Thursday, December 31, 2015

Oh Beloved Silence!

"I have discovered that it is enough when a single note is beautifully played. This one note, or a silent beat, or a moment of silence, comforts me.”

-Arvo Part




31 December 2015
Day VII in the Octave of Christmas

Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ

"Think not, therefore, it is of small things you are hearing, when you hear of this Birth, but rouse up your mind, and straightway tremble, being told that God has come upon earth."

-St. John Chrysostom




25 December 2015
Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Compel Yourselves in Silence

"Compel yourselves in silence, the mother of all godly virtues. Keep silent, in order to say the Prayer [of Jesus]; for, when someone speaks, how is he able to escape idle talk, from which comes every evil word, which weighs the soul down by the responsibility for it."

-Elder Ephraim of Philotheou Mount Athos, "Counsels from the Holy Mountain"


23 December 2015
Advent Feria


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Closeness

From First Vespers of the Fourth Sunday of Advent,

" Canite tuba * in Sion, quia prope est dies Domini: ecce veniet ad salvandum nos, alleluia, alleluia."

"Blow ye the trumpet * in Zion, for the day of the Lord is nigh at hand: behold, He cometh to save us! Alleluia, Alleluia."


This is the First Antiphon and as we have been progressing towards Christmas, it seems like the Liturgy is telling us that Our Lord's Coming is closer and closer!  Let us recall the Antiphon at the Magnificat on the First Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent, when Advent had just started,

" Ecce nomen Domini * venit de longinquo, et claritas eius replet orbem terrarum."

"Behold, the name of the Lord * cometh from far, and the whole earth is full of His glory."




Let us finish Advent strong.  Have we failed in what we wanted to do?  Forget the failures and give the Lord the best you have as we will meet the Lord soon!


19 December 2015
Ember Saturday of Advent

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Second Place

“Let everything take second place to our care of our children, our bringing them up to the discipline and instruction of the Lord. If from the beginning we teach them to love true wisdom, they will have great wealth and glory than riches can provide. If a child learns a trade, or is highly educated for a lucrative profession, all this is nothing compared to the art of detachment from riches; if you want to make your child rich, teach him this. He is truly rich who does not desire great possessions, or surround himself with wealth, but who requires nothing…Don’t think that only monks need to learn the Bible; Children about to go our into the world stand in greater need of Scriptural knowledge.”

-St. John Chrysostom

16 December 2015
Ember Wednesday of Advent

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Hail, Our Life, Our Sweetness, and Our Hope!

From The Divine Office, Lectio 3:

"In Mexico, on the hill of Tepeyac, in the year 1531, the God-bearing Virgin Mary, as is piously handed down, appeared to the neophyte Juan Diego, and gave him a command for Bishop Juan de Zumarraga, which She urgently repeated, that a Church was to be constructed in Her name at that location. The bishop, however, requested a sign. Then, while he was seeking the sacraments for his dying uncle far from the place of the apparition, his loving Mother favored the neophyte with a third vision, assured him of his uncle's health, and after he had gathered roses into his cloak that had blossomed out of season, She ordered him to take them to the bishop. The roses having spilled out in the sight of the bishop, an image of Mary, impressed upon the cloak itself, according to the tradition, appeared to those present in a wondrous manner. At first kept in the bishop's chapel, then transferred to a shrine constructed on the hill of Tepeyac, it was finally moved to a magnificent temple, to which Mexicans increasingly began to gather in droves, for reasons of veneration and frequency of miracles. And therefore as an ever-present defense, the Mexican bishops, to the applause of the whole people, chose the blessed Virgin Mary of Guadalupe as the first Patroness of the Mexican people, which was duly confirmed by the apostolic authority of Benedict XIV. Leo XIII adorned the sacred image with a golden crown on Columbus Day, 1895, by the agency of the archbishop of Mexico. And St. Pius X declared the blessed Guadalupan Virgin as the Patroness of all Latin America. "


12 December 2015
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Octaves

One of the most wonderful aspects of the Traditional Calendar is the use of Octaves.  Octaves were created by the Church to give eight days of celebration to some of the larger Feasts.   The beauty of the Octave comes from the fact that Holy Mother Church, in Her Liturgy, wants the faithful to celebrate the depth of the Feast over many days.  One day is simply not enough time to truly understand the message of a Feast and is does not give you much time to celebrate either!

As we are in Second Day of the Octave of the Immaculate Conception, I leave you with the Collect that will be utilized throughout the week,

Deus, qui per immaculátam Vírginis Conceptiónem dignum Fílio tuo habitáculum præparásti: quæsumus; ut qui ex morte ejusdem Fílii tui prævisa, eam ab omni labe præservásti, nos quoque mundos ejus intercessióne ad te perveníre concedas.
Per eúmdem Dóminum nostrum Jesum Christum Fílium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti, Deus, per ómnia sǽcula sæculórum.
R. Amen. 
O God, by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, thou prepared a worthy habitation for thy Son; we beseech thee, that, as by the foreseen death of thy same Son thou preserved her from all stain of sin, so thou would grant us also, through her intercession, to come to thee with pure hearts.
Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
R. Amen.

9 December 2015
Day II in the Octave of the Immaculate Conception


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Part on Silence

"On the one hand, silence is like fertile soil, which, as it were, awaits our creative act, our seed.  On the other hand, silence must be approached with a feeling of awe. And when we speak about silence, we must keep in mind that it has two different wings, so to speak. Silence can be both that which is outside of us and that which is inside a person. The silence of our soul, which isn't even affected by external distractions, is actually more crucial but more difficult to achieve."

-Arvo Part



Part, my favorite composer, has such a profound understanding of silence.  You can hear the fruits of his contemplation in his work.



8 December 2015
Feast of the Immaculate Conception




Saturday, December 5, 2015

Walk Whilst You Have The Light

"Jesus therefore said to them: Yet a little while, the light is among you. Walk whilst you have the light, that the darkness overtake you not. And he that walketh in darkness, knoweth not whither he goeth."

-St. John 12:35




5 December 2015

Friday, December 4, 2015

St. Francis Xavier

Yesterday was the Feast of St. Francis Xavier.  He is a saint that means much to me because he went to my native land of India for the conversion of pagans to the True Faith.

He was not a man of the modern forum of dialogue.  Let us ask for his intercession so that we might be brave as he was in proclaiming Catholicism.

Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Protestantism cannot save.  Only Christ can save and He wants us to enter His Holy Catholic Church.   If we are already Catholics, let us realize the great Gift we have and live a genuine Catholic life.

4 December 2015
Feast of St. Peter Chrysologus
Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Will It!

Almost all of us in the Church have suffered or currently suffer from some sort of an addiction.  It may be a drug, porn, gossiping, cursing, procrastination, or something else but the point of the matter is we are all battling our own vices.  We might be going to Confession and telling the Priest our sins yet we feel that we are not making improvements because we fall three days later into our old ways of life.  It is very easy to listen to the Devil and to shake your head in approval as he tells you that you will never overcome this vice(s). However, success in the spiritual life requires discipline.  Yes, we need to pray because without Christ we can do nothing however we need to cooperate with the assistance God gives us.

Do not give up so easily.  Think about it this way.  You have only two choices when it comes to your vices.

1.) You succeed in conquering them and you save your soul.

2.) You fail and you go to hell.

We need to be very blunt with ourselves when it comes to these matters.

We need to will ourselves to victory because such a wonderful outcome does not come with hopeful thinking.  

Will victory and it shall be yours!

29 November 2015
First Sunday of Advent
Semidouble I Class

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Last Day of the Liturgical Year!

As First Vespers of Advent approaches, let us clean our hearts to prepare for the Lord on The Feast of The Nativity!

From First Vespers,

"Fratres: Hora est jam nos de somno surgere, nunc enim propior est nostra salus, quam cum credidimus."

"And that knowing the season; that it is now the hour for us to rise from sleep. For now our salvation is nearer than when we believed."



28 November 2015
Saturday of Our Lady

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Feast Day of St. Catherine

From First Vespers,

"Haec est quae nescivit torum in delicto: habebit fructum in respectione animarum sanctarum."

"This, is one which hath not known the sinful bed, she shall have fruit in the visitation of holy souls."



Pray for us, St. Catherine!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Warning from St. Basil The Great

From the Second Nocturn of Matins today (Last Sunday After Pentecost)

"Whenever the desire to sin cometh over thee, I would that thou couldest think of the awful and overwhelming judgment-seat of Christ. There the Judge shall sit upon a throne high and lifted up. Every creature shall stand before Him, quaking because of the glory of His presence. There are we to be led up, one by one, to give account for those things which we have done in life. Presently there will be found, by the sides of those who have in life wrought much evil, dreadful and hideous angels with faces of fire, and burning breath, appointed thereto, and showing their evil will, in appearance like the night, in their despair and hatred of mankind.
Think again of the bottomless pit, the impenetrable darkness, the lightless fire, burning, but not glowing the poisonous mass of worms, preying upon the flesh, ever feeding, and never filled, causing by their gnawing unbearable agony lastly, the greatest punishment of all, shame and confusion for ever. Have a dread of these things, and let that dread correct thee, and be as a curb to thy mind to hold it in from the hankering after sin.
This fear of the Lord the Prophet hath promised to teach. But he hath not promised to teach it to all, but only to such as will hear him not to such as have fallen far away, but to such as run to him, hungry for salvation, not to such as have no part in the promises, but to such as by baptism are born children of adoption, set at peace and oneness with the Word. Come, ye children, saith he, that is to say, Draw nigh unto me by good works, all ye who by the new birth have become the worthy children of light, hearken unto me, all ye who have the ears of your heart opened, I will teach you the fear of the Lord, even the fear of that Being of Whom we have just been speaking."

22 November 2015
Last Sunday After Pentecost

Friday, November 20, 2015

Wisdom From Flannery

"In the absence of faith, we govern by tenderness, and tenderness leads to the gas chamber."

-Flannery O'Connor



20 November 2015
Feast of St. Felix of Valois
Confessor

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

If by Rudyard Kipling

"If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!"
 

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Joy Having Little Lads

Fr. Blake in his post today said,
"Europe is dying because Europe is not having children."
Amen.  I don't know what all this business about is when people are getting married and yet are only willing to have no kids or one or two kids.  Now, each situation is different because some people want to have many kids yet because of some mystery they cannot.  I feel for those people.  However, for those who are Catholics yet are utilizing contraception.....Come On Man!  Of course having kids can be a Cross.  Imagine working all day and then coming home to get some sleep only to be awaken by the loud cries of two little lads!!  Oh the frustration must be real.  However, there is much joy in having a beautiful Cross like this.

I'm 24 and I hope that marriage is in God's plan for me.  Come on my fellow Catholics, let's make some babies!

Look at how much the Muslims are doing even though they are doing it in the name of a false religion.

16 November 2015
Feast of St. Gertrude
Virgin


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Mass of the Missionaries

Ever since I converted to the Church, I have always been interested in the martyrs.  I feel that to give your life for Christ is such a beautiful act of love for God which cannot be understood here on Earth.  Often in our parishes, during the Feast Day of these martyrs, their stories are told to the congregations.  Sadly, what gets left out is the fact that they received their strength from their reliance on God through the Sacred Liturgy. The Traditional Mass and the Traditional Office were their guides in their strenuous labors.  It was their connection to the Catholics of the past.  It was their connection to the missionaries that they read about when they were young.  

I have been delighted to see the FSSP and the ICKSP among others carrying on this legacy.    How sublime must it be for a Traditional Priest when he says "Introibo Ad Altare Dei..." every morning or when he starts Lauds with " Deus in adiutórium meum inténde...".   He may be sick, poor, and maybe even his missionary work seems to be failing, yet armed with the Traditional Liturgy he follows others who came before him doing the work which the Lord has called him to do.   

May the Lord continue to give many graces to traditional societies and may the Traditional Liturgy grow into the hearts of present and future Catholics. 

12 November 2015
Feast of St. Martin
Pope and Martyr 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Saints

Today is the Octave Day of All Saints.  This has been a wonderful week for those who were praying the Divine Office for the repetition brought many important points home.  Often it can seem to us that saving our souls is impossible especially when we consider our surroundings and how the world seems to have gone insane.  Nevertheless, the Saints show us that even though the task of salvation is difficult, it is not impossible.  They were humans like us yet they kept the good fight going and were victors over their passions.  As this wonderful Octave closes, let us have the Saints as our guides as we continue the delicate work of our salvation. 

8 November 2015
Octave Day of All Saints 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Chemistry, Death, Judgment

Suppose you had a Chemistry final in two weeks time and the material that you have to review/study seems to be infinite.  You are stressing over it yet five of your friends tell you that the final will not be difficult.  They say that you should relax because everyone passes it and that preparing for it would be a waste of time.  Seeing that they seem convincing, you believe them and you spend the next two weeks doing everything but study.  Finally the day of the test comes and you walk into the exam room with complete confidence that you are going to pass.  The horror arrives at the moment you see the first question and realize that you do not know how to answer it.  You look at the second....third...and fourth page and the sense of dread increases in you.  Unsurprisingly, you fail the test.

Now, suppose that you are a Catholic who attends Mass on Sunday yet never hears about the reality of death and Judgment.  Everyone around you seems to already canonize their dead realtives by saying things like,

"Uncle Jimmy was such a good man.  He's smiling in heaven right now and playing golf with Uncle Thomas."
Hearing things like this make you happy.  You say to yourself,
"I am a good man.  I go to Church on Sundays.  I don't really go to Confession that often but then again I don't commit those really big sins and the sins (wait, maybe they're not even sins!) I do commit are really minor.  Heaven is going to be great and after my great life here is finished, I am going to be there."
My friends, I bring up these two situations because I find a theme in both of them.  In both cases, we see two people who are overly confident in the reaction of their peers when it comes to a huge future event.  Sadly for them, their friends/fellow Catholics are wrongly mistaken and instead of following the time tested advice of working hard, the two folks have taken the wide path.

When our short journey here on earth is over, we will be judged.  Either we will go to Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory.  If we die and we have a mortal sin on our soul, we will go to hell.  If we die in a state of grace, we will most likely have to enter Purgatory before entering Heaven.  If Catholics around us are not taking the reality of a strict Judgment seriously, we should never let them influence our view(s).  The Church has always recommend for Her children to take this topic of death with the utmost seriousness.  Prayer, penance, and hard work.

Labor in the Lord's Vineyard while you still have time.



Salve Regina!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Forever

"What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and to lose his soul?"
 -Mark 8:36

Since Halloween is coming up here in the US, we are reminded that this day stands for All Hallows Eve which has unofficially been a day to recall the reality of hell and how souls that die in mortal sin actually do reside in such a place FOREVER.

FOREVER.  Think about it. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Headland of Rock

“Be like a headland of rock on which the waves break incessantly; but it stands fast and around it the seething of the waters sink to rest”

-Marcus Aurelius 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Ultimate Trial

"Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.  The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.

The Antichrist's deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the "intrinsically perverse" political form of a secular messianism.

The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.  The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God's victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven.  God's triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world."

CCC 675-677

I have always found this passage to be the most terrifying in the whole Catechism.  May God have mercy on us.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Struggle

"You think it very hard to lead a life of such restraint unless you keep your eye of faith always open. Perseverance is a great grace. To go on gaining and advancing every day, we must be resolute, and bear and suffer as our blessed forerunners did. Which of them gained heaven without a struggle?"

-St. Elizabeth Ann Seton 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Good Thing

So unless you are a Ultramontane or a liberal "Catholic" (who are not Catholics of course), it should be obvious to you that something is quite rotten in our beloved Church.  St. Pius X's condemnation of Modernism in the early part of the twentith century showed us that there were roaches in the very heart of the Church, that is to say in the priesthood and amongst the bishops.  They laid hidden until the creation of the Second Vatican Council where they were finally let out and spread their venom all across the Church.  Now, in this time, I am realizing that it might be a good thing to have the enemy so out in the clear.  It is good for us to know which bishops are enemies of the Church because now they feel confident that they can make their stances in the public. 

Even though I am distressed by this dirty business, let us remember that Our Lord will finish the human drama in the way He seems fit.  We might have to suffer under unholy priests, bishops, and popes but we know what the Church teaches and they cannot change these teachings no matter how hard they try.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

World Mission Sunday

"As for Ourselves, Venerable Brothers, you well know that, from the beginning of Our Pontificate, We determined to leave nothing undone which might, by means of apostolic preachers, extend farther and farther the light of the Gospel and make easy for heathen nations the way unto salvation. It seems to Us that two special objectives ought to be aimed at in all missionary work, both of which are not only timely but necessary and closely connected with each other; namely, that a much larger number than heretofore of missionaries, well trained in the different fields of knowledge, be sent into the vast regions which are still deprived of the civilizing influence of the Christian religion; and secondly, that the faithful be brought to understand with what zeal, constancy in prayer, and with what generosity they too must co-operate in a work which is so holy and fruitful."

-Pope Pius XI, Rerum Ecclesiae, #3

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Commercials

I try not to watch too much TV however whenever baseball season is on, I tend to watch it a little more than the rest of the year.  One thing I am noticing is the complete lack of modesty and respect for the human body coming out of the screen.  Even commercials that should be innocuous, are now filled with a great number of sinful images.  What the heck is going on with our society?  Why can't companies produce commercials that promote their product using clean avenues?  Why are companies that produce sinful products allowed to publish this garbage for all to see?

Everyone can be corrupted by this but how about the small lads all around the country?  Those who have not build a discipline regarding custody of the eyes?  Oh dear.  It is becoming more clear to me now.  What Our Lady said at Fatima makes total sense.  Many people will go to hell because of sins against purity.  How our current times prove that.

Lord, please spare me, a sinner!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Harsh


"This is the fourth year of the double-wild-card system, and, for the losing players and fans alike, these harsh sudden endings impose a quietus upon the pleasures and recollections of a season, and cast the winning pitchers as executioners. Nothing will be done about this—the arrangement is there to disguise too many teams competing for too few slots in October—but the gimmick makes for harsh feelings not common to the pastime. I unhappily recall an undue coolness or amused hauteur in my own brief description of the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner shutting down the Pirates, 8–0, in last year’s National League wild-card event, before a silenced and horrified home crowd of Pittsburgh loyalists."
Read "Gone" By Roger Angell

A Pool of Pittsburgh Tears

What a dominating performance by Jake Arrieta.  I am not a fan of the two team Wild Card because I feel like it decreases the value of the 162 game season.  However, the Giants last year, and the Cubs this year have taken advantage of it.

One must feel for Pittsburgh.  They won 98 games yet to leave the proceedings after running into Jake is just baseball for you.

Talking about summer screeching to a halt.


Monday, October 5, 2015

Slow Down

"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset."

-St. Francis De Sales

A. Bartlett Giamatti's "The Green Fields of the Mind" (On Baseball)

"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops. Today, October 2, a Sunday of rain and broken branches and leaf-clogged drains and slick streets, it stopped, and summer was gone. 
Somehow, the summer seemed to slip by faster this time. Maybe it wasn't this summer, but all the summers that, in this my fortieth summer, slipped by so fast. There comes a time when every summer will have something of autumn about it. Whatever the reason, it seemed to me that I was investing more and more in baseball, making the game do more of the work that keeps time fat and slow and lazy. I was counting on the game's deep patterns, three strikes, three outs, three times three innings, and its deepest impulse, to go out and back, to leave and to return home, to set the order of the day and to organize the daylight. I wrote a few things this last summer, this summer that did not last, nothing grand but some things, and yet that work was just camouflage. The real activity was done with the radio--not the all-seeing, all-falsifying television--and was the playing of the game in the only place it will last, the enclosed green field of the mind. There, in that warm, bright place, what the old poet called Mutability does not so quickly come. 
But out here, on Sunday, October 2, where it rains all day, Dame Mutability never loses. She was in the crowd at Fenway yesterday, a gray day full of bluster and contradiction, when the Red Sox came up in the last of the ninth trailing Baltimore 8-5, while the Yankees, rain-delayed against Detroit, only needing to win one or have Boston lose one to win it all, sat in New York washing down cold cuts with beer and watching the Boston game. Boston had won two, the Yankees had lost two, and suddenly it seemed as if the whole season might go to the last day, or beyond, except here was Boston losing 8-5, while New York sat in its family room and put its feet up. Lynn, both ankles hurting now as they had in July, hits a single down the right-field line. The crowd stirs. It is on its feet. Hobson, third baseman, former Bear Bryant quarterback, strong, quiet, over 100 RBIs, goes for three breaking balls and is out. The goddess smiles and encourages her agent, a canny journeyman named Nelson Briles.
Now comes a pinch hitter, Bernie Carbo, onetime Rookie of the Year, erratic, quick, a shade too handsome, so laid-back he is always, in his soul, stretched out in the tall grass, one arm under his head, watching the clouds and laughing; now he looks over some low stuff unworthy of him and then, uncoiling, sends one out, straight on a rising line, over the center-field wall, no cheap Fenway shot, but all of it, the physics as elegant as the arc the ball describes.
New England is on its feet, roaring. The summer will not pass. Roaring, they recall the evening, late and cold, in 1975, the sixth game of the World Series, perhaps the greatest baseball game played in the last fifty years, when Carbo, loose and easy, had uncoiled to tie the game that Fisk would win. It is 8-7, one out, and school will never start, rain will never come, sun will warm the back of your neck forever. Now Bailey, picked up from the National League recently, big arms, heavy gut, experienced, new to the league and the club; he fouls off two and then, checking, tentative, a big man off balance, he pops a soft liner to the first baseman. It is suddenly darker and later, and the announcer doing the game coast to coast, a New Yorker who works for a New York television station, sounds relieved. His little world, well-lit, hot-combed, split-second-timed, had no capacity to absorb this much gritty, grainy, contrary reality.
Cox swings a bat, stretches his long arms, bends his back, the rookie from Pawtucket who broke in two weeks earlier with a record six straight hits, the kid drafted ahead of Fred Lynn, rangy, smooth, cool. The count runs two and two, Briles is cagey, nothing too good, and Cox swings, the ball beginning toward the mound and then, in a jaunty, wayward dance, skipping past Briles, feinting to the right, skimming the last of the grass, finding the dirt, moving now like some small, purposeful marine creature negotiating the green deep, easily avoiding the jagged rock of second base, traveling steady and straight now out into the dark, silent recesses of center field.
The aisles are jammed, the place is on its feet, the wrappers, the programs, the Coke cups and peanut shells, the doctrines of an afternoon; the anxieties, the things that have to be done tomorrow, the regrets about yesterday, the accumulation of a summer: all forgotten, while hope, the anchor, bites and takes hold where a moment before it seemed we would be swept out with the tide. Rice is up. Rice whom Aaron had said was the only one he'd seen with the ability to break his records. Rice the best clutch hitter on the club, with the best slugging percentage in the league. Rice, so quick and strong he once checked his swing halfway through and snapped the bat in two. Rice the Hammer of God sent to scourge the Yankees, the sound was overwhelming, fathers pounded their sons on the back, cars pulled off the road, households froze, New England exulted in its blessedness, and roared its thanks for all good things, for Rice and for a summer stretching halfway through October. Briles threw, Rice swung, and it was over. One pitch, a fly to center, and it stopped. Summer died in New England and like rain sliding off a roof, the crowd slipped out of Fenway, quickly, with only a steady murmur of concern for the drive ahead remaining of the roar. Mutability had turned the seasons and translated hope to memory once again. And, once again, she had used baseball, our best invention to stay change, to bring change on.
That is why it breaks my heart, that game--not because in New York they could win because Boston lost; in that, there is a rough justice, and a reminder to the Yankees of how slight and fragile are the circumstances that exalt one group of human beings over another. It breaks my heart because it was meant to, because it was meant to foster in me again the illusion that there was something abiding, some pattern and some impulse that could come together to make a reality that would resist the corrosion; and because, after it had fostered again that most hungered-for illusion, the game was meant to stop, and betray precisely what it promised.
Of course, there are those who learn after the first few times. They grow out of sports. And there are others who were born with the wisdom to know that nothing lasts. These are the truly tough among us, the ones who can live without illusion, or without even the hope of illusion. I am not that grown-up or up-to-date. I am a simpler creature, tied to more primitive patterns and cycles. I need to think something lasts forever, and it might as well be that state of being that is a game; it might as well be that, in a green field, in the sun."
 "The Green Fields of the Mind"

Post-season starts tomorrow!  Bittersweet to say the least! 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Words of Wisdom for the Synod

"That We make no delay in this matter is rendered necessary especially by the fact that the partisans of error are to be sought not only among the Church's open enemies; they lie hid, a thing to be deeply deplored and feared, in her very bosom and heart, and are the more mischievous, the less conspicuously they appear. We allude, Venerable Brethren, to many who belong to the Catholic laity, nay, and this is far more lamentable, to the ranks of the priesthood itself, who, feigning a love for the Church, lacking the firm protection of philosophy and theology, nay more, thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church, and lost to all sense of modesty, vaunt themselves as reformers of the Church; and, forming more boldly into line of attack, assail all that is most sacred in the work of Christ, not sparing even the person of the Divine Redeemer, whom, with sacrilegious daring, they reduce to a simple, mere man."

-Pope St. Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, #2

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Great article on Latin

An article on the New Liturgical Movement has been posted on Latin and it's importance.   This is a topic that is very dear to me because I would love to see the growth of Latin in our beloved Roman Rite.  The introduction of the vernacular, which we see creep in the Rite with the 1951 Easter Vigil Reform under Pius XII, was truly an unfortunate development in my opinion.

Here is the article for your pleasure.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tradition

"But what is Tradition? It seems to me that the word is often imperfectly understood. It is equated to the “traditions” that exist in trades, in families and in civic life: the “bouquet” fixed to the roof of a house when the last tile is laid, the ribbon that is cut to open a monument, etc. That is not what I am referring to: Tradition does not consist of the customs inherited from the past and preserved out of loyalty to the past even where there are no clear reasons for them. Tradition is defined as the Deposit of Faith transmitted by the Magisterium down through the centuries. This deposit is what has been given to us by Revelation; that is to say, the Word of God entrusted to the Apostles and transmitted unfailingly by their successors.

But now they want to get everyone inquiring, searching, as if we had not been given the Creed, or as if Our Lord had not come to bring us the Truth once and for all.  What do they claim to discover with all this inquiry? Catholics upon whom they would impose these “questionings,” after having made them “abandon their certainties,” should remember this: the deposit of Revelation concluded at the death of the last Apostle. It is finished and it cannot be touched until the end of time.  Revelation is irreformable.  The First Vatican Council re-stated this explicitly: “for the doctrine of faith which God has revealed has not been proposed, like a philosophical invention, to be perfected by human ingenuity; but has been delivered as a divine deposit to the Spouse of Christ (the Church) to be faithfully kept and infallibly declared.""

-Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Open Letter to Confused Catholics

What is going on at Arsenal Football Club?

Oh my.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Memento Mori

“I wish you many years — but not for them to be too happy, because happiness in the world isn’t really so healthy. When a man is too happy in this world, he forgets God and forgets death.”

-St. Paisios of Mount Athos

Friday, September 25, 2015

Interesting read

Driving down a street near the Vatican about two hours ago, late Monday afternoon, as the shadows had just begun to lengthen, I saw someone I recognized, standing by a light, waiting to walk across the street.

A cardinal.

I knew him. We had spoken together on occasion in the past.

“I’ll get out and go up to him,” I said to myself. “Maybe he’ll talk to me.”

Continue the read here.


Pray for Holy Mother Church in these fearful times.

To be silent


"It is best to learn to silence the faculties and to cause them to be still, so that God may speak."

-St. John Of The Cross

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Rest in Peace

May the over 700 people who died today in Makkah have eternal rest and may God be merciful to them. 

"Firstly, my greetings as they celebrate the Feast of Sacrifice.  I would have wished my greeting to be warmer, my sentiments of closeness.  My sentiments of closeness in the face of tragedy, tragedy they suffered in Makkah.  In this moment, I give assurances of my prayers.  I unite myself with you all.  A prayer to Almighty God, All Merciful."

-His Holiness, Pope Francis


------
I have been reading some really diabolical and harsh things written by people about these deaths.  As Catholics, that is not our way.  Of course we do not believe in Islam, however, because we love Christ, we should love our neighbors as well.  Whenever one dies, they face Our Lord Jesus Christ for judgment and they need all the prayers they can get....regardless of their religious beliefs here on earth.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

On Latin

"For the Church, precisely because it embraces all nations and is destined to endure until the end of time … of its very nature requires a language that is universal, immutable, and non-vernacular."

-Pope Pius XI 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Never Lose Hope

"The other Evangelists, out of tenderness towards the reputation and honour of Matthew, have abstained from speaking of him as a publican by his ordinary name, and have called him Levi. Both names were his. But Matthew himself, according to what Solomon saith: The just man is the first to accuse himself, (Prov. xviii. 17), and again, in another place: Declare thou thy sins that thou mayest be justified, doth plainly call himself Matthew the publican, to show unto his readers that none need be hopeless of salvation if he will but strive to do better, since he himself had been all of a sudden changed from a publican into an Apostle."

-Reading 7, Matins, Feast of St. Matthew.


Friday, September 18, 2015

On the lack of silence


GO TO CONFESSION!

Oh dear reader, please go to Confession!  Go as soon as you can!  No man knows the hour or day. 

How many more Fridays/Saturdays will we have left until our final hour? 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

When you look at pictures like these







How can we complain of our small pains?  The Vietnamese Martyrs and others who have died for Christ show us the greatest defense of the Faith that no words can describe.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Mistake

I was having a peaceful evening watching some baseball (Pirates v. Cubs) and for some stupid reason I decided to put on CNN during the commercial break.  On CNN, there was some sort of a debate with a bunch of men and one woman competing for something called the Republican Nominee.  I listened to this garbage for a short while and most of what I heard was just mudslinging.  The issues were avoided yet character attacks were high in number. 

I was thinking that none of this is the way of God.  There is no charity on these debates and no one is really listening to what the other is saying.  As a Catholic, I do not think that the Democrats or the Republicans accurately protray us so I have never been keen of voting.  At the end of the day, the politicans will not be able to save us, only Christ can do that. 

Let us keep working on our salvation with fear and trembling.

16 September 2015

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Fr. Hugh Thwaites


 



I believe once the great Father was asked about creation and he replied that it was created to make Our Lady happy.  Profound yet simple.

Pray for us, Father Hugh Thwaites!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost

"Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I have cried to Thee all the day; for Thou, O Lord, art sweet and mild, and plenteous in mercy to all that call up Thee.  Incline Thine ear to me, O Lord, and hear me; for I am needy and poor.  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.  Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I have cried to Thee all the day; for Thou O Lord, art sweet and mild, and plenteous in mercy to all that call upon Thee."

-Introit for Today's Mass

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015

How To Live

"For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die: but if by the Spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live."

Romans 8:13

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Good Bye, Washington, it was nice to know you

A wonderful write up on fangraphs which explores the horror filled inning for the Washington Nationals last night.

and to think they were favorites to win the World Series...

The Inning That Ended The Nationals' Season by Owen Watson 

"I went to a baseball game in Oakland last night. This wouldn’t have any bearing on this article if not for this: I drove to the game, and in that 30-minute drive to the stadium, the Washington Nationals went from clawing their way back into some sort of contention in the NL East by beating the Mets to looking up October beachfront condo rentals. When I got in the car, there was the prospect of an interesting September division race. When I got out of the car, poof — that was all but gone. One inning, three pitchers, six walks, and six runs after the start of the top of the seventh, the score of the game was tied at 7-7, and all it took was a home run off the bat of Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the eighth to finally sink the Nationals. 

If you follow either or both of these teams, yesterday’s seventh inning was an encapsulation of how the season has unfolded. The Mets have been one of the best stories in baseball; the Nats have been 2015’s poster child for the biggest gap between performance and preseason expectations. One of the most alluring things about baseball is how large season trends can play out in the microcosm of a single inning, and so the seventh inning saw a shift in win expectancy inline with the arc of the Nationals’ season, from spring training to today:"


9 September 2015
Feast of St. Peter Claver

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Prayer

On this Feast Day of the Nativity of The Blessed Virgin Mary, let us all keep in mind our Priests and Bishops.  Our Lady is the Queen of the Clergy and we must remember that they need a great amount of prayer because Satan looks to strike the Clergy at every moment.

Our Lady, please protect and guide the Clergy.  

Happy Birthday to The Theotokos!





Tuesday, September 1, 2015

You cannot be too gentle....

“You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of one who gives and kindles joy in the heart of one who receives. All condemnation is from the devil. Never condemn each other, not even those whom you catch committing an evil deed. We condemn others only because we shun knowing ourselves. When we gaze at our own failings, we see such a morass of filth that nothing in another can equal it. That is why we turn away, and make much of the faults of others. Keep away from the spilling of speech. Instead of condemning others, strive to reach inner peace. Keep silent, refrain from judgement. This will raise you above the deadly arrows of slander, insult, outrage, and will shield your glowing hearts against the evil that creeps around.”

-St. Seraphim of Sarov


------------------
I am taking a break from the blog for a little while.  May Our Lord protect us and make us Saints!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Testing

"God tested Abraham. That is, he sent him afflictions for his benefit, not so that he could find out what sort of man he was, for God knows everything, but so that He give him the means to perfect his faith."

-St. Mark the Ascetic 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

"Ne fueris hypocrita in conspectu hominum, et non scandalizeris in labiis tuis."

Now that our dinner is completed at this pricey restaurant, we decide to spend the late hours of the night walking around the mall.  The meal was quite sumptuous and dining with such a sublime company, I must confess that I felt like a Shah of some sort.  As we start our stroll, I notice a homeless man laying just outside of Target and I could easily make out his heavy laughing and crying.  I thought in my heart,

"What a delusional man.  He must be a sinner.  This is what happens when you live a slothful life."
Reality: The 52 year man has been homeless for over a year.  He had spent twenty years with the US Army and had everything that he could ever want.  A nice car, a nice house, a beautiful wife, I mean everything.  However, two years ago, he started suffering from a severe case of PTSD.  As a result of this, his wife found him unbearable and kicked him out of his house.  His children are ashamed of him and were glad when he was gone.  The oscillation you see in his mood is a result of his mental health issues.  The man has not committed a mortal sin in years.

I check my watch and it reads 10:48 PM.  My friend points to a woman who is wearing immodest clothing and whispers a cruel statement in my ear.  I agree with him.  I think within my heart: what a sinner.  Look at how she dresses.  Thank you Lord for not making me like her.

Reality: The poor 25 year woman has never really got a fair shot at life.  She was born in a fatherless home and her mother introduced her to sexual immorality at a young age.  At first, she was in love with the culture but for the last year or so she has been wanting to get out.  Wanting to get out of all of it.  She hates the sins she has committed and yet is afraid of coming back to God for forgiveness.  She knows that only Christ can help her but she is fearful of what others might think if she even enters five miles in proximity of a Church.  So, she cries within her heart, "Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner."

My friend and I walk back to our cars seeing that all the stores are closing and that it is getting late anyways.  We say our final prayer together and then we leave.  As I sit in my car, I count all of my virtues and smile to the Lord as I imagine my heavenly reward.

The Art of Salvation

"Another brother asked Abba Macarius, "How can I be saved?" The elder answered him, "Be like one dead: do not think about insults from people, nor of glory, and you will be saved.""

-Ancient Patericon, 10.45

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A discerning man...

"A discerning man, when he eats grapes, takes only the ripe ones and leaves the sour. Thus also the discerning mind carefully marks the virtues which he sees in any person. A mindless man seeks out the vices and failings ... Even if you see someone sin with your own eyes, do not judge; for often even your eyes are deceived."

-St. John of the Ladder 


27 August 2015
Feast of St. Monica

Alhamdulillah

The fall/winter months are coming up which is always a great time.  Oktoberfest beer is already in the shelves, the baseball playoffs start soon, and we will be heading towards the end of the liturgical year as well. Now only if this 90 plus degree weather can go away!

God is Good.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

"Even her whole living"

"And Jesus sitting over against the treasury, beheld how the people cast money into the treasury, and many that were rich cast in much.  And there came a certain poor widow, and she cast in two mites, which make a farthing. And calling His disciples together, He saith to them: Amen I say to you, this poor widow hath cast in more than all they who have cast into the treasury. For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want cast in all she had, even her whole living."

-The Gospel of St. Mark 12:41-44

Monday, August 24, 2015

To associate with holy men and women

"Draw nigh to the righteous, and through them you will draw nigh to God. Communicate with those who possess humility, and you will learn morals from them. A man who follows one who loves God becomes rich in the mysteries of God; but he who follows an unrighteous and proud man gets far away from God, and will be hated by his friends."

-St. Isaac the Syrian 

24 August 2015

Feast of St. Bartholomew 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Best of luck, Kumar

Just as Clarke and Rogers ended their Test careers, the great Kumar Sangakkara ended his yesterday as he was caught on 18.  I have added the link below for the viewing pleasure of all cricket fans.  As a follower of team India, I saw a lot of Sanga over the years and he had always been a tough out.  Nevertheless, no matter what, he was one man I always respected.   Cliche or not, he was a man who played the game the right way.  A master at his craft one could say.

Sanga's final wicket falls

So long 2015 Ashes

England win the series while Michael Clarke leaves on a winning note as Australia dominates in the Fifth Test. 

On to 2017!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Grace

Many times in our lives, the grace of God will come straight to us.  It was not be something that you will have to search for.  No.  It will come straight to you.  Like when St. Paul was on the way to Damascus and Our Lord appeared to him.  Everyone of us will have a moment like this in our lives.  If you are fortunate, you will have many like this.

When you die, how will you answer the Lord for all the wasted graces?  How will you answer Him when you remember all the times you turned away from His Beautiful Face?


22 August 2015
Octave Day Of The Assumption 


Friday, August 21, 2015

The Humble Man

"A humble man is never rash, hasty or perturbed, never has any hot and volatile thoughts, but at all times remains calm. Even if heaven were to fall and cleave to the earth, the humble man would not be dismayed. Not every quiet man is humble, but every humble man is quiet. There is no humble man who is not self-constrained; but you will find many who are self-constrained without being humble. This is also what the meek humble Lord meant when He said, ‘Learn of Me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.’ [Matt 11:29]  For the humble man is always at rest, because there is nothing which can agitate or shake his mind. Just as no one can frighten a mountain, so the mind of a humble man cannot be frightened. If it be permissible and not incongruous, I should say that the humble man is not of this world. For he is not troubled and altered by sorrows, nor amazed and enthused by joys, but all his gladness and his real rejoicing are in the things of his Master. Humility is accompanied by modesty and self-collectedness: that is, chastity of the senses; a moderate voice; mean speech; self-belittlement; poor raiment; a gait that is not pompous; a gaze directed towards the earth; superabundant mercy; easily flowing tears; a solitary soul; a contrite heart; imperturbability to anger; undistributed senses; few possessions; moderation in every need; endurance; patience; fearlessness; manliness of heart born of a hatred of this temporal life; patient endurance of trials; deliberations that are ponderous, not light, extinction of thoughts; guarding of the mysteries of chastity; modesty, reverence; and above all, continually to be still and always to claim ignorance." 

-St. Isaac the Syrian 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I love ________

The word "love" is very much overused in these times.  Part of the problem is that the word love can be used in many circumstances such as,

I love chips.
He loves beer.
She loves Tottenham.
I love cats.
He loves Spain.
I love my brother.
He loves his wife.
I love cake. 

In all of these circumstances, the word love is utilized however it is not the same.  A woman may love Tottenham Hotspur and a man may love his wife but that love is not of the same degree (at least I hope not!).

What is even more tragic is that when people throw around the word love (with the self-sacrificial meaning) without any true knowledge of its internal mystery.  So, you will hear this:

"I love my girlfriend!  She makes me really happy.  The sex is great and I honestly love her so darn much!"
 Two weeks later....
 "I hate her!  She is a jerk!  Too needy, was she!  However, do not worry, I met a new girl named Lauren and she is great."

It is when people toy around with the word without truly engaging in the act of love itself.  Now, I am not a fan of the 21st century idea of a man or a woman refraining from the use of the word "love" however they should truly mean it and henceforth understand the responsibility that comes with it.  I suppose a lot of this has to do with the culture we live in.  We are called to love for the very instinct is inside of us however when a man looks at a woman for sex, how can he truly love her?  If he sees his fellow humans in this way, how can he love God?  He cannot do so until he realizes that to love means to seek the best for the beloved.  To labor for her salvation and for her temporal well-being.

Anyone can say they love someone but words are cheap.  Love is shown by actions and rightfully ordering it in the Ways Of God.

18 August 2015
Day IV in the Octave of the Assumption

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Horrors at White Hart Lane

It seems like Tottenham would be the only team in the world to blow a 2-0 lead at home!

Poor Spurs! 


15 August 2015
Feast of the Assumption  

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Inner Peace

"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset."
 
-St. Francis de Sales 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Village

One of my favorite movies of all-time is The Village for in it I find everything one would want to find in a movie.  Interesting enough, the criticasters blasted it when it came out in 2004 however the movie has seemed to attain a cult following for those who are seeing the beauty in the film.  Anyways, I do not want to tell you the story for it is one that should not be given away but below I have attached a link from Youtube which has its complete score.  It is really beautiful and it is worth a listen. 



P.S: I really liked M. Night's work from 1999 to 2004 so I would also highly recommend The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs.


12 August 2015
Feast of St. Claire

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Featherbeds

“We cannot go to heaven in featherbeds.”

-St. Thomas More 

Brain-dead

Living in this liberal hellhole called Los Angeles, it is always interesting to see the climate of the place around election time.  Apparently, just recently, Bernie Sanders (some dude running for POTUS) came and there was a interminable line waiting for his speech.  Looking at the people there from the news report, I must confess that I felt sorry for them.  Do they honestly believe that one man can save them, whether he be liberal or conservative?  I would have thought that many would have learned from the Obama campaign the utter destruction that a emotional platform can cause to the populace.

But no, I was wrong.  Have your Sanders. Or your Trump.  Or any of these other demigods for President. I will stick to Christ and His Church.

St. Lawrence, please pray for this deluded country!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

"Hey guys, Broad's 8 for 15!!!"

Source: www.espncricinfo.com, Getty Images


These kids would be so joyful to see England's complete domination in the 2015 Ashes! 

In honor of the Feast of St. Dominic

A Mass I found on Youtube celebrated in the Dominican Rite!


Friday, August 7, 2015

On the islamic heresy

"They furthermore accuse us of being idolaters, because we venerate the cross, which they abominate. And we answer them: ‘How is it, then, that you rub yourselves against a stone in your Ka’ba and kiss and embrace it?’ Then some of them say that Abraham had relations with Agar upon it, but others say that he tied the camel to it, when he was going to sacrifice Isaac. And we answer them: ‘Since Scripture says that the mountain was wooded and had trees from which Abraham cut wood for the holocaust and laid it upon Isaac, and then he left the asses behind with the two young men, why talk nonsense?  For in that place neither is it thick with trees nor is there passage for asses.’ And they are embarrassed, but they still assert that the stone is Abraham’s. Then we say: ‘Let it be Abraham’s, as you so foolishly say. Then, just because Abraham had relations with a woman on it or tied a camel to it, you are not ashamed to kiss it, yet you blame us for venerating the cross of Christ by which the power of the demons and the deceit of the Devil was destroyed.’ This stone that they talk about is a head of that Aphrodite whom they used to worship and whom they called Khabár. Even to the present day, traces of the carving are visible on it to careful observers."

-St. John of Damascus




This Saint had no time to "dialogue" with the islamists and their false prophet muhammad. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Dying in Peace

"A sinful soul, full of passions, cannot have peace and rejoice in the Lord, even if it had charge over all earthly riches, even if it ruled over the whole world. If it was suddenly said to such a king, happily feasting and sitting on his throne, "King, now you will die," his soul would be troubled and he would tremble with fear, and he would see his powerlessness. But how many beggars there are, whose only wealth is love for God, and who, if you said to them, "You will die now," would answer peacefully, "Let God's will be done. Glory to the Lord, that He has remembered me and wants to take me to Himself.""


-St. Silouan the Athonite

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Living in the heart

"Descend with your attention into the heart, stand there before the Lord and admit nothing sinful to enter there. In this is the entire activity of inner warfare."

-St. Theophan the Recluse 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Intelligent men

"Men are often called intelligent wrongly. Intelligent men are not those who are erudite in the sayings and books of the wise men of old, but those who have an intelligent soul and can discriminate between good and evil. They avoid what is sinful and harms the soul; and with deep gratitude to God they resolutely adhere by dint of practice to what is good and benefits the soul. These men alone should truly be called intelligent."

-St. Anthony the Great 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Honorificentia Populi Nostri

The Los Angeles area has many great Churches and religious icons.   This photo was taken today, at St. John Chrysostom's Church in Inglewood.  The Pastor of the Church, Fr. Gonzalez is a wonderful man who has really done a great job here at this parish.  

I was using my iPhone and it was a bit dark so my picture does not do justice to the true magnificence of the icon. 


Friday, July 31, 2015

Love

"Love expresses its existence by labouring for the beloved one."

-His Holiness Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Momentum"

I am very hesitant about the validity of the argument that consists with momentum at its heart.  Anyone who watched England play in the second test would say that they would have "no momentum" heading to today's first day of the third test.  Instead of getting demolished, they have gotten Australia all out on 136!  James Anderson looked absolutely superb and Cook's decisions as captain were top notch.

Albeit, Nathan Lyon might battle Anderson for the sobriquet of best bowler of the match!



29 July 2015
Feast of St. Martha 

Monday, July 27, 2015

"On a long caravan trip..."

"On a long caravan trip across Texas this man had some experience of thirst, as the party with which he traveled was several times put on a meagre water ration for days together.  But he had not suffered then as he did now.  Since morning he had a feeling of illness; the taste of vertigo.  As these conical hills pressed closer and closer upon him, he began to wonder whether his long wayfaring from the mountains of Auvergne were possibly to end here.  He reminded of himself of that cry, wrung from his Saviour on the Cross, "J'ai soif!"  Of all our Lord's physical sufferings, only one, "I thirst," rose to His lips.  Empowered by long training, the young priest blotted himself out of his own consciousness and meditated upon the anguish of his Lord. The Passion of Jesus became for him the only reality; the need of his own body was but a part of that conception."

-Death Comes For The Archbishop by Willa Cather

Mother of God

So many have hatred in their hearts for Christ.  This is really tragic to see.  Instead of loving their Divine Master, they have turned towards the gaudy meretricious lies of The Deceiver.  However, what is just as diabolic is when one comes in contact with those have a strong hatred for the Mother of God.  How can this be possible?  Does not meditating on Our Lady melt the heart from its attachment to sins and lead us to life as it is supposed to be lived?  How can one be neutral or even hate Mary, Most Pure?   When the Protestants started their evil revolt, how could they deface the statues of the Woman who gave birth to Christ?  The Woman who is our refuge in times of trouble?   The Woman who strikes fear into Satan?












Hail, Our Life, Our Sweetness, and our Hope!

Friday, July 24, 2015

From the Desert Fathers

"Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said to him, 'Abba as far as I can I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray and meditate, I live in peace and as far as I can, I purify my thoughts.  What else can I do?'  Then the old man stood up and stretched his hands towards heaven.  His fingers became like ten lamps of fire and he said to him, 'if you will, you can become all flame.'"

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Paradise at the Crease

"Time in the middle was precious freedom from the world for Sachin Tendulkar. Though he took guard while fixed in the gaze of a billion-plus acolytes, this was his space, his moment. Writing in the New Statesman, Ed Smith argued that "the batting crease became his sanctuary from fame, somewhere he could escape the soap opera of his life".

Beautiful article on ESPN Cricinfo by Nicholas Hogg on getting lost at the crease while playing/watching cricket.


23 July 2015
S. Apollinaris Episcopi et Martyris

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

St. Mary Magdalene

In St. Mary, we find a great saint especially for this time.  In this sex crazed world, you cannot even go to the grocery store without practicing custody of the eyes.  Corruption in dress, speech, and action has demolished the souls of so many and who knows how many will be damned because of sexual sins!  Oh St. Mary, You who knew how addicting and how demoralizing the sins of the flesh were, please intercede for us to The Lord.

St. Mary Magdalene, pray for all who struggle with sexual addictions especially for the youth who are so easily manipulated by the lies of Satan.  Pray that we may turn away from what blinds us and bind unto Christ, who is Our Life.  Through Christ Our Lord.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

How fortunes can change

I went to sleep last night with South Africa's score of 136 for 3 (they were 136/1 at one point) and I woke up this morning to learn that they were all out on 248!!!  I suppose this is what happens when you take a six month break from Test matches.


Prayer

“Virtues are formed by prayer.
Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy.
Prayer draws into the soul the Holy Spirit, and raises man to Heaven.”
-St. Ephrem the Syrian 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The run out of Ben Stokes

just epitomized this Second Test for England.  A triple digit run victory for the Aussies seems to be on the platter.

19 July 2015
VIII Sunday After Pentecost

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Agony.

347 minutes.  233 balls.  96 runs.  Dragged on.

Almost there, captain.

Highly impressive, Mr. Smith

215 off 346.  Brilliant innings by Steve Smith.  A double century at Lords but to be finished by the reverse sweep lbw!

Reminded me of another fellow named Michael Clarke who put a number on India in a 2012 Test.  Honestly, the whole trip to Australia was a failure (we were whitewashed) but that Clarke performance consisting of 329 not out will be forever etched in my memory.  No matter what Yadav, Khan, Sharma and others did, they just could not get Clarke out.  To say it was brilliant would be an understatement.

Now only if he can recapture that past excellency....

P.S:  Johnson's full length delivery to get Ballance was a thing of beauty.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

How quickly the glory passeth!

About twelve days ago, one of my very close cousins had his wedding in England.  I did not go because I am trying to limit my vocations/money spending and also because I do not seem to do so well when it comes to large crowds (which Punjabis in England seem to create).  Long live introverts!

Now, I do not know how other cultures celebrate their weddings but Punjabi people go all out for a wedding. The planning starts a year before and the actual week of the wedding is filled with events on every single day.  I will not go into depth on these ceremonies but the traditions are long and can be quite complex to the outsider.   The culmination happens with the wedding itself and the reception afterwards.

I was contemplating on a person who would attend the wedding.  How he must have prepared for the wedding a year before.  How he choose what he was going to wear on each of the days.  On what he was going to say to woo the hearts of those Punjabi honeys at the parties.  

And now?  Now what?  It is all over.  The excitement has passed.  The many words that were spoken have ceased to enter the vacuous ears of many.  How quickly the glory passeth!  I do not write this to tell you not to attend weddings. Of course not!  You should definitely attend events that are worthy of your attendance. What I am saying is that remember how it all passes.  How the beautiful decorations will one day be unrecognizable the midst of dust.  How those sublime dresses will one day find their way in the back of a closet never to be seen again.  How our very existence on this earth will pass.

Also, if you are a fellow introvert like myself and you feel like you are missing what life is offering you because you miss out on events, remember that it really does not matter at the end.  Your daily schedule may simply consist of working, praying, reading, sleeping and that may be it but that is all that you need.  Who cares what your friend Amanda is doing and how she posts her party pictures on Facebook.  Don't you see that it all passes? 

"Soon you'll be ashes or bones. A mere name at most—and even that is just a sound, an echo. The things we want in life are empty, stale, trivial." 
-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 

Importance of Friendship

Coming off from another beautiful summer Los Angeles night at In-N-Out and Barnes and Noble with my two best friends, I realized something.  How beautiful is it to have friends.  My two best friends are Catholic and it feels so great to be able to talk about things that you just can't talk about with others around you. Whether it has to do with women, sports, cars, beer, tobacco, particular vices that we deal with, it just is great to have friends that you can consider to be your brothers to discuss these issues with.

Honestly, if you are lucky to have friends that have your back, thank Our Lord for them daily.  It is a dark world out there and our closest friends can be our greatest lights in our journey towards Heaven. 

16 July 2015
Our Lady of Mount Carmel


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Just Keep Going

I was thinking about how so many of us can get so caught up in the problems of the Church.  Some are worried about the Synod, some are concerned what the Holy Father will say next, some are frightened about the growth of internal division.

Honestly, we all need to grow up.  Why does it matter you and I about what is happening at the Vatican or what the Pope is going to do next?  How does that help us in any way?  If anything, these events can bring scandal to many lighthearted Catholics and destroy their interior life.

I have a problem with this so I make a firm resolution to limit my time on/stop visiting some certain blogs which talk about what the Pope said or what Cardinal X, Y, and Z's thoughts on marriage are.  If you struggle with this too, then I have some things to say to you.  Detach thyself from this useless stress producer and start doing something productive. Start exercising and hit up the weights.  Those skinny arms are not going to grow by themselves and you can utilize your energy on something life changing.  Go get a holy girlfriend.  If you are a married, start loving your lady more.  Think of new way creative ways of winning her heart on a daily basis.  We can all do more! Fight until your life ends!

You feel me, dear reader?  The art of salvation consists of doing the same things over and over again on a daily basis.  Prayer, work, exercise, study etc.. these are the ways that will give you a vibrant life.  Wasting our lives on what the Pope is doing and the crisis in the Church will only make us angry and less charitable.

Also, remember to pray for the Holy Father!  After you have detached yourself from these sites, you will notice that your prayer for him will be more pure and refreshing.

14 July 2015
Feast of Saint Bonaventure

Sunday, July 12, 2015

On Communism

"Communism, moreover, strips man of his liberty, robs human personality of all its dignity, and removes all the moral restraints that check the eruptions of blind impulse.

-Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris
12 July 2015
VII Sunday After Pentecost

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Saturday Evening Music: Imran Khan's Gora Gora Rang

Today will be a odd twist for many of you have been used to....well, let's say more refined music that is usually on my blog. This piece comes from the Punjabi musical world.  I will eventually make a post about my beloved culture which is so close to my heart but for now the music will do.

This is a more modern song to say the least and would not be indicative of the true Punjabi musical tradition!  If you stick around next week, I will post a more traditional song that reflects the culture in a more profound way. Nevertheless, as a 23 year old, you can consider me sort of a "modernist" when it comes to my musical taste!




Friday, July 10, 2015

Our Lady

The Blessed Virgin, as Queen of all hearts, deserve a reverence from us Catholics which is, I think, more obligatory than optional.  Many will counter that statement by saying that one does not need Our Lady or any of the saints in order to make it to heaven.  I find such counter arguments to be very tiring and tragic. How can one expect to survive and to merit from the sorrows of life without the assistance of the Blessed Virgin? How can souls which are deeply ingrained in sinful ways ever come out of their vices without the guidance of the Queen of Heaven?  How can a man who is addicted to pornography ever learn about the true dignity of women and to leave away his sinful past once and for all without the inspirations of The Theotokos?

You see, the glory of the Virgin is not truly comprehensible to us here on earth.  Even those who are the most devoted to Our Lady cannot fully fathom Her greatness and Her favor with God.  Think about this. The Second Person Of The Blessed Trinity, Our Lord Jesus Christ, was conceived in Her womb by Her consent and not by force.  St. Bernard gives a very moving meditation on the moment which echos in the sphere of eternity when the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Our Lady asking for Her consent 

“If you consent, we shall immediately be set free. We all have been made in the eternal Word of God, and look, we are dying. In your brief reply we shall be restored and so brought back to life… My Lady, say this word which earth and hell and heaven itself are waiting for. The very King and Lord of all, He who has so desired Your beauty, is waiting anxiously for Your answer and assent, by which He proposes to save the world. Him whom You pleased by Your silence, You will please now even more by Your word. If You let Him hear Your voice, then, He will let You see our salvation.” 

I do not have the exact quote with me but Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in his "Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives" wrote something like (either quoting St. Bernard or making his own reference) that it was as if Heaven and Earth took a deep breath waiting for Our Lady's response.  All of human history had found its pinnacle in this one moment.  The shame of the fall of our first parents. The sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. The regrettable and heart wrenching sin and shame of David.  Let us not forget all the sins that would take place after the Birth of Our Lord.  The sins that cheating spouses engage in that would result in broken families and broken lives.  Sins that are so dirty that one should not even talk about them for even thinking about them is too painful to ponder over.  All of these sins and this whole condition of spiritual poverty had its fingerprints on this world.  Yet, it was in this pinnacle (The Annunciation) where God entered the realm of human history.  He no longer wanted to accept sacrifices in His Throne in Heaven, He was to dwell amongst us.  However, to do this, being respectful of free-will, He decided to be born of the Virgin.  So when Our Lady was reflecting over the situation the Archangel brought before Her, it was in that silence which God, the Heavenly Angels, those in the Limbo of the Fathers and those in Hell were listening to with great attention.   No other silence would ever be as tense as this one.  Yet, as Our Lady opened Her mouth, at the first words of "Ecce ancilla Domini..." the Angels rejoiced and the walls of hell shock by the penetrating cry of Satan.

How could we ever say thank you, Our Lady?  

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tradition and why we fight for It

“We do not change the boundaries marked out by our Fathers. We keep the Tradition we have received. If we begin to lay down the Law of the Church even in the smallest things, the whole edifice will fall to the ground in no short time.”

-St. John of Damascus 

7 July 2015
Ss. Cyrilli et Methodii Pont. et Conf.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Friday, July 3, 2015

Romans 1:21-32

"Because that, when they knew God, they have not glorified Him as God, or given thanks; but became vain in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened. For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools  And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of fourfooted beasts, and of creeping things. Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonour their own bodies among themselves.  Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 
For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature.  And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error.  And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient;  Being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers, Detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 
Foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy. Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them." 

One person who commented on the comment sections of this post posted these Verses and I have found it relevant to post it on my blog.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Parenting

My best friend and I had a wonderful night last night talking about interesting topics while going to the greatest restaurant in the world, In-N-Out, and then invading the Barnes and Noble to see what their Christian section had in store.  Nevertheless, as we conversed from issues ranging from failing seminaries to Laudato Si, one issue came to be the most fascinating of the night.  We talked about our parenting philosophies and put them into several intriguing hypothetical situations!

We are both unmarried 23 year olds so our ideas were not based on sort of experience but it was quite enlightening because it made me reflect on the failure of many parents in today's society.  We often hear people, who consider themselves to be Catholic, put out arguments promoting contraception and the like because apparently they do not have money for the extra "expenses."

Honestly, I see this argument as complete hogwash.  I think almost all families can have more children if they STOPPED WORSHIPING THE FALSE GODS OF PLEASURE AND ENJOYMENT.   They say that they cannot have kids but at the same time they want their Maui trip ever summer.  They want to go to fifteen baseball games a year or they just have to have the newest car.  The truth of the matter, these Catholics have no spiritual and material discipline and they see children as a "burden".

Even though I am far from perfect, I have created certain resolutions that I intend to follow when/if I get married.

  • One vocation in my life and this will be the honeymoon.  Then it's time to get to work, honey!
  • No new cars.  If a SUV is to be purchased, then it must be used.
  • Limit going to restaurants.  I have not created a specific guideline for this but this is key in saving money.
  • Going to the Movies?  No. 
  • Cable TV?  No.
These only a few but I am still crafting my parental ethos.  It will require discipline but I do not want to be a fruitless fig tree at the time of my Judgment!  I have committed enough sins in my life and I do not want to add more to the list.  

Pray for me, a sinner.

2 July 2015
Feast of the Visitation