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Showing posts from 2013

This is historical

I'm making history today;after years of writing on this blog post I'm entering the 21st century today.

Just a couple days ago I got my first smartphone and like most people I've been playing around with it, trying to learn about it when I stumbled upon an awesome feature: the Voice Recognition microphone. At first I just began to casually speak into it. But when I did this I realized the awesome potential of harnessing this new technology. This is my first post using this technology.

This technology although new to me is not new when it comes to the history of writing. Many authors in the past would dictate their works to scribes. I have also spoken with other writers who use this technology on their computers.

Like all things new I'm excited about this. It is my hope that this will open new doors to me as a writer.

Change is good even for a dinosaur like me.

Spiritual Push Ups

"No pain, no gain." 

I have heard this statement a million times before.  But what does it really mean when it comes to the spiritual
life? After all in the spiritual life the results aren't as clear cut as in the sports or business world.  In the spiritual life the benefits can sometimes be harder to identify, especially in this fast paced world where one is constantly distracted.  How does one push forward in the spiritual life despite this inertia?

For starters the spiritual life is not a series of approved techniques and methods that enhance feelings of tranquility. Many Eastern spiritualities deal with emptying the mind of all distractions. As a Catholic Christian even though I respect these traditions I am not too concerned with this. For me spirituality is not just a state of mind, it is much more than that.  True, authentic spirituality has to do, as the word "spirit" implies with the spirit of a person; that intangible but very real part of every human…

My Take on The Syrian Conflict

Last week in a ghastly attack on his own people, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons
which were responsible for killing over a thousand civilians. In this total were also included over 400 children.  I, like most of the world was aghast at what occurred.  I instantly thought of the innocent victims, their families, and country which has been steeped in civil war for nearly 3 years.

Our administration as of today has indicated that it would likely attack Syria in response to this atrocity.

With all of this talk of war I am personally very weary about entering another Middle Eastern conflict in a country where there are no good sides; only degrees of evil and less evil.  As I reflected more and more on this a question began to form in my mind, "What is the just response in this situation?"  Before I share my opinion let me first list the 4 conditions of the Catholic Church's just war teaching since I believe they are relevant in this case:

The damage inf…

Detachment According to St. John of The Cross

I will speak briefly about the heavenly virtue of detachment and why it is so important to the development of the spiritual life.Most of these ideas come from Fr. Dubay's excellent work, Fire Within which delves into the writings of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross. 

First I would like to begin with this short poem about detachment written by St. John of The Cross:

"Endeavor to be inclined always:not to the easiest, but to the most difficult;not to the most delightful, but to the harshest;not to the most gratifying, but to the less pleasant;not to the most, but to the least;not to the highest and most precious, but to lowest and most despised...and desire to enter for Christ into complete nudity, emptiness and poverty in everything in the world." I know that these lines are stark and can seem impossible but the key two terms to remember is that St. John uses the word inclined not have to, and he writes about the methods of detachment; the result of letting g…

Allah or Abba

"Allah or Abba"

These are the two fundamental ways of looking at God. Regardless of religious faith or persuasion the answer to this question will shape your life.

Let me explain...

The term "Abba" was first coined by Jesus in the New Testament.  Prior to that, the term was never used by the Old Testament Jews.  What made this so revolutionary was the fact that it greatly humanized God.  God was no longer some distant, fearful figure.  This was scandalous to the Ancient world.  God was all of a sudden human.  He could bleed, he could suffer, he could cry, he could understand what it meant to be human.

The term "Allah" was popularized by the rise of Islam.  This term was the opposite of "Abba" in that it signified a total submission of one's freedom to Allah, who was God.  God viewed from this angle was authoritarian; there was no free will, there was only Allah's will, that was it.  In Christianity God was fully human, fully God. In Isla…

Free Will Is A Female Dog

You've heard it said  "Free will is a female dog" ( well...ya know ..the name for a female dog)

So why does God allow it?

I have been thinking a lot about free will lately; about how God allows certain things to happen in the universe. The opposite of free will would be a bunch of lemmings or robots walking around in a trance following God's orders without question. He didn't want that. He wanted a person to be able to freely choose Him of their own accord.

The concept of free will is a radical one. If you really think about it.  God allows us to make our own choices without coercion.  God even goes as far as to allow us to make decisions that are against his will.  God treats us as adults and will never interfere with our freedom. 

How can this be?  This freedom seems too laid back, too lassiez faire.  Where does discipline fall into place with this freedom?  Where does right and wrong, truth and falsehood fit into this freedom?  The answer is simple...through…

To Know Is Not To Know

Let me start by shaking off the dust off my keyboard.  It's been a while since I have written my last
post. (April)

For months I have been obsessed with the question: Who is the wisest person?  By wisest I don't mean smartest in terms of intellectual ability.  By wisdom I mean someone who is a master at right living through virtue.

Think about it...

There are many people who claim to be wise, but when it comes to virtue they are just children.  Furthermore our society praises specialization over virtue and wisdom.  A doctor is considered wise because he knows the human body.  The actor may be considered wise because he can memorize lines.  A professor is wise because he/she has mastered a particular discipline enough to teach it. Our society even equates wisdom with making money.  So the more the person makes the more wise he/she must be.  Unfortunately all of these miss the mark totally since their focus is only on specialization.  You can be very intelligent and competent b…

Christ is Risen, So What!

Yesterday marked the 2013th celebration of Easter. I found myself thinking, " Christ is Risen, So What!" 
Then I began to ask myself a series of questions..."Why, how, etc."
Then the answer began to come to me in bits and pieces...
The reason why the resurrection was so important was that:
It fulfilled Christ's promise to his disciples.
It made the promise of an after life real. 
It gave Jesus' disciples a context to sacrifice their own lives after Jesus ascended.
It showed that death can be conquered.

2013 years later Christianity is the only religion which can claim these things.

Sometimes it isn't bad to ask tough questions. 
The most important thing is that one keeps searching.  For me it all began with a statement.  Maybe all you need is a statement or question and God will provide the answers. 

"Christ is Risen",  I can say this now and mean it.

Give Me My Ears Back!!!

taken from here.

A Nation of Heretics Pt. 3: Church in Decline

In my previous post I spoke about the glorious hey day of Christianity in the 1950's.  In this post I will list Ross Douthat's 5 principal causes why Christianity began to fall apart in the 1960's and 70's:

1) Political Polarization.  During most of our country's history religion played a healthy counterbalance to both political extremes, right and left.  A great example of this was the civil rights movement which was begun by ministers and priests not politicians.  However, in the 1960's this balance was disrupted mainly by the Vietnam war, but also because of other contributing factors.  With this divide Christians were forced to choose between progressivism (democrat) vs. conservatism (republican.) This divide continues to this very day.

2) The Sexual Revolution. In the 1960's the birth control pill was developed and manufactured for general use.  Now people who considered themselves loyal to Christian teaching all of a sudden found themselves at odds wi…

Pope Francis: A Beautiful Gesture

This is guaranteed to make you cry.   (It brought tears to my eyes.)

A Nation of Heretics Pt. 2

A Nation of Heretics (Preview)

I would highly suggest watching this video by Fr. Robert Barron about Ross Douthat's book, "Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics.  It is short, pithy and serves as an excellent introduction to the posts that I will be writing on this subject.

A Nation of Heretics

Let Go & Let God

“Let go and let God.”

I’ve heard this phrase a thousand times before.   What does it really mean to let go and let God?  How does one do this without losing their entire self in the process?

I admit that in our ego saturated society this can seem tyrannical.  “I am in control” is the mantra of our age.  But this stubborn clinging to self is the cause of much evil and heartache in the world.

Who is the freest person on earth?  The person who gives up trying to control their own life and the lives of others.

Nature is bound by laws. Humans, being part of nature- need to be bound by something also.  Just imagine if the sun told the universe, “I won’t rise today.” The results of this defiance would be catastrophic.  The sun rises everyday because it is bound by law to do so.  The same is true of the moral law.  Just because the rules of morality aren’t as obvious as nature’s rules doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. 

Letting go and letting God is the foundation for a spiritual and moral…