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Showing posts from June, 2010

Renee Rewards: Reason 25

I love Renee because she possesses the uncanny ability to banter back. She is like a saint with a whiff of a truck driver's mouth.  She is holy, insightful 98% of the time, but damn she is also a smart ass also.   Strangely though I find this unique ability to banter back with me extremely attractive, serving as a healthy check to my own potty, truck driver mouth.

A wedding Narrative Pt. 2

Finally at around 3:35 the maid of honor and the bride's mother finally arrived.  Immediately upon their arrival we began the procession.The entrance procession began with the junior bridesmaids.  In the rehearsal we had great difficulties assembling the children in an organized fashion. During the rehearsal it was determined by Father that I should be the one guiding the children in their entrances, but because of the myriad of other responsibilities I had such as keeping the bride cool through my paper fan, I could not accomplish this task.  Fortunately for me my brother stepped in and he managed the procession.Despite a few hiccups (such as the children running instead of walking) the entrance procession went fineThe most memorable part of the entire service came when I saw Eliza walking down the aisle.  Her smile and joy were so evident and contagious that if one looked at her one would could not help but to shed tears of joy.  So palpable was her delight that I even teared up…

Renee Rewards: Reason 24

I love Renee because she is the best vocal harmonizer that I have ever known.  She is able to create often times on the spot great vocal harmonies to almost any popular tune.  She also has phenomenal pitch recognition.  Last night as we lied in bed we began singing and harmonizing to Beatles tunes.  We sang, "Here there and everywhere" and "If I fell." While I had great difficulties staying in key she was able to effortlessly sing and harmonize the melodies with remarkable accuracy.  Her natural, God given ability puts all of my conservatory, private music lessons to shame.  She is so blessed with natural musical ability even though she will never admit it she has a beautiful, sultry, alto voice.  I love these moments when we create music together because one of the first ways that we began to fall in love with each other was through music.  Unfortunately because of our responsibilities and duties we have not been able to create or perform music together.  But in t…

Moments with Joe: Pt 1

As most of you know I am fervently opposed to the actions of this current administration. I think that Barack Obama is a dangerous, ideological, incompetent and inexperienced leader. In the span of just 18 months I have witnessed the quadrupling of our national deficit, the passage of the unconstitutional "Obama care" health bill (which does almost nothing to stop federal funding for abortion), the gradual and systematic weakening of our national defense through the removing of our missile defense shields in Poland, and in the Czech Republic,  the rewriting of our Nuclear proliferation treaties, giving our enemies an unnecessary strategic advantage, the alienation of some of our most staunch and loyal allies,(Israel, Georgia, Poland, Czech republic) the gross inability of our president to develop an effective strategy at "plugging the damn hole in the Gulf", of pursuing aggressive, Western European style nationalization of our banks and automobile industries, nomin…

The therapy within the therapy

Each Tuesday evening I have an appointment with my therapist.  I have been seeing her consistently for almost two years.  She has been a tremendous blessing in my life, as she has carefully guided me through  some of the most difficult moments in my life.  She is kind and pleasant, sage like in her demeanor, generous, thoughtful, and always encouraging, cheering, supporting me on whenever I need her the most.  I believe that a great therapist has the ability to instill a realistic hope at each encounter. Each time I leave her office I leave feeling a little bit more hopeful than when I first came in. Now for the bonus...the therapy within the therapy...

I love to drive, particularly on open stretch highways and roads. There is something so freeing about feeling the wind battering against my face, seeing my hair get violently tossed about like a boat amidst waves. There is something so meditative about driving, it doesn't matter how bad my day has gone, just one quick twist of the …

Renee Rewards: Reason #23

I love Renee because she makes funny sounds.   Yes.   Bizarrely, I actually love the weird little scared sounds, or creeped out sounds, or kiddie sounds, or  sceeved sounds or dying puppy whimpering sounds or annoyed sounds, or whining sounds or shrieks of delight sounds that she emits from her mouth. These odd random utterances in some small way enhance my life and definitely make me laugh.

Suffering: The simple choice that can change your life

Scott M. Peck in his popular book, The Road Less Traveled begins with the famous three words, "Life is difficult".  Peck later in the same chapter goes on to explain that the sooner a person accepts this fact the more peaceful a person will be.  It is inevitable that the sooner or later you will suffer.  As long as you are living and breathing you will suffer.

I must admit that I hate suffering, nothing sends me cringing faster than the mere thought of suffering.  Whenever I am confronted by it I want to run away, send it away.  The cruel irony of my behavior is the more that I avoid and deny suffering the more I will experience it later on.  The great news as a Christian is that Jesus will not let us suffer more than we can handle.  More hopeful yet is the fact that we can make each suffering moment in our lives meaningful.  That is the hope and victory of the cross, that despite any difficulty we will always conquer, we will be victorious, granted that we stay united with …

Go USA!

This past Saturday I witnessed the heartbreak of the US losing to Ghana 2-1.  The match was heart stopping, unrelenting, in its dramatic intensity, and validating why the world cup is the greatest sports spectacle in the world.  This particular World Cup was emotionally draining.  In the 4 matches that the US played in 3 of them the US had to fight from behind to level or to win the game.  Against England they trailed 1-0, against Slovenia 2-0, and against Ghana 1-0. In each of these three matches despite great odds the US courageously and valiantly fought back.  The US did the same in this match after Landon Donovan scored the game tying goal in 62nd minute. After the goal  I thought that for sure that the US had all the momentum on their side as they kept pressuring the frazzled Ghanaian defense.  But it was not meant to be as Cyan of Ghana scored Ghana's second goal early in the first overtime. After the goal the US fought back, but it was a little too late as Ghana were able…

A message of hope...

A message from Jesus to his servant Anne,
"Dearest apostles, are you weary? Do you wonder why My service requires such holiness? I know that you do not always understand the relationship between your suffering and the graces I am sending to others. This is not clear to you when you are carrying heavy crosses that require great trust. When you are with Me for eternity, you will understand this connection and you will rejoice that you were willing to remain in My service despite the demands made upon your will. I ask and I ask and again I ask, and you answer, and you answer, and again, you answer. My dear apostles, you are in such a habit of saying yes to Me, that you continue on, day after day. The days are passing, are they not? One after another, days are completed and you have claimed grace for the world. This is how it has been arranged for you, dearest children of the Father. You are asked to be good and holy and in return, the Father cooperates by keeping your in…

Renee Rewards: Reason 22

I love Renee because she is my rock and my fortress steadying my ship when the waves of life violently seek to toss me overboard.  This past week has been a very difficult week for me emotionally and psychologically.  For some strange reason my struggles with depression were more pronounced this past week. I daily struggled to get out of bed, my mind was full of negativity, I was short tempered, I cussed up a storm, and I generally had a pervading sense of failure and sadness.  But despite these crosses my most beautiful, precious wife, always tried to reassure me, to encourage, to cheer me on to victory.  She never bemoaned or complained about my struggles or hers, she just found it in herself to give me hope and inspiration to fight another day.  For this I am eternally grateful, I am so blessed to have Renee as my wife, I don't think that I would be able to make it any other way.

Living in the Spirit

"I say, then: live by the spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh.  For the flesh has desires against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want.  But if you are guided by the spirit, you are not under the law." (Gal 5, 15-18)

So what does it mean to live in the spirit as opposed to the flesh?  Mentally I have asked this question many times in my faith walk since I came back to the faith 5 years ago. Today, during the wonderful occasion of the baptism of my niece Mariana, Father preached about this opposing reality.  Father, in his sermon preached about how the flesh was not just the part of us that struggled with sexual, or lustful temptations, but instead it was the part of us that struggled with self centeredness.  Living in the "flesh" means simply living for oneself, expecting the world to revolve around our plans and desires.  I admit that this is a great strugg…

Renee Rewards: Reason 21

I love Renee because she finds in herself the strength to comfort me even when she is also suffering.  This selfless attitude helps me to heal, to give me hope, to give me the courage to fight on even when everything seems lost.  Unfortunately today was such a day for me.  Everything seemed to go wrong, I was very tired, bruised, and a pervading hopelessness filled my being today.  I felt like giving up and burying my head permanently in the sand.  I did not want anything out of life anymore,   I had had enough I just wanted to run away.  I even screamed and cursed at the top of my lungs throughout most of the day.  It was truly an ugly scene, but despite my hopeless state, my beautiful Renee found it in her to comfort, to even assuage my fears.  It is so comforting to have such a wife, such a partner, to ride out the storms of life together.  With my lovely Renee by my side there is always hope. I love her and I am so grateful to God for blessing me with her.

A wedding narrative part 1

This past Sunday I had the unique and sublime privilege of witnessing my brother, Marcello and his lovely fiancee, Eliza get married.  It was a joyous occasion filled with much beauty and of course drama.  I will be listing the highlights of the days leading up to the wedding and the actual wedding itself. So here are the highlights:

 On Wednesday our great friend priest arrived, Fr. Jose from California to celebrate the service.  This was the first time in 5 years that we all saw each other.  It was great catching up with him.On Friday night, the night of the rehearsal the church was unbearably hot.  The air conditioning units were off so we all felt the merciless heat of the day.  The Bride and and the maid of honor were late.After the rehearsal we had learned that my brother through a careless mistake did not pick up the marriage licence.  It was determined that we would all need to go back to court on that Monday. On the rehearsal night, despite the overwhelming confusion and the…

Renee Rewards: Reason 20

I love Renee because she understands me better than any person in the world.  Before we got married and even before we began dating we were friends first.  I remember fondly the first time that I ever met Renee.  I was at Spirit and Truth and it was one of my first times there.  Renee approached me and commented how I prayed the scriptural rosary during the gathering.  I was amazed at her astute and perceptive observation.  We met several times after that but nothing kindled in my heart yet.  I actually almost derailed our budding friendship when I accidentally took a picture of her at the Spirit and Truth anniversary party. She immediately got angry at and told me to immediately erase the picture.  Even though I thought that she was psycho I did not know that she was deathly afraid of pictures. (She still is afraid of pictures) After that moment we bounced back in a huge way when I went to her brother's wedding as her date.  At that moment even though there weren't any romant…

World Cup Memories: Pt 1

During this month of the World Cup I will be sharing with you all some of my fondest memories of this tournament.  Today I will focus on 94' World Cup, the day that the U.S. soccer team pulled off one of the biggest upsets in world cup history over heavily favored Columbia.

It was not supposed to happen, before the match the papers, analysts did not give the US a fighting chance against the mighty Colombian team.  You see in 94' soccer was not even on the radar of the American sports consciousness, most people did not even know the names of the members of the team.  I fitted in this category myself, I only knew of two players, Tony Meiola and Alexi Lalas.  I remembered briefly how in the previous world cup in 90' how the US team played dismally losing all three of their matches.  I didn't expect much from the 94' team even though in my heart I hoped that they would do well.  In their first match against Switzerland the US scored probably the best goal in the entire…

Alone with the Lord

Today after mass I had the unique opportunity of spending some alone time with Lord.  The way it worked out was perfect since this morning the mass was held in the gymnatorium instead of the church.  It was the farewell mass for the school year.  I saw many rows of gleeful and excited children, impatiently waiting for that moment when they would all be freed from the oppressive burden of school.  I heard their melodic and uproarious laughter fill the gym.  Even the parents seemed jubilant as they joined their children in their festive moods.  Observing this reminded me of those days when I was finishing up the school year.  I remember those days when my excitement was so all consuming that nothing could dampen my enthusiasm even a cloudy, overcast day would not ruin my jubilation. (For some reason I can't remember that any of the days in which I finished school were cloudy, interesting)  For me those joy filled moments reminded me of heaven; to a kid what can be better then coming…

The True Essence of Leadership: Passing the Mantle

Today in Mass I came across a biblical story which thought me a lesson about the essence of true leadership.
Today's Old Testament reading came from the Second Book of Kings.  Today's reading spoke about Elijah and how he eventually passed on his prophetic office to Elisha when he departed from the world in a chariot of fire.(cf. 2 Kings 1, 6-14) The passage begins with Elijah communing with Elisha and asking him to follow him. Both of the prophets were also accompanied by 50 other prophets.  Elijah asked Elisha what he wanted before he would be taken from the world and Elisha responded, "May I receive a double portion of your spirit." (cf. 2 Kings 2:9) After this occurred Elijah was taken up to heaven in a flaming chariot.  Elijah left behind his mantle and when Elisha took the mantle he struck the water and the water was divided into two.  This miracle was critical because it signaled to the other prophets that Elisha was now the appointed successor of Elijah.

I le…

Happy 100th Blog!

I can't believe it I made it past the 100 blog mark!  I am so grateful to God for allowing me the opportunity to share my gifts of writing with the world. A mere two months ago I began this blog as a way of expressing and sharing my thoughts. I remember the actual day when I began my blog.  I was in the middle of a dreadfully boring child psychology class in which the professor asked the class to write about a friend whom we had known growing up.  I wrote about my dear friend Steve(Steve Blog) and from there on the Marco Minute was born.  I feel that I have grown much during this process, making some interesting discoveries along the way such as my unique, always dramatic, but ultimately comical family. I remember fondly that one of the greatest impetuses for me beginning this blog came when I read Seth Godin's book Linchpin: Are you indispensable  In this wonderful book (which I highly recommend) Godin argues that the most successful businesses are the one's which encou…

Sack Cloth and Ashes

Today while I was at mass I was reminded anew of the wonderful and awesome power of God's forgiveness; how through sack cloth and ashes he was able to relent in his punishment to a king.  The old testament readings these past two days have been focusing on the corrupt reign of the Hebrew king, Ahab.  Ahab was married to the famous biblical antihero Jezebel.  Ahab had angered the God of Israel because he erected and constructed various temples to pagan deities.  In this biblical account we see first hand the rampant corruption of this fallen monarch.

There was a man named Naboth.  Naboth was a simple, common man who happened to possess a vineyard that King Ahab wanted.  Ahab asked Naboth if he could purchase the vineyard from him, even promising to give him a better one in exchange.  But Naboth shockingly refuses the offer on religious grounds saying, "The Lord forbid that I should give you my ancestral heritage." (cf. 1 Kings 21:1-6) Ahab is surprised by this response an…

There is hope for me still

I struggle often times with depression and discouragement. I have found that these two companions have followed me throughout most of my life .I find it hard to be hopeful and optimistic. It seems that each time that I make a resolution or a commitment to improve myself something gets in the way of my being able to fulfill my commitments. Often times that something is myself  and I become discouraged and disheartened because I feel that I have let myself, others, and even God down.  Spiritually I still suffer from the same inability to accomplish the things that I set out to do.  Too many times I don't do the things that I set out to do, thus leaving me feeling like a failure, like a perpetual light weight, a nobody.

Yesterday as I was relaxing and recuperating from the stressful week I began reading again, St. Faustina's spiritual masterpiece, "Divine Mercy in my Soul".  It is amazing how the Lord uses different readings to speak directly to our hearts.  These passa…

Mission Purpose Statement Pt. 1

Ever since I read the Steven Covey's landmark book, The 7 habits of highly effective people I have been working on crafting my life's mission statement. In the book, the second habit, beginning with the end in mind Covey talks about the importance of crafting a vision of how one want to live their life on a daily basis. I originally began this project in January of this year, here is the third draft to my mission statement: I will also be updating my mission statement as I keep rewriting it. 


My mission in life is to become a saint by daily serving Christ and my family through following his will and by bringing others to him.


· I hereby resolve to live my life according to these following principles:


Private Domain


o I promise to pray daily and to spend meaningful time in thoughtful meditation and reflection upon the life of Christ

o I will make it a priority to place the Eucharist at the center of my life through frequent visitation, mass attendance and adorat…