Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Mystery of the Heavens

When I was a young boy, I would have the inclination to always go out for a walk after dinner to calm my mind and simply to enjoy the outdoors.  One of my favorite things to do was get to a location not covered by any sort of obstructions, stop, look up, and wonder at the sky.  It was because of this that I have always been interested in the sciences.  Stars, the planets, black holes and other amazing astronomical entities always made me feel small in the grander scheme of things.  Humbling.

However, what I was really interested to know the most was what was beyond something beyond the stars.  The Heavens.  What were the Heavens?  How did one get there?  How....

Let us wonder.  Let us look at the night sky and be humbled as we realize our littleness in the vast landscape of the universe.  Let us be overwhelmed at the thought that even though we might seem insignificant, our Lord Jesus Christ came down from the Heavens to save us and we can receive Him in Holy Communion.

"Man seeks joy and happiness in heaven. He seeks what is eternal far from everyone and everything. He seeks to find joy in God. God is a mystery. He is silence. He is infinite. He is everything. Everyone possesses this inclination of the soul for heaven. All people seek something heavenly. All beings turn towards Him, albeit unconsciously. Turn your mind towards Him continually. Learn to love prayer, familiar converse with the Lord. What counts above all is love, passionate love for the Lord, for Christ the Bridegroom. Become worthy of Christ’s love. In order not to live in darkness, turn on the switch of prayer so that divine light may flood your soul. Christ will appear in the depths of your being. There, in the deepest and most inward part, is the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is within you [Luke 17:21].'"

-St. Porphyrios 

Friday, January 27, 2017


"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 

Thursday, January 26, 2017


"Acquire the habit of speaking to God as if you were alone with Him, familiarly and with confidence and love, as to the dearest and most loving of friends."
-St. Alphonsus Liguori 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

RIP, Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte

On Sunday morning, January 22nd, it was revealed that the young Royals power righty, Yordano Ventura was found dead as as result of a car accident in his native Dominican Republic.  On the same morning, Andy Marte was also found dead in a car collision in the same country.

It has a been a tough six months for baseball fans.  On September 25th, we lost Jose Fernandez who was on the path to the Hall of Fame as he was taken away from us too soon.

Baseball and cricket are my two favorite sports and sometimes I can be carried away with what happens on the field however death brings everything into perspective. Please pray for the eternal repose for these men and the grace of consolation for their families.  

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Death of a Gentleman

For all fans of sports, in particularly cricket, I would recommend a wonderful provocative film named "Death of a Gentleman" which was released in 2015.  It follows two passionate reporters, Sam Collins and Jarrod Kimber, as they try to find out the validity of the canard which proclaims the death of test cricket is imminent and if so, who is trying to kill it?  As their quest throughout the film intensifies, what they discover is something far more dark and disheartening for fans of this wonderful game.  A story of corruption into the highest levels of the institutions which govern the game.

For all who are fans of test cricket and absolutely deplore the horrific T20 craze that has engulfed the cricket world, this is a must view.  I have attached the trailer below.

I will eventually get to a post where I will personally give my opinions on the T20 culture and the future of our beloved test cricket.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Saint Agnes!

For those who follow the old calendar, we know that she had two feast days and the second feast day was one of my favorite aspects of the rite.  Before the butchering of the Roman Rite in recent times, not only did she have a feast day today (Jan. 21) but also on the eighth day (Jan. 28).  She had an unofficial octave which shows you have much the Church thought about her and how pivotal she is in the life of the Church.  The ninth reading at Mattins (or third reading in the pre-Pius X Office) office is one of my favorites in the Roman Rite and I will list it below even though it will be prayed by the Church on the 28th.

" Beata Agnes, parentibus ad ejus sepulcrum assidue vigilantibus, quadam nocte choro virginum comitata cum apparuisset, sic ad eos locuta dicitur: Ne me parentes mortuam lugeatis: nam una cum his virginibus vivo apud illum in caelis, quem in terris tota mente dilexi. Cum aliquot post annos Constantia, Constantini imperatoris filia, insanabili ulceri medicinam quaerens, nondum Christiana ad idem sepulcrum accessisset; obdormiscens sibi audire visa est vocem hanc Agnetis: Constanter age Constantia: crede in Jesum Christum Filium Dei, qui te sanam faciet. Quae sanata, paulo post una cum multis ex familia imperatoris baptismum suscipiens, ibi ecclesiam nomine beatae Agnetis aedificavit."

" The night when the parents of the blessed Agnes were watching at her grave, she appeared to them in company with a band of virgins, and said to them Father and Mother, weep not for me as though I were dead; for now these virgins and I live together in Him Whose love was my whole life upon earth. Some years afterwards, Constance, the daughter of the Emperor Constantine, being sick of an incurable ulcer, betook herself to the said grave, although she was not yet a Christian, and as she lay by it and slept, she seemed to hear the voice of Agnes, saying to her Constance, be of good courage believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God, and He will make thee whole. The Princess, being healed, was baptized, along with many others of the Emperor's family and household, and afterwards built over the grave of the blessed Agnes a Church named in her honour."

I will post this again on her octave day.  Pray for us, St. Agnes! 

Exsurge Domine

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Emptiness of Applause

"Men seek retreats for themselves, houses in the country, sea-shores, and mountains; and thou too art wont to desire such things very much. But this is altogether a mark of the most common sort of men, for it is in thy power whenever thou shalt choose to retire into thyself. For nowhere either with more quiet or more freedom from trouble does a man retire than into his own soul, particularly when he has within him such thoughts that by looking into them he is immediately in perfect tranquility; and I affirm that tranquility is nothing else than the good ordering of the mind. Constantly then give to thyself this retreat, and renew thyself; and let thy principles be brief and fundamental, which, as soon as thou shalt recur to them, will be sufficient to cleanse the soul completely, and to send thee back free from all discontent with the things to which thou returnest. For with what art thou discontented? With the badness of men? Recall to thy mind this conclusion, that rational animals exist for one another, and that to endure is a part of justice, and that men do wrong involuntarily; and consider how many already, after mutual enmity, suspicion, hatred, and fighting, have been stretched dead, reduced to ashes; and be quiet at last.- But perhaps thou art dissatisfied with that which is assigned to thee out of the universe.- Recall to thy recollection this alternative; either there is providence or atoms, fortuitous concurrence of things; or remember the arguments by which it has been proved that the world is a kind of political community, and be quiet at last.- But perhaps corporeal things will still fasten upon thee.- Consider then further that the mind mingles not with the breath, whether moving gently or violently, when it has once drawn itself apart and discovered its own power, and think also of all that thou hast heard and assented to about pain and pleasure, and be quiet at last.- But perhaps the desire of the thing called fame will torment thee.- See how soon everything is forgotten, and look at the chaos of infinite time on each side of the present, and the emptiness of applause, and the changeableness and want of judgement in those who pretend to give praise, and the narrowness of the space within which it is circumscribed, and be quiet at last. For the whole earth is a point, and how small a nook in it is this thy dwelling, and how few are there in it, and what kind of people are they who will praise thee."

-Marcus Aurelius, The Meditations, Book IV

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - Hand Covers Bruise

Brilliant piece by Reznor and Ross.  I remembering watching the film for the first time in 2010 and one of my first thoughts after the viewing was how immaculate the soundtrack was.

This piece was the main composition of the soundtrack.  I feel like it was able to capture the burdens that Zuckerburg faced at the nascent stages of his Facebook creation.  The piano notes represents the joys of creating this new way of connecting which would be unprecedented in the history of man.  However, throughout the piece the listener can feel the anxiety and sorrow that Zuckerburg encountered on his way to greatness.

Magnificent.  Just Magnificent.

Happy Feast of the Theophany!

"When Thou, O Lord, wast baptized in the Jordan, worship of the Trinity wast made manifest; for the voice of the Father bore witness to Thee, calling Thee His beloved Son. And the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truth of His word. O Christ our God, Who hath appeared and enlightened the world, glory to Thee."

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Mitchell Johnson 7/40, 2013 Ashes

I still remember this like it was yesterday.  Two quick notes.

  • Johnson's ball to Cook was an absolute peach.  Swinging in and then deviates out off the seam.  Might be the best ball I have ever seen in my life. 
  • The atmosphere inside the Adelaide Oval was absolutely brilliant when Broad's leg stump was demolished by Johnson's delivery.  Might have been the loneliest walk in his career.

Monday, January 16, 2017

"Tu autem servásti bonum vinum usque adhuc."

"But thou has kept the good wine until now."

On Sunday, it was the Second Sunday after the Epiphany in the Roman Rite.  When I was at the High Mass, the words that I have posted above really hit me when the Priest was chanting the Gospel.

How many times are we impatient with the Lord?  How many times do we think that our current situation is not being attended to by our Savior?

Be patient, be vigilant, for the good wine shall come as a reward for your patience.


"When the demons see us disdaining the things of the world in order through them not to hate men and fall away from love, they then incite slanders against us, hoping that, unable to bear the hurt, we will come to hate those who slander us."

-St. Maximus the Confessor

Sunday, January 15, 2017

St. Seraphim of Sarov

Troparion of the Feast 

"Thou didst love Christ from thy youth, O blessed one, and longing to work for Him alone thou didst struggle in the wilderness with constant prayer and labor.  With penitent heart and great love for Christ thou wast favored by the Mother of God. Wherefore we cry to thee: Save us by thy prayers, O Seraphim our righteous Father."

Pray for us, St. Seraphim!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

This should make for an interesting fifth day!

This test has been a pretty clean one so far.  Yes, there have been some dropped catches on the New Zealand side however I have not seen any egregious mistakes.  However, about ten minutes ago, Bangladesh's nightwatchman, Mehendi Hasan Miraz, was inexplicably run out to end the day!

Oh dear.

The Circumcision of Our Lord

The Circumcision of our Lord, Troparion, Tone I —

"O Jesus, Who in the highest dost sit with Thine unoriginate Father and the divine Spirit upon a fiery throne, Thou wast well-pleased to be born on earth of Thy Mother, a Maiden who knew not man; wherefore, thou wast circumcised as a babe eight days of age. Glory to Thine all-good counsel! Glory to Thy dispensation! Glory to Thy condescension, O Thou Who alone lovest mankind!"

Friday, January 13, 2017

Wonderful Innings

Wonderful innings from Shakib Al Hasan at the second day of the Bangladesh v. New Zealand test match at Wellington.  First double century of his career.

217(276), b Wagner

Take a bow, sir.

Apodosis of the Nativity

Troparion of the Feast, Tone IV

"Thy nativity, O Christ our God, / hath shone forth the light of knowledge upon the world; / for therein those who worship the stars / have been taught by a star to worship Thee, / the Sun of righteousness, / and to know Thee the Orient from on high. // O Lord, glory be to Thee!"

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


A friend of mine recommended that I watch "Interstellar" last Friday at our annual parish young adult Epiphany party.  As a fan of Christopher Nolan movies in general, I was quite puzzled why I did not go to the cinema when this movie debuted in 2014.  Anyhow, I was able to borrow a copy from my local library and I must say, this film exceeded all of my expectations.  A wonderful film with a sublime soundtrack.

Congratulations, Mr. Nolan.  You have done it again.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


“Sometimes men are tested by pleasure, sometimes by distress or by physical suffering. By means of His prescriptions the Physician of souls administers the remedy according to the cause of the passions lying hidden in the soul.”
-St. Maximus the Confessor

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Nativity

Happy Feast of the Nativity to all those who follow the Julian Calendar!

Christ is Born!  Glorify Him!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Well done, Younis Khan

With his century against Australia today, he is the only person who has achieved a century in all eleven test nations.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Correct Faith

“This expression, however, ‘the Word was made flesh’ [John 1:14], can mean nothing else but that he partook of flesh and blood like to us; he made our body his own, and came forth man from a woman, not casting off his existence as God, or his generation of God the Father, but even in taking to himself flesh remaining what he was. This the declaration of the correct faith proclaims everywhere. This was the sentiment of the holy Fathers; therefore they ventured to call the holy Virgin, the Mother of God, not as if the nature of the Word or his divinity had its beginning from the holy Virgin, but because of her was born that holy body with a rational soul, to which the Word, being personally united, is said to be born according to the flesh.”

-St. Cyril of Alexandria to Nestorius

Monday, January 2, 2017

On the Sacred Liturgy

"Such pronouncements usually reach only a few and the more learned among the faithful; feasts reach them all; the former speak but once, the latter speak every year - in fact, forever. The church's teaching affects the mind primarily; her feasts affect both mind and heart, and have a salutary effect upon the whole of man's nature. Man is composed of body and soul, and he needs these external festivities so that the sacred rites, in all their beauty and variety, may stimulate him to drink more deeply of the fountain of God's teaching, that he may make it a part of himself, and use it with profit for his spiritual life."
-Pope Pius XI, Quas Primas, #21

I have been thinking about these words especially since after Pius XI we lost many Octaves, Vigils, traditional Holy Week, the old classifications, etc...

Why do these things matter?  Are those who want to see the Roman liturgy in all of her glory simply wasting our energy on what may seem trivial to many.  No!  We are told in Matins of Corpus Christi that God became man so that men might become gods (St. Thomas).  We are supposed undergo the process of Theosis and the liturgy is the primary vehicle for this to occur.  When we engage in the Church's Sacred Rites, we give our hearts and souls to God so that a process of deification can occur.

This is why all of this matters.  This is why the work of restoration must go on.

Happy Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus!

Sunday, January 1, 2017


"Paradise! Paradise! Paradise! O, blessed are the disciplines, blissful the night-watches!  Blessed the penances, the self-will sacrificed!  O, the blessing of fasting, and acts of obedience!  How great is the blessing of religious life well lived!"

-St. Bernard of Corleone on his deathbed