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Showing posts from September, 2010

Socialism and Christianity Dont Mix

"The Socialist who is Christian is more to be dreaded than a socialist who is an atheist." The Brothers Karamazov, pg. 58

"In the same way, if he had decided that God and immortality did not exist, he would at once have become an Atheist and a socialist. For Socialism is not merely the labour question, it is before all things the atheistic question, the question of the form taken by atheism today, the question of the tower of Babel built without God, not to mount to Heaven from earth but to set up Heaven on earth." The Brothers Karamazov, pg. 21

Can a Christian be a socialist? I have been wrestling with this question for some time now. This issue has taken an even greater significance given the political climate that is currently enveloping our country.  I have debated many Christians on this matter and I have found that there are two types of Christians: those who believe that socialism is a form of Christianity and those who believe that Socialism is the enemy of C…

Happy 200th Blog!

This is my 200th blog!  Wow I can't believe how quickly time passes! It has been an awesome and unforgettable journey.  I remember distinctly the origins of this blog. I was reading one evening Seth Godin's book Linchpin: Are you indispensableand it inspired and challenged me to start my own blog.This idea of writing a blog was nothing new to me, it was even suggested about 5 years ago by a relative. But like all things in life I kept putting it off waiting for the ideal time.  So finally this past April 14 I finally took the dive and I created The Marco Minute. I have learned much these past 5 months.  It is my hope and prayer that my blog has added some value in all of your lives. So in commemoration of this milestone I will be selecting 10 of my favorite blogs, enjoy!  (These blogs are selected from Blogs 101-199)

The True Essence of LeadershipSuffering: The simple choice that can change your lifeHuman virtues definedWolf in Sheep's Clothing Harmful or BenignThe power of…

Putting on the New Man

"Brother, these last two months I've found myself a new man.  A new man has risen in me.  He was hidden in me, but would never come to the surface, if it hadn't been for this blow from heaven.  I am afraid! And what do I care if I spend twenty years in the mines, breaking out ore with a hammer?  I am not a bit afraid of that-it's something else I am afraid of now:  that that new man may leave me...One can not exist in prison without God; it's even more impossible than out of prison.  And then we men underground will sing from the bowels of the earth a glorious hymn to God, with Whom is joy.  Hail to God and his joy! I love him!"The Brothers Karamazov, pg. 555-556

In this moving plea Dmitri Karamazov affirms his new found peace, a peace which he has found in the most unlikeliest of places, prison  In this powerful scene Dmitri, who has been wrongfully convicted for the murder of his father comforts his saintly brother Alexei who has come to visit him on the ev…

Burning Down the House: X-mas 06' Pt. II

After cheating death twice in same evening you would think that we had learned our lessons, but there was yet another surprise awaiting us...

Shortly after midnight we began opening our presents. After the gifts were given out to each person we all sat down and began eating the wonderful desserts that our mother had expertly prepared.  As we were eating our little cousin began to jump up and down, while motioning wildly.  But we simply ignored him, and continued forth in our conversations and gorging thinking that he was being his normal pestering self. But he kept on persisting, and gesticulating wildly until finally I saw in corner of my right eye...A foot high Flame!!

"Frosty's head is on fire!", "Frosty's head is on fire!"  my cousin yelled as the frosty the candle caught fire.  I quickly ran with water and I was able to successfully extinquish Frosty's burning head.  Unfortunately Frosty was not able to make it as he suffered third degree burns all …

Renee Rewards: Reason 32

I love Renee because she loves the Lord.  This love is manifested must clearly through her unwavering dedication to Eucharistic adoration at 2 AM every Sunday morning. She has done this consistently for the past 8 years.  This devotion has shaped, strengthened, and inspired our love for each other and has been the catalyst for many countless graces in our lives.

What makes this devotion so special and integral to our relationship is that this has also been the site where I proposed to Renee and where we went right after we wed.  This is the site where we both believe firmly that heaven and earth meet, where the divine author comes to meet us both face to face, every week. It is an awesome, and sublime privilege to commune with the King of the Universe in this intimate way.

The Impossible meets the Possible

"All Christ did, all he taught, was the will of God.  Humility in our daily lives, an unwavering faith, a moral sense of modesty in conversation, justice in acts, mercy in deed, discipline, refusal to harm others, a readiness to suffer harm, peaceableness with our brothers, a wholehearted love of the Lord, loving in him what is of the father, fearing him because he is God, preferring nothing to him who preferred nothing to us, clinging tenaciously to his love, standing by his cross with loyalty and courage whenever there is any conflict involving honor and his name, manifesting in our speech the constancy for the fight, and in dying the endurance for which we will be crowned-this what it means to wish to be a co-heir with Christ, to keep God's command; this is what it means to do the will of the Father." St. Cyprian

I think that this quote best summarizes the Christian walk of life.  At first glance this life seems impossible, unattractive, superstitious, and unattainable…

15 highlights from my weekend retreat

For all of you that have been following my tweets, you were aware that last Saturday and Sunday I was away at a men's only retreat.  The theme of the retreat was the "covenant" and how we as men must be people of the covenant, commited to serving God through our respective vocations and unique masculine attributes.  Here are 15 highlights of the retreat:

"Social Community is never conferred upon man as a gift but proposed to him as a task to be fulfilled."  John Paul IIThe devil fosters disunity, fatigue, isolationTrue Christian friendship is the perfect anecdote to these tactics by the devilWe as men must combat the temptation of weariness and fatigue by meeting regularly with our brothersWe "As brothers in the Lord" must also keep meeting and praying for and with one another CS. Lewis, in his work The Four Loves spoke about the intrinsic value of true friendship by saying, "Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art...It has no surviv…

Renee Rewards: Reason 31

I love Renee because she makes French Toast for me on Saturday mornings.  After working long and hard  during the week there is nothing better than waking up eating that scrumptious, quarter inch thick french toast! MMM! MMM! A little taste of heaven!

Pope Benedict in England Pt. IV

In this post I will be highlighting Pope Benedict's farewell message to the Bishops, and Archbishops of England.  In this message Benedict highlighted two areas; 1) The issue of sex abuse and 2) the growing concern of the secularization of England. 

"I am reminded how recently I was able to welcome all of you to Rome for the Ad Limina visits of your respective Episcopal Conferences. We spoke then about some of the challenges you face as you lead your people in faith, particularly regarding the urgent need to proclaim the Gospel afresh in a highly secularized environment. In the course of my visit it has become clear to me how deep a thirst there is among the British people for the Good News of Jesus Christ. You have been chosen by God to offer them the living water of the Gospel, encouraging them to place their hopes, not in the vain enticements of this world, but in the firm assurances of the next. As you proclaim the coming of the Kingdom, with its promise of hop…

"Burning down the house": X-Mas 06' Pt. 1

For greater context listen and sing this song first.

Talking Heads - Burning down the house
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We were all gathered together on that Christmas Eve.  It was supposed to be a wonderful and memorable evening; we had our traditional Slovak/ Italian 10 course feast, the house was decorated in all its Dickensian glory, there was majestic Christmas choral music performed by the Vienna Boys Choir playing in the background, and most importantly our entire, immediate family was together, under one roof, celebrating the birth of our Lord. Everything was supposed to be story book perfect until...Before we get to the main point let me give my audience a little background information.

Marcello, (Yes the same Marcello from Marcello's Mischief) and I spent the entire previous day carefully preparing the living room for this feast.  Everything was going smoothly except for one huge insurmountable obstacle, that damned Candelabra. The cande…

Pope Benedict in England Pt III

In this post I will be sharing highlights from Pope Benedict's homily at the beautification mass of Cardinal John Newman in Birmingham.  Here are some of the highlights from the homily: (To learn more about this great future saint read this link.)

"Today’s Gospel tells us that no one can be the servant of two masters (cf. Lk 16:13), and Blessed John Henry’s teaching on prayer explains how the faithful Christian is definitively taken into the service of the one true Master, who alone has a claim to our unconditional devotion (cf. Mt 23:10). Newman helps us to understand what this means for our daily lives: he tells us that our divine Master has assigned a specific task to each one of us, a “definite service”, committed uniquely to every single person: “I have my mission”, he wrote, “I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do his work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my …

Pope Benedict in England Pt. II

In this post I will highlight pope Benedict's homily at Westminster Cathedral.   In this homily Pope Benedict once again expresses his profound regret about the sex abuse scandals that are rocking Europe as he stated:

"Here too I think of the immense suffering caused by the abuse of children, especially within the Church and by her ministers. Above all, I express my deep sorrow to the innocent victims of these unspeakable crimes, along with my hope that the power of Christ’s grace, his sacrifice of reconciliation, will bring deep healing and peace to their lives. I also acknowledge, with you, the shame and humiliation which all of us have suffered because of these sins; and I invite you to offer it to the Lord with trust that this chastisement will contribute to the healing of the victims, the purification of the Church and the renewal of her age-old commitment to the education and care of young people. I express my gratitude for the efforts being made to address thi…

10 reasons why someone should hire me

This post was created by me as a way of attracting the attention of future employers. The origins of this post came from my frustration of the job search process. As most of you well know I am recently completed my college education this past May. I have also been looking seriously for a job these past two months. I had submitted dozens of applications online, been on several interviews, made dozens of phones calls and I still have not been able to find employment. I am fed up of the traditional job search which goes something like this: 1)(Employer) Show me your resume, 2) (Employer) I might call you back, 3) (Employer again) I will choose you randomly out of a list of thousands of people with the same skills. This process simply does not work. I am fed up and I am trying something entirely different. It is my hope that this post gives me the opportunity to find employment on the basis of my unique talents and abilities.  I am calling on all my friends to keep spreading th…

Pope Benedict in England Pt 1

Here is a great quote from our awesome pontiff in his most recent trip to England. It is so relevant to the whole religion vs secularism debate.  For the entire statement click here.  I will be posting more of the highlights of this trip in future blogs.

"Religion, in other words, is not a problem for legislators to solve, but a vital contributor to the national conversation. In this light, I cannot but voice my concern at the increasing marginalization of religion, particularly of Christianity, that is taking place in some quarters, even in nations which place a great emphasis on tolerance. There are those who would advocate that the voice of religion be silenced, or at least relegated to the purely private sphere. There are those who argue that the public celebration of festivals such as Christmas should be discouraged, in the questionable belief that it might somehow offend those of other religions or none. And there are those who argue – paradoxically with the intent…

2 great men, same affliction

"I was a little disturbed by the fear that I had done something that so displeased the Holy Father that my resignation would be desirable to him. If this be the case I am prepared without hesitation to leave the episcopacy. I have taken this burden out of obedience, and I have labored with all my power to fulfill the duties of my office.  When the care of temporal things weighed upon my mind, and it seemed to me that my character was little suited to the very cultured world of this city,  I made it known to my fellow bishops that it seemed appropriate to me to request my transfer to one or the other see...Indeed, I am much more accustomed to the country, and will be able to care for the people and faithful living in the mountains, in the coal mines and on the farms since I would be among them.  I am prepared to resign from the episcopate and go to where I may more securely prepare myself for death and for the account that must be rendered to the Divine Justice."

"I am no…

The Grand Inquisitor: Would we recognize Christ?

"For the secret of man's being is not only to live but to have something to live for.  Without a stable conception of the object of life, man would not consent to go on living, and would rather destroy himself than remain on earth, though he had bread in abundance.  That is true.  But what happened? Instead of taking men's freedom from then thou didst make it greater than ever!  Didst thou forget that man prefers peace, and even death, to freedom of choice in the knowledge of conscience, but nothing is a greater cause of suffering."  (The Brothers Karamazov, pg. 234)

In this powerful quote "The Grand Inquisitor" argues with Jesus about the nature of free will and choice.  This ingenious encounter is part of a large poem written by Ivan Karamazov as a way of proving his doubt of faith. The poem takes place during the 16th century, at the height of the Spanish Inquisition.  The premise of the poem is that the "Grand Inquisitor" is an agent working f…

A powerful reason not to judge

"Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven."  Luke 6:37

"Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgement." John 7: 24

Two nights ago as I was reading, The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky I discovered a powerful chapter about judgment and forgiveness. One day Alexei Karamazov who was walking saw a group of 6 students all teasing and bullying one of their fellow classmate.  Alexi upon seeing this disturbing scene intervened and confronted the boys. The boys explained that the boy was evil and had stabbed one of their fellow classmates. Despite these troubling allegations Alexei commanded the boys to cease their bullying at once.  The boys listened to Alexei's command and walked away. In a surprising and shocking move the boy instead of being grateful for Alexei's intervention instead screams out loud, "You are a Karamazov" and proceeded to attack Alexei by b…

One birth many deaths

Today is the sad and tragic anniversary of the birth of the famed feminist, eugenicist, baby killer, and founder of planned parenthood, Margaret Sanger.  Today as a tribute to this terrible person I will be copying an essay that I wrote  for my college writing class.  As you are reading this say a prayer for the  millions of babies that have been slaughtered thanks to her influence.

Conversations with the Saints: St. Joseph Pt. II

In my last conversation with St. Joseph (Click here to read first interview) I spoke specifically with him about the events that surrounded the birth of Jesus.  In this conversation I will highlight the hidden life of Jesus.

Me: " Hello, it is nice to see you again.  I really enjoyed our first conversation."

St. Joseph: " It is also my privilege to see you again.  I enjoyed our first conversation also very much.  How are you doing in your life?"

Me: "It is very interesting that you ask.  Unfortunately I am not doing too well I am struggling greatly with my faith.  Particularly I am struggling very much since I have not been able to find a job."

St. Joseph: "I know that you have been struggling greatly.  I have been praying for you constantly, that the Lord give you the faith necessary to overcome this trial.  Can I speak to you more about this matter?"

Me: 'Sure, you can speak more about it I need the encouragement, it has been a brutal journey.&…

9.11.01: A Personal Memoir

As I arrived into the courthouse I made my way to the line standing impatiently waiting with a tortuous anticipation for my name to be called. Besides being stuck in the stuffed courthouse I was in good spirits.  I had just begun my new college journey at the Mannes Conservatory of music in Manhattan and a childlike optimism filled my being as I joyfully anticipated my second day at school. Everything was moving in a normal way until a lady in a panicked tone shouted out loud, "The twin towers have been hit, they an airplane."  At first the mood of the entire room stayed relatively calm except for a few concerned whispers in back of me.  Each one of us felt that everything would work out. We all collectively believed that probably it was an errant plane that had miscalculated its landing, but nothing more.  We all stood in line in a dual state of restless anxiety and assurance.

I was moving forward in line until another woman said, " Tower one has just colla…