Sunday of Divine Mercy: Thomas’ great faith

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Jesus and St. Thomas with the words of Jesus in Latin, "See my hands," on a stained-glass window in Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire Church in Saint-Ouen, France (Wikimedia Commons/GFreihalter)

Jesus and St. Thomas with the words of Jesus in Latin, “See my hands,” on a stained-glass window in Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire Church in Saint-Ouen, France (Wikimedia Commons/GFreihalter)

Doubting Thomas. The disciple whose nickname will forever define him — all on the basis of one remark.

Did you ever wonder why Thomas was not with the others on that first Easter night? A group — we know not how large — of women and men who had been disciples of the slain Jesus had gathered together in fear and confusion on the most mystifying evening of their lives. Did they lock the doors before Thomas arrived? Was he too sad or angry or ashamed to gather with them? Obviously, he wasn’t completely cut off because soon thereafter somebody told him that Jesus had appeared in their midst.

April 24, 2022

Acts 5:12-16
Psalm 118
Revelation 1:9-13, 17-19
John 20:19-31

Maybe someone went looking for Thomas precisely because of what Jesus did that night. Jesus had broken in on their fear and hiding, he blessed them with peace and then revealed to them the greatest power in the universe: the love that creates forgiveness.

The breathtaking thing about forgiveness is that it positively transforms the effects of the past. People whose sins are retained can be tethered forever to the millstone of their mistakes, defined by their worst moment. In forgiveness, they are freed to reconfigure (another word for redeem) what has been destructive of relationships.

When Jesus made himself part of the group gathered in hiding, he simply said, “Shalom, peace.” Shalom is an insider word. It says, “I have no fear of you and hold nothing against you.” One ancient Jewish teaching maintains that shalom-peace is “the only vessel God found capable of holding a blessing.” The word is also a name for God.

Shalom was Jesus’ first word to his friends after he had suffered. Jesus’ shalom recreated his relationship with each and all of the gathered disciples. In some ways, it was as astounding as his resurrection itself. In some ways, it is identical with his resurrection because it expresses the reality that the power of love cannot be overcome. Shalom, Jesus’ word of forgiveness, conferred redemption.

For some reason, those who found Thomas on another day weren’t capable of communicating the whole message to him. They did well enough to get him to join them a week later, but he still didn’t quite grasp the transformation that had begun among his friends — and in the history of the universe.

In reality, the other disciples hadn’t fully caught on yet either: One week after the Resurrection they were back behind locked doors. Once again, Jesus appeared in their midst. Once again, Jesus said, “Shalom.”

With that, Thomas grasped what none of them had comprehended. Thomas looked at Jesus’ scarred hands and wounded side and said, “My Lord and my God!”

Thomas grasped the terrifying, wondrously scandalous truth that Jesus reveals that God is not exempt from suffering. Thomas realized that God’s forgiveness expresses a love as vulnerable as human beings’ and more powerful than evil.

The story of the Resurrection would not have been complete without Thomas. He was the one who didn’t just stand back in awe; he had to plumb the depths of what it meant. Thomas was the one who needed proof that the effects of evil, horrendous as they were, were not omnipotent. Thomas was the one whose faith did not come easy, and for that reason it could become unshakeable.

If not for Thomas, we might think of forgiveness superficially, as a mending or a forgetting. If it were not for Thomas, we might not fully understand that God forgives us in freely chosen vulnerability. But with Thomas we realize that the God who suffered and still suffers in the world’s victims invites us into history-changing transformation.

Thomas reminds us that honestly facing our doubts can open us to greater faith. The courage Thomas showed in doubting allowed the risen Christ to reveal God’s face in a new and fuller way. Thomas’ story also demonstrates that Christ’s resurrection frees us to forgive and be forgiven.

The Antidote To Digital Disconnectivity

Nathan Gardels, Noema Editor-in-Chief

The paradoxes of the information age make the mind swim. The more we are informed, the more we are disoriented. The more we connect, the more we are divided. The more new content there is to consume, the less we are ever satisfied. The faster the network speed, the shorter our attention span becomes.

We need a philosopher to sort it all out. Fortunately, such a thinker for our times has arrived on the scene: Byung-Chul Han, author of such penetrating meditations on digital society as “The Burnout Society” and “The Disappearance of Rituals.”

“Bits of information provide neither meaning nor orientation,” Han observes in an interview with Noema this week. “They do not congeal into a narrative. They are purely additive. From a certain point onwards, they no longer inform — they deform.”

The way information now courses through society is also corrosive.

“Digital communication redirects the flows of communication. Information is spread without forming a public sphere,” the South Korea-born German philosopher says. “It is produced in private spaces and distributed to private spaces. The web does not create a public.” On the contrary: “The informatization of reality leads to its atomization — separated spheres of what is thought to be true.” Instead of the basis for a common narrative, truth becomes a subjective projection of those isolated from each other.

He goes on: “This has highly deleterious consequences for the democratic process. Social media intensify this kind of communication without community. You cannot forge a public sphere out of influencers and followers.”

As Han sees it, this fragmentary character of peer-to-peer communication both coincides with and fuels the erosion of those pillars of cohesion that once held communities together. “The inwardly turned, narcissistic ego with purely subjective access to the world is not the cause of social disintegration but the result of a fateful process at the objective level. Everything that binds and connects is disappearing. There are hardly any shared values or symbols, no common narratives that unite people.”

For Han, the traditional rituals that once provided a founding orientation for society were discarded by modernity as hackneyed customs of the outmoded past. The past cannot be revived, but, as Han says, “What we need most are temporal structures that stabilize life. When everything is short-term, life loses all stability. Stability comes over long stretches of time: faithfulness, bonds, integrity, commitment, promises, trust. These are the social practices that hold a community together. They all have a ritual character. They all require a lot of time. Today’s terror of short-termism — which, with fatal consequences, we mistake for freedom — destroys the practices that require time. To combat this terror, we need a very different temporal politics.”

Han looks to culture for the recovery of a sense of stability amid the onslaught of accelerated digital time. “Cultural events such as theater, dance and even football have a ritual character. The only way in which we can revitalize community is through ritual forms. Today, culture is held together solely by instrumental and economic relations. But that does not found communities — it isolates people. Art, in particular, should play a central role in the revitalization of rituals.”

Also writing in Noema, Tim Gorichanaz scores the dichotomous binary thinking encoded in digital communication as displacing our cultural capacity for contextual narrative, reflection and empathy when processing information. We are so lacking in these attributes nowadays, he notes, that we tear down potential heroes who would weave moral fiber into society through emulation before we can even stand them up.

While the philosopher Han looks to art to recover a culture of cohesion, Gorichanaz sees some promise in what he calls “slow technology.”

“The digital revolution has shaken up our understanding of narrative, but there are new technologies that could help us recontextualize rather than decontextualize,” he writes. “Are.na, for example, is an online platform for bookmarking items you find online and making connections across them. It describes itself as ‘Tumblr meets Wikipedia.’ Users construct ‘channels’ by adding things they find — links, text, video — allowing narratives to emerge. Roam Research is a similar platform, a notetaking app that allows complex interlinking between pieces of content, creating dynamic networks and hierarchies of information.”

He concludes: “Societally, we need such technologies for the public, perhaps built into the social media platforms that have become the de-facto online living rooms for so many of us. We need context for the torrent of information sent our way.”

Ritual. Narrative. Context. Temporal stability. In short, everything missing from the connected isolation of digital disconnectivity is the antidote to its corrosion of community. The recovery of culture from the grip of subjectivism and its dispersion into disparate bits of information is the daunting challenge of art — and technology — in the next turn of the digital age.

How Do I forgive? Should I forgive?

Two years ago, I learned that my husband had been having an affair with a woman in one of his overseas offices. This had been going on for about 10 years before I found out – although others in the company knew of the affair. He has ended things and we have tried to move on. However, I am finding it very hard to forgive him. Part me of me thinks I ought to forgive him (because I’m always being told it’s the right thing to do), and because I think it might be better for me. But I’m finding it very hard to do. Maybe it’s because there’s another part of me which wants to hold onto this forever, and never forgive him for what he has done. Can you help me with this?

I’m really sorry you are going through this Colleen. It must have been incredibly painful to learn about the affair, and especially if you think other people knew about it. That makes the whole thing a whole lot worse!

In your email you talked about wanting help with forgiving your husband.

Let me begin by saying that forgiveness is something you do for yourself, and it’s something you offer on your own terms, and when you feel you want to forgive. And not before you are ready to forgive. The decision and timing have to be yours.

When you have suffered as deeply as this, you can’t just ignore it, and pretend it didn’t happen. Even if your spouse is genuinely remorseful. It’s caused too much damage, and affected you too much. That would be completely unreasonable.

Also, we carry a sense of justice in our hearts, and we feel that serious wrongs should be righted in some way. People who have harmed us should be held accountable. They should make restitution for the damage they have done. And especially if it’s someone we had trusted and loved, and someone we had made ourselves vulnerable to.

So when we’re treated like this, we can’t ‘forget it and move on’. It’s an act of self-respect to stand up for ourselves, and to demand that our suffering be treated seriously. We can’t let it be downplayed, trivialized or ignored. In fact, if we forgive too soon … because we’re told to forgive then it’s likely to slow the healing process down. It will feel like you don’t matter. That you don’t have a voice. That no-one really cares that you’ve been treated in this way.

And that’s not going to help your self-esteem at all. It will feel like you’re being wounded all over again. So you deserve to be angry, and to put yourself first. And to take all the time you need for this.

Then, when you feel you’ve reached a place where you want to forgive – because you honestly believe it’s the right thing for you – then that is the time to start thinking about this.

But the decision, and the timing, and the pace must all be yours.

Every one says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.” C.S. Lewis

The Resurrection is the Triumph of Mercy

Sunday’s Gospel records a post-Resurrection appearance of Jesus in which His mercy to sinners begins to flow.  Watch out!  There is no stopping it.

Gospel (Read Jn 20:19-31)

The celebration of our Lord’s Resurrection on Easter Sunday usually focuses on the sheer ecstasy of His victory over death.  All during Holy Week, we are absorbed with the details of His horrific Passion.  When we reach Easter, our hearts nearly burst with joy that Jesus is alive and vindicated as God’s Son.  In other words, it’s easy to dwell on the fact of the Resurrection and be so dazzled by it that we do not think much beyond that.  The mercy of Divine Mercy Sunday (yes, intended pun) is that now we begin to meditate on the meaning of the Resurrection.  Today’s Gospel gets us started.

When Jesus miraculously appears among the apostles, we find they are locked in a room “for fear of the Jews.”  These fellows have not lately impressed us, have they?  His closest friends (Peter, James, and John) slept instead of keeping watch and praying in Gethsemane.  All the apostles except John fled the Crucifixion, and they were all reluctant to believe the witness of the women to whom Jesus first appeared.  Yet the word Jesus speaks to them is, “Peace.”  Then He commissions them to continue the work the Father sent Him to do.  If the Gospel reading stopped right here, we would still have enough information to knock us over backwards with joy:  Jesus loves sinners!  These men were often feckless and self-absorbed, yet when He goes to them, He gives them peace and joy.  Can any scene in the Gospels demonstrate more clearly than this one the meaning of Easter?

Jesus then does something truly astounding.  “He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.  Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.’”  What??  Are we prepared to see this in the story?  Jesus breathed His own breath on the very people who failed Him in His hour of need.  This action reminds us of God breathing into Adam’s nostrils His own breath at Creation, confirming him in “the image and likeness of God.”  Jesus establishes the apostles as those who will continue His divine work on earth.  In them, God will forgive or retain sin. What can explain Jesus building a Church that is both human and divine other than the boundless mercy of God?

We find that one of the apostles, Thomas, was missing from this momentous occasion.  When he gets the report of it, he refuses to believe it.  He must see and touch the wounds of Jesus to be convinced.  We don’t know why Thomas doubted the men with whom he’d spent the last three years and who, along with himself, had been chosen as Jesus’ closest intimates.  His refusal to believe makes us uncomfortable, doesn’t it?   His doubt and cynicism don’t seem to come from a good place, yet Jesus appears and gives him precisely what he needs for faith.  Mercy!  This river of mercy is starting to gain momentum.  Jesus then helps us to understand where the river is headed: “Have you come to believe because you have seen Me?  Blessed are those who have not seen and believed.”  This happy river is coming our way.    It will flow out to everyone, everywhere, in all times.  Those who believe in Jesus without ever seeing Him are going to be swept up in the torrent of God’s mercy for sinners.

If we have been slow on the uptake, St. John puts it all together for us:  “These [signs of the Risen Jesus] are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief, you might have life in His Name”.  The meaning of the Resurrection is the triumph of mercy and new life for sinners.  Isn’t this a great Day?

Possible response: Lord Jesus, I know myself to be as weak, fickle, and hard-hearted as the apostles sometimes were; thank You for the mercy You offered to them and to me.

Islamic Jihad shows off ‘tunnel city’ for next attack on Israel

Screen Shot 2022 04 21 at 11.11.47 AMMIDDLE EAST

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Mohammed Raad, the head of the Hezbollah parliamentary bloc in the Lebanese parliament asked for a mere $9 billion to destroy Israel completely. “The resistance only needs $9 billion and there will be nothing left called Israel in the region” he said over the weekend.

Meanwhile, another terrorist organization shows how they too are planning to obliterate the state of Israel. Islamic Jihad gave a media tour in Gaza, where the terror group touted its offensive and defensive tunnel systems.

“In a ‘tunnel city’ under the sandy soils of southern Gaza, Palestinian terrorists are preparing for the next conflict with Israel, as tensions in Jerusalem threaten to escalate” reports the Times of Israel.

The underground tunnels “leave no trace on the surface” and entrances are “discreetly tucked into the foot of a small hill.” The tunnels are also “complete with electric lights, a ventilation system and telecoms cables, the tunnels also have small rooms for storing weapons and ammunition.”

Abu Hamza, Al-Quds Brigade spokesman of Islamic Jihad said “the tunnels have been repaired and the rocket stocks have been replenished” since last year’s war. He also thanked Iran for its support for helping to rebuild and replace its weapons cache.

Another source who asked not to be named, said the terror group has “a large number of offensive tunnels that stretch deep into [Israel] and are linked up to a system of drones.” He also said the group’s rockets are capable of reaching the whole of Israel.

“The rockets are on high alert and we’re waiting for the leadership to decide” said a gunman sitting close to one of the tunnel entrances with a group of gunmen under the trees.

Times of Israel reports on the latest tensions:

Weeks of deadly violence including a series of Palestinian terror attacks in Israel, Palestinian riots and a police crackdown around Jerusalem’s Temple Mount/Al-Aqsa Mosque, and stepped up IDF operations in the West Bank have prompted Islamic Jihad to threaten an escalation.

After two deadly attacks in Tel Aviv and Bnai Brak, the IDF carried out large-scale raids in the West Bank, notably the Jenin area from which the terrorists hailed.

Those operations sparked intense firefights which killed several fighters from Islamic Jihad, which is supported by Israel’s nemesis Iran.

And on Monday evening, a rocket was fired from Gaza into Israel, prompting an Israeli airstrike against a weapons factory.

No faction has yet claimed responsibility, but the incident — the first of its type since January — heightened fears of a further escalation.

4 Confidence Building Tips

The people who know me will probably tell you that they believe I’m a reasonably confident person. Truth be told, I struggle with confidence.

I’ve found this to be true with others as well, including leaders.

Confidence can be a struggle for leaders for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes leaders get things wrong. Or they have a relationship go sour.

woman pointing into the air confidently

Photo by Thomas Mowe on Unsplash

There goes that confidence they once had.

But, if you’re like me, you can build, or regain, the lost confidence. You have to work at it but you can do it.

We’re going to look at 4 things you can do to become more confident. Let’s get into it!

4 Confidence Building Tips

1. Get things done:

Want to feel better about yourself and your title? Then get things done.

The more you accomplish, the more you can look back on and feel a sense of accomplishment. Doing so helps you to see that you do add value, that you are making headway, and that you matter.

Don’t slouch on the items on your to-do list. Attack them with ferocity. Get them done. Then feel confident that you can make progress.

2. Find a hobby:

Hobbies are a great way to build confidence. How so?

Start with a hobby that you are interested in but have little to no skill. Begin learning about what it takes to be successful in this hobby. Then, start working on the skills you need to learn.

You’ll find yourself quickly ramping up your skills. You may go from beginner to mediocre. You may not think that is much but it is.

Take a look back at the start of your hobby to where you are six months from now. You will see the improvement. You will see that you can improve your skills.

Getting into a hobby is a confidence builder because you see yourself progressing. Find a hobby, get better, feel more confident!

3. Change your thought life:

A lot of my lack of confidence came from my thought life and self-talk. It was easy to think less of myself. It was tough to see myself in a positive life.

These thoughts of me being worth less than others plagued me. It damaged me. But I was able to change my thought life.

You can change yours too. You can begin thinking positively about yourself. You can find yourself discovering that you are valuable, meaningful, and worthwhile.

Don’t let your thoughts crush your confidence. Instead, change the way you think about yourself.

4. Get okay with failure:

Perfectionism is the killer of confidence. Perfectionism tells you that you’re not good enough because you made a mistake or, gasp, you failed.

There’s nothing wrong with striving to do great, even perfect, work. The problem comes when you let the desire for perfectionism determine your worth.

Knowing you will fail can create a cushion in your confidence levels. You can explain to yourself that failure is something we all do. More importantly, failure is something we can learn from.

Get comfy with failure. Failure is your friend. Your confidence can rise when failure is your friend because you know it’s okay.

Vatican approves norms to reshape U.S. priestly formation

News: Program of Priestly Formation

Pope Francis meets with seminarians from the Pontifical North American College in Rome, 2021. Credit: Independent Photo Agency Srl / Alamy Stock Photo

The Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy has approved new norms for the formation of seminarians, which were drafted by the U.S. bishops’ conference in 2019, and have been under discussion between Rome and the USCCB since that time.

The sixth edition of the Program for Priestly Formation, which governs seminary education for priests, will require seminaries and dioceses to reshape their formation programs, in order to accommodate new stages of formation at both the start and conclusion of seminary studies.

The text has been the subject of close negotiations between Rome and the USCCB over several issues, including Rome’s requirement for a non-academic period of formation called the “propaedeutic stage.”

The program’s text, a copy of which was obtained by The Pillar, requires an initial formation stage focused on prayer,  which must ordinarily last one year, and which precedes philosophical studies. Some college credits can be taken during the preliminary stage, offsetting concerns about whether students will qualify for loan deferments or meet visa requirements.

The U.S. bishops were notified of the PPF’s Vatican approval by a Wednesday email from Bishop James Checchio of Metuchen, New Jersey, who serves as chairman of the USCCB Committee for Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations.

Checchio told the bishops that formal approval had been granted by the congregation’s prefect, Archbishop Lazzaro You Heung Sik on March 22 and communicated to conference president Archbishop Jose Gomez earlier this month.

The document, a copy of which was obtained by The Pillar, may still be subject to “minor edits,” Checchio said, but the substance of the norms have now been finalized.

Every national or regional bishops’ conference is required to develop its own document on the formation and education of seminarians, based on a periodically updated Vatican document called the Ratio fundamentalis.

National documents must outline the academic requirements, pastoral and spiritual development, and personal formation which is to be implemented in seminaries, and have to be approved at the Congregation for Clergy.

In the United States, the Program for Priestly Formation is issued by the USCCB and updated regularly.

The newly approved sixth edition says it is the product of “reflecting on the lived experience of seminaries and the Church in the United States in these opening decades of the twenty-first century.”

The text says it is intended to reflect the principles of the most recent Ratio fundamentalis, which was issued in 2016: “The fundamental idea is that Seminaries should form missionary disciples who are ‘in love’ with the Master, shepherds ‘with the smell of the sheep,’ who live in their midst to bring the mercy of God to them.”

But after the USCCB approved a version of the sixth PPF in 2019, Roman approval stalled, amid reported disagreements over some of the Ratio’s requirements.

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The final document, approved by Rome and circulated Wednesday, delineated four stages of seminary formation: propaedeutic, discipleship, configuration, and vocational synthesis.

The “propaedeutic stage is to focus on fostering communion between a seminarian, his bishop, and his particular church, to allow for a period of intense vocational discernment, and to spend time learning to pray, especially through scriptural reading and the practice of lectio divina,” the document provides.

“The minimum one-year duration of the propaedeutic stage is twelve calendar months,” and is not ordinarily to exceed two years, according to the new PPF — in line with the Congregation for Clergy’s Ratio fundamentalis.

“The propaedeutic stage should not be confined to times in which a university or college is in session,” the document explains: “There might be fewer vacation periods during the propaedeutic stage. For example, while a break may be envisioned for the Christmas holidays, the celebrations of Holy Week and Easter might take place within the propaedeutic community.”

“Further, since this period lasts a full year, a set period at the beginning and again at the end of the propaedeutic stage, without any courses for academic credit, would assist in ensuring that the goals of this stage are met.”

While the propaedeutic stage is to be set apart from academic studies, the PPF does provide that “a seminarian can earn college credit for some of his general studies during the propaedeutic stage. Such coursework should not exceed nine credit hours per semester, so that the stage’s goals and objectives will be accomplished.”

Such classes, which would allow for seminarians to maintain student visas and the deferment of student loan payments while they remain in studies, must be “proper to the propaedeutic stage’s intellectual formation,” and might include biblical literacy, catechesis, or prayer and spirituality. But the text explains they cannot include classes from the philosophical cycle, which must not begin until the propaedeutic stage is complete.

How to Heal the Thyroid

METABOLIC SYNDROME

BY MICHAEL EDWARDS TIME FEBRUARY 18, 2022

Thyroid conditions generally fall into two categories: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. The most common thyroid problem is hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid, which leads to a slow metabolism, hormonal imbalances, a weak immune system, muscle pain, weight gain, fatigue, dry skin, hair loss, heart problems, and much more.

How To Tell If Your Thyroid Is Slow

(Photog/Shutterstock)
Naturopaths and many of the more progressive physicians and endocrinologists are using a combination of lab tests and looking at symptoms (Photog/Shutterstock)

There are various testing methods for poor thyroid function, but the testing is problematic. Most physicians use outdated reference ranges when testing thyroid function. Also, studies have demonstrated that standard thyroid tests do not correlate well with tissue thyroid levels, which causes inaccurate diagnoses.

Most physicians and endocrinologists believe TSH is the best indicator of the thyroid function of an individual. However, someone can suffer from a significantly slow thyroid despite having a normal TSH, free T3, and free T4.

Some will test for T3. People can also have low T3 and show normal T4 and normal TSH. Many practitioners do not realize that this indicates a selenium or zinc deficiency, rather than a problem with the thyroid.

There are other problems with standard testing as well, and many thyroid specialists will tell you that more than 80% of patients with low thyroid function do not show thyroid problems with standard testing.

Naturopaths and many of the more progressive physicians and endocrinologists are using a combination of lab tests and looking at symptoms, while many holistic practitioners recognize the testing is flawed, therefore, they look at the symptoms and the function of the body as a whole.

Some of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism include a dry, flaky scalp and pain, tightness, or a feeling of joints being “out of place” (in need of a chiropractic adjustment) in the trapezoid muscles including and especially in the back of the neck and shoulders, hip pain, bursitis, elbows, and wrists (carpal tunnel). When any of these symptoms is going on, the thyroid is struggling.

The thyroid becomes swollen and inflamed, as any part of the body should be when it’s hurting, and puts constant pressure on the vertebras in the neck and shoulder area. This causes issues including misalignment that can be temporarily relieved by chiropractic, but the thyroid has to be healed in order for the pain to stop reoccurring. Carpal tunnel also a common symptom. This syndrome is often primarily caused or solely caused by thyroid problems. And last but not least, flat feet are also a sign of hypothyroidism. I know, weird, right? But the body is all connected in so many fascinating ways.

Here’s a comprehensive list of symptoms indicative of hypothyroidism:

List Of Hypothyroidism Symptoms

(Shutterstock)
(Shutterstock)
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Asthma
  • Angina pectoris
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Bursitis
  • Conditions related to the cardiovascular system
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Carotenodermia (slight orange tinge to the skin, usually on the palms of the hands and soles of feet)
  • Cold extremities, intolerance to the cold
  • Coarse, dry, or thinning hair
  • Constipation
  • Decreased libido
  • Dry, rough, and/or itchy skin
  • Edema
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Fallen arches
  • Fatigue
  • Fibrocystic breast changes
  • Fibromyalgia symptoms
  • Headaches
  • Hoarseness
  • Infertility
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Hyperhomocysteinemia
  • Hypertension
  • Itchy and/or flaky scalp
  • Memory loss
  • Mood swings, irritability
  • Muscle aches
  • Menstrual irregularities (amenorrhea, oligomenorrhea, menorrhagia)
  • Neck pain, stiffness, aches (especially in the back of the neck)
  • Knee pain (due to fallen arches)
  • Pallor (an unhealthy pale appearance)
  • Pain in the trapezoid and/or neck area
  • Psoriasis
  • Poor mental concentration
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Postpartum depression
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Reactive hypoglycemia
  • Recurrent infections
  • Sluggishness, tiredness
  • Shoulder pain
  • Tinnitus
  • Urticaria
  • Vasomotor rhinitis
  • Vertigo
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain

While weight gain, an inability to lose weight, and increased appetite can be signs of hypothyroidism, in severe cases one can actually lose their appetite and consequently lose weight. This is just a step before myxedema, when one loses brain function as a result of severe, longstanding low level of thyroid functionality.

Causes Of Hypothyroidism

There are many pathways available for the regulation of the production and conversion of thyroid hormones. Consequently, there are a lot of opportunities for things to go wrong. A healthy thyroid relies on many factors, including but not limited to, a healthy endocrine system, hormone levels being stable, healthy and balanced gut flora, a healthy liver, properly functioning adrenals, healthy kidneys, and clean, healthy blood.

Candida

Candida overgrowth leads to a host of problems and eventually causes autoimmune disease. It also inhibits the body’s ability to properly digest and assimilate nutrition. An overabundance of Candida toxifies the blood in many different ways, which inhibits all gland activity.

Autoimmune disease

Hashimoto’s disease is a condition where the immune system attacks the thyroid. Autoimmune disorders occur when your immune system produces antibodies that attack your own tissues. This is typically due to a leaky gut as a result of an overabundance of Candida due to poor diet and/or antibiotic use.

Conventional hypothyroidism treatments

People with overactive thyroids are often treated with radioactive iodine or anti-thyroid medications intended to normalize thyroid function. Often these treatments result in permanent hypothyroidism (permanent by conventional medical standards).

Thyroid surgery

Removing a portion of your thyroid gland will diminish or halt hormone production. A person who wants to balance their hormones after thyroid removal surgery (or partial removal) needs to either take hormones for life or grow back their thyroid.

Radiation therapy

Radiation used to treat cancers of the head and neck can do serious long-term damage to the thyroid gland.

Medications

Many medications contribute to hypothyroidism, including but not limited to medications for mental health, sleep medications, painkillers, and allergy medications.

Other drugs (nicotine, caffeine, marijuana)

Any stimulant will wear out the thyroid and the adrenals. Many people consume a lot of caffeine over a period of time, eventually leading to adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism.

Marijuana disrupts the entire endocrine system, affecting all glandular hormone production. THC, in particular, lowers the immune system’s ability to fight infection, and can, with heavy use, lower thyroid hormonal output. Also, smoking anything causes the blood to become thick and toxic with free radicals and carcinogens that clog glands and hinder hormone production.

Iodine deficiency

The thyroid gland converts iodine into thyroid hormones. Iodine is a trace mineral found primarily in seafood, seaweed, plants grown in iodine-rich soil, unrefined sea salt, and iodized table salt. Many people do not get enough iodine, and contrary to popular belief, this includes many people in developed countries.

Iodine from iodized salt is poorly absorbed and is not a healthy choice for raising iodine levels in the diet. Refined table salt contributes to a host of health problems. Iodine is absolutely necessary for thyroid function, but too much iodine (especially iodine outside of food) can impair thyroid function as well.

Pattern of fires striking food facilities across the USA suggests ARSON TEAMS are burning down America’s food production infrastructure

Image: Pattern of fires striking food facilities across the USA suggests ARSON TEAMS are burning down America’s food production infrastructure
  • (Natural News) A pattern of fires striking food facilities across the United States suggests that arson team are targeting food facilities for destruction. This theory, if confirmed, is consistent with other engineered tactics now being deployed to destroy food abundance in America:
  • The partial halting of grain and fertilizer deliveries by Union Pacific railroad, which is largely owned by Blackrock and Vanguard investment funds.
  • The mass culling of chickens and turkeys, using fraudulent PCR testing to claim there’s another “bird flu epidemic” that requires the mass destruction of egg-producing chickens (and other birds used for meat).
  • The government paying farmers to plow their crops under, effectively incentivizing the destruction of the food supply.
  • Joe Biden’s dismantling of America’s energy infrastructure (pipelines, drilling, etc.) which directly impacts agriculture, creating vastly increased prices for farming inputs such as fuel and fertilizer.

In a recent broadcast, Black Conservative Patriot (BCP) asked his audience to crowdsource reports of fires affecting food facilities in the last few months. His audience produced the following list. It hasn’t been fully vetted, but several recent fires such as the Azure Standard fire and the Taylor Farms food processing facility fire in Salinas, California, are both widely covered in recent news stories.

– Dried milk plant – Idaho fire 10-21
– Food processing plant fire San Antonio 12-21
– JBS beef plant fire 12-21
– Mississippi poultry feed mill boiler explosion 12–21
– Hamilton Mountain poultry processing plant fire 1-22
– LeCompte Feed mill fire, Louisiana 1-22
– Bonanza meat company fire El Paso, Texas 2-22
– Shearer’s Food Plant Fire, Oregon 2-22
– Mauston Wisconsin River Meats fire 2-22
– Food bank in Maricopa county Arizona- food pantry 50,000 pounds of food destroyed by fire 3–22
– Nestle fire Arkansas. 3-22
– Walmart distribution Center fire 3–22
– Potato processing plant Penobscot, Maine 3-22
– Sherbrooke, Canada food processing fire 4-22
– Fire grain elevator plant fire, Kansas 4-22
– Fertilizer plant fire 4-22
– Azure Standard fire 4-22
– Food processing plant fire, Salinas California 4-22

Granted, there exists a certain background frequency of fires even in normal times, but this pattern of so many fires striking so many food facilities in such as short period of time is raising eyebrows.

Union Pacific railroad is shutting down transportation of grains and fertilizer, even as demand for such agricultural inputs is skyrocketing

The recent Union Pacific announcement that they would start de-platforming rail cars carrying fertilizer to US farmers only adds to the speculation that all this is somehow coordinated to create food scarcity in America. It also begs the question: As the world is running straight into a global food crisis, why would the US rail infrastructure companies decide to drop fertilizer and grain shipments?

“If we do not see reductions to the operating inventory through their voluntary efforts, then we will begin metering traffic after April 18th,” announced a Union Pacific press release that targeted at least 30 companies that ship fertilizer, grain and other goods by rail. The term “metering” means forced de-platforming, of course. Companies like CF Industries were warned that if they did not voluntarily reduce the number of rail cars they were using, they would be banished from the entire rail system.

CF Industries, in its own announcement, warned that, “Not only will fertilizer be delayed by these shipping restrictions, but additional fertilizer needed to complete spring applications may be unable to reach farmers at all. By placing this arbitrary restriction on just a handful of shippers, Union Pacific is jeopardizing farmers’ harvests and increasing the cost of food for consumers.”

That same announcement revealed that 30 companies are facing similar restrictions. Union Pacific claims it is overloaded with demand and can’t handle it, so they’re buying more locomotives… a process that will likely take years to complete, if ever.

Engineered food shortages will lead to food riots and civil unrest around the world

The United Nations’ FAO is already warning that food prices are spiking at the astonishing rate of 12.6% per monthaccording to the FAO’s latest data (March, 2022).

The IMF, meanwhile, is publicly warning that the accelerating food supply shortages will lead to waves of social unrest across the globe. From that story:

Protests have already erupted in Peru due to unrelenting inflation, and this is probably only a taste of what is to come as the problem spreads.

Sky-high food prices, especially in poorer countries, will make it unaffordable for many families to make ends meet. This will lead to protests and riots – and as the dominoes continue to fall throughout the rest of the world, hell on earth will ensue.

“This crisis unfolds even as the global economy has not yet fully recovered from the pandemic,” says Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, the IMF’s research development director.

When even the globalist institutions are warning about widespread food riots, civil unrest and the potential for political revolutions around the world, you know things are looking rather dim.

Analysis: The engineered collapse of the US food supply is part of the collapse / reset plan to destroy America

In our analysis, these data points are not merely coincidence. They indicate a well planned, well funded scheme to create food scarcity across the USA in the second half of 2022 and extending well into 2023.

Whoever is running this plan wants Americans to panic from hunger.

That panic will of course lead to uprisings and food riots, almost certainly followed by food rationing and, eventually, government-mandated price controls.

I have also predicted that the corrupt Biden regime will direct limited food supplies to “blue” areas while starving “red” areas as a run-up to civil war in America. Biden has already indicated he will use similar powers to weaponize supplies by denying the supply of monoclonal antibodies to red states. That action is a kind of medical sanction and an act of war against the red states.

To survive the engineered starvation that’s coming, we strongly urge all readers to learn how to grow food. ICanGrowFood.com is a Brighteon sponsor and features a free webinar video that shows you how to grow a huge amount of food in a very small space (about the same space of 2-3 parking lot spaces for cars).

You can also search Brighteon.com for the term “Kratky” to find all sorts of videos about the Kratky non-circulating hydroponic grow method, which is also the one that I use to produce massive amounts of vegetables with minimal effort.