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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Thursday, December 19 2002 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster Angels and charismatic and holy people

In reviewing all the articles leading up to today's intended conclusion, I was surprised to find that we're in our third rather than second week on this general subject, having begun on December 3 with "Charisma." This may have turned into the second-longest topic in the nearly two years the Jonal has been regularly published, the longest one still being "The Music of Our Lives."

Often, I choose a topic just because something pops into my mind which seems to have enough "baggage" to it that I can write at least four paragraphs, and hopefully they will be paragraphs worth reading. I usually answer my email while having my morning coffee at Starbucks, and that morning I mentioned to a correspondent that someone in a photo she had sent me looked "charismatic." I then felt I should explain what I meant by that unusual word, and in explaining myself it occurred to me that here's a topic worth "taking public." Most of my explanation to my correspondent ended up appearing in that first article.

But beyond the serendipity of that coffee-aided moment, I also wanted to pursue this because I'd been toying with the idea of trying to sell a freelance article on "Orthodox elders," or spiritual directors, monastics who are known for their charisma. They often manifest clairvoyance as well as, in many instances, healing powers and other gifts, including, on occasion, auras or energies that have become visible to certain individuals in some instances and to whole congregations of people in others. Such Orthodox elders normally, posthumously, become "glorified" by the church at large, meaning they are recognized as saints, a less formal and less legalistic form of what Catholics call "canonization." I was struck by the overlap between the good but not particularly godly charisma of lawman Bufford Pusser, the evil charisma of Charles Manson and other occult figures, and other allegedly charismatic individuals.

Though our first article was about a "secular" charismatic individual (Pusser) and the second article mentioned ungodly sources of charisma (Rasputin and Charles Manson), that subtopic, real and false charisma, seems the one most worth pursuing as we push on to a conclusion. If some charisma is from God, as most God-fearing people probably believe, where does the charisma that doesn't recognize God as its source come from?

Unfortunately, but again serendipitously, the question takes more words than this postcard can hold, so I'll have to defer the continuation till tomorrow. No responses have as yet come in on our Santa Claus question (below) so I'll extend these concluding thoughts at least one more day.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Next topic: Santa Claus, pro or con?

Do you "believe in" Santa Claus? Should your children or grandchildren be told the legends, or are they in some way harmful? Alternate: Do you have a favorite Santa Claus anecdote?


You know you've been drinking
'way too much coffee when...
(end of series)

  • You think CPR stands for "Coffee Provides Resuscitation."
  • Your first-aid kit contains two pints of coffee with an I.V. hookup.
  • You think Columbia would be a great vacation destination!
  • You're passing everybody on the freeway when you suddenly realize you left your car at home!

—Sent by Mary Ann Losiewcz

Thought for today

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

—Martin Luther King, Jr.

Top daily news stories linked from our sister webpage
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