Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saintly Irony- Merry Christmas 2011

This is the night that we celebrate Christ’s birth as a man.  God is all good and allowed his Son to come and open a door for humanity to know holiness.
I’ve just come in from a dark and rainy night to continue watching the Bears run the ball against the Packers and in my mind I ask the question: Is it better to try really hard or better to win in regards to sainthood?

In regards to football, most know that winning is the desire.  There are some fantastic plays from the losers but the best end result is another win.  I can relate a desire to holiness to a desire to win easily, but in the words of my dad, “There isn’t any ‘saint school’", so it is not so straight forward.

The answer has to come from within to know if you’re a winner.  In my case, I am pretty bummed out that I have so far to go and reading about Saint Faustina being told she has far to go doesn’t give me too much hope in the holiness department.

Saintly life isn’t easy these days with what is on television and on the streets in the form of hate, sensuality, greed and selfishness. I wish there was a ‘Saint School’.  That would be really cool, but the irony is the same for those who strive for MVP.  You don’t seek after that stuff, you have to live it.  

What is better in the end?  Trying really hard counts when you are doing it for good reasons I think.  Even though I won’t win the holiness game, I can play it and build up my yardage as I keep running the ball toward the goal.  Even if life doesn't play fair with me, I am trying to do things for good and thinking of others. 

Saint school is living life and learning from your mistakes to seek to do as Christ did.  Don't try for MVP,  play the game as if you are the MVP and inspire others to do the same. That is what holiness is, that is what Christ became man to do.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! 2011

 from www.ewtn.org


Daniel 3
62 Sun and moon, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
63 Stars of heaven, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
64 Every shower and dew, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
65 All you winds, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
66 Fire and heat, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
67 Cold and chill, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Inspiration

This year at school I really want to inspire the children like some of the great teachers I know.  It makes me think of the times I have been inspired and how I can revive that in myself and bring it to others.

I always come back to music.  I think music carries many people through many burdens.  Music and words sooth and express rage.  One song in particular that inspired me when I learned it in the high school choir as a freshman was O Magnum Mysterium.  The version was from 1572 and I think we were learning it for Spring concert.

The teacher I had was not very inspiring.  She was crass and rude to me on more than one occasion.  I didn't know why.  I saw here again about 5 years later and I tried to be nice but she was rude again.  I appreciate that she introduced me to this song though.

The lyrics just came back to my mind last night and they are perfect for preparing for Advent. The music inspires me every time and brings me closer to God's call in my life to love those that don't show they want to be loved by others.


One last thing, I often went to the dark below level music library at LSU to listen to this recording when I felt I needed an uplift.  My favorite part is everything and the alleluias.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Listener

What Boudreaux heard in Church

Old Boudreaux died and went to the pearly gates. St. Pete was just waiting for him to get there. When they met up, St. Pete said, "Whoa, Boudreaux, I can't let you pass through the gates until you answer three questions." Old educated Boudreaux say, "Go ahead, St. Pete, give me your best shot," St. Pete say, "O.K., Boudreaux, question number one. How many seconds do they have in a year?" Boudreaux say, "Aw, that's easy, St. Pete, twelve." St. Pete say, "Boudreaux, how did you get twelve?" Boudreaux say, "Jan second, Feb second, etc." St. Pete say, "Boudreaux, that's not quite what I'm looking for, but I'll let you slide. Question number two. How many days do they have in a week?" Boudreaux say, "That's easy, St. Pete, two." St. Pete say, "Boudreaux, where you get two from?" Boudreaux say, "Today and tomorrow." St. Pete say, "Boudreaux, that's not quite what I'm looking for. Now Boudreaux, this last question you have to get it right or I can't let you into heaven. Who is our father?" Boudreaux say, "That's easy, St. Pete, Howard." St. Pete say, "Where did you get Howard from, Boudreaux?" "Our father who art in heaven, Howard be thy name.



We never know what we will be called to next if we are following the path God has willed for us.  If you work in a job where you speak with other people daily there is always a call to serve others in Christ by listening rather than speaking.
I have not practiced listening well in the past, but I am learning to listen.  My big question is learning how to listen to the things that others do not say.  This is where true reflection about our own lives helps us to listen to others.

For example, listening while working with an especially difficult or as I like to call it, ‘high-maintenance’ person is imperative.  But how to I do this and show Christ’s patience and charity when the person is constantly in my face complaining?

One thing I had to do is reflect on my personal goals and redirect my temperament.  I prayed and thought about the real reason I love Christ and my desire to serve others.  This reflection helped me to engage in a change within myself so that I could redirect my frustration with my circumstances into understanding and loving.  By looking at the bigger picture of my life with this other person intersecting it, I realized by listening to my inner conscience and desire to serve, I could best serve this other person by loving more.

“A whole new world of freedom, possibility, and creativity emerges when we can listen to change.”  The Sacred Art of Listening  by Kay Lindahl

The sad fact is that I come across many people who remind me of times in my life where I felt like no one listened to me.  Sometimes I am overwhelmed by my desire to listen to them and friend them and also get away from them at the same time.  I think you have to pick and choose your battles with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

We are called not only to listen to others in charity, but to listen creatively to the sound of God’s call in holy scripture and to the advice that lies within.  Jesus lives a life of service as he conquers his own doubt and fear in those moments of the Passion.  Jesus lives a life of service as he works at his craft and studies the ancient texts.  Jesus lives a life of service when he listens to the call of every wounded heart that has been removed from Eden.  

There are ways to listen creatively, but listening starts with me. 



Sunday, October 9, 2011

The New Translation of the Roman Missal

I remember several years ago when I went on this awesome camping and hiking trip to North Carolina.  There were about 16 of us with half being seminarians.  One of those days, we were just getting out for a hike and I heard one of the guys talking about what one of the seminary's professor's said about liturgy.

The young guy, a seminarian at the time, didn't get why the Father had hopes for a more meaningful liturgy with a change of words.  I butted in, young and probably not as knowledgeable as the seminarian and said, "well I know what he means, just take a look at the Athanasius Creed." 

I happened to have a copy in my trunk and I handed it over for him to ponder. 

I don't know if it was the Holy Spirit speaking or just a little know-it-all in me, but I do know the power and beauty of words.  There is a difference in the words of Stephanie Meyers and Marcel Proust. There is a difference in the words of Billy Graham and Pope Benedict XVI. 

It doesn't matter though if the words are fictional or theological, the power lies in the depth of meaning.  If the mass were still said in Latin, I can't say that I would understand everything.  But there is certainly a reverence in the words that have so much meaning that transcend all languages. 

This new Roman missal is an emergence to a brighter light in our lives.  Those who have diligently participated in the Holy Roman mass have been surrounded by the Church as an ocean.  I feel this rising up is a way of bringing the depth to those who have not known the true beauty of the Holy Catholic Church, or who have been waiting with excuses on the surface to dive in to the fullness of the Liturgy.

It's quite exciting because the center of the Church is the Word.  Those who seek the true Word, find the Truth of Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Link to the Wikipedia explanation:
Athanasius Creed

Friday, October 7, 2011

The High Cost of Communication

Communication comes in many forms as I found out even more when I asked my students to name them.  Even with all of these we don't always communicate enough with others.

 
Facebook
cellphone
talking
im
email
mail
internet
chatting
psp
skype
texting
ipod

Ignoring people has become an art and almost impossible.  One group of people we try to ignore is one we interact with on a daily basis. Coworkers.  I spend a lot of time seeing mine and answer their email questions on the weekend, but every now and then I need a break.  It is important to be positive with coworkers, but I think I could show Christ’s love even more by sending an email out to encourage and inspire. 

With all of these means of communication, I really have no excuse as a follower of Christ.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Diagonal vs. Straight

There is a clear advantage to the diagonal cut sandwich.

The Vineyard owner in the readings today gave equal portions to all men that labored for him.  The diagonal cut takes the guessing game away from the dilemma of perfectly squared equal portions.  Though the two parts look different, it doesn't really matter how big the two sides are if you are eating the whole thing yourself.  God is bountiful in his mercy and divvies it up like a diagonal cut.  We all get the whole she-bang.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Humility of Inspiration

Some weeks I just can't wait to receive Christ in the Holy Eucharist.  I don't work on a schedule that allows me to attend daily mass anymore, and the place I live is vastly different from the very Catholic state of Louisiana.  So the assurance of the sacrament on Sundays seems far away on long days like I had last week.

One part of the readings this week refers to Romans 12:1-2 "present your bodies as a living sacrifice" and "be transformed... that you may prove what is the will of God"

The letter to the Romans is so forthright. I have always found it the most engaging letter of scripture.  This call to not 'do' what the will of God is, but to 'be' the will of God that He may prove what that will is, is the narrow path.

Most of what I write on this website is part of an ongoing life's reflection. Currently I am reflecting on the role of leadership.  At first I thought it was a good thing to be in leadership, but then I realized my focus should not, and can not be for my own aggrandizement.  I turned my heart toward trying to inspire the little people I teach.  I think to inspire them to care and to love and to learn would be the most important thing that would lead them to Christ.  Loving and learning and inspiring is what Christ did while on Earth.  The will of God IS good and acceptable and perfect, though I am not, I must move aside and 'be' that will rather than try to 'do' that will myself.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Murky side of the Sun

Being a saint is like being a champion at the most popular sports events but you hide in the bathroom after the game.

Being a saint is like finishing all paperwork for everything forever but you forgot where you put it.

Being a saint is like swimming across the ocean and discovering all fish and mammals in the sea but you can't remember their names.

Sometimes it is really hard to even try to be a saint. Anything worth trying is going to be difficult. Good thing it's only the Risen Christ who judges us and not a crowd, a due date or a fish population.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Few Good Books Before the End of Summer

Summer is almost up for this teacher. I am starting at a new school, as in, newly built, so they want us to come in for training early.  That means I have about a week to cover a few good books I wanted to read or re-read this summer.

1. Re-read: Poverty of Spirit by Johannes Baptist Metz
I can't get enough of this 52 page small book. The description of the crucifixion is beautiful.

2. Read: Eleanore of Aquitane and the Four Kings
I don't always read biographies, but I think this one promises to hold my other favorite subject, history.  I'm sure when I finish reading it, I'll relate it to something suitable for Jesus.

3. Skim Read: Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
This will probably finalize my interest in Eastern culture and religion. I took a world religions class in college which was very interesting.  The professor asked us to introduce ourselves the first day with what we expect to get out of the class, I went with a chipper, " To evangelize for Christ!"  It's true though, He is Truth.  I feel it is important to understand other religions so you can meet people where they are and then be able to bring them toward Christ if it is the Father's will.

4. Practice Read: Fables Choises by La Fontaine
One of many French prose books I like to read and study. I am not fluent in French but I read it often.  Five years of French in elementary and high school and a Cajun French speaking grandmother have endeared the language on my heart.

5. Quick read: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
A children's book, a Newbury Honor book.  I teach 5th grade, delightful and pleasant little people, so I try to find books they like and put them on my classroom shelf.

Wish me luck!! I have a full week and then my brain starts preparing for school even though it doesn't start until Aug 22nd!

Monday, July 18, 2011

New to me Website for Catholics

This looks pretty cool, but I haven't read everything in it yet.


http://www.catholicscomehome.org/

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Grand Expectation

Expectations.

Guy walks into a church, bartender asks, “The usual, Bob?” Bob says, “Yep!”

Bob has been going to a place where his usual drink is well known.  The bar may be his church in a world where vice is accepted as necessity.  Our expectations of life and living vary in wide degrees between cultures.  And thankfully they also change as we learn more about our Savior and ourselves.  

Many people we hear about, seem to get really hooked on expectations.  There are ideas about what a loved one should do or look like or have.  There are scales for wealth depending on race and age and status.  There are expectations for yourself as far as your dreams and hopes and worries.

Do these matter?  Do any of our expectations for ourselves or expectations of other people matter?  No they don’t.  In some ways, if they are centered on the good for a person, other’s opinions may be helpful. But in the long run, imagine a Creator that is Omnipotent, Powerful and Engaging, who could also crush you like a bug.  

This is the guy whose expectations matter.

This guy, or God, has set us up for life!  We have prime positioning over all the Earth and beyond.  We have emotions that can carry you to the moon, in a good way.  We have the full and complete attention of the same divine God that created a Pangea as well as our very selves.

Expectations you say?  Innocent guy walks into a court, comes out sentenced to die for all humanity so they know what true Love is.

Pretty wacky and illogical if you don’t expect it, but this God that gives full attention to small man, planned the whole thing.

Grace.

Christ said, “Hey guys, I’ll see ya later in Heaven, but I’m going to send my friend over to help you out.”

That friend, The Holy Ghost, came along with a big load of grace. It’s like when your sick and some cheesy girlfriend or boyfriend at the time brings you a can of Campbell’s. Replace the ‘chicken noodle’ with ‘Grace: Zero Sodium, No Calorie!’ and you’ve got an allotted portion of grace that is for you!

Now take all of your expectations about life and living and the way those have changed and morphed into what you didn’t want and maybe did or found out was kind of okay.  Jesus has a big-ole-pantry full of extra cans of ‘Grace:Zero Sodium, No Calorie!’ and you can have as much as you want! 

You only have to ask.

Remember, God had the expectation that his creation would have the free will to love Him. Jesus came and gave us his expectation for life and living.  It’s a matter of getting over the other people’s opinions and ideas and expecting great things in Christ.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Paraclete Judge

In light of today's ruling in the case of a small child that died, I was thinking about judges in general when I went to adoration and read John 16.  In verse 8 Jesus says: "And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation".  In the 1983 version I read, it said justice instead of righteousness.

The link will guide you to the USCCB reading of Chapter 16 of John in the New American Bible.  This chapter goes on to state the necessity of the Holy Ghost coming and Christ going back to his Father.  In the footnote to explain the passage I mentioned is the word 'forensic', meaning in this instance I assume, a judgement made with methodical and meticulous logic.

All of this made me think of the direct relationship of authority and how our systems reflect the Kingdom.  I am no theologian or philosopher, but I know that the Kingdom of God is flawless in its judgement, where we are full of flaws in our systems.  But we can see in a logical way the idea of a judge working for a greater personage as 'the state' or on the federal level, 'the nation's interests'.

This brings me back to the Holy Ghost coming to guide us and judge us and the fact that Christ says that the Holy Ghost will share nothing that is not of Himself and of the Father.  I think it is pretty interesting to consider the Holy Ghost in light of your relationship with Jesus Christ.  Many may have heard of Christ, but have they truly sought Him? The Holy Ghost will know.  Many may have talked the talk, but the Holy Ghost reads the heart.

I have met a judge before to help me with a speeding ticket.  I was definitely speeding, but I was young and didn't want it on my record.  But the point is, he knew me.  If he wouldn't have known me, he probably wouldn't have helped me.  The Holy Ghost, the Paraclete is the divine judge in the end acting for the one true King that we have in this life, Our Lord Jesus Christ Son of God.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Galactic Catholic Photo of the Day: Mission

Mission work in Mexico was probably easier 15 years ago.  I have more than a few friends working on mission projects in Mexico. Please pray for them and their success in Christ's mission.  The picture below is when I was still coming back into the Church. Our Lady of Guadalupe was my guide.

 
An hour outside Saltillo, Mexico 1997
Our Lady, Pray for Us!
Saint Therese of Lisieux, Pray for all Missionaries throughout the world!

The Mission Trip

Looking Past the Present

A friend recently made a comment about something I said about disliking all the yucky stuff that goes on in this world. I said I couldn't wait to be done with it, but I know I'll end up living till 100 years old like the rest of the Cajuns in my family.

When I said this, she tilted her head slightly and said,"You know, it is good to have that perspective, that there is more to look forward to."

She said it because she has so many beautiful things in her life, and so do I, but it is easy to forget that our main goal is to be able to stand before Christ unashamed.

I would like to think that everybody thinks like me, but the fact is there are plenty people that are much, much smarter! and holier! But one thing I keep in mind is the prize of being in the presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ on the Throne of Heaven and Earth. While there are so many good things on this planet and people to love, no one who knows anything about love cannot deny that people are doing a lot of hating lately.

The same people who preach tolerance and peace are the ones that define those terms as "agree with me" or else your stupid and intolerant and racist and a bigot and a homophobe.

So my peeps, don't be hatin' and remember that Christ is the Kingdom, the Power and Glory.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The New Prayer for Vocations

Pope Benedict XVI released in a statement recently a new prayer for vocations. It is so beautiful. Please check out his address here for the original context.

Santa Clara University Chapel

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Favorite Scripture

My favorite bit of scripture is Ephesians 6:12

"Our battle is not against human forces but against the principalities and powers, the rulers of this world of darkness, the evil spirits in regions above."

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Aura of Home

It's great to be back in Louisiana for a bit. There are so many opportunities for Catholic get togethers. Not with friends so much, but in general in the Catholic bulletins at church and in the diocese in general. Louisiana is so Catholic. Though friends are a callin' too!

I wish Florida had more opportunities like that, but they are all in the morning geared toward the retired crowd.
Either way, it's nice to be with the best dad in the world today and the best mom too.

Happy Father's Day to Father God, Creator of the Universe.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Earth in Miniature

I am working on my ESOL certification classes tonight. We had to watch this youtube video. It's very cool and very relevant to the problems of today.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Time for Graces

Time has taken its toll on my heart and soul.  I find as I get older I need to seek more ways to obtain grace.  Also, I see that there is nothing I can do to reach God without His help.

There are many obstacles along the way.  There is hurt, deceit, violence and cruelty in the world. Among these there is also the sin that we are inclined to commit that keeps us from truly knowing how to love in Jesus Christ’s name.  All of these make it hard to love and see past the actions and hurt of others close to home.

I have been praying for a long time for my family to seek and know the most Sacred Heart of Christ and to be embraced by his love.  I pray for it, but I have no control over their hearts and they don’t really want to listen to things I have to say.  

I mention it, because though it hurts me enough, the effect of some of their actions hurts the ones I love the most.  I cannot move their hearts by my actions or words.  They have to choose the right path toward Christ themselves.

It would be nice to go back in a time machine with the knowledge I have now so that maybe I could have prayed more before, but such a thing does not exist.  I think that prayer transcends time though.

It is hard too, to see a light in the darkness when there are individuals striving to keep families apart.  I suppose I must keep praying and maybe like St. Augustine, there will be a realization of the love of Christ and the grace of God will prevail in their lives as well as mine.

Unfortunately, I am called to be a peacemaker.  I say unfortunately, because usually the peacemaker must go where the bombs have been and are being thrown.  It's not an easy job.

St. Joseph, Patron of families,  pray for us.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Mother of Spirituality

Spirituality starts with our first answer to the Holy Spirit’s call.  The Holy Spirit will lead us on the most appropriate path toward fulfillment of God’s will in our lives. Mary, the Mother of God, was and is an easy path to understanding what spirituality is and how to seek the Lord continuously.

Before I knew Jesus Christ, I knew Mary the Mother of God.  My spirituality developed by her loving embrace always pointing toward the Savior.  It was easy then to trust her son because she had introduced him to me herself.

Our Lady is more than an example of physical proof that Christ was born. 

“Mary is the believing other whom God calls. As such, she represents the creation, which is called to respond to God, and the freedom of the creature, which does not lose its integrity in love but attains completion therein.” Pg 31 Mary: The Church at the Source

Some people think that spirituality is the action one takes to ‘show’ love of Christ.  Pope Benedict in his words from Mary: The Church at the Source, takes the complexity of the fiat and simplifies in words the fact that to gain spirituality is to lose self.  Our Lady did just this as she contemplated all things thrust upon her with Christ at the forefront of her mind.

Intimate relationship with Jesus

[Mary] To be soil for the Word means that the soil must allow itself to be absorbed by the seed, to be assimilated by the seed, to surrender itself for the sake of transforming the seed into life. Pg 15 Mary: The Church at the Source

I have met more than a few Christians who deny Mary as a way to knowing Christ.  They are very mistaken because her very nature was centered on Christ. The Catechism of the Catholic Church quotes in 2014: “Spiritual progress tends toward ever more intimate union with Christ.” and “God calls us all to this intimate union with him, even if the special graces or extraordinary signs of this mystical life are granted only to some for the sake of manifesting the gratuitous gift given to all.”

Mary is the first of us to truly know God in His Son.  Who better to spiritually guide us?  If spirituality is not many spoken and outward signs, while those are good and have their place, the internalization and contemplation of Christ is a true spiritual path.  Our Lady takes this path in a dedicated manner throughout the gospels.

A witness and participant to our Salvation

Mary, the Mother of God, knows Christ.  Our natural reason leads us to know a greater good and to seek the maker of our souls.  Mary, having been born Immaculate, had a greater supernatural revelation of Christ.  Her experience of His life makes her the bearer of His pain, having known Him.  “Marian piety is thus necessarily a Passion-centered piety.” Pg35  Mary: The Church at the Source

Our Lady, Queen of Angels and Queen of the Universe is the perfect example of an Earthly life lived for Christ.  Blessed Pope John Paul II states in Redemptoris Mater,  

“But she was in the Upper Room, where the Apostles were preparing to take up this mission with the coming of the Spirit of Truth; she was present with them. In their midst Mary was “devoted to prayer” as the “mother of Jesus”, of the Crucified and Risen Christ.  And that first group of those who in faith looked “upon Jesus as the author of salvation,” knew that Jesus was the Son of Mary, and that she was his Mother, and that as such she was from the moment of his conception and birth a unique witness to the mystery of Jesus.” Pg. 39

She remains the most important witness to Jesus Christ on Earth.  Her fiat along with the embodiment of the theotokos grants Mary the depth of spirituality that we can only one day hope to experience a small part of in Heaven.   She has had and does have the most intimate of relationships with Jesus Christ and therefore is the first witness that we should entrust with our petition for more knowledge of Him.  Her actions were never obnoxious, showy or over the top.  Her loving and contemplative way was the way of the Cross along side her Son. 

Our witness and cross

I was inspired to write this because I read a blog called Catholic American Eyes in Korea.  The Maryknoll fathers wrote recently about a lack of spirituality amidst the prevalent materialism in the Asian society in which they live.  It made me think about how I first sought Christ, and that was through Our Lady. 

I want to tell all those who think they cannot know Christ out of fear or ignorance, seek His mother.  She is our first witness to his life and passion.  She can lead you if you need a way to reach the full love and completion of knowing Jesus Christ.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Reality of Sheep

I heard a lady once say, " I always feel insulted when Jesus refers to us as sheep."  She had owned sheep at one time and adamantly admitted how stupid they were. 

It is good to know though, that Christ is so forgiving and loving that he watches closely over the most stupid creatures.  Sheep have it better though, they don't get angry and intentionally hurt others like people do.  So we all have a long way to go. 

Listen for the voice of Christ and seek the narrow gate.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Jesus in Jazz

Sunday was a great opportunity to rejoice in the Divine Mercy and John Paul the Great's beatification.   My small celebration consisted of finding a coffee shop to crack open a book or two for enjoyment.  I brought with me Tanqueray's Spiritual Life and Who's Who in Jazz by Chilton.

I covered a little of both and the awesomeness of the musician always amazes me and shows me the glory of God.  Just like Tanqueray's Spiritual Life reads as a guide to follow the righteous path, the Who's Who reads like an encyclopedia of persons of Jazz desiring to attain in their lifetime a type of peace and righteousness with the desire to create beautiful jazz.  The musician is an isolated figure struggling to make his music, but always sees the fruition of playing with other musicians, each one adding in his own specialty for the glory of it all.

After studying the names and paths of individuals and understanding the importance of the band leader calling everyone together to New York or Chicago, I switched over to Tanqueray's opinion of it all.  Here is where my comparison lies in the path we take and the limitations that this human method has.
In the chapter on perfection in the Christian life, Tanqueray states "we cannot on Earth love God with a constant, nor yet habitual love which is at the same time perfectly pure and disinterested."348  This habitual love is also unperfect like the improvisation of the jazz musician's weaving across the country to play for food, work and soul. 

I like these type of random comparisons because I see God in the talents he has given these musicians that strove to survive in the early 1900s.  There is such a joy in music and the style of jazz is also a creation of God the Father.  The Creator weaved a world that we could find joy in.  The jazz musician developed as a response to a cry in the wind from the beats and rhythms of Africa, the Caribbean and the sounds of Europe.  The growth of the medium is still in development as the hearts of men still turn one by one and all in unison to the Great Band Leader of this universe.

It was all a matter of getting the music out there for these guys, and playing, playing, playing until it killed you.  Which is the case of many of the small autobiographical references in Chilton's encyclopedia.The Sugar Cane Orchestra and the Young Olympia Band developed in a time of hardship.  Experimentation of a different kind took place in the sound laboratory of Fred Van Epps. From the 1900s to the 1960s, these mostly self-taught artists played for the heart of it and left a legacy of beautiful music.

Can we say that we try to play the way God has intended for us?  Or are we creatures of poor habit that will never try to create music of the soul in striving for  good habits? 

I think we are only improvisors on this path that God leads us on and he is the great conductor that brings us all together from different places, calling out of the blue one summer to come and add your piece to the music of life.

The Unbitten Path


A long hike in the wilds of Florida has a wonderful affect on the conscience.  Spiritually, it makes one wonder about the habits that lead away from God's love.  Physically, you are molested by a plague of bugs that want to suck your blood to remind you that you are a sinner.

It was a beautiful walk though and I am the better for it.  The wooded trail with many palmettos and wildflowers reminded me of my childhood walks in the early morning in the swamp near my home.  I did not see the random wild spider lily, but the baby cotton mouth and shallow dark canals were similar to the weaving canals that criss-crossed my neighborhood growing up.

And because I have experienced my own personal plague of that one damn horsefly that wouldn't go away, it reminds me of a sin that I confess repeatedly just like the horsefly.  You think it goes away, but really, it lands smack on your forehead and bites the hell out of you.  Grace is kinda like bug spray, I gotta get some.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Galactic Catholic Universe Photo of the Day: Florida:Little Manatee River State Park





God is in the details.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Right Left Turn

In my small downtown neighborhood the brick buildings butt up against the main highway that stretches straight through at the super speed of 30 mph.  When it comes to making a left turn, you have to be very careful to see around the edges and in most cases you can't see what is coming.  Still, it is a leap to go ahead and make that turn because your trying to get somewhere.

Easter is very much a reminder of left turns and sightless hope because the Resurrection is the promise of difficult tasks that will be accomplished with faith.  A few years back you may have read the story about the United Postal Service planning their routes in America to have more right turns, and thus less idle time using gas and valuable service time.  The opposite is true for the person who longs to know Christ.  The outcome for the UPS was to increase revenue which could easily be seen in dollars and cents.  The outcome for the faithful in the Holy Church is far greater than dollars and cents and depends upon that same sightless hope which we may use to make left turns when the view seems blocked. 

The easy way is not always the best way.  You have probably heard this saying before.  It is hard to see it as true when pride tells you otherwise.  Physically, making an endless amount of easy right turns will only lead you in a circle, whereas life is a series of multi-directional turns that lead you on the path of the will of God.  Left turns are a leap of faith.  They are scary sometimes and can be downright dangerous at other times.  These metaphorical turns in life have much more fruit than an easy way out or in or through.  The difficult decisions that our interactions with others create are the masters of our character and soul.  Would it be so great to explain to the maker that you were so crafty as to only make easy right turns in your life?  The soul and character would be made of mush at that point because of the folly of the easy road. 

Left turns in life are usually about people.  The turn starts with someone else but always ends up with you.  In the end, the turn depends on you.  The sightless leap of faith around a blind corner happens if you chose to go that way.  New opportunities are more likely to arise on that path not taken.  Forward is the only way that a hard task leaves one to take.  Would it be so great to explain to the maker that you were so scared but you took that leap of faith anyway?  The soul and character would be made of the very strong stone that you once believed blocked your path.

The Resurrection is a New way of thinking.  A new path has been lit by the Christ and the Father above waits for your arrival on that weaving way of hardships and renewal. 

If your right turns are pride and vanity, let humility and poverty be your left turn.  If your right turns are hatred and anger, let forgiveness and peace be your left turn. If your right turns aim you right at yourself, let Jesus Christ be your left turn and turn to Him again and again.

Alleluia! He is Risen!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Galactic Catholic Universe Photo of the Day: Florida

Is it Friday yet?  Copyright Galactic Catholic

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Catholic Dreamer

Sometimes the clarity in a dream is striking and can hold the key to a peaceful submission to God's will.  Often I find myself having dreamed of an event or discussion to heal a relationship.  These are different dreams from the regular random ones.

I can sense that God has a purpose to bring peace and healing in my life from a dream of a warmfelt hug or a spoken apology from myself or another person. 

At other times, I have dreamed being in a car wreck over and over.  I have learned to correct my thoughts and actions in the dream until I get out of danger.  The reason for these dreams is that the exact events occur, but because I have learned from my repeated dreams I am, and was able to save myself and the people driving behind me. Praise God!

God the Father used voices and dreams often in scripture to call the prophets.  But I think Our Lord calls us in this way to protect and bring peace also when a heart can only take so much more struggle or stress.  The love of the Lord is endless and there is no one who can stop Him from fulfilling the destiny He has for you in His great design.

Sleep well and I hope you have the type of dreams that bring peacefulness and preparedness for the mission the God has for you today.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The State of Pride

It's Lent again and once again I am failing to pray the Way of Cross.  I am freely admitting this so that the www. will hold me accountable.  The fact is, that I love to meditate on the Cross.  But my pride has gotten in the way of a good and Holy devotion exhibited in reflective prayer.

Please pray the Way of the Cross with me this Lent in order to have a well-formed conscience in preparation for the trials of this world.



Meditations for the Way of the Cross Fr. Frank Pavone

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Save the Blue Fin Tuna????

I am all for the ecosystem but when it comes to Tuna or Babies, it seems some people are missing the boat.



If you don't know, or you've been hiding under the proverbial rock, then please let me explain again that abortion is Murder of human babies.

Once a child is conceived within the womb of a woman it is a living entity that inhabits all of the essence of a human being.  The child forms organs within days.


Abortion takes place by Killing a child in the womb with drugs, chemicals or foreign objects thrust in the person of the child in the womb.

Partial birth abortion is always Murder of a child by killing in the womb or as the child is being born.

Yet people still do these things and admit to it freely.  So when it comes down to supporting Tuna, Wolves, Penguins or Human Babies, I am going to stick with the living breathing children that die each day to moral relativism and indifference to Life.

Abortion Methods
Beginning of a Child's Life

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Gradual Change

I wish sometimes that we could all just get where we are going.  In the spiritual sense though.  

But as I reflect on the scripture and the path of the disciples this Lent, I realize that they too, took baby steps in order to become leaders and healers in Jesus' name.  Only a few such as Andrew and John seemed to really 'get it' at first.  But then we have our very real friends in scripture, Peter and Paul and the rest of the crew that didn't really 'get it' at first that all things lead to the Messiah Christ.

It would probably help us in this life to hang around Jesus as much as possible. Thank goodness for Adoration!  But at the same time, there is not the sense of urgency that there may have been at the time of Christ.  In this world things are changing rapidly and it seems like when we make advances against embryonic stem cell research and partial birth abortion, we are just hit back down the hill to push against a very real boulder blocking many people's salvation.

The political fight for Life issues is only a metaphor for the inner struggle to battle sin in our everyday lives.  Like the very real sins of abortion and not natural genetic manipulation, the battle against every day sins rages for most of us like Peter in the scripture who make the same stupid mistakes over and over.  And that is the spiritual journey happening in tandem with the physical life on this Earth. 

Hakuin  
I read an internet article recently about living life in an experiential way. Before that I happened upon the work of a Zen Buddhist master named Hakuin in an art museum who suggested making activity your meditation rather than just doing meditation for its own self.  Both of these have merit and experiencing Christ in the sacraments, adoration and in personal prayer is the only method for tackling that spiritual hill where we must face our boulder each day in order to reach the Light.

One thing I choose to do is hope and pray for hope.  It is a grace of God to hope in the one who saved us and in all that salvation entails.  There is an 'Act of Hope' prayer for a reason.  If you truly desire to make a path on your spiritual journey no matter what is happening in the world then it will be.

Just as Peter was led to the cross, we must all bear our cross and eventually master our sin upon it.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Famous Ones

It's really cool to hear and read about Christians in the world that are living their faith even though they are famous or what not.  Like I have said before, I have been watching these cute 'kdrama' shows out of Korea.  Watching to much tv is a bad habit, but it led me to read about a few nice Christian leaders in various Asian countries.

My first interest in Asia started when I had an awesome Catholic geography professor at LSU freshman year that had lived and researched in China.  He shared the most amazing pictures and excitement about the beauty of the country.  Being a history teacher myself, I would love to learn more about the culture and history and geography.  But my first love is Christ, and their are so many people in Asia that I fear have not heard the true message of Jesus Christ. 

I would love to go there if God will's it one day and maybe do a little missionary work.  In the mean time, I will pray for Christian leaders like Kim Hyun Joong to seek the Sacred Heart of Christ and be a true witness to Him.

Saint Anna Pak Agi pray for us!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Feast of the Annunciation

I was driving my way back to Florida yesterday and couldn't attend mass like I wanted too for this feast.  I really miss the reverence in the Catholic Churches in Louisiana.  There is reverence here in Florida, but you can tell sometimes that it doesn't seem very deeply rooted.  Here is a photo of the Children with Our Lady of Fatima at my church in Louisiana that I used to attend.  The flowers are always rotated and kept up so well.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My 100 Things...


Inspired by the pictures down the 2nd grade hallway and the possible onset of a midlife crisis or just plain insanity.  These are 100 things I might like to be when I grow up starting with the least desirable, but possible occupations.


My 100 things I want to be when I grow up…

100. Tarantula caretaker
99. Bill O’Reilly intern
98. Gum scraper
97. Kindergarten teacher
96. Mail person
95. Foot massager
94. Obama intern
93. Cocaine inspector
92. Moral Relativist
91. Wedding Planner
90. Outhouse Checker
89. Mariana Trench diver
88. School counselor
87. School principal
86. Nun
85. Mel Gibson”s ticket writer
84. Explosion videographer
83. Volcano Explorer
82. Circus cannon projectile
81. Slum investigator
80. Hurricane Scientist
79. Envelope licker
78. Britney Speer’s back-up dancer
77. IRS Agent
76. Clay pigeon retriever
75. Conspiracy theorist
74. Pig slop processor
73. Cow mucker
72. Coffin maker
71. Phone book deliverer
70. Herpetologist
69. Purple People Eater
68. Incan Sacrifice
67. Daycare poop wiper
66. Malaria vaccine tester
65. Skywriter at a Rifle Festival
64. Construction manager
63. 1980s Historian
62. 1970s Historian
61. Bowling Ball Shiner
60. M&M color separator
59.Glue sniffer
58. Paper inspector
57. West Coast Rap Star
56. Dental spit vacuumer
55. Butter churner
54. Astronaut
53. Comic Con Door welcomer
52. Karaoke singer
51. Drunk Saints football fan
50. Stephen Colbert intern
49. Drunk Premier League fan
48. Crash test dummy
47. Photographer
46. Restaurant critic
45. South Park illustrator
44. Bulgarian Gypsy
43. Divet replacer
42. Shakespearian actor
41. Crawfish peeler
40. Graphic designer
39. Regular Bum
38. Danube River boat operator
37. Neoclassical Architect
36. Beach Bum
35. Cat Groomer
34. Golfer with an awesome handicap
33. Irish bartender
32. Sunglasses examiner
31. Printer
30. Dog Groomer
29. Theologian
28. Manga artist
27. Restoration painter
26. Book Publisher
25. Modern Historian
24. Marine biologist
23. Retro Furniture restorer
22. Beer taster
21. Oceanographer
20. Wine critic
19. Professional Tennis player
18. Muscle Car repair person
17. Copy Editor
16. Museum Director
15. Horse caretaker
14. Nonprofit PR manager
13. Coffee sniffer/taster
12. Software programmer
11. Teacher
10. Baker of any sort
9. Patisserie baker
8. Coffee Barista
7. Philanthropist
6. Stage actress
5. Painter
4. Full-time missionary
3. Poet
2. Musician
1. Full-time writer

Galactic Catholic Universe Photo of the Day: Florida State Fair

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Changing World

The world seems to be changing so fast for me to catch up with.  I am very much the type of person that could live happily without a cell phone or television.  I do love the internet though and it has helped me to have a more global view.  If you read my blog, you know I am interested in going to South Korea.  It seems that country is booming with different types of industry.  It would be even cooler to visit or work there and try to bring more of the Gospel of Christ. 

I have always had an interest in different countries and their people.  There are many saints I have read about and their countries.  I wish we had more American saints.  Many saints are those that have died as white martyrs or red martyrs.  Maybe one day I will get to visit South Korea and Asia, but for the mean time I will listen to the fun kpop and pray for those suffering from the earthquake and tsunami.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Prayer for Suffering in Japan

Dear Blessed Virgin Mary,

You told countless saints, "Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am you Mother?"

Virgin gentle in mercy, Health of the sick, Morning Star, shine the light of your loving view upon those who are struggling with despair around the world.  Comforter of the troubled and Refuge of Christians embrace the survivors of the tsunami in Japan and wrap them in your arms as you would hold the child Jesus.

Help all of us turn to you now.  Intercede for those souls whose time it was to meet the face of Christ.  Through your motherly intercession heal our hearts and guide us into the fullness of God's Love and Mercy. In Jesus' Name. Amen

The Litany of Loreto

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Will of God


Saints are amazing in our Catholic history because somehow, no matter what sinful, crazy stuff is happening in the world, they do the will of God.  The Gospel of Matthew urges us to also do the will of God.  I understand the sincerity of following through with the will of God, but I fall short when it comes to applying it and knowing what it is.

I don't think the Saints really knew if they were completely fulfilling the will of God.  If they are any type of human who loves the Lord, most of the time they were probably chastising themselves for raising their voice in a poor tone and worried about the mandate for loving thy neighbor in all ways.
 

God teaches us vain and selfish creatures to mainly love Him and love our neighbors.  There are detailed aspects to this in the scripture but the overriding theme of life seems to be, "What am I supposed to be doing for our Lord?"  This is the question that is just a daily question. 

For myself, it is a frustrating question.  All of the little things matter and they matter to God.  It is His will to be concerned with the details and love, love, love.  The frustrating part comes in for all the things that we have no control over.  The world in my view today, is disgusting.  I am 33 and even though I know many disgusting things have gone on for centuries, it has disgusted me as a history teacher and it disgusts me as a participant in this present time.

I thought for a minute today that, 'Wouldn't it be nice to have lived in the 1950s?'  Not that the things happening now would be any different but just in secret.  So I am charged with living in this time period and I am called by the will of God to live with joy and a shining Light of Christ for all to see.  Seems pretty darn impossible and I have very little knowledge as how to move past the enumerable barriers that want to break the spirit.  (I admit I have been discouraged by persecutors)

This is where one of the most important phrases that Christians can know comes into play for me.  "Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" Matt 6:26  Last week's Sunday reading is a reminder and a connection to the life that God the Father calls us to live no matter the conditions.  It's not the value that God puts on our beings so much as the distance He will go to provide for our every spiritual and physical need.  


Therefore, I can only assume that the small duties that Christ calls me to do, to know the Father are those that are God's will.  As for the limitations of my sin and the call to sainthood, I try to remember that God the Creator will try infinite ways to help me make right decisions and by the Holy Spirit, do His will. The world of deceit will always crumble before the righteousness of truth that is Jesus Christ the Savior.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Vernal Equinox

There is so much that holds us upright upon two legs on this place we call Earth.  The science of the universe and all of its puzzle pieces has inspired Aristotle to Benedict XVI.  The vernal equinox is a yearly event when night and day are supposed to be closest in length. It is a balance of the tilt of the Earth toward the Sun in the Northern Hemisphere and it also officially summons Spring. Roman Catholics will be in the midst of Lent on March 20th this year when the equinox occurs.  In a sense, the tilt of the Earth which allows for the seasons is much like the changing seasons of our faith life as we revolve closer toward the Son.

Madeira Beach, FL  Copyright GalacticCatholic

God intends for our joy in this life with the hopes that we would grow closer to Him, but at a much faster rate than the Earth moving toward the Sun. Our sun is a medium sized start that has a long time to go before it reaches a point of becoming supernova.  What is fascinating is that, we are in a galaxy where stars are far enough away so that human life has been made possible on this planet.  It is pretty amazing that all of these factors have been designed for our existent to work harmoniously with the universe.

The time of Lent is a Catholic season of a call to 'meet various trials' and 'let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.' James 1:4     Christ beckons night and day, no matter the length and He never forsakes and never leaves you.  He is divine and has a much greater capacity for divine light than our medium sized sun.  Therefore, our Son lights our universe with love and the same gravitational pull that keeps our feet on the ground is designed by our Savior's Father in Heaven. 

We may tilt away and rotate affections and revolve this way and that, but ultimately we will meet the Son as the Earth will meet the Sun.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Yay!

I received Dr. Brant Pitre's book in the mail today. Awesome!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

ADDICTION: The Climb Upwards

Recognizing addiction's impact on your family

This article is the last piece of this small series on addiction.  I am not a doctor or psychologist, I only know what I have discerned and experienced from those in my family who have had addictions.  Family members I never met have made the largest impact in my thoughts on this topic because of the destruction of addiction and how it then affected those around me today.

The other aspect of my experience, is the unconditional love of Jesus Christ in my life.  Because I have sought Him regularly in my own failings, it is possible for me to have gained an insight in the love that He bears for the weakest in His sight.

Addiction affects generations

I have spoken about the pain and lies that come from the slow trickle into addiction.  Along with the present situation that a person can create by their fall, there is a long lasting generational effect in a family.  For example,  the trauma created for a young child in a home with an alcoholic or a drug abuser, creates a lasting impression of anger and resentment in the child and others who are traumatized.
Also, the direct influences of the care giver for a child are effected by a traumatized lifestyle which manifests in stress related outbursts, physical violence and verbal abuse to others in order to relieve the powerless feeling they themselves are experiencing.

Steps for atonement and peace after generational addiction

Atonement of the heart, mind, and soul is necessary for true recovery.  After recognizing and contemplating the manifestations of trauma from addiction in your family history, even if it is a current history, make a choice to atone.

For some reason, God's grace has allowed me to forgive repeatedly the sins of my grandfather and his family.  It is hard and I have harbored anger in the past and still work through it.  But when I came to know Christ better, I sought understanding. I prayed for understanding repeatedly for a long time.  This was originally for me to be able to not judge others, but Christ knew I needed to forgive within my own family before I could love others as much as He wanted me too.

The effects of addiction show up in small ways that satan uses as leverage over your soul.  Remember that he is the great lier and he desires fully to turn your heart from Christ the Savior.  The great lier will use the anger and resentment of those affected by addiction to continue to break down family and love of the Divine Father God.  These ways include the hurt that a loved one may cause from continuous verbal abuse or manipulative means of gaining affection or things.  I have found that recognizing these events or actions, is a way to recognize the cry of that person's heart for the True Love of the Sacred Heart of Christ, which we are called to share.

Before I go on, here is the review: Recognize generational affects, seek understanding, forgive and love like you have never been hurt before.

It may seem very, very hard to continue to forgive over and over, someone you love that you cannot ever step away from like a family member.   It is not meant to be easy to suffer, but this struggle is a means to an end.  Consider the path that you take as a minute part of the Cross of Christ which he carried all of our own sins upon.  The end result was Eternal Salvation.

When you choose to love instead of hate, to forgive instead of resent and to understand rather than despise, you are the light of Christ for your whole family.  Because, even though their may be many family members that feel darkly about others, you can be a loving light of Christ bringing them together in love.  Love and Joy will always, always defeat darkness.

The person you love may never express sorrow or seek forgiveness from you.  But I think, you can see it in their eyes that they know you know Christ.  Therefore, they may lash out at you till the very end, but you must endure because you will have witnessed to Love.

Reasons for Hope

Hope is not a vague mist in the wind.  Hope is a very real fruit of the Life and Cross of Jesus Christ.  I have seen how the love of Christ has changed members in my family for the good.  By God's grace alone, the Holy Spirit has brought those in my family who have struggled with addiction, back toward the right path.  When one family member struggles, we all struggle, no matter if we are attached to the person or detached.  It is best to recognize this generational inheritance and accept the truth of it and move on in acts of love, understanding and forgiveness.

Addiction Part One
Addiciton Part Two

Friday, February 18, 2011

Galactic Catholic Universe Photo of the Day: Madeira Beach

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The God Timeline

Time is catching up with me today.  It was one of those days where a little longevity pill would seem to help in the larger scale of things.  I feel like I will not have enough time.  This feeling has been building for a couple of days.

Before I become ridiculous in my worry, I try to focus on the ones who walked before in Scripture.  My favorites are Job, Elizabeth, Tobit and Jonah.  The crap they went through makes my easy life seem pretty simple.

Job always amazes me when he calls out to God even though he has lost all.  Elizabeth is amazing just for being able to bare a child.  Tobit's sense of duty strikes my shallow selfishness to the ground and Jonah's denial to do God's will and subsequent thrashing resonates with my pridefulness and harbored anger.

I am young and there is happiness in more knowledge as each year comes, but frustration also because I wish I would have known more sooner.  Luckily though, I don't believe in regrets. I never have.  God is the orchestrator of all things, it's just up to me to follow the tune or make it sound flat.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Travel Bug

I have the travel bug.  It is very hard to get rid of it.  I think it is because I have been watching this wonderful drama from South Korea, that now I want to go there.  It would be so much fun to go and teach at a school and learn a new language.

Matthew 28:18-20
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Besides, I love the food!  We shall see. God is in the details.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Galactic Catholic Universe Photo of the Day: Florida

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Winning Defeat

"Yahweh, set a guard at my mouth,
a watcher at the gate of my lips.
Let me feel no impulse to do wrong, 
to share the godlessness of evil-doers."
Psalm 141 NJB

Which side do you take when you sin? What argument do you use to justify your actions?
Though we may have a clear and present mind not to sin, it inevitably happens. Always the attacks, always the subtle and blatant reminders that we are so far from God's will when we try to accomplish our will.  Our selfishness is the first battle that must be waged.  The front line combats laziness, relativity and poor formation.  These can be defeated, but it is a long drawn out battle of wills and underground treachery.

I am often reminded of Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta and the way in which she told her sisters that more time in prayer is the way of finding more time in service to others.  The concrete act of prayer  fights fatigue and dissatisfaction with life.  There is more meaning in the forgiveness of sin when you truly seek to know Jesus.  There is more opportunity to love and obtain grace when you strive for sincerity in supplication.

Christ is always, with total devotion to our souls, compelling us with his divine love to practice more devotion to God the Father.  It is in the times of recognizing sin, that we may realize the time we have not spent with Christ in order to know the Father.  It is hard to find extra moments when you can seem so busy, and then spend 'catch-up' time in order to beg Him for something.  He does not wait for us though, because He is a constant presence in the heart that seeks Him.

The next time you cry out for forgiveness, beg for the grace of a convicted heart that will long for Christ.  The prayer is the easy part, it's the practice that takes time and effort. Anything worth the effort is worth the wait.  How much better is it to hope in the fruits of heaven?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day approaches. I will probably forget that it's happening, as I usually forget my own birthday sometimes.

But this year I am approaching several things a little differently. One of them is diversity. I never really thought of a type of guy that I would like before. Mostly because I didn't care. The only guys I really like are those who love Christ and could maybe keep up with my pace of life. (Haven't found one yet who is as spontaneous as me!!) But maybe I need to look beyond my fellow Caucasian Americans to Asians, Europeans and what not. I don't know of any specific traits, because you really can't judge a book by it's cover. There's always good and bad everywhere. So I will stick with piety.


Diversity is a pretty cool idea though, coming straight from Our Lady of Guadeloupe. The Spanish conquistadors did not know if they should marry the conquered natives of South America until, it was believed, that Our Lady appeared with her hands in two different colors. This appearance encouraged the bond of the marriage sacrament for the Catholic Spaniards and the natives of the land.

The scripture today also mentions the importance of shining a true Christian light on everyone. It is so tempting to move to China and try to evangelize but for the threat of sure imprisonment. So prayer and sacrifice will have to do for conversions for now. So many Saints traveled so far for the mission of the gospel. Therefore love cannot be limited to one race. If it was, none of us would get salvation.

So for Valentine's Day, if I remember which day it is, I will open my eyes and try to spread the love of Christ to everyone I meet with a smile.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pray for Life


www.nationalprayerforlife.org

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Black and White Sin: Lies

LIES in Addiction

We lie in our daily lives if we regularly allow an ill-formed conscience to be mastered by sin.  These lies build in different forms, but all can thicken a wall between your soul and God.  Lying to others, lying to yourself and trying to lie to God are all ineffective for achieving gain or happiness in this life.

Before the gravity of a lie becomes apparent, it is often released.  Into the wind, it haunts the one who spoke it until it finds rest upon a guilty heart, covering like a blanketing mist the light that otherwise would bare all.

All lies that affect the soul, affect others as well.  This is harmful and dangerous for loved ones in our lives and therefore it is imperative that lying ceases.  Lies of omission, lies for thorough deceit, and lies that hide sin are harmful to the fragile grace that God provides for the human heart.  Lies are small deeds with large impact that break down the will and open your reasonable mind to believe untruths.

Lying to yourself is one of the first steps to falling into sinful addiction.  When you lie to yourself, you create in your mind a false righteousness or false entitlement that you are owed something in this life that will make you happy.  But if you have ever experienced and known that you have sinned, you may know that happiness is not found in earthly treasures.  The way beyond this falsity is a simple matter of calling upon God to help you by asking for 'knowledge of your sins.'

People try to hide from God even though their souls are blindingly bright within and seeking the love of God.  It is hard for someone who has chosen to live in sin to choose God because God is so forgiving and knows all truths.  The weakened mind and heart cannot always get past the lie of drug abuse, the lie that feelings of a high are the way, or the lie that hatred of others is the only way to survive.  But it only takes 'the faith of mustard seed.'

It is therefore, the Christians duty to pray and sacrifice for those who are most in need of prayer. 

St. Therese of Lisieux prayed for a man in jail when she was a young girl.  He had harmed others by his actions.  At the last moment, he chose to choose Jesus Christ before he was put to death for his crimes.  In the same way that Christ invites the thief on the cross to "be with Him in paradise this day", we are called to look upon those that live a lie in addiction and sin, and pray, if not witness, to the full truth that is the message of salvation in Jesus.

"St. Therese of the Child Jesus, look upon and pray for those who most need to see Our Lord Jesus in their lives right now.  Especially the men and women that wander the street and know no way back to God's grace.  Pray for me, that I might shine a small light where I go, so that they may know to seek Christ who saves and reveals all truth and love. Amen"