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  2. Drop a word, keep a word

    Treasure Island
  3. Today

    Last Sunday, we heard the trial of Jesus in the desert. In this week’s First Reading, we hear of how Abraham was put to the test. The Church has always read this story as a sign of God’s love for the world in giving His only begotten son. In today’s Epistle, Paul uses exact words drawn from this story to describe how God, like Abraham, did not withhold His Only Son, but handed Him over for us on the Cross. The Gospel reading proclaims the story of Jesus’ Transfiguration. This event is reported in each of the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, and Luke. This year, we hear Mark’s report of this event. The Transfiguration occurs after Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Messiah and Jesus’ prediction about his passion. In each case, Jesus takes three of his disciples—Peter, James, and John—to a high mountain. While they are there, Elijah and Moses appear with Jesus. Elijah and Moses are significant figures in the history of Israel. Moses led the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and received the Ten Commandments. In appearing with Jesus at his Transfiguration, Moses represents the Law that guides the lives of the Jewish people. Elijah is remembered as one of the most important prophets of Israel who helped the Israelites stay faithful to God. Some Jews believed that Elijah’s return would signal the coming of the Messiah for the Jewish people. The appearance of these two important figures from Israel’s history with Jesus signifies Jesus’ continuity with the Law and with the prophets and that Jesus is the fulfillment of all that was promised to the people of Israel. On seeing Jesus with Elijah and Moses and having witnessed his Transfiguration, Peter offers to construct three tents for them. Mark reports that the disciples are terrified by what they have witnessed, and that Peter’s offer is made out of confusion. As if in reply to Peter’s confusion, a voice from heaven speaks, affirming Jesus as God's Son and commanding the disciples to obey him. This voice from heaven recalls the voice that was heard at Jesus’ baptism. This is who God is. We might balk at the word “consubstantial” in the translation of the Nicene Creed in the 2010 liturgical translation, but what it means is that when we listen to Jesus we listen to the very voice of God. There is no other voice of God but the voice of Jesus. “Listening to Jesus” offers us a valuable practice as we enter this second week of Lent this year. As we listen carefully to his voice in the daily reading of the gospel we will come to know a God who calls us to deeper relationship with God’s self. As we listen carefully to his voice in the daily events of our lives we will come to know a God who is present during our lives as we go about our work, celebrate or struggle in our relationships with parents, children, spouse or friends, or as we fall and pick ourselves up repeatedly. As we listen carefully to his voice in the events of our world we come to know a God who suffers with victims of violence and injustice, who longs for a world where people treat each other as sisters and brothers, who longs for the repair of our “common home.” As we listen to Jesus we are drawn more and more into his own life. Listening to Jesus is not a test. It is a challenge, a challenge to believe that Jesus is the sacrament of the Love and Mercy that is at the centre of Reality. But as we answer his challenge, Jesus—the true face of God—will be with us all the way. We hear the Father speak of Jesus as God’s beloved son. In the same way, in our own time of testing, God assures us that we are God’s beloved sons and daughters. Because God is for us, as Paul says in our second reading, nothing can really prevail against us. This was the promise of Jesus’ transfiguration. This is God’s promise to us.
  5. 2nd. Sunday of Lent (B) Gen. 22: 1-2, 9-13, 15-18; Romans 8:31-34; Mark 9:2-10) Our Blessed Lord’s Passion and Death was looming on the horizon and He had already seriously forewarned His disciples of it; but, as in so many other matters, they were not yet able to truly understand and fully appreciate His words. When the time would come for Him to be taken away from them, Jesus realized that it would be a traumatic and potentially faith-shattering experience for them, His great concern was, therefore, that they should be so prepared that they might be able to endure the grief of losing Him and even draw spiritual profit from His own steadfast confidence in His Father and love for them throughout His Passion. He could not spare them that trial, but He would not have them agonize themselves and lose faith in Him because of it. How then did Jesus go about this preparation of His disciples? Considering His later Agony in the Garden, there can be no doubt that He prayed most fervently to His heavenly Father about it. Let us try to learn something of the efficacy of that prayer. The bond between her Son here on earth and His heavenly Father was something that the Blessed Virgin Mary could not fully appreciate, something that once caused her to exclaim: ‘Son, why have You done this to Your father and I?’ On that occasion, instead of returning home from Jerusalem with the caravan, Jesus, after having become ‘officially’ a young man-before-God-and-for-God according to the Law, had remained there in the Temple at Jerusalem. After three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions (Luke 2:46). Jesus was delighting in His heavenly Father, as He spoke about Him with the doctors and teachers in the Temple. Years later, as a fully-grown man He went to search out John the Baptist ‘at God’s work’ so to speak; this was at His Father’s secret calling as is confirmed by His Father’s voice from heaven, for He the Father alone knew when and how He wanted His Son to begin His public ministry. And now here, the Father, in answer to Jesus’ supplication, had plans to comfort and confirm His Son by sending Moses and Elijah – representing the whole of God’s dispensation for the sanctification of Israel through the Law and the Prophets – to emphasize for Jesus that His coming Passion, Death, and Resurrection would be the culmination and fulfilment of all Israel’s hopes and of all His, God’s, salvation plans for His Chosen People and through them, subsequently, for the whole of mankind. Moreover, Jesus’ chosen Apostles there on the Mount with Him would see and be brought to experience this glorification of their Lord as the fulfilment of Israel’s Law and Prophets, before God Himself would speak Personally from heavenly Cloud giving testimony to His beloved and supremely obedient Son. That those plans and intentions of God were fulfilled is shown subsequently by Jesus own words and those also of His disciples labouring in His nascent Church: Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, (the risen Jesus) interpreted to them (two of His followers going to Emmaus) what referred to Him in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:27). (Peter said): “To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.” (Acts 10:43) Jesus, most certainly, did not lead His three disciples up the mountain to display Himself; He simply knew, as Man, that He needed to pray; He also knew He had little time to prepare even those three chosen disciples for what was soon to happen, which is why He took them with Him that they might be near Him – as later in the Garden of Gethsemane -- when He was praying for guidance and grace. The wondrous answer to and fulfilment of Jesus’ prayer on that mountain top, was His Father’s own manifest appreciation of Jesus’ longing to Personally give glory to His most Holy Name: Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me? (John 18:11), and also, through His disciples’ future vocational work as leaders in His Church for the Nations, to offer all mankind salvation in and through the proclamation of His Gospel and the bestowal of His Gift of the most Holy Spirit. Jesus was aware that His disciples were, at present, rejoicing in the presence of their Lord: He was the Bridegroom and they were the Bridegroom’s most privileged friends. However, such present, earthly, joy, though holy, would not be enough to sustain them through the trials that lay ahead of them. And that, People of God, is something we should notice. Joy in the Lord based largely on emotional experiences would, most certainly, not be enough for Jesus‘ disciples, nor can it suffice for us: their joy, their love, had to be firmly established, as must ours also, on Faith, shot-through and made incandescent, with Hope. Therefore: Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. Now, however, as the three disciples looked: A cloud came, casting a shadow over them; and from the cloud came a voice, "This is My beloved Son. Listen to Him!" These words from heaven were given to root the disciples’ joy-in-the-Lord to the faith, proclaimed, by Moses and the Prophets, which had sustained Israel over many centuries. For, throughout Israel’s wanderings in the desert, the presence of God’s glory among them in the Tent of Meeting had been manifested by a cloud descending upon the Tent. That same cloud had also covered Mount Sinai when the Law was being given to Moses; and now it was covering the disciples here on the top of the mountain of Transfiguration, and from it a voice was telling them to listen to the law of Jesus. The disciples could have no doubt about the voice speaking to them from the cloud: “This is My beloved Son. Listen to Him!” It was indeed the voice of the God of Israel, the Father of Jesus their Lord and Master. The disciples were sharing a vision of heavenly glory and they wanted to remain there, basking, as it were, in the glory of Jesus: Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." That was not to be. For the present they had already been given what was necessary: a vision of faith in the heavenly glory of Jesus, and a hope that would inspire and sustain them in an insatiable longing to share with Him in His glory. Now, to finally galvanize them to put on this new armour of salvation and prepare themselves for the great trauma that lay ahead they were given a command: “Listen to Him.” Long ago, as the disciples knew full well, Moses had spoken of a prophet like himself whom the Lord God would give to His people (Deuteronomy 18:15): A prophet like me will the LORD, your God, raise up for you from among your own kinsmen; to him you shall listen. Those very words “Listen to Him” were now ringing in their ears! Now, the disciples were ready indeed to descend from the top of the mountain; for now their faith -- rooted in the faith that had sustained and guided their fathers for over two millennia -- had been transfigured into the Christian faith, and they had been strengthened with hope which no earthly trials could ever take away from them: for now they had a vision of Jesus’ heavenly glory, though hidden as yet from earthly eyes; now, they had an eschatological hope to look forward to; now, they had a divine revelation and commission to hold on to. From now on they would be guided and sustained in all their difficulties by a sure and undoubting confidence in the goodness of God, unflinching faith and trust in Jesus’ Person and commands, and unshakable hope in the power of His guiding, ever-present, Spirit of Love and Truth. People of God, see and learn how to protect yourselves against the snares of the devil and of the world: delight in the heavenly Jesus more and more, for we are not mere moralists -- be they scholarly ethicists or ordinary/professional ‘do-gooders’ -- we are lovers and proclaimers of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour who trust in the traditional teaching of His Church and never give up hoping that the goodness of God will lead us -- if we persevere faithfully along the way of the Cross -- to share in the eternal glory of Jesus before the Father. Trust the faith. Trust God’s words as did Abraham our father in faith, who, as you heard, was tested by God saying to him: Take now your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him up as a holocaust on a height that I will point out to you. How fearsome and dread did those words sound at first! How wonderfully, how beautifully, did they echo when the Lord gave the boy back to his father, resolving to become Himself the Only One Who would offer His only-begotten Son for mankind’s salvation. How wonderful are the blessings won for us by Abraham’s obedience and trust, he was and is most truly our Father in Faith! Trust the Faith wholeheartedly and thus enable yourselves to delight freely and fully, and yet more wholeheartedly, in Jesus, for, as St. Paul explains (Romans 8:38-39): Neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Again I repeat: trust the faith, delight in Jesus, and thank God for His unfailing goodness. In that way you will be armed both to resist and to overcome all that the devil and the world can try to do against you: For the joy of the LORD is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)
  6. Broken spirit

    "It's like I missed growing up." This line jumped out at me. Children of dysfunctional parents often DO miss growing up - their bodies continue to grow, of course, but their emotional development can get stunted. [Disclaimers all over the place - it doesn't always happen, it doesn't necessarily happen 100% when it does happen, some children do escape rather unscathed.] But parents who are violent, or perfectionists, or addicts, or lots of other stuff can have seriously deleterious impacts on their children, especially on the children's emotional development. And the children of dysfunctional people tend to grow up to be dysfunctional themselves, because that's what was modeled to them. If a child has a father who is, let's say alcoholic, who loses his temper frequently, who beats the child when he's lost his temper, the kid won't like it - not at all. But the devil that you know is better than the devil that you don't know; in this case, it might be the only devil the child knows. And so the child grows up drinking ("Dad always said, 'You can't trust a man who won't drink with you!'"), losing his temper (when the liquor won't calm him down fast enough), and beating people that tick him off. When a person is dependent on - addicted to - alcohol, or violence, or temper (usually in an attempt to control the world around him, which he considers threatening), his emotional development stops. He confronts some challenge but he feels inadequate to address/resolve the challenge; so he shouts it down, or he beats it, or he drinks to escape from it. A person who is not addicted will face the same challenge, stop and think, talk to other people about how best to solve it, persevere through the difficulty... whatever! But in the process of solving the problem, the non-addict matures; he learns new skills, he begins to feel competent to resolve challenges, he figures out how to negotiate with other people, and so forth. The dysfunctional person runs from his challenge to his crutch and doesn't mature - the non-dysfunctional person matures through facing the challenge. A child who lives with a dysfunctional parent also shuts down - he'll learn to do whatever he has to do in order to avoid being beaten, berated, blamed, etc. He doesn't get any guidance from the dysfunctional parents ("Can we talk about X?" "NO! Lea' me alone!"), he doesn't understand what's happening, he doesn't have any sounding-board person who can explain it, he's trying to figure it out on his own but he's just a kid! All of this relates to the thread about "real mean" being a dying species. If a person was raised by dysfunctional people like that, and finds himself acting in dysfunctional ways, he may not even recognize it until he's in his 30's. At that point, you're out from under the dysfunctional influences, but emotionally you're a 12-year-old-boy (or however old you were when the dysfunction began in earnest) in a 30-year-old body, looking like an adult but acting like a kid. The only thing to do is start developing those virtues that define "real men" and "real women" - non-dysfunctional adults. That's not easy to do, but you can do it. So I guess what I'm asking is: Were either of your parents dysfunctional? And did they pass that dysfunction along to you?
  7. Menlo Park Dominican Nuns - New Web Site

    Wow, this is a beautifully designed website!
  8. Mental Illness, Politics, and Guns

    that is not what I'm saying at all. in the case of this Florida boy however there was ample evidence potentially dangerous violence that should have been take into account by authorities
  9. Entering Monastery (!)

    Hi Pham, God-willing, I will begin postulancy with the Benedictines in a few weeks. Was supposed to start in September but God opened some doors to allow me to enter much sooner, all thanks and praise to Him! Thank you to everyone who has ever said a prayer on my behalf! I try (and usually succeed!) to remember every day to pray for those who pray for me, even those whose names/faces I don't know -- so you are (usually) in my prayers as well, ha! Please say a prayer or two or three hundred thousand for me. And let's all pray for more priestly and religious vocations, for those discerning and avoiding discerning (been there) and yet to hear the call. Thank you again and may God bless you!
  10. https://www.opnunsmenlo.org/
  11. Broken spirit

    i also fear you fear pleasure in a puritanical kind of way. christians arent called to be puritans. there is a healthy respect to be had regarding sins of pleasure, but i wouldn' work yourself into a guilt trip just for being human. "i dont deserve this love you gave to me"
  12. Mental Illness, Politics, and Guns

    Yes disturbing indeed... the repeated lesson of most of these mass shootings is that the firearms in questions were obtained legally even despite alarming red flags. I think short of majorly limiting all firearm rights in the United States the nation of Switzerland is worth considering (and perhaps emulating to a great extent) because they have a high per capita (person) firearm ownership but dramatically less firearm related crime/violence/death/injury. One major difference in the Swiss system verses the American system is the Swiss view it far less a right and much more a duty. Like I tried to discuss with you previously there is no reason to discriminate against all persons with mental health matters, moreover if they are in good faith receiving mental health care, and if this discrimination increases it will only discourage people approaching mental health care which will only compound not better the situation. Temporarily suspending firearm rights for certain persons seems very apt while they prove they can handle them while making those who want to exercise such firearm rights additionally prove that they are able. But... considering the CDC has not done much research on firearms due to a chilling effect from Congress specific policies that are evidence based are not so easy to come by. But most firearm related crime is related to persons who are still young/emerging adults... we know that this is not an easy time for anyone as they transition to full adulthood, their brains have not fully developed/matured yet (not till sometime between 26-30, in manners that directly affect their ability for good judgment and long-term planning), they are not fully independent/stable within the world, and I could go on... Thusly limiting firearms from such younger persons till they are more developed, independent, stable, and fully adults may be very well warranted.
  13. Mental Illness, Politics, and Guns

    this Florida boy was clearly disturbed and mentally unsound. the fact that he was issued a gun permit is disturbing and may be the true crux of the matter there is little doubt that better, more rigorous gun permits are needed and better scrutiny is needed to weed out mentally ill, and /or intoxicated type persons. Think about it you can't drive the car or operate heavy machinery under the influence. The use of Marijuana, alcohol and antidepressant drug should be scrutinized before a gun permit is issued to a individual. This could be easily done without infringing on the second amendment. I'm not suggesting that better scrutiny would prevent all mass killings but it would certainly curtail the majority of them.
  14. Catholic Dogma that most go to hell

    Simply, Dogma never changes. Doctrine is the understanding, teaching, and application of Dogma and may change, develop, and evolve. In this case, Dogma would be that your God has a standard and requirement of which souls will enter heaven according to His Judgement. Doctrine is the understanding and teachings of what that standard of Judgment is, and speculation as to quantity souls that qualify. Whatever. Regardless, you still know you need to be kind and empathetic.
  15. Broken spirit

    Tab, I think that maybe you shouldn’t be so hard an yourself. From a practical perspective, work on doing small acts of kindness and charity for others. Doing for others is ultimately what it’s about. It’s not wether Tab has a wife or job, but whether he acted kindly or did something nice for another without preaching or hoping others notice. You’re going to feel much better about life and yourself when you can just be kind to another. You will never know what small acts of kindness may have huge impact on another. You will also find and recognize that you’re a lot kinder and good person than you’ve thought or given yourself credit for. It will take time, just like filling a bucket with a spoon. I wish you well.
  16. Drop a word, keep a word

    National Treasure
  17. Mead Making!

    I've gotten pretty good at parking my final ABV at about 10%. I find they are more rounded and reach maturity faster. One of the first meads I made I had no idea what I was doing and ended up at 15%. But now I'm confortable enough to expriment and make-up my own recipes.
  18. Drop a word, keep a word

    National guard
  19. Private Vows in The Laity/Spirituality

  20. Friday of the First Week of Lent

    Reading 1 Ez 18:21-28 Thus says the Lord GOD: If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed, if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him; he shall live because of the virtue he has practiced. Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked? says the Lord GOD. Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way that he may live? And if the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil, the same kind of abominable things that the wicked man does, can he do this and still live? None of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered, because he has broken faith and committed sin; because of this, he shall die. You say, "The LORD's way is not fair!" Hear now, house of Israel: Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair? When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies, it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die. But if the wicked, turning from the wickedness he has committed, does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life; since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. Responsorial Psalm Ps 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-7a, 7bc-8 R. (3) If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand? Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD; LORD, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to my voice in supplication. R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand? If you, O LORD, mark iniquities, LORD, who can stand? But with you is forgiveness, that you may be revered. R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand? I trust in the LORD; my soul trusts in his word. My soul waits for the LORD more than sentinels wait for the dawn. Let Israel wait for the LORD. R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand? For with the LORD is kindness and with him is plenteous redemption; And he will redeem Israel from all their iniquities. R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand? Verse Before the Gospel Ez 18:31 Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the LORD, And make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Gospel Mt 5:20-26 Jesus said to his disciples: "I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven. "You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, Raqa, will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny." - - - Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner. source
  21. Broken spirit

    Unsure why my phone keeps double posting. I've never been able to do life right, no work, wife or kids. When I met Jesus it was great for 5 or 6 years and now I just feel like I'm in the same boat as before different captain for 9yrs, though I have the odd period here and there where it seems where pulling up to shore but it never happens. I don't really want to numb my conscience and accept sin as a normal part of a Christians life bacauae I experienced time without it.
  22. Broken spirit

    Does anyone else feel like they will never find the peace, faith, hope, love and joy they once had in Christ? My problem is sin and I hate it, I didn't used to sin so much. Christ says "he that hates his life will gain it but he who loves his life will loose it." I think I'm hanging on to tight to life and what I think, and it is driving me to get what I can out of pleasure while I'm here. And I guess Jesus is saying to hate sin or you can't change, problem is I had changed but it was more like being born again and was protected in a crib and now I'm out of the crib I'm being called to make the conscious choice to not sin. It just seems hard to me that I have to learn this lesson in my 30s instead of teens, its like I missed growing up, and I fear running out of time and saint Paul says to run the race for victory, to change, to become perfect, to be holy. Has anyone else experienced this and got through it or going through it, or has this dog just returned back to its own vomit? Either way I need to change because sin is killing my relationship with god and the church, it is making me lazy spiritually in seeking the things of heaven. St john of the cross pray for us.
  23. Broken spirit

    Does anyone else feel like they will never find the peace, faith, hope, love and joy they once had in Christ? My problem is sin and I hate it, I didn't used to sin so much. Christ says "he that hates his life will gain it but he who loves his life will loose it." I think I'm hanging on to tight to life and what I think, and it is driving me to smell of elderberries what I can out of pleasure while I'm here. And I guess Jesus is saying to hate sin or you can't change problem is I had changed but it was more like being born again and was protected in a crib and now I'm out of the crib I'm being called to make the conscious choice to not sin. It just seems hard to me that I have to learn this lesson in my 30s instead of teens, its like I missed growing up. Has anyone else experienced this and got through it or going through it, or has this dog just returned back to its own vomit? Either way I need to change because sin is killing my relationship with god and the church, it is making me lazy spiritually in seeking the things of heaven. St john of the cross pray for us.
  24. catholic v orthodox

    Unsure there is liberal or conservative in the holy roman catholic church. Either you believe in and try to follow the teachings of the holy magesterium or you don't. Not saying you can follow what you don't know but the teachings you do know. Liberal in my head is one that does contrary to the teachings of the holy magesterium and teaches others to do the same, heretic. And conservative is a right wing puffed up sinners be damned don't come near me accursed attitude. Kinda one assumes gods mercy and the other gods wrath. I know nothing about the orthodox church, and catholics are only to partake of communion at an orthodox church if there isn't a catholic church that you can get to, plus I think we are advised to ask the orthodox priest if he minds, some do some don't. I guess now that I've said that i think the parish priest in a catholic church has little to no direct authority over the flock, he is just a guide and the pope and bishops are the authority, whereas orthodox and Protestant the presiding pastor has more authority over the flock.
  25. Drop a word, keep a word

    Palace guard
  26. Ordered Humor - Fresh Start

    From Marmion Abbey (Benedictine monks): The Papal Bobsled Team Just Took Home Bronze For Vatican City
  27. shaving

    The poor girl is interested to know what others think. Be Optimistic. Why be a bunch of deceptacon bullies assuming the worst. one can choose to make it a hornets nest or chillax and discuss the possibilities of the discussed topic. And allow our egos to be deflated to the correct level. Lol. Me to of course.
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