Saturday, December 31, 2016

"The Other Side", Gattaca




Anton: Vincent! How are you doing this Vincent? How have you done any of this? We have to go back. 
Vincent: It's too late for that. We're closer to the other side. 
Anton: What other side? You wanna drown us both? 
Vincent: You wanna know how I did it? This is how I did it Anton, I never saved anything for the swim back.

Christ


“As a fish cannot swim without water, and as a bird cannot fly without air, so a Christian cannot advance a single step without Christ.”
-St. Gregory the Theologian 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Morning Doxology




The select incense, of your virginity, ascended to the throne, of the Father.
Better than the incense, of the Cherubim, and the Seraphim, O Virgin Mary.
Hail to the new heaven, whom the Father has created, and made a place of rest, for His beloved Son.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Massacre of the Holy Innocents

Vox in Rama audita est, ploratus et ululatus, Rachel plorans filios suos. 
In Rama was there a voice heard, weeping and mourning, Rachel weeping for her children.
-Fifth Antiphon at Lauds


Herod believed that by engaging in this heartless massacre, he would be able to kill the Real King however all he did was create martyrs for Christ.  Now, two thousand years later, Herod is dead however these Innocents are in Paradise enjoying in the delights of their Lord.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A True Arsenal Legend





There's only one Dennis Bergkamp!
One Dennis Bergkamp!
Walking along,
Singing a song,
Walking in a Bergkamp Wonderland!

St. John the Apostle

"Qui timet Deum, faciet bona: et qui continens est justitiae, apprehendet illam, et obviabit illi quasi mater honorificata."

"He that feareth God, will do good: and he that possesseth justice, shall lay hold on her, and she will meet him as an honourable mother."

-Chapter from Lauds, Feast of St. John the Apostle

Monday, December 26, 2016

St. Stephen's Day

"Yesterday we were celebrating the birth in time of our Eternal King; today we celebrate the victory, through suffering, of one of His soldiers. Yesterday our King was pleased to come forth from His royal palace of the Virgin's womb, clothed in a robe of flesh, to visit the world; today His soldier, laying aside the tabernacle of the body, entereth in triumph into the heavenly palaces. The One, preserving unchanged that glory of the Godhead which He had before the world was, girded Himself with the form of a servant, and entered the arena of this world to fight sin; the other taketh off the garments of this corruptible body, and entereth into the heavenly mansions, where he will reign for ever. The One cometh down, veiled in flesh; the other goeth up, clothed in a robe of glory, red with blood.
The One cometh down amid the jubilation of angels; the other goeth up amid the stoning of the Jews. Yesterday the holy angels were singing, Glory to God in the highest; today there is joy among them, for they receive Stephen into their company. Yesterday the Lord came forth from the Virgin's womb; today His soldier is delivered from the prison of the body. Yesterday Christ was for our sakes wrapped in swaddling bands; today He girdeth Stephen with a robe of immortality. Yesterday the new-born Christ lay in a narrow manger; today Stephen entereth victorious into the boundless heavens. The Lord came down alone that He might raise many up; our King humbled Himself that He might set His soldiers in high places.
Why brethren, it behoveth us to consider with what arms Stephen was able, amid all the cruelty of the Jews, to remain more than conqueror, and worthily to attain to so blessed a triumph. Stephen, in that struggle which brought him to the crown whereof his name is a prophecy, had for armour the love of God and man, and by it he remained victorious on all hands. The love of God strengthened him against the cruelty of the Jews; and the love of his neighbour made him pray even for his murderers. Through love he rebuked the wandering, that they might be corrected; through love he prayed for them that stoned him, that they might not be punished. By the might of his love he overcame Saul his cruel persecutor; and earned for a comrade in heaven, the very man who had done him to death upon earth."
-St. Fulgentius, Matins, II Nocturn


St. Stephen, pray for us! 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Rejoice!

"Dearly beloved brethren, Unto us is born this day a Saviour, Let us rejoice. It would be unlawful to be sad to day, for today is Life's Birthday; the Birthday of that Life, Which, for us dying creatures, taketh away the sting of death, and bringeth the bright promise of the eternal gladness hereafter. It would be unlawful for any man to refuse to partake in our rejoicing. All men have an equal share in the great cause of our joy, for, since our Lord, Who is the destroyer of sin and of death, findeth that all are bound under the condemnation, He is come to make all free. Rejoice, O thou that art holy, thou drawest nearer to thy crown! Rejoice, O thou that art sinful, thy Saviour offereth thee pardon! Rejoice also, O thou Gentile, God calleth thee to life! For the Son of God, when the fulness of the time was come, which had been fixed by the unsearchable counsel of God, took upon Him the nature of man, that He might reconcile that nature to Him Who made it, and so the devil, the inventor of death, is met and beaten in that very flesh which hath been the field of his victory."

-Pope St. Leo the Great, Matins for the Feast of the Nativity, Nocturn II

Friday, December 23, 2016

Ends Once

"It only ends once.  Anything that happens before that is just progress."
- Jacob

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The quote above comes from my favorite show, "Lost".  It was not only a show but I would describe it as an experience.  It was able to pierce into the deepest recesses of the human condition and I consider myself blessed to have watched it.

Jacob is a pivotal character on the show and I will not reveal his significance because I do not want to spoil the show for those who have not seen it.  I find the quote from him to be deeply true especially for us Catholics.  All of us will die one day.  That is something that we cannot run away from.  However, all the time that God has given us has to be utilized for progress.  We cannot spend our time engaging in sin for our time is short.

One day, if we do the business here, we shall be with Christ and will attain ultimate joys.  Imagine the most profound joys in your life.  The glory of Paradise is even greater than that.  However, Paradise must earned. It is bestowed on those who engaged in the good fight against the world, the flesh, and the devil.

May all of you have a Blessed Feast of the Nativity!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Logical Minds

“The devil does not hunt after those who are lost; he hunts after those who are aware, those who are close to God. He takes from them trust in God and begins to afflict them with self-assurance, logic, thinking, criticism. Therefore we should not trust our logical minds.”

-St. Paisios of Mount Athos

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Teacher

"Why do you trouble yourself in a house that is not your own? Let the sight of a dead man be a teacher for you concerning your departure from hence."

-St. Isaac the Syrian

Patience

The fifth antiphon from the First Vespers of St. Thomas, 
"In patiéntia vestra possidébitis ánimas vestras." 
"In your patience you shall possess your souls."

Words to keep in our hearts as we go through life.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Bitter Disappointment

"Yes, yes, I know all the jokes. What else could I have expected at Highbury? But I went to Chelsea and to Tottenham and to Rangers, and saw the same thing: that the natural state of a football fan is bitter disappointment, no matter what the score."

-Nick Hornby, Fever Pitch

Sunday, December 18, 2016

As the Nativity Fast comes to a close....

I have been thinking a lot about the Cross in relationship to getting ready to meet the Lord on the Feast of the Nativity.  Since the first of November, I have been very sick and because of my situation, I have not been able to eat very much.  I will have a surgery to correct my situation in the beginning of January so thankfully these issues will be resolved soon.

However, when my sickness progressed through November into December, I felt very disappointed and even a little agitated at God (be merciful to me, O' Lord).  I knew my frustration was unjust however I felt so helpless in the face of my tribulations.  Nevertheless, some time last week, the Lord opened my heart to His grace and brought light into the darkness of my mind.

I learned, through my weakness, that the month of December is not about Christmas parties, drinking hot chocolate with your loved ones, or going to the stores to see Christmas pageantry.  Those things are not evil but during the Nativity Fast/Advent, we should remember the penitential nature of the fast/season.  This year, I have not been able to partake in any of these enjoyments however I thank God for the sickness that He has given me.  

I will conclude with the following words which are proclaimed in the Divine Liturgy, words that have brought me a great amount of comfort,

"O Holy God, Who is resting among the holy ones, praised by the Seraphim with the thrice-holy voice, glorified by the Cherubim, and worshiped by every celestial power, You have brought all things into being out of nothing. You have created man according to Your image and likeness and adorned him with all the gifts of Your grace. You give wisdom and understanding to the one who asks, and You overlook not the sinner, but have set repentance as the way of salvation. You have granted us, Your humble and unworthy servants, to stand even at this hour before the glory of Your holy Altar of sacrifice and to offer to You due worship and praise. Master, accept the Trisagion Hymn also from the lips of us sinners, and visit us in Your goodness. Forgive all our voluntary and involuntary transgressions, sanctify our souls and bodies, and grant that we may worship You in holiness all the days of our lives, through the intercessions of the holy Theotokos and of all the saints who have pleased You throughout the ages."

Elder Joseph of Vatopedi




I found this to be deeply touching and edifying.  

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Gaudete Sunday

A glorious day where the penitential nature of the season is put on hold for a day.  At the Solemn High Mass, the deacon and subdeacon will wear the dalmatic and tunicle instead of the folded chasubles.


Friday, December 9, 2016

The Shortness of Life

"All that you see will quickly perish, and those who have been spectators of its dissolution will very soon perish, too.  And he who dies at the extremist old age will be brought into the same condition with him who died prematurely."

-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book IX

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Reminder

"Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil.  For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places."

-Ephesians 6:11-12

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Veni, Veni, Emmanuel




My favorite Advent hymn.

Do Not Distress

“Put up all your cares to God. He cares for you. Do not become faint-hearted, and do not distress yourselves. He who searches out the hidden depths of a man’s soul, knows your desires too, and has the power to fulfill them as he knows. For your part, ask of God, and do not lose your courage.  God fulfills your longings in a way that you do not know. So be at peace then, and call upon God.”

-St. Nectarius of Aegina

Friday, December 2, 2016

Peace of Christ

“The soul that moves in the peace of Christ, as Job, agrees to sit in the dust and for others to see the glory.  From love, the soul wants every man to have more good than himself, and rejoices when he sees that others are more fortunate than he, and grieves when others struggle.”

-St. Silouan the Athonite 

Paul Cardell - Life and Death



Thursday, December 1, 2016

Pilgrim

"All these died according to faith, not having received the promises, but beholding them afar off, and saluting them, and confessing that they are pilgrims and strangers on the earth.  For they that say these things, do signify that they seek a country.  And truly if they had been mindful of that from whence they came out, they had doubtless time to return.  But now they desire a better, that is to say, a heavenly country.  Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He hath prepared for them a city."

Hebrews 11:13-16

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Arvo Part - Festina Lente




Advent

Advent is my favorite liturgical season of the year for many reasons.  One major reason is that it balances the themes of penance and joy.  The season is penitential because we are waiting for Our Lord and without His Birth, we are living in the darkness of sin.  However it is joyful because we know He is coming and He will be coming soon!

As I drive around and notice all the Christmas lights and decorations around town, my heart warms to know how many people love Our Lord and celebrate His Birthday.  Even if many of those who are celebrating are doing it for "secular" reasons, their hearts are wired to Christ and they are doing all of it for Him, even if they do not know it.

I spent my first twenty-one years in darkness.  I celebrated Christmas for all the wrong reasons however Christ showered His Mercy on me and brought me into the Church in 2013.   As I begin this Advent, the thoughts of "why me" have come into my mind.  Why did the Lord pull me off the hellward ship that I was going on?  I am a horrible sinner who does not deserve to be in the comfort of the Church.

Oh Lord, please continue to guide me into the only place I really want to be, Paradise.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Marriage

“A marriage which does not constantly crucify its own selfishness and self-sufficiency, which does not “die to itself” that it may point beyond itself, is not a Christian marriage. The real sin of marriage today is not adultery or lack of “adjustment” or “mental cruelty.” It is the idolization of the family itself, the refusal to understand marriage as directed toward the Kingdom of God. This is expressed in the sentiment that one would “do anything” for his family, even steal. The family has here ceased to be for the glory of God; it has ceased to be a sacramental entrance into his presence. It is not the lack of respect for the family, it is the idolization of the family that breaks the modern family so easily, making divorce its almost natural shadow. It is the identification of marriage with happiness and the refusal to accept the cross in it. In a Christian marriage, in fact, three are married; and the united loyalty of the two toward the third, who is God, keeps the two in an active unity with each other as well as with God. Yet it is the presence of God which is the death of the marriage as something only “natural.” It is the cross of Christ that brings the self-sufficiency of nature to its end. But “by the cross, joy entered the whole world.” Its presence is thus the real joy of marriage. It is the joyful certitude that the marriage vow, in the perspective of the eternal Kingdom, is not taken “until death parts,” but until death unites us completely.”

– Fr. Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Arvo Part and "Fur Alina"





"Like two people whose paths seem to cross, and then they don't."

Fidel Castro

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen.

Even though Fidel Castro was responsible for many atrocities against the Church and Her members, we must never forget what Our Lord told us.  We must love our enemies for that distinguishes us from the world.  The best way of showing this love towards Castro is to pray for his soul now that he has entered into the Hereafter.  

May God have mercy on him and may Christ the King lead Cuba into the heart of the Church.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Control

Abba Pambo asked Abba Anthony, "What ought I to do?" and the old man said to him, "Do not trust in your own righteousness, do not worry about the past, but control your tongue and your stomach."

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Great Work

Abba Anthony said to Abba Poemen, "This is the great work of man: always to take the blame for his own sins before God and to expect temptation to his last breath."

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Will of God

"The soul that is in all things devoted to the will of God rests quiet in Him, for she knows of experience and from the Holy Scriptures that the Lord loves us much and watches over our souls, quickening all things by His grace in peace and love. Nothing troubles the man who is given over to the will of God, be it illness, poverty or persecution. He knows that the Lord in His mercy is solicitous for us. The Holy Spirit, whom the soul knows, is witness therefore. But the proud and the self-willed do not want to surrender to God's will because they like their own way, and that is harmful for the soul."

-St. Silouan the Athonite 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

My Priest!

Today, on EWTN Live, Fr. James Fryar will be on talking about the Traditional Latin Mass and our nascent community.  He is the leader of our community here in Los Angeles and so catch it if you have time.

Here on the West Coast it will be on at five P.M (now) and later on at ten.

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EDIT:  The video below is for those who might have missed it.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Shadow of the Sun's Rays

"'Time that passeth like a shadow' (Ecclesiastes, 7.1). Watch the shadow of the sun’s rays creep silently across the dial’s face. Slowly, irresistibly it moves on. No power of man can stay its course; the fair, the mighty, the eloquent, may plead in vain, but nought can check its onward march; ever relentlessly forward man’s destiny is hastening to its end."

-Fr. William Doyle

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Traditional Latin Mass: Our Pride and Our Joy

Fr. Simon Henry's wonderful reflection on the Traditional Latin Mass,

Because being a given, with a given form, it doesn't pander to any one emotion or temporary fixation. The Traditional liturgy doesn't presume everyone in the church is happy or that they are in difficulties - it just IS. So if I am happy, I pour my joy into it, if I am struggling, I empty my suffering into it. The given form gives those present such a flexibility in meeting each individual where they are and not imposing a rigid dictatorship of relativity on the congregation at the whim of someone else. Contrary to human intuition, the outward structure and form is liberating for the spirit.

Read more here.


Ad Multos Annos, Father!  If only every Priest was like you.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Sheep Herding Video

I have always been fond of Border Collies and their ability to herd and so it was a pleasant surprise when I found this nice little gem showing that.



Seeing how serious the dogs are regarding their craft is deeply touching.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Only Hope

“The only hope of salvation from the delusions and the heresies, the innovations and the traps of wicked people and of the devil is prayer, repentance and humility.”

-Elder Joseph the Hesychast

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Fr. Rutler Weighs In

Another brilliant piece on Rorate,

"It is also the duty of the clergy to make this clear and not to shrink, under the pretense of charity, from explaining the Church’s censures. Wolves in sheep’s clothing are dangerous, but worse are wolves in shepherd’s clothing. While the evils foreseen eight years ago were realized, worse would come if those affronts to human dignity were endorsed again. In the most adverse prospect, God forbid, there might not be another free election, and soon Catholics would arrive at shuttered churches and vacant altars. The illusion of indifference cannot long be perpetuated by lame jokes and synthetic laughter at banquets, for there is handwriting on the wall."

-Fr. George Rutler 

Friday, November 4, 2016

A Somber Reflection

I recommend this excellent piece by Roberto de Mattei on Rorate,

"Who are these men of power? The Popes and Saints, who from the very beginning fought against Lutheranism? The Church, which for five centuries has condemned it? The Council of Trent pronounced the decisive word on the incompatibility of the Catholic Faith with the Protestant one. We cannot follow Pope Francis along a different path."


We live in harrowing times.  Live a Sacramental life, pray your Rosaries, and engage in the spiritual warfare for yourself and for others.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Why we love our game





I found this clip on Youtube.   Beautiful.

The Chicago Cubs have won the World Series

It has almost been a day and I am still digesting this.  What a sublime way to finish another glorious baseball season.  Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs and my deepest condolences to the Cleveland Indians.



"Man, I did love this game. I'd have played for food money. It was the game... The sounds, the smells. Did you ever hold a ball or a glove to your face?"

-Shoeless Joe Jackson, "Field of Dreams" 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

GAME 7

As a baseball fan, it does not get any better.

Game 7, tomorrow night.  The World Series.  Cubs v. Indians.  Hendricks v. Kluber.

The Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908 while the Indians have not been on top of the baseball world since 1948.

All Saints' Day

"TIMÉTE Dóminum omnes Sancti ejus: quóniam nihil deest timéntibus eum. V. Inquiréntes autem Dóminum, non defícient omni bono."

"Fear the Lord, all ye His Saints; for there is no want to them that fear Him. V. But they that seek the Lord shall not be deprived of any good."

-Gradual for All Saints' Day

Let us pray today that all the Saints in Paradise will intercede for us so that our souls may be purified and that we may have a holy death.  At Solemn High Mass later tonight, I will ask for the prayers of the Saints who died as a ramification of the Protestant Revolt that they may pray for all those who read this blog and for the purposes of reparation for the scandalous activity of the Church leaders who are ashamed of the dogmatic teachings of the Faith.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

All Hallows' Eve

Not many people know this but Halloween or All Hallows' Eve is a day when Catholics should meditate on the reality of Hell and how people who die in a state of mortal sin enter such a place.  Thus, the days of Hallowtide remind of us of Hell, Heaven, and Purgatory in that order.

Here is a pertinent link from Fisheaters which will explain the Catholic nature of Halloween.

Feast of Christ the King

"This kingdom is spiritual and is concerned with spiritual things. That this is so the above quotations from Scripture amply prove, and Christ by his own action confirms it. On many occasions, when the Jews and even the Apostles wrongly supposed that the Messiah would restore the liberties and the kingdom of Israel, he repelled and denied such a suggestion. When the populace thronged around him in admiration and would have acclaimed him King, he shrank from the honor and sought safety in flight. Before the Roman magistrate he declared that his kingdom was not of this world. The gospels present this kingdom as one which men prepare to enter by penance, and cannot actually enter except by faith and by baptism, which, though an external rite, signifies and produces an interior regeneration. This kingdom is opposed to none other than to that of Satan and to the power of darkness. It demands of its subjects a spirit of detachment from riches and earthly things, and a spirit of gentleness. They must hunger and thirst after justice, and more than this, they must deny themselves and carry the cross. Christ as our Redeemer purchased the Church at the price of his own blood; as priest he offered himself, and continues to offer himself as a victim for our sins. Is it not evident, then, that his kingly dignity partakes in a manner of both these offices? It would be a grave error, on the other hand, to say that Christ has no authority whatever in civil affairs, since, by virtue of the absolute empire over all creatures committed to him by the Father, all things are in his power. Therefore by Our Apostolic Authority We institute the Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ to be observed yearly throughout the whole world on the last Sunday of the month of October - the Sunday, that is, which immediately precedes the Feast of All Saints. We further ordain that the dedication of mankind to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to be renewed yearly."

-Sixth Lesson of Mattins, Feast of Christ the King 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Blessed Virgin

"And thus also it was that the knot of Eve's disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the Virgin Mary set free through faith."

-St. Irenaeus 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Seventh Inning Blunder(s)

A pivotal moment last night came in the seventh when the Cubs somehow got the bases loaded against Andrew Miller.  Down 3-0, they had Contreras, Russell and Ross coming up to bring them in.  The Indians formula is quite simple.  They want their starting pitcher to go six or seven innings, Miller for one or two, and Allen to shut it down.  If they follow this formula for the next couple of days, they will win the World Series. Nevertheless, last night, Miller seemed to be slightly off his game as he was missing with his slider by a few inches.

However, after getting Contreras to hit on a weak fly ball (not deep enough to score), Russell to strike out, he was left to face David Ross.  Now, here is where Maddon makes his mistake.  David Ross, for all the nice work he does as a catcher, can simply not hit.  The much better option would have been Jorge Soler.

The fact of the matter is that Maddon stuck with Ross in a high leverage situation (3.29) and all he did was strikeout.  It hurt their WPA by -.083.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Thank God for the World Series

“In high school I wrote an essay on baseball and my teacher told me I had to rewrite it on a more serious topic. So I wrote an essay about the World Series and my teacher gave up.”

-Tucker Elliot

Sunday, October 23, 2016

On the Rosary

"It has always been the habit of Catholics in danger and in troublous times to fly for refuge to Mary, and to seek for peace in her maternal goodness; showing that the Catholic Church has always, and with justice, put all her hope and trust in the Mother of God. And truly the Immaculate Virgin, chosen to be the Mother of God and thereby associated with Him in the work of man's salvation, has a favour and power with her Son greater than any human or angelic creature has ever obtained, or ever can gain. And, as it is her greatest pleasure to grant her help and comfort to those who seek her, it cannot be doubted that she would deign, and even be anxious, to receive the aspirations of the universal Church."

-Pope Leo XIII, Supremi Apostolatus Officio #2

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The End.

"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."

-A. Bartlett Giamatti, The Green Fields of the Mind



World Mission Sunday

"8. Everyone can pray, of this fact there can be no question. Everyone, therefore, has at hand and can make use of this all-important help, this daily nourishment of the missions. For these reasons you will act according to Our desires and will also do something in keeping with the religious spirit and feelings of the faithful, if you order that special prayers for the missions and for the conversion of the heathen to the true Faith be added, for example, to the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin or to the other prayers which are customarily recited both in the parish and other churches. It would be well, Venerable Brothers, to make a special point of inviting and encouraging children and the religious orders of women to take up this holy practice. We are particularly desirous that in all institutions, orphan asylums, parochial schools, colleges, and convents of Sisters there should daily arise to heaven the prayer that the Divine Mercy may descend upon so many unhappy beings, inhabitants of the densely populated pagan countries. Can the Heavenly Father refuse anything to the innocent and chaste who ask it of Him? On the other hand, such a pious practice leads to the hope that these children, who have been trained to pray for the conversion of the heathen from the first moment when the flower of charity begins to bud in their young and tender hearts, may, with the help of God, themselves receive a vocation for the apostolate, a vocation which if it is nurtured with care may perhaps in time supply capable workers for the mission field."

-Pope Pius XI, Rerum Ecclesiae

Friday, October 21, 2016

Scenarios

There are two great sorrows for a baseball fan.  The first is when your team is eliminated from World Series contention.  The second is when the baseball season ends with the conclusion of the World Series.

Tomorrow night, my Dodgers will be in a elimination scenario for the third time this season.  They find themselves down 3-2 as they head to Chicago where they will face the arduous task of winning two at The Friendly Confines. Chicago will have a great deal on the line as they have not won a Pennant since 1945 and have not won the World Series since 1908.

T-22 Hours.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

About Bishop Latour

“Under his buckskin riding-coat he wore a black vest and the cravat and collar of a churchman. A young priest, at his devotions; and a priest in a thousand, one knew at a glance. His bowed head was not that of an ordinary man,—it was built for the seat of a fine intelligence. His brow was open, generous, reflective, his features handsome and somewhat severe. There was a singular elegance about the hands below the fringed cuffs of the buckskin jacket. Everything showed him to be a man of gentle birth—brave, sensitive, courteous. His manners, even when he was alone in the desert, were distinguished. He had a kind of courtesy toward himself, toward his beasts, toward the juniper tree before which he knelt, and the God whom he was addressing.”

-Death Comes for the Archbishop

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Rest in Peace, King Kigeli V of Rwanda

Long Live the Church.  Long Live the King.



Miracles of the Church

“Where there is great love there are always miracles,' he said at length. 'One might almost say that an apparition is human vision corrected by divine love. I do not see you as you really are, Joseph; I see you through my affection for you. The Miracles of the Church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always.”

-Bishop Jean Marie Latour, Death Comes For The Archbishop

Sunday, October 16, 2016

St. José Sánchez del Río

In a time where our coward leaders are undermining the supremacy of the Catholic Church, a saint who was canonized today shows us the bloody cost of following the True Faith.

St. José Sánchez del Río, please pray for us and for all the cowards who currently infest our beloved Church.


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Turn Him From Vice

“He who lives among a certain sort of people becomes accustomed to that kind of habit, behavior, and morals. Consequently the cool become enthusiastic, the stupid become sharp, the idle are aroused to activity by a lively interest in their fellow men. Spirit can give itself to spirit and act beneficially upon another and attract another to prayer, to attention. It can encourage him in despondency, turn him from vice, and arouse him to holy action.”

-The Way of a Pilgrim 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Beautiful




 "Listen carefully and one can hear the echos of some unbelievable moments."

The Legend Speaks

Cardinal Sarah is a true man of God.  How can you not admire him?

"Silence teaches us a major rule of the spiritual life: familiarity does not foster intimacy; on the contrary, a proper distance is a condition for communion. It is by way of adoration that humanity walks toward love. Sacred silence opens the way to mystical silence, full of loving intimacy. Under the yoke of secular reason, we have forgotten that the sacred and worship are the only entrances to the spiritual life. Therefore I do not hesitate to declare that sacred silence is a cardinal law of all liturgical celebration."

Friday, October 7, 2016

Leo XIII on the heresy of Americanism

"From the foregoing it is manifest, beloved son, that we are not able to give approval to those views which, in their collective sense, are called by some "Americanism." But if by this name are to be understood certain endowments of mind which belong to the American people, just as other characteristics belong to various other nations, and if, moreover, by it is designated your political condition and the laws and customs by which you are governed, there is no reason to take exception to the name. But if this is to be so understood that the doctrines which have been adverted to above are not only indicated, but exalted, there can be no manner of doubt that our venerable brethren, the bishops of America, would be the first to repudiate and condemn it as being most injurious to themselves and to their country. For it would give rise to the suspicion that there are among you some who conceive and would have the Church in America to be different from what it is in the rest of the world."

-Leo XIII, Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Noah is Right

"Baseball has a way of ripping your heart out, stabbing it, putting it back in your chest, then healing itself just in time for Spring Training."

-Noah Syndergaard 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Piece on Silence

The great Father Blake wrote a great piece on a very important topic which is silence.  See the link below to read it.

The Silent Church

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Game 162 and Death

When I woke up this morning, I was instantly struck by how bittersweet the day was going to be.  Today marked Game 162 in the baseball calendar which is the last day in the regular season.  The post-season will begin on Tuesday and will find its sorrowful end at the conclusion of the World Series.

Game 162 is always a little difficult for me to take.  Regular season baseball is one of my joys since it really becomes part of your daily routine.  It fills your summer afternoon and evenings but then it leaves you alone to face the bitter cold of November and December.  As the end of the baseball season winds down I am always reminded of death.  The season in all of its glory will eventually end.  Life with of all its glory will end as well.

In the Epistle today, St. Paul exhorts us to redeem the time:
"Brethren, See how you walk circumspectly, not as unwise, but as wise redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore, become not unwise, but understanding what is the will of God. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is luxury: but be ye filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns, and spiritual canticles, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord: giving thanks always for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God and the Father; being subject one to another in the fear of Christ."
-Ephesians 5:15-21, Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost  

Time is  important for us since we can either utilize it for the salvation of our souls or damnation of it.  I think that October represents this whole notion perfectly.  As the weather gets colder, as the baseball season is finishing, and as the days get shorter, we are reminded of how valuable time is (or at least I am).  Let us be wise and redeem the time for the days are truly evil.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Flee

"Abba Macarius the Great said to the brothers at Scetis when he dismissed the assembly, 'Flee, my brothers.' One of the old men asked him, 'Where could we flee to beyond this desert?' He put his finger on his lips and said, 'Flee that,' and he went into his cell, shut the door and sat down."

Monday, September 26, 2016

We Choose Christ and His Catholic Church

We as Catholics should always be loyal to Christ and His Church.  When we die, Christ will not ask how loyal we were to the Founding Fathers of the United States and the Constitution.  No, He will bring to us the account of our sins and ask us how loyal we were to His Church.

Do not lose your soul in order to please your fellow denizens.  



Sunday, September 25, 2016

RIP, Jose Fernandez

This hurts for any baseball fan.  Jose Fernandez, the star ace of the Miami Marlins, was found dead early this morning.

He was one of the best pitchers of the game and as a 24 year old, he had his whole future ahead of him.

Please pray for his eternal repose.


Monday, September 19, 2016

Before

"You may think that your voice did not reach the saints, our Panagia or Christ.  On the contrary, even before you cried out, they rushed to your aid."

-Blessed Elder Joseph the Hesychast

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Lives Wasted

There are many people in the world that are wasting their lives by engaging in sins against the flesh and other iniquities on daily basis.

Since the Law of God is written on all hearts, I am sure that they know that their lives are incomplete and are missing something critical.

Life is supposed to be much more.  Sex, drugs, partying, wasting time, gossiping, useless noise...a life wasted.

If you will it, you could be all flame.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Silence of Bl. Francisco

"Francisco was a boy of few words. Whenever he prayed or offered sacrifices, he preferred to go apart and hide, even from Jacinta and myself. Quite often, we surprised him hidden behind a wall or a clump of blackberry bushes, whither he had ingeniously slipped away to kneel and pray, or ‘think’ as he said, ‘of Our Lord…’ I asked him: ‘Francisco, why don’t you tell me to pray with you, and Jacinta too?’ ‘I prefer praying by myself,’ he answered, ‘so that I can think and console our Lord,…’

"Sometimes, on our way to school, as soon as we reached Fátima, he would say to me: ‘Listen! You go to school, and I’ll stay here in the church, close to the Hidden Jesus. It’s not worth my while learning to read, as I’ll be going to heaven very soon [the Blessed Mother had promised him as much!]. On your way home, come here and call me.’ … Francisco went [to kneel before the tabernacle]. … and that was where I found him on my return [from school, hours later.]"

-Sr. Lucy of Fatima on Bl. Francisco

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Moment of 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 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Minor to Major to Death

This is one thing that many people forget about sin.  Many souls, who do not commit grave sins, might be content with a spiritual life in which they are committing minor sins.  Actually, content might not be the perfect word however it does not bother them too much.

However, a soul that does not see minor sins with a great deal of repugnance, will in only a matter of time start to engage in sins that are much greater in evil and which will be darker in nature.  Also, when it comes to sinning, a soul can fall into a abyss which has no floor.

Sin can take you to a very dark place.  However, God always always has a Plan B.  He always gives us a chance to turn it all around.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Brink of Despair

"Often near to the brink of despair, the soul does not know that it stands already at the border beyond which begins a new path."

+St. Barsanuphius of Optina

Monday, September 12, 2016

Long Live the Beard

“The beard signifies the courageous; the beard distinguishes the grown men, the earnest, the active, the vigorous. So that when we describe such, we say, he is a bearded man.”

-St. Augustine

-------

“But for one who is a man to comb himself and shave himself with a razor, for the sake of fine effect, to arrange his hair at the looking-glass, to shave his cheeks, pluck hairs out of them, and smooth them, how womanly! […] For this is a meretricious and impious form of snare. For God wished women to be smooth, and rejoice in their locks alone growing spontaneously, as a horse in his mane; but has adorned man, like the lions, with a beard, and endowed him, as an attribute of manhood, with a shaggy chest – a sign of strength and rule. […]

“This, then, the mark of the man, the beard, by which he is seen to be a man, is older than Eve… In this God deemed it right that he should excel, and dispersed hair over man's whole body. Whatever smoothness and softness was in him He abstracted from his side when He formed the woman Eve, physically receptive, his partner in parentage, his help in household management, while he (for he had parted with all smoothness) remained a man, and shows himself man. […]

“Wherefore males have both more hair and more heat than females… It is therefore impious to desecrate the symbol of manhood, hairiness. But the embellishment of smoothing (for I am warned by the Word), if it is to attract men, is the act of an effeminate person,— if to attract women, is the act of an adulterer; and both must be driven as far as possible from our society. […]

“Let the head of men be shaven, unless it has curly hair. But let the chin have the hair. But let not twisted locks hang far down from the head, gliding into womanish ringlets. For an ample beard suffices for men. And if one, too, shave a part of his beard, it must not be made entirely bare, for this is a disgraceful sight. The shaving of the chin to the skin is reprehensible, approaching to plucking out the hair and smoothing. For instance, thus the Psalmist, delighted with the hair of the beard, says, ‘As the ointment that descends on the beard, the beard of Aaron.’ Having celebrated the beauty of the beard by a repetition, he made the face to shine with the ointment of the Lord.”

-St. Clement of Alexandria

-----
"We have now for many centuries triumphed over nature to the extent of making certain secondary characteristics of the male (such as the beard) disagreeable to nearly all the females—and there is more in that than you might suppose."
-C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Arvo Part's Spiegel im Spiegel




Do Not Forget

“The Lord sometimes allows people who are devoted to Him to fall into such dreadful vices; and this is in order to prevent them from falling into a still greater sin–pride.

Your temptation will pass and you will spend the remaining days of your life in humility. Only do not forget your sin.”

-St. Seraphim of Sarov

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

Andrew Toles.  The Man, The Myth, The Legend.

Storylines

As we enter into September, there are many scintillating storylines in baseball:

1.) Will Baltimore or Boston be able to hold on to their two wild card spots?

2.) Kansas City, who were appeared to be done in the beginning of August are only 3.0 games away from Baltimore for the second WC spot.  Going 17-5 in the last twenty-two games, they were able to turn it around.  Can they continue this brilliance and give themselves a chance to win a third straight Pennant?

3.) The Yankees are only 3.5 games out from the second WC spot.  Yes, you read that correctly.

4.) Who gets the second WC spot in the Senior Circuit?  Cards, Buccos, Mets, Miami?

5.) Can the Dodgers hold on the NL West lead?

September baseball is bitter sweet because it signals the end of the regular season. Pretty soon October will roll around and post-season play will begin.

Let us see how the final act is played out!

Monday, August 29, 2016

No to Hatred

“The deiform soul cannot nurse hatred against a man and yet be at peace with God, the giver of the commandments. ‘For’, He says, ‘if you do not forgive men their faults, neither will your heavenly Father forgive you your faults’ (cf. Matt. 6:14-15). If your brother does not wish to live peaceably with you, nevertheless guard yourself against hatred, praying for him sincerely and not abusing him to anybody.”

-St. Maximus the Confessor

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Good Rule

“There is a good rule in spiritual life, which we all forget continually,” he said, “that you must see more of your own sins than other people’s.” He remarked that the sum of human sin has been growing since Adam’s time, and we all share some of the blame. “So I think everyone must say to himself, ‘We must change our thinking.’ We cannot see what is in the heart of another person. Maybe he is a holy man, and I can see only that he is wearing a wrong jacket.”

-Arvo Part

The Sound of Spirit by Arthur Lubow

NORCIA

Please pray for the Monks of Norcia as they have to deal with this difficult situation which the earthquake has placed them in.

They are very holy, traditional, and make awesome beer.  May God help all them and all those in need in Italy.

Monday, August 22, 2016

No Business

"Do not lose your temper with those who sin. Do not have a passion for noticing every sin in your neighbor and judging it, as we usually do. Everyone will give an answer for himself before God. Especially, do not look with evil intention on the sins of those older than you, with whom you have no business. But correct your own sins, your own heart."

-St. John of Kronstadt 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sajna Ve Sajna

Exactly two weeks ago, I was able to see Gurdas Maan, a cultural hero of mine in a concert here in Los Angeles.  He really is a living legend in our Punjabi culture and thankfully this was the third time I was able to see him live.  There really is no words in the English lexicon that can really describe such an experience.



Please keep my beloved Punjab in your prayers.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Patience

“Let nothing perturb you, nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything.”

-St. Teresa of Avila 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tragic

I think one of the tragic things about life is how much time many of us spend looking at the actions of our brother and then spending more time condemning him.  Why do we not examine our hearts for the dirt that lies there?  Why are we so quick to look at what we think are flaws in the hearts of others?  If their hearts are pure, God will reward them.  If they are not, God will punish them.  What is it to us?  Let us love them for that is what Christ has instructed us to do.  If we are to judge, let us judge our own hearts.

Pray for me, a sinner.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Our Lady of Snows

"In the time of Pope Liberius, there lived at Rome a certain nobleman named John and a noble lady his wife, who had no children to whom to leave their substance. Then they vowed that they would make the most holy Virgin Mother of God their heiress, and earnestly besought her in some way to make known to them upon what godly work she would that the money should be spent. The blessed Virgin Mary graciously listened to their prayers and heart-felt earnestness, and by a miracle assured them of her will.

On the 5th day of August, which is that time when the heat of summer waxeth greatest in Rome, a part of the Esquiline Hill was covered by night with snow. And on this same night the Mother of God appeared in a dream to John and his wife separately, and told them that on that spot, which in the morning they should see clad with snow, they should build a Church, to be dedicated in the name of the Virgin Mary, for that this was the way in which she chose that they should make her their heiress. John went and told it to Pope Liberius, who declared that he also had been visited by a like dream.

Therefore he came in a solemn procession of Priests and people to the snow-clad hill, and traced upon that spot the plan of a Church which was built with the money of John and his wife. It was afterwards rebuilt by Sixtus III. At the beginning it was called by divers names, sometimes the Liberian Basilica, sometimes the Church of St Mary-at-the-Manger. Howbeit, since there are in Rome many Churches called after the Holy Virgin Mary, and this Church doth excel them all, both in honour, and because of the strange sign wherewith it was dedicated, it hath come to be called the Church of St Mary, the Greater. The memory of the dedication thereof is kept every year by a Feast-day that taketh name from the wonderful fall of snow which on this day took place."

-Matins, Second Nocturn, Feast of Our Lady of Snows

What a beautiful title for Our Lady.  Ever since I entered the Church, I have had a great affinity for this title. Also, thinking about snow in the heat of August is a very consoling thought!!!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Careful!

"Even if we perform upon thousands of good works, my brethren: fasts, prayers, almsgiving; even if we shed our blood for our Christ and we don’t have these two loves [love of God and love of brethren], but on the contrary have hatred and malice toward our brethren, all the good we have done is of the devil and we go to hell. But, you say, we go to hell despite all the good we do because of that little hatred?

Yes, my brethren, because that hatred is the devil’s poison, and just as when we put a little yeast in a hundred pounds of flour it has such power that it causes all the dough to rise, so it is with hatred. It transforms all the good we have done into the devil’s poison."

-St. Kosmas Aitolos

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Comeback Complete

One game back as we head into the dog days of August!!!



What a night.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hillary Clinton

I am currently watching this woman giving her sales pitch to the denizens of the United States.

She is really the face of evil.  In the midst of the noise of the brainless audience, a Catholic can discern all the evil and malice that she stands for.

Oh Lord, please spare us from evil leaders.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Heart

"The heart itself is only a small vessel, yet dragons are there and lions. There are poisonous beasts and all the treasury of evil. There are rough and uneven roads in that little place. There are precipices, thoughts. There too are God and his angels. There is life. The Kingdom is there. There too is light, the Apostles, the heavenly cities, the treasures of greats. All things lie within that little space."

-St. Macarius the Great 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Small Drop

Our lives are but a small drop in the larger ocean.  Because of the result of original sin, we can often believe that we are really great and should be significant in the world.

We are servants of God and we must let ourselves be utilized by God in the way that He wants to.  If he wants to break your heart, accept the suffering with resignation.  If he gives you joy, accept it with a calm disposition.  Do not try to engage in a struggle with God for you will only cause your heart much agony and distress.

Let us hope in the Mother of God for she will lead us away from the snares of the world and will be our great advocate in the quest for Paradise.

Let us suffer, let us suffer for Paradise.


"According to thy mercy, pour out upon me, who am miserable, at least one small drop of grace to make me understand and be converted, that I might make at least some small effort to correct myself. For if thy grace does not illumine my soul, I will not be able to see the carelessness and negligence that the passions have produced in me through my apathy and recklessness."

-St. Ephrem the Syrian

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Quiet

"Nilius said, 'The arrows of the enemy cannot touch someone who loves quiet.  But those who wander about among crowds will often be wounded by them.'"

-The Desert Fathers


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Request

Please, out of charity, pray for me.  I am experiencing deep spiritual turmoil and if you could ask the Mother of God to give me the strength to walk this dark tunnel, I would be very grateful.  I will pray for you as well.

"Suffering reminds the wise man of God, but crushes those who forget him."
-St. Mark the Ascetic

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Four Virtues and Stillness

"He who wants to cross the spiritual sea is long-suffering, humble, vigilant and self-controlled. If he impetuously embarks on it without these four virtues, he agitates his heart, but cannot cross.

Stillness helps us by making evil inoperative. If it also takes to itself these four virtues in prayer, it is the most direct support in attaining dispassion."

-St. Mark the Ascetic

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Cross of Christ

"Do not seek the perfection of the law in human virtues, for it is not found perfect in them. Its perfection is hidden in the Cross of Christ."

-St. Mark the Ascetic

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Reality of Death

I have been meditating on death for some time now.  Death, I have concluded, is a serious business. It is the end of your "written record" here on Earth.  After we die, we can longer merit.  We can no longer repent from mortal sin.  We can no longer go to Confession.

Man, that is very frightening.  May God have mercy on me and my readers and may we all die in the state of grace.


“You must not be greatly troubled about many things, but you should care for the main thing — preparing yourself for death.”
-St. Ambrose of Optina

From Book II, Meditations

"Yes, you can--if you do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life, and stop being aimless, stop letting your emotions override what your mind tells you, stop being hypocritical, self-centered, irritable."

-Marcus Aurelius

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Death

"Keep death and exile daily before thine eyes, with all else that men deem terrible, but more especially Death. Then wilt thou never think a mean thought, nor covet anything beyond measure."

-Epictetus

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Tranquility

"How easy it is to repel and to wipe away every impression which is troublesome or unsuitable, and immediately to be in all tranquility."

-Marcus Aurelius

Monday, July 11, 2016

Things learned from yesterday's final

1.) Nothing is more beneficial in football than having a solid compact defense.

2.) Just because you are playing at home does not mean you are entitled to a victory (Brazil 2014, France 2016, Bayern Munich 2012, etc....)

3.) Always have a plan B in case your star player gets injured and execute such a plan to perfection.

4.) If you have a clear header, do not hit the ball over the net (Griezmann '65)

5.) Football is fun.


Congratulations to Portugal.

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.


Friday, July 8, 2016

With the Lord

“Whatever you are doing, with whomever you are speaking, whether you are going somewhere or sitting, let your mind be with the Lord. You will forget yourself, and stray from this path; but again turn to the Lord and rebuke yourself with sorrow. This is the discipline of spiritual attentiveness.”

-St. Theophan the Recluse 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Disappointed

I am not down because Wales lost.  I am more frustrated by how they lost.  A couple days ago, we saw a spirited performance against Belgium which ended in a resilient victory.  However, today, we saw completely the opposite.  The first half was completely poor mostly because they did not show the initiative to even try to score.  After Ronaldo broke the deadlock in the 50th minute, Wales was forced to actually play in the game.  At least that is what I thought.

After the second goal, I had a feeling that tonight was going nowhere.  Bale, for his talent, was poor.   The passing was sub-par, his crosses were not able to enter the danger zone, and he was not able to be dangerous in front of goal.

Portugal, if we are honest, are not that great.  There have been better Portuguese teams in the past that have not won trophies so it was for the taking (especially after beating Belgium)!  So yes, Wales did much better than expected since a SF finish is something to be proud of.  However, the prospects of what could have been!

P.S: I am not Welsh but I have grown to admire the team over the Euros.  Also, Gareth Bale is my favorite player.  Let us hope they qualify for the World Cup!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Narrow Focus

"Those who keep thoughts of the welfare of all mankind inattentively let slip by that which is in front of their eyes. Because they do not have the opportunity to perform a general work, and let slip by the opportunity to perform a particular work, they accomplish nothing towards the main purpose of life.
All troubles come from a mental outlook that is too broad. It is better to humbly cast your eyes down toward your feet, and to figure out which step to take where. This is the truest path."

-St. Theophan the Recluse

Monday, July 4, 2016

Deception

“The devil appeared to a monk disguised as an angel of light, and said to him, ‘I am the angel Gabriel, and I have been sent to you.’ But the monk said, ‘Are you sure you weren’t sent to someone else? I am not worthy to have an angel sent to me.’ At that the devil vanished.”

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Hos Erouf




We are living in such times

"Abba Anthony said:  The time is coming when people will be insane, and when they see someone who is not insane, they will attack that person saying: You are insane because you are not like us."

Monday, June 27, 2016

St. Anthony the Great

"Looking up, he saw the roof as it were opened up and a ray of light descending to him. All the demons around suddenly vanished. The pain of his body immediately ceased. The building which, to his vision, had appeared broken from the battle, now was again whole. But Anthony, feeling this help, besought the vision that had appeared to him. He said, “Where were you? Why did you not appear to help me at the beginning of my quest? Why did you not appear and make my pain cease?” A voice came to him and said, “Anthony, I was here, but I was waiting to see your contest. And since you have endured and have not been worsted, I will always be your help and your succor. I will make your name known throughout the world.”"

-Life of St. Anthony by St. Athanasius

Football is a beautiful thing

It is temporal but it is beautiful.  For all the ugly we have seen in these Euros, we have also seen magnificent things.  Payet's sublime late strike, Austria not even making knockout stages, Ronaldo's insane back heel, and England...

The very fact that Iceland (population not even 400,000) have made it this far deserves praise.  What they did to England today is even more of a shock.

More misery for the English!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Path of Salvation

"According to human reasoning, the path of salvation, it would seem, should be a smooth path, quiet and peaceful; but according to the words of the Gospel, this path is sorrowful, difficult, and narrow. The Lord said, 'I came not to send peace on earth, but a sword' (Matt. 10:34)."

-St. Ambrose of Optina

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Simple

“Let your prayer be completely simple. For both the publican and the prodigal son were reconciled to God by a single phrase.”
-St. John Climacus

Sunday, June 19, 2016

"Why do you increase your bonds? Take hold of your life before your light grows dark and you seek help and do not find it. This life has been given to you for repentance; do not waste it in vain pursuits."

-St. Isaac the Syrian

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Departure

"Why do you trouble yourself in a house that is not your own? Let the sight of a dead man be a teacher for you concerning your departure from hence."

-St. Isaac the Syrian

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Ichiro!

Congratulations to my favorite player of all-time for attaining 4257 hits in his legendary career!  Long Live Ichiro!


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

“Let us love silence till the world is made to die in our hearts. Let us always remember death, and in this thought draw near to God in our heart — and the pleasures of this world will have our scorn.”

-St. Isaac the Syrian

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Happy Feast of Corpus Christi

I was blessed to attend a Solemn High Mass with Procession in the Traditional Norbertine Rite.

It was glorious!





Saturday, May 21, 2016

Trinity Sunday

"Quicúmque vult salvus esse, * ante ómnia opus est, ut téneat cathólicam fidem:
Quam nisi quisque íntegram inviolatámque serváverit, * absque dúbio in ætérnum períbit."

"Whosoever willeth to be saved, * before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic faith.
Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, * without doubt he shall perish eternally."

-From the Athanasius Creed


The Day of the Cup Final

One of my favorite days of the year!  I am pretty disappointed that The Arsenal are not in the final however a Manchester United loss would be splendid since it would keep Arsenal at the head of the trophy count with twelve titles.

Next week it gets better!  European Cup final with two teams from Madrid!

Post-match edit: What an exciting conclusion to the match.  I thought that Palace surely had it however United played well in the face of adversity.

Cannot wait until next week's all Madrid final!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Agni Parthene



One of my favorite hymns.  Please do not forsake us O' Beloved Mother of God, lest we perish into the fires of eternal damnation.

Detachment and Pilgrimage

“A pilgrimage is not simply a matter of getting to a particular shrine or holy place. It is a deliberate sundering and surrender of one’s habitual conditions of comfort, routine, safety, convenience. Unlike the tourist, whose aim is to see things and to travel around in conditions which are as comfortable, secure, familiar, convenient, and unchallenging as possible, the pilgrim breaks with his material servitude, puts his trust in God, and sets out on a quest which is inward as much as outward. In this sense he becomes the image of the spiritual seeker. He removes himself as far as possible from the artificiality within which he is enclosed by his life in society. Of this spiritual exploration, inward and outward, walking is an essential part. His feet tread the earth—the earth from which he is made and from which he is usually so cut off. Through his eyes, ears, nose, he renews his sense of natural beauty. He watches the flight of bird or insect, the ripple of light on leaves, the timeless vistas of the sea; he listens to the song of water, the call of God’s creatures; he breathes in the scent of tree and flower and soil. His feet tire, his body aches, sweat drips from his head and trickles into his eyes and down his neck. He tastes rigor and hardship. But through all this—and only through all this, and through his prayer and dedication and confidence—slowly an inner change is wrought, a new rhythm grows, a deeper harmony. The pilgrimage is at work.”

-Philip Sherrard in "The Paths of Athos”.


Monday, May 16, 2016

Humility

Abba John the Dwarf said, 'There was a spiritual old man who lived a secluded life. He was held in high estimation in the city and enjoyed a great reputation. He was told that a certain old man, at the point of death, was calling for him, to embrace him before he fell asleep. He thought to himself, if I go by day, men will run after me, giving me great honour, and I shall not be at peace in all that. So I will go in the evening in the darkness and I shall escape everyone's notice. But lo, two angels were sent by God with lamps to give him light. Then the whole city came out to see his glory. The more he wished to Flee from glory, the more he was glorified. In this was accomplished that which is written: "He who humbles himself will be exalted." ' (Luke 14:11)

Monday, May 9, 2016

St. Anthony of the Desert

"When the holy Abba Anthony lived in the desert he was beset by accidie, and attacked by many sinful thoughts. He said to God, "Lord, I wand to be saved but these thoughts do not leave me alone; what shall I do in my affliction? How can I be saved?" A short while afterwards, when he got up to go out, Anthony say a man like himself sitting at his work, getting up from his work to pray, then sitting down again and plaiting a rope, then getting up again to pray. It was an angel of the Lord sent to correct and reassure him. He heard the angel saying to him, "Do this and you will be saved." At these words, Anthony was filled with joy and courage. He did this, and he was saved."

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Down Goes Khan

Another glorious Saturday night in boxing has come and gone and it has ended with a Canelo Alvarez KO of Amir Khan.  I was personally was rooting for Khan and I had him winning the first four of the five rounds but I had a feeling that he would not be able to endure the grind for twelve rounds.

And then it happened.

A devastating right hook ended Khan's night in the sixth.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Passions

"When a man is given over to the passions, he does not see them in himself and does not fight against them, because he lives in them and by them. But when the grace of God becomes active in him, he begins to discern the passionate and sinful in himself, acknowledge them, and to repent and decide to guard against them. A struggle begins. At first, the struggle begins with deeds, but when is released from shameful deeds, then the struggle begins with shameful thoughts and feelings. And here the struggle encounters many steps ... The struggle continues. The passions increasingly are torn out of the heart. It even happens that they are entirely torn out ... The sign that the passions are torn out of the heart is that the soul begins to feel repulsion and hatred for the passions."

-St. Theophan the Recluse 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Lighten up, lads

Good ways for my fellow Catholic trads to alleviate their current mental sufferings,

1.) Prayer (Divine Office in particular)
2.) Exercise (Cardio in particular)
3.) Less time on the internet and television.
4.) More time tasting wine, beer and scotch.
5.) More time tasting wine, beer and scotch.
6.) More time tasting wine, beer and scotch.
7.) Listen to Gregorian Chant.
8.) Limit time following Papal/Vatican News.





Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"God Or Nothing"

I recently purchased a book titled "God or Nothing" by Robert Cardinal Sarah.  I heard many good things about the book and I have a really positive opinion of the great cardinal.  I will write my thoughts after I conclude reading it.

If only he was elected Pope in 2013!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Church Fathers

As I was praying First Vespers of Pope St. Leo the Great this evening (with a commemoration of the Second Sunday of Pascha, of course), I was thinking about the beauty of studying the Church Fathers and understanding their role in comprehending Tradition.

Last night, I went to a potluck with members of a youth group from a Novus Ordo parish which I attend on the weekdays.  I had an argument with a couple of the folks there on the issue of the Church Fathers.  One man was brazen enough to tell me that,

"Vatican II is more important than the Church Fathers."

What could cause one to say something so foolish?  Does a person not realize the ramifications of such a statement?  This is no lilliputian matter and it made me realize that the Church needs to go back to the Church Fathers.

My fellow Trads,  let us not waste our time by defended certain seventeenth century French proclivities. If we want to be true trads, let us fight for Tradition every moment of our lives.

Of course, it all starts and ends with the Liturgy.

From First Vespers,

O Doctor optime, * Ecclesiae Sanctae lumen, beate Leone, divinae legis amator, deprecare pro nobis Filium Dei, alleluia.
O right excellent Teacher, Light of the Holy Church, Leo, blessed lover of the Divine Law, pray for us to the Son of God. Alleluia

Saturday, April 9, 2016

How to deal with stupidity

As many of you know, there are many insane things going on in the Church.  However, for the sake of your eternal soul, I would highly recommend reading the words on the following blog,

http://www.johnrotondijr.blogspot.com/2016/04/irascimini-vel-ignoscite.html

Try not to spend too much of your spiritual and mental energy on the shenanigans going on the Vatican. There are far greater things to be active in.



Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Theatre

"Football is to baseball as blackjack is to bridge. One is the quick jolt. The other the deliberate, slow-paced game of skill, but never was a sport more ideally suited to television than baseball. It's all there in front of you. It's theatre, really. The star is the spotlight on the mound, the supporting cast fanned out around him, the mathematical precision of the game moving with the kind of inevitability of Greek tragedy. With the Greek chorus in the bleachers!"

-Vin Scully

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Dominica in Albis





"Quasi modo géniti infántes, allelúja: rationabiles, sine dolo lac concupíscite, allelúja, allelúja allelúja. Exsultáte Deo, adjutóri nostro: jubiláte Deo Jacob. Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto. Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, et in saécula sæculórum. Amen."

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Baseball season is coming soon!

“I want the broadcast to sound like two guys sitting at the ballpark, talking about the game, with the viewer eavesdropping. It’s not High Mass, and it’s not a seminar — it’s a ballgame.”

-Joe Garagiola

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Rest In Peace, Mother Angelica

She fought the good fight even when it was difficult.  May God grant her eternal rest.



How fiiting is that that she leaves earth on this most solemn of Feasts.

"Oh death, where is thy sting?"

Happy Pascha!



Saturday, March 26, 2016

Twelve Prophecies

One of my favorite aspects of the traditional Holy Week is the Easter Vigil.  It is the august Vigil for us Catholics and it is rightly called the "Vigil of Vigils."  In the Old Rite, there would be twelve prophecies which the Church would give to Her children to meditate on as the build up would continue towards the Resurrection.  I have attached a link on the bottom where Dom Prosper Gueranger in his The Liturgical Year expounds on these prophecies and writes fantastic points of mediation.

It starts on page 566.

http://tinyurl.com/z5sgjov

Monday, March 21, 2016

Summa by Arvo Part



One of my favorite compositions by Part.  I felt like the readers would be edified by listening to this musical masterpiece over Holy Week.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Dominica in Palmis

We now begin the most solemn of days in the year.  Ask the Lord for the graces to detach more fully so that our hearts may unite to Christ in these sorrowful days.

I will be serving for the Sacred Triduum at my FSSP parish and so please pray for me! 


-------

"Early in the morning of this day, Jesus sets out for Jerusalem, leaving Mary His Mother, and the two sisters Martha and Mary Magdalene, and Lazarus, at Bethania. The Mother of sorrows trembles at seeing her Son thus expose Himself to danger, for His enemies are bent upon His destruction; but it is not death, it is triumph, that Jesus is to receive to-day in Jerusalem. The Messias, before being nailed to the cross, is to be proclaimed King by the people of the great city; the little children are to make her streets echo with their Hosannas to the Son of David; and this in presence of the soldiers of Rome’s emperor, and of the high priests and Pharisees: the first standing under the banner of their eagles; the second, dumb with rage.

The prophet Zachary had foretold this triumph which the Son of Man was to receive a few days before His Passion, and which had been prepared for Him from all eternity. ‘Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion! Shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold thy King will come to thee; the Just and the Saviour. He is poor, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass.’ [Zach. ix. 9]. Jesus, knowing that the hour has come for the fulfilment of this prophecy, singles out two from the rest of His disciples, and bids them lead to Him an ass and her colt, which they would find not far off. He has reached Beth phage, on Mount Olivet. The two disciples lose no time in executing the order given them by their divine Master; and the ass and the colt are soon brought to the place where He stands.

The holy fathers have explained to us the mystery of these two animals. The ass represents the Jewish people, which had been long under the yoke of the Law; the colt, upon which, as the evangelist says, no man yet hath sat [St. Mark xi. 2], is a figure of the Gentile world, which no one had ever yet brought into subjection. The future of these two peoples is to be decided a few days hence: the Jews will be rejected, for having refused to acknowledge Jesus as the Messias; the Gentiles will take their place, to be adopted as God’s people, and become docile and faithful.

The disciples spread their garments upon the colt; and our Saviour, that the prophetic figure might be fulfilled, sits upon him [Ibid. 7, and St. Luke xix. 35.], and advances towards Jerusalem. As soon as it is known that Jesus is near the city, the holy Spirit works in the hearts of those Jews, who have come from all parts to celebrate the feast of the Passover. They go out to meet our Lord, holding palm branches in their hands, and loudly proclaiming Him to be King [St. Luke xix. 38]. They that have accompanied Jesus from Bethania, join the enthusiastic crowd. Whilst some spread their garments on the way, others cut down boughs from the palm-trees, and strew them along the road. Hosanna is the triumphant cry, proclaiming to the whole city that Jesus, the Son of David, has made His entrance as her King."

-The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Gueranger 

Monday, March 14, 2016

You can't make this stuff up

Early today, I went into a Novus Ordo parish around lunchtime just so that I could pay my debt to Our Lady by saying Her Rosary.  During my prayers, I overheard three old ladies conversing along the following lines,

Women 1: "There was a Priest who was giving a sermon to kids about hell?  Can you believe it?"
Women 2 and 3: "Oh no, what a shock." 
Women 1: "I know, can you really believe it?  I am thinking, these are little kids, why are you talking to them about that?  The proper approach is to teach them that God is a loving Father who will embrace them with a big hug at the time of their deaths."
Women 2: "You are right.  My mother had the same old fashioned view since that's how tough the Church was regarding these matters in the old days."
Women 1, 2, and 3: All shake their head as if lamenting that past generations had to suffer with priests who were not cowards.

I was so close to blurting out the truth regarding these matters but since they were old and I did not see that it was fit to destroy their preconceived motions in such a delicate environment.  I must also remember, it is the Year of Mercy, is it not?

How the hell could I ever forget?