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.


“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


"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

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


"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


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


"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


"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