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Showing posts from January, 2017

The Necessity of "No"

One day little Billy asks for a fit bit and his parents buy him a fit bit.  A couple of weeks later Billy asks for a new i-phone and his parents buy him an i-phone. Eventually Billy asks for a car and his parents buy him a car. The trend continues for years. Billy as a result develops an entitled mindset. He expects everything to be given to him.

Billy gets older and at some point in his thirties, Billy realizes that he has to begin working to support himself. He mistakenly thinks that work world will treat him like mommy and daddy did: giving him things without having earned them.  Reality soon hits him hard and Billy becomes disillusioned, depressed, and angry.  Billy is not prepared to live a responsible, adult life. Billy has never been taught the value of hard work, frugality, and delayed gratification.  Billy isn't prepared to deal with the realities of this rough and tumble world.

It's not totally Billy's fault. Sadly, his parents in their misguided attempts at lo…

Don't Follow... I Repeat Don't Follow Your Passion.

I am going to advocate something that is so contrary to what our society says....Do not follow your passion.  By not following your passion you might actually stumble into something even better.  This awesome video describes this perfectly.

What Windshields Can Teach Us About Sin

"Sin" is a term we often hear. Talk show hosts, spiritual leaders, philosophers, psychologists, and musicians all speak and sing about it.  But what is sin? Let me illustrate with a simple analogy.

Have you ever noticed how your windshield looks when it's exposed to the sun? In the sunlight, you can see all of your wind shield's imperfections, smudges, cracks, etc. Have you also noticed how your windshield looks in the dark? In the dark, the windshield seems cleaner. Is this because the dirt magically disappears? Of course not.  The only reason why the windshield appears cleaner is because all of its imperfections are covered up the darkness. Sin can be viewed in this way.  The closer one is to the light (God) the more that person sees their sins. Conversely, the further a person is away from the light the less that person sees their sins.

Sin according to Christian teaching is separation from God, who is the source of all good.  The key to sinning less is not some s…

10 Great Quotes from The Book of Sirach

The book of Sirach is a book that is often overlooked in the bible. This is unfortunate since this book contains many wise, practical saying on how to live a virtous life. The book was believed to have been written between 200-175 B.C.E.

Here are ten quotes that I feel best reflect this timeless work.

1."Do not become a beggar by feasting with\borrowed money, when you have nothing in your purse." Sirach 18:33

2."In all you do remember the end of your life, and then you will never sin." 7:36

3.."Glory and dishonor come from speaking; a man's tongue is his downfall." 5:13"

4."A wise man is cautious in everything." 18:27

5."One who trusts others is light minded." 19:4

6."If you pursue justice, you will obtain it and wear it as a glorious robe." 27:8

7."Many have fallen by the edge of the sword, but no many as have fallen because of the tongue." 28:18

8." In all of your work be industrious and no sickness will…

Me vs. The Almighty

There is a famous scene in the Bible where Jacob wrestles with God.  Jacob fights with God until God takes out a bone from Jacob's thigh. Interestingly, God eventually relents and stops fighting with Jacob. After this dramatic incident, Jacob is renamed Israel which literally means, "he who struggles with God."

I can relate to this story.  Many times in my life I have argued with God. I still do. (my wife can attest to that.) Many times I have criticized his tactics, his ways, and his wisdom. In my worst moments, I have even used choice language. I have a complicated relationship with God. Like Jacob, I have wrestled with God. (thigh bone still intact)

Recently I approached a priest friend of mine and told him of my struggles with God.  I expected that he would chide me for my lack of respect and informality. What this priest said was illuminating and encouraging. He told me that it was OK at times to be angry with God, God understood. He, in fact, encouraged this honest…

Stepping Into The Storm

Where are you, God?

This is the question that I have asked many times and my answers have been deafening silences, darkness, and painful voids.

Where are you, God? I ask again.

Where is God?  I think to myself. Maybe God doesn't exist. Maybe all of this religious stuff is some pie in the sky myth, with God being some white bearded guy armed with lightning bolts, or a type of anesthetic, a psychological crutch meant to shield humans from the brutalities of life.

CS Lewis the renowned Christian author once said, 

"But go to Him (God) when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence. You may as well turn away." 
He said this right after his wife died. The quote exactly explains how I have felt.  I have had the door shut in my face. I have felt the cold desolation of feeling abandoned by God. I have felt the sting of feeling alone.

But God …

George Michael, Carrie Fisher, and The Afterlife

I was stunned, as was most of the world was when I heard about the passing of George Michael on Christmas day.  Michael possessed enormous talent was and one of the most successful acts in the 1980's and early 90's

Shortly after Carrie Fisher died.  Fisher was famous for her legendary role as princess Leia from the Star Wars movies.  Strangely her mother also died the day after.

2016 was a notable year for celebrity deaths.

Some names include Prince, Glenn Frey, David Bowie,  Doris Roberts, Alan Rickman, and Muhammad Ali.

As a Catholic these deaths got me thinking about the transient nature of life and the inevitability of death.

Marcus Aurelius, the stoic, emperor, philosopher king wrote about the passing nature of life as he reflected, "Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away."

Even though I agree mostly with Aurelius&…