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.