Syrian


The Distribution of Ashes

During Mass,

The ashes which give Ash Wednesday its name are distributed. The ashes are made by burning the blessed palms that were distributed the previous year on Palm Sunday; many churches ask their parishioners to return any palms that they took home so that they can be burned.

After the priest blesses the ashes and sprinkles them with holy water, the faithful come forward to receive them. The priest dips his right thumb in the ashes and, making the Sign of the Cross on each person’s forehead, says, “Remember, man, that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return” (or a variation on those words).

A Day of Repentance

The distribution of ashes reminds us of our own mortality and calls us to repentance. In the early Church, Ash Wednesday was the day on which those who had sinned, and who wished to be readmitted to the Church, would begin their public penance. The ashes that we receive are a reminder of our own sinfulness, and many Catholics leave them on their foreheads all day as a sign of humility. (See Should Catholics Keep Their Ash Wednesday Ashes on All Day?)

Ash-WednesdayFasting and Abstinence

Are Required The Church emphasizes the penitential nature of Ash Wednesday by calling us to fast and abstain from meat. Catholics who are over the age of 18 and under the age of 60 are required to fast, which means that they can eat only one complete meal and two smaller ones during the day, with no food in between. Catholics who are over the age of 14 are required to refrain from eating any meat, or any food made with meat, on Ash Wednesday.

Taking Stock of Our Spiritual Life

This fasting and abstinence is not simply a form of penance, however; it is also a call for us to take stock of our spiritual lives. As Lent begins, we should set specific spiritual goals we would like to reach before Easter and decide how we will pursue them—for instance, by going to daily Mass when we can and receiving the Sacrament of Confession more often.

Lent, The Meaning & Purpose ….

Lent3_Cam1-0-00-11-08Lent is the Christian season of preparation before Easter. In Western Christianity, Ash Wednesday marks the first day, or the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter (Sundays are not included in the count).

Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ – his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection.

Not all Christian churches observe Lent. Lent is mostly observed by the Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and Anglican denominations, and also by Roman Catholics. Eastern Orthodox churches observe Lent or Great Lent, during the 6 weeks or 40 days preceding Palm Sunday with fasting continuing during the Holy Week of Orthodox Easter. Lent for Eastern Orthodox churches begins on Monday (called Clean Monday) and Ash Wednesday is not observed.

The Bible does not mention the custom of Lent, however, the practice of repentance and mourning in ashes is found in 2 Samuel 13:19; Esther 4:1; Job 2:8; Daniel 9:3; and Matthew 11:21.

Lent and fasting seem to go together naturally in some Christian churches, while others consider this form of self-denial a personal, private matter.

It’s easy to find examples of fasting in both the Old and New Testaments. In Old Testament times, fasting was observed to express grief. Starting in the New Testament, fasting took on a different meaning, as a way to focus on God and prayer.

Such a focus was Jesus Christ’s intent during his 40-day fast in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-2). In preparation for his public ministry, Jesus intensified his prayer with the addition of fasting.

Today, many Christian churches associate Lent with Moses’ 40 days on the mountain with God, the 40-year journey of the Israelites in the desert, and Christ’s 40-day period of fasting and temptation. Lent is a period of somber self-examination and penitence in preparation for Easter.

Lent and Fasting in the Catholic Church

The Roman Catholic Church has a long tradition of fasting and Lent. Unlike most other Christian churches, the Catholic Church has specific regulations for its members covering Lenten fasting .
Not only do Catholics fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, but they also abstain from meat on those days and all the Fridays during Lent. Fasting does not mean complete denial of food, however.2602155_f260

On fast days, Catholics are allowed to eat one full meal and two smaller meals which, together, do not constitute a full meal. Young children, the elderly, and persons whose health would be affected are exempt from fasting regulations.

Fasting is associated with prayer and alms giving as spiritual disciplines to take a person’s attachment away from the world and focus it on God and Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

Lent and Fasting in the Eastern Orthodox Church

The Eastern Orthodox Church imposes the strictest rules for the Lenten fast. Meat and other animal products are prohibited the week before Lent. The second week of Lent, only two full meals are eaten, on Wednesday and Friday, although many lay people do not keep the full rules. Weekdays during Lent, members are asked to avoid meat, meat products, fish, eggs, dairy, wine and oil. On Good Friday, members are urged not to eat at all.

Lent and Fasting in Protestant Churches

Most Protestant churches do not have regulations on fasting and Lent. During the Reformation, many practices that might have been considered “works” were eliminated by reformers Martin Luther and John Calvin, so as not to confuse believers who were being taught salvation by grace alone.

In the Episcopal Church

Members are encouraged to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Fasting is also to be combined with prayer and alms giving. The Presbyterian Church makes fasting voluntary. Its purpose is to develop dependence on God, prepare the believer to face temptation, and to seek wisdom and guidance from God.

The Methodist Church

Has no official guidelines on fasting but encourages it as a private matter. John Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, fasted twice a week. Fasting, or abstaining from such activities as watching television, eating favorite foods, or doing hobbies is also encouraged during Lent.

The Baptist Church

Encourages fasting as a way to draw closer to God, but considers it a private matter and has no set days when members should fast. The Assemblies of God consider fasting an important practice but purely voluntary and private. The church stresses that it does not produce merit or favor from God but is a way to heighten focus and gain self-control.

The Lutheran Church

Encourages fasting but imposes no requirements on its members to fast during Lent. The Augsburg Confession states, “We do not condemn fasting in itself, but the traditions which prescribe certain days and certain meats, with peril of conscience, as though such works were a necessary service.”