I learned about mercy in the most unexpected way.... through working in a restaurant.
I was working my first job as a host and waiter. The night was overwhelmingly busy, and the pace was relentless. Every time people would leave, another flood would come to replace them. In the midst of all the chaos I was taking the orders of my assigned tables. I was overwhelmed since I was relatively new at the job. I took the orders to the best of my ability and submitted them to the kitchen.
The scene in the kitchen was even more chaotic: pots were slamming, knives were grating against the heavily worn cutting tables, expletives were being thrown about in 3 languages. The only person who seemed to speak clearly in all of this confusion was the chef, who himself was being swept away by the tumult of the moment. When my turn came I nervously submitted my order. Much to my chagrin the chef angrily called me and instructed me to rewrite the entire order. I obeyed, rewrote the order and hoped …
I am deciding to do something a little bit different in this post..
I will be going back in time...
I was recently organizing and transferring my photos to the cloud when I stumbled upon a treasure trove of pictures that I hadn't seen for years.
The pictures that I found were of our honeymoon in Quebec in 2009.
Here are 7 photos ( which were very difficult to choose) that I believe best represent our time there. I will also be adding some brief, and hopefully interesting commentary.
Old Quebec City. We visited Quebec towards the end of November, at the beginning of the Christmas Season. Already the small shops were adorned with Christmas lights and authentic fir, spruce garland and wreaths. Nothing remotely artificial anywhere. There were dozens of alleyways, and each one beckoned us to walk down. What made old Quebec city so alluring was the fact that it was built ascending upward a hill reaching its crescendo in the epochal Chateu de Frontenac. Each area of the city was decora…
I was sitting in a piazza somewhere in central Italy. It was a wonderful and relaxing day. The afternoon sun was casting its final rays over the fast approaching evening as I was carelessly sipping espresso and eating limoncello gelato.
Several feet in front of me there stood a fountain, an expertly crafted one probably from the renaissance period. On top of the fountain there was an intricately sculptured figure which looked like a duke or a distinguished nobleman. The waters flowed neatly in an organized crescendo, flowing effortlessly, in a rhythmic cascade down 3 tiers.
As I was admiring this flowing piece of art I noticed a little boy about 5 years of age fast approaching the fountain. At first I didn't pay much attention to this casual distraction. How could I? I was far too entranced by sublimity of the setting sun and the tranquil fountain. Nothing could ruin my meditation until...the boy did the unspeakable.
As he was wading his hands through the fountain he drop…
I recently stumbled upon this article written by Albert Einstein. The article was titled, The World as I See It"
This was my favorite passage of the entire piece: "The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery -- even if mixed with fear -- that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man... I am satisfied with the mystery of life's eternity and with a knowledge, a sense, of the marvelous structure of existence -- as w…
St. Josemaria Escriva's "The Way" is easily one of the most influential spiritual works of the 20th century. The structure of the book is deceptively simple. The book has over 999 short entries. Out of these 999 points I will be choosing only 10. This will be extremely difficult since there are so many gems in this masterpiece. Consider this as a sort of sneak preview. My hope is that some of you will actually pick up and read this work. I can assure that it's timeless wisdom will change your life.
"Don't let your life be sterile. Be useful. Blaze a trail. Shine forth with the light of your faith and of your love. With your apostolic life wipe out the slimy and filthy mark left by the impure sowers of hatred and light up all the ways of the earth with the fire of Christ that you carry in your heart." (1)"May your behavior and your conversation be such that everyone who sees or hears you can say: This man reads the life of Jesus Christ." (2…
Recently I have been rereading, Abandonment to Divine Providence, by Jean-Pierre DeCaussade. I strongly recommend this short work to anyone who is serous about advancing in the spiritual life.
A brief history of the work first.
The book was originally written in the 18th century as a series of lectures given by Jesuit priest Jean Pierre DeCaussade to the Visitation order of nuns in France. Most of these talks were compiled posthumously after De Caussade's death.
The premise of the book is radically simple: abandoning oneself totally to God. So what does this type of abandonment look like? (I will use the words abandonment and surrender interchangeably)
What do you think of when you hear the word surrender?
Most people would probably view surrender in militaristic terms as an admission of loss, and the giving away of freedom to the victorious party. The problem with this type of surrender is that someone always loses. This type of surrender only benefits one side