Saturday, December 25, 2010

beautiful boy


"beautiful, beautiful, beautiful,
beautiful boy." (John Lennon - Beautiful Boy, 1980)
merry and holy Christmas to all, in the peace and joy of Our Lord Jesus Christ. i'm off to celebrate that mass of Christ's birth, and will remember all of you in my prayers. God Bless you, and Mary protect you. peace.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

be still, my soul

Claude Theberge
"be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
when we shall be forever with the Lord
when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone
sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
all safe and blessed we shall meet at last." (Catharine Amalia Dorothea von Schlegel translated by Jane Borthwick - Be Still, My Soul "Stille, mein Wille", 1752)
why is that so difficult? why can't i just be still, be at peace? however, in this season of Advent, i too was feeling the pressures of the world, the tossing around of the waves. i found my refuge in the boat, however, the Church always keeps me safe, and the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confession help me to be me!

i love this song, and it is currently on repeat! i really enjoy the version sung by The Priests, 2008. it is a Christmas CD, of course, and the only one that tops it - Christmas music, that is - is no other than Celine Dion's These are Special Times, 1998. yep, that's no typo - i like most of Celine's music. sorry y'all.

anywho, back to being still, at peace this Christmas. why is that difficult? what does it take so long to get there sometimes? at first, we are intrigued by all the noise, and like a buffet, we must try everything. we begin to feel a little sick to our stomach and start desiring the medicine of silence. when we taste it for the first time, silence is no good - we'd prefer to go back to the noise, back to what we once thought was good for us. we get stuck in a cycle, and one day, by God's grace, we start feeling at home in the silence. what a beautiful feeling, there's no better place on earth, it is heaven. be still, my soul.

have a great, merry and holy Christmas, in the peace, silence and joy of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

mr. roboto


"domo arigato, Mr. Roboto...
you're wondering who i am
(secret, secret, i've got a secret)
machine or mannequin
(secret, secret, i've got a secret)
with parts made in Japan
(secret, secret, i've got a secret)
i am the modern man" (Styx - Mr. Roboto (video), 1983)

i heard this song - big 80's on 8, of course - on the way up to the conference on how-to-be-a-priest, how to be a good joyful priest, embracing the gift of both priesthood and celibacy. therefore, how not to be Mr. Fr. Roboto. as i'm thinking about what will be taking place, learning to fly, i'm reminded that the priest is not a robot but a human too. domo arigato, Mr. Roboto. this song blew my mind, now hearing it with new eyes.
"i've got a secret, i've been hiding under my skin
my heart is human, my blood is boiling
my brain I.B.M. [indeed, what's Mac? i've always been PC]
so if you see me acting strangely, don't be surprised
i'm just a man who needed someone
and somewhere to hide
to keep me alive, just keep me alive
somewhere to hide to keep me alive"
it was great to be with the brothers last week, some of whom i haven't seen in over 5years - i studied with many of them over at St. Augustine's Seminary. we gathered together to discuss challenges of the priesthood today, in 2010. we concentrated on evangelization, discouragement, relationships + priestly fraternity, balance (why does this one keep coming up?), and celibacy. we discussed the up's and down's, however, everything in the context of the joy of the priesthood. we also prayed together, morning prayer and daily Eucharist with some of the Ontario Catholic Bishops. it was a great week. it also allowed me to experience Niagara Falls, On. good times. the week helped us to refocus in our ministry and become once again anchored in Our Lord Jesus Christ.
"i'm not a robot without emotions
i'm not what you see
i've come to help you
with your problems, so we can be free
i'm not a hero, i'm not a saviour
forget what you know"
these are interesting words for a song, but powerful [prophetic?] words when applied to our lives. as a man, as a Christian, as a priest, i can only do so much. funny how i always expect more, and get disappointed when i do less. i'm just a man. but my true identity is a Christian - son of the Father, disciple of Christ, temple of the Holy Spirit. indeed, my true identity, is now as a priest of Our Lord Jesus Christ. i'm not a hero. i'm not a saviour. like everyone else, i needed Someone, and last week's conference helped me to centre my life once again on Him.
"domo arigato, Mr. Roboto
the problem's plain to see
too much technology
machines to save our lives
machines, de-humanize"
too much technology? hmmm, where have i heard this before? i'm still trying to figure out my cell phone, so sometimes i'm out of the loop. however, i remember that line when Colecovision and Atari where in! then again i heard it when i wanted my Nintendo system. of course, then computers began popular - Y2K was barking the end of the world! then, Playstation, Xbox, now iPhones, Blackberrys, iPad and what's next? there's always going to be something new! the question is not not wanting to create and imagine new horizon's, but rather to realize that all this stuff is a means to an end ... Home with JC! if anything gets in the way, then we need a reality check.

once i soaked it all up, today i run from it. however, there's a need for it within ministry. but where's the balance? sometimes i feel like i'm being sucked into emails and phone calls, like a centrifuge collecting the crap ... it keeps me from escaping, from being with people - visiting hospitals, visiting the sick, visiting schools, meetings within the parish and the diosese. "get a blackberry" many people tell me. say it ain't so!!! that won't help in writing my Sunday homily, or will it? indeed, email, phone, twitter, blogs, have their place in our lives. as Salt & Light reminds us, we need to use modern forms of communication effectively. ah, but that's the keyword - effectively. we are still learning. i'm still learning. any tips, i'd appreciate it. however, i'm still far off from starting the new language of texting. now, gotta run and work on my homily. peace out. domo arigato.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

learning to fly


"i'm learning to fly but i ain't got wings
coming down is the hardest thing
i'm learning to fly around the clouds
but what goes up must come down" (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Learning to Fly, 1991)

this song, from XM's 90's on 9 of course, prepares me well for this coming week. after a good week - confessions for the holy Women of Bethany, mass, sacramental preparations, meetings at the diocese and parish, q+a with the youth on Heaven, Hell and Purgatory, work on vocations, i'm now off on a conference.

this song is about growing up. as a growing baby boy priest, i need all the help i can get. therefore, next week is a Symposium for the Recently Ordained, sponsored by the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario + the ACBO Commission for Priests. i will join almost 60 of my brother priests from Ontario in Niagara Falls for a conference on "Priests for the Church Today: the Challenge of the First Years". i've heard many good things about this conference ... i think it happens every three or four years. i'll be leaving after lunch, with a brief stop in T.dot - on the way there and back. i'll be back Saturday, November 20th in time for hopefully ball hockey, but definitely the Catholic Women's League bazaar and Knights of Columbus chili supper! peace out. united in prayer.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

now that we've found love


"now that we found love
what are we gonna do
what are we gonna do with it
now that we found love what are we gonna do" (Heavy D + The Boyz - Now that We've Found Love, 1991)

this past weekend someone was talking to someone who was talking to someone else who was talking to another person who was trying to get my attention. anywho, after mass there is a lot of people talking, you get the idea. at one point i over heard someone say, "oh, this is Fr. Jonathan, he has been ordained for a year." i interjected right away with, "excuse me, that's a year and a half!" don't forget the half - it makes all the difference. good times. i remember saying half when i was turning 1, 2, 3, 20, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34 ... anywho, it fit in to the conversation at the time.

after having found what i'm looking for, talking about the one i love, this Heavy D ditty fits in nicely. indeed, now that God in Our Lord Jesus Christ has chosen us, and that we've chosen Him, what do we do? there's an intercession that we pray in the French breviary that i particular enjoy. "those who seek God, may find Him; and those who have found Him, may continue to search for Him." - a slight paraphrase, but it always hits home with me. we must continue to know Him better, love Him more and follow Him more closely each and every day. indeed, the first paragraph of the Catechism of the Catholic Church hits it on the nail: "the life of man is to know God." get busy living, or get busy dying. peace.







Monday, November 08, 2010

the one i love


"this one goes out to the one i love
this one goes out to the one i've left behind.
a simple prop to occupy my time
this one goes out to the one i love." (R.E.M. - The One I love, 1987)
more big 80's on 8 for you this morning! is this just another love song? hardly. read the summary, please. it reminded me of the skit i saw last night with our youth group - powerful. through Baptism i share in the death of Christ, but now i live my life in Christ, in His Resurrection. i must decrease, He must increase. easier said than done. living in a non-Christian world, culture, society, will have its effect on you. what does one do when one is attacked by alcohol, drugs, lust, depression, or suicide? one cannot but be affected by the culture we live in. however, Our Lord Jesus Christ is more than a prop to occupy our time. he is our rock, our very foundation! the skit last night powerfully demonstrated that. we are Christian, Catholic, and Our Lord Jesus Christ is the one we love! he is my God and my Saviour. without Him i am lost. no matter how far we may get from Him, He is always ready to welcome us home!

last week i posted i still haven't found what i'm looking for. however, we have with God in Our Lord Jesus Christ. let us encourage one another to continue this journey, journey of holiness. for no man is an island, and alone we fall. we need to encourage one another as brothers and sisters, for there is strength in numbers. of course, this applies not only to the laity but in a very real way to the clergy as well. they need support too, and how difficult it is to see a priest who has lost his faith. if we are not striving for holiness, we are doing nothing.

back to last week's post for a second. what struck me from this new council, on the new evangelization, is not only its mandate, among which is to understand these new forms of communication, but lastly its emphasis on returning to the basics, on returning to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. if JC is not a prop, then let's work together to know Him better, to love Him more, and to follow Him more closely as His disciples. there are many books on my to-read list, however, moved by Our Holy Father, i'm going to pick up the Catechism once again. who's with me? peace out.

Friday, October 29, 2010

i still haven't found


there's a new
sheriff
council in town, The Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. i like it. and those who like it, like it a lot! here's a quick summary. i'm excited about this, since using da Internet is yet another way to announce the Good News of Jesus Christ. of course, the peeps will be trying to understand what "new evangelization" exactly means in the context of modern means of communincation. i also like the emphasis of returning to the basics, promoting the use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. it will indeed help us on our journey of faith. i've already seen the reality of this at work. a few of my ordination classmates have tried to create blogs anonymously. nope! here they are, please encourage them as well 1) Fr. Frank, and 2) Fr. Steve. why, well i'm thinking because of the promptings of Rocco Palmo. anywho.

this is an interesting phenomenon, eh? priests blogging (i lost count of how many i follow), and bishops too! Salt & Light has begun covering this as well! this week's questions on Perspectives is on social networking and whether or not it is making us stupid. these are excellent 30min webisodes on faith - check it out (i can't find their webisode on priests and facebook, sometime last February i think). this is our culture, and one cannot but be affected by it. i follow a few priests and bishops on facebook, twitter, and blogs as well (using Thunderbird). is not the next logical step, that one day the next Pope will have a facebook profile, twitter account, or blog? hmmm?! our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI has a Youtube Channel after all! also very good!

back to the new evangelization for a second, linked to U2. these new tools, whatever they are, whatever they may become, are simply that - tools, means to an end, a way to know, love and follow Our Lord Jesus Christ! all these profiles, accounts, channels should help us know the love and mercy of God in our lives! in fact, maybe that's it ... maybe the new evangelization is all about and should be linked to God's mercy? God loves us and has mercy on us - how often, and too easily we forget. cool! peace out!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

time after time


"if you're lost you can look
and you will find Me
time after time
if you fall I will catch you
I'll be waiting
time after time" (Cyndi Lauper - Time after Time, 1984)
today is my day off. i take it most of the time. sometimes we (i) get worried and distracted by many things. time after time, Our Lord is always present to us. no matter how many times we may fall, we trust in His mercy. we all get lost at times, but our direction continues to be with God in Jesus Christ. Your will be done. my day off gives me more time to be with Him, in prayer, in the Eucharist, and in the Sacrament of Reconciliation as the penitent. time is not always on our hands, however - as Mick would say. in yesterday's Gospel, our Lord mentions that those who ate and drank with him may not be invited inside. the Gospel reminds that salvation is ours, but that we must take the time to "strive to enter through the narrow door", take time to smile at our neighbours, listen to them and to God in prayer. love God, love neighbour = culture of life. peace out.

ps: St. Augustine has some thoughts on Time. it's another thing on my to-do list.

pss: i'm off to 101 Parent tonight, since it'll be a difficult but interesting talk.

psss: it's no longer a tie! The Lion King is winning over Lord of the Rings.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

we like to party


"i've got something to tell ya
i've got news for you
gonna put some wheels in motion
get ready 'cause we're coming through
hey now, hey now, hear what I say now
happiness is just around the corner
hey now, hey now, hear what I say now
He will be there for you" (Vengaboys - We like to Party, 1998)
we (Catholics) like to party, we like, ..., we like to party! i'm still enjoying the powerful celebrations from this past weekend (a, b). i enjoyed the text the Archbishop read before he inserted the relics into the altar (same wording as our official plaque which now hangs on the wall in the church):
"This Church was consecrated by
His Grace Most Rev. Terrence Prendergast
on Saturday October 23, 2010.

He also inserted
a relic of St. Marguerite d'Youville
and a relic of St. Brother André Bessette
into the base of our main altar of the same day."
WOW! BAM! not too bad, eh? after signing this note, after inserting the relics, some guy - a friend, who seemed to come out of nowhere, proceeded to close the hole in the base of the altar with cement. the whole celebration was absolutely beautiful! you must see the pictures, therefore go to Archbishop's blog - here, and here! peace out.

ps. it's a close tie between Lord of the Rings and The Lion King. vote soon!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

angel



"now life is one big party when you’re still young
and who’s gonna have your back when it’s all done
it’s all good when you’re little, you have pure fun
can’t be a fool, son, what about the long run" (Shaggy ft. Rayvon - Angel, 2001)
C.S. Lewis, in kahoots with the above lyrics once said, "God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way." i agree, 'cause i know. but why must we walk this path, ... i guess maybe 'cause we can learn in no other way than by falling?

"there is nothing wrong with being lost. at least i know the direction - Our Lord Jesus Christ!" - me, and these words still ring true! it's cool that i can now follow my journey of faith. i imagine that's why some of my friends have begun blogging. anywho.

i didn't always know this truth- the truth of Our Lord. last week i watched the movie the social network, about the co-founders of facebook, including of course, Mark Zuckerberg. this movie was good, for several reasons, and i also identified with many of the characters - coming from a similar background.

i believe the movie emphasizes not so much this one website on da internet, but rather focuses on relationships between so-called friends - and their respective journeys towards meaning or lack of meaning in life. there's nothing wrong with creating a website. it's how you use it. if you let it replace something important, Someone important, than as the movie showed, one might be on a slippery slope - of possibly sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll.

why must we always go through the difficult path in order to find peace? indeed, the movie was a commentary on our culture, on all generations. why do we feel the
need for speed
, why do we feel the need to find the next big wave? in the movie, Mark goes through highs and lows. this theme is repeated in a billion other movies. it is repeated in all our lives. what is that moment that makes us realize we only need one thing? have you found that one thing yet?

however, Christianity is not about something, but Someone - JC, ya you know Me! we all have to chose between the road not taken at times. of course, life is meant to be enjoyed. Our Lord wants us to be happy. the question is never one of not inventing, creating facebook, this or that website, or the next big iPad, technology, something that will change our culture - indeed, Our Lord wants us to use our talents and gifts - but always for the greater good. if we continue to accumulate wealth for the sake of accumulating wealth, then we are lost - as the movie showed so clearly. simply put, love God + love neighbour. easier said than done.

meanwhile, enjoy life - for the world is just awesome! see you on facebook! peace.







Monday, October 25, 2010

get ready for this



"y'all ready for this?
get ready for this!" (2 Unlimited - Get Ready for This, 1991)
this past weekend was jammed pack full of fun and celebrations! we had the privilege of welcoming His Grace, our Archbishop, for his pastoral visit. of course, one of the highlights was the Consecration of Annunciation of the Lord parish. we visited schools, senior residences, met with the parishionners, had a few good meals, blessing of the two new sculptures - Annunciation + Pentecost, and through it all we managed do it with no fires - except this one on the main altar, on purpose! good times, indeed! it was a great weekend. i'm hoping to see more pictures online very soon. stay tuned.

in continuation of these good times, let's not forget road hockey in the parking lot of the parish, Saturday's from 2pm-3pm'ish. i need exercise and competition! who's in? as i noted on the parish website, we are now beginning monthly parish movie nights. vote soon. vote often.

here's another picture of the youth serving at last night's mass with His Grace presiding. it was powerful weekend!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

we built this city


"we built this city
we built this city on rock 'n' roll" (Starship - We Built This City, 1985)
listening to the Big 80's on XM radio always brings back good memories. yes, this too is one. why?

anywho, a quick read of the name of the above band reminds me of the Social Network - friends suing friends. not always fun and games. but the movie was great. it's a good movie for a few reasons. i'll comment on them later.

but now, the reason for this post! this weekend we - Annunciation of the Lord parish community - are celebrating our 30th Anniversary. we didn't build this church on rock and roll, but more importantly, on people like you and me!
"For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. ... For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple." (1 Cor 3:11)
this will be a big celebration for us, indeed. it also will coincide with our Archbishop's canonical pastoral visit. since we wanted to continue to kick it up a notch - not only is the ABp visiting us, not only is it our 30th Anniversary, but how about we consecrate the church - as in the Rite of Consecration! booyah!!!

it gets better! part of the Rite of Consecration includes placing relics in the altar. we've never had relics in the past 30 years, and the People of God urged our pastor to look into it. therefore, not only do we have one relic, but two:
  1. Saint Marguerite d'Youville - foundress of the Sisters of Charity (Grey Nuns)
  2. Saint Brother André of Montreal - founder of St-Joseph Oratory
did you do a double-take? me too. a relic of the newest Saint of the Universal Church will have a permanent place at our parish. beautiful. let's continue to kick it up a notch, shall we? we now have, in our possession, two relics of the only two Canadian born Saints of the Universal Church - and as of this weekend, they will be inserted into the altar for eternity! holy bananas, batman! you don't want to miss any of this! come one, come all, come early, indeed!

i'm a bit excited, as you can tell. i'm helping iron out all liturgical details, so hopefully everything goes smoothly - did i mention that there would be a fire on the altar? this is too much, eh? i know. i'm loving it, too! the above scripture quote is from 1 Cor 3:9b-11, 16-17, which happens to be the Second reading for our celebration Saturday, October 23, @ 5pm. it definitely will be a beautiful and powerful celebration. plus, our Archbishop will be with us all weekend, presiding and preaching.

more to come on this, and hopefully a few pictures as well. see you soon. peace out.





Tuesday, September 14, 2010

tom's diner


"i am sitting
in the morning
at the diner
on the corner" (Suzanne Vega à la DNA - Tom's Diner, 1990)
ever listen to a song - a song you hated instantly. presto. the above in 1990 was just that for me. however, it has grown on me. i like its simplicity. the original song is a-cappella, however, the one i've mentioned is the dance remix with DNA. i also just heard it on the XM Radio, on my way home from a parent/teacher meeting over at TDMcGee Catholic School.

today is the Feast of the Exultation of the Cross. after celebrating mass in the morning, i usually have time to read some of the news sipping on my coffee. i also scour and sift through many blogs - many of which mention the beautiful prayers, verses and origins of this feast. none, however, got my attention today. as a child i never knew what to do with the Cross? who was this person on the Cross? why was He there? i had difficulty looking at the Cross! over time, and much grace, i can now admire its simplicity! what was once foolishness, and a scandal to me, has now become my very identity. in the words of St. John Chrysostom, the Cross is the will of the Father, the glory of God, and the joy of the Holy Spirit. whoever follows Our Lord Jesus Christ, is called to embrace the Cross. simple. not always. i remember that those who follow Our Lord do not have to seek out the Cross - for indeed, the Cross will find you! miscommunications. misunderstandings. martyrdom. sometimes, and some days, it seems that nothing goes right. why is that? all i'm trying to do is to make You known and loved by all.

today i embrace the Cross, anew. the Cross is more radiant and beautiful than the sun in the sky.
"For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (1 Corinthians 1:18)
now, off to prepare for school masses at Lester B. Pearson Catholic High School, wedding rehearsals, and our new sacramental preparation journey for our children. peace.

Monday, September 06, 2010

what kind of man


"what kind of man ...
what kind of man ...
tell me what kind of man Jesus is?" (Larry Sparks & the Lonesome Ramblers - What Kind of Man - video -, 2009)
after morning mass today, i continued with ora et labora, work and prayer. on this Labour Day, one still needs both, since work is our path to holiness. "prayer is work. work is prayer." i was reading a few things, and came across Salt & Light's Matthew Harrison's entry on Finding God in Work, which quoted Fr. Bob Wild from Madonna House. i followed his advice and continued reading.

"our work cannot become an obsession, the end-all and be-all of our lives. we must work in such a way that it leads us to the Father, taking care that we are not over-anxious in our work."
but what about Martha and Mary - Martha being worried and distracted by many things, while Mary choosing the better part? i guess no matter what, there's a tendency to become like Martha, worried and distracted by many things. work is good, indeed, so long as it leads us in doing the Father's will. there must be a balance between work and prayer, as depicted by Charlie Brown up der in da corner.

"but tell me fawdder jon, why quote this particular song, i don't recognize this one at all." that's what i said about an hour ago. Msgr. Latour is off to Montreal for a couple days and so i dropped him off at the train station. meanwhile, on the drive there i told him about my new found love! love may be a strong word here, however, there's a something a brewing in these parts! it's called
bluegrass music! i can't get enough of the guitar playing, banjo fiddlin', mandolin resonating sounds! are you with me? please? come on?!? anywho, on this drive, i turned on my XM Satellite Radio to give Msgr. L. a taste test of the Bluegrass Junction station! good times. on the way home, Larry Sparks started playing this particular song, and it made me think of Our Lord and Master, and what he might of been doing in the 30+ years at home with mom and family, working on chairs, and tables, visiting da family, preaching and playing, praying, etc. there's da link. good times.

enjoy the balance of work and prayer today. and above all, enjoy the sweet sounds of bluegrass, 24/7. peace out.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

say it ain't so


"say it ain't so
your drug is a heartbreaker.
say it ain't so
my love is a life-taker." (Weezer - Say It Ain't So, 1995)
this is a picture of Our Lord calling Peter and Andrew. this is the cost of discipleship, as we hear in today's Gospel. as Cardinal Pell preached WYD 2008, "one mission is better than 1000 options." there are so many people, so many things calling for our attention today. let's encourage one another to hear the only voice that really matters - that of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

à la Poegs/Lauren, for awesome song time, this week i'm going with Weezer's "Say it ain't so"! of course, because of the Gospel today, "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple." following Our Lord is difficult - that's why we don't do it alone, but with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
"In the midst of our chaotic lives Jesus stops and says, “You have to choose.” In his call to authentic discipleship, Christ challenges our most precious loyalties. As there can be no other gods before the God of Israel, there can be no other loves before Christ. Thus, there is a cost to following Jesus, and the curious and half-hearted should take notice. Discipleship may cost us everything, but will gain for us all that will ever matter. Only then will we be truly wise and truly free." (Fr. Thomas Rosica, Salt + Light)
i'm happy to be surrounded by people who continue to search for holiness, who continue to search for meaning in their lives! of course, i see them daily, at mass, i see them during Sunday mass, i even see them online, through the power of blogs Poegs/Lauren, Bethany, Jo (only to name a few), i see them playing sports, i see many everywhere, and often! we are all on this journey of holiness and i'm glad to be walking with all of you!

Labour Day weekend, is often seen as the end of summer, beginning of school, office and parish life once again. say it ain't so! ready or not, here we go! this week is prime for a little sacramental preparation journey, meetings, meet the children + teachers, ultimate frisbee of course, exercise, and prayer. trying to manage life, i tend to neglect my health. especially during the change of seasons i always somehow manage to get a cold. here's praying that i find that much needed balance. united in prayer. peace.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

king of spain


"once i was the king of Spain, now i eat humble pie
hey Clinton! hey Yeltsin! got problems?
you phone me, now I eat humble pie." (Moxy Fruvous - King of Spain - video -, 1992)
i found a mouse in the garage last night. however, it is being taken care of. on the other hand, this guy, Brain, from Pinky and the Brain, is much cooler! i always enjoyed their dreams of taking over the world, only to be eating humble pie when their plans came crashing down. indeed, the opening song to the cartoon began with this dialogue:

Pinky: "Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?"
The Brain: "The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world!"
this Sunday's Gospel is all about humility. it is the foundation to all other virtues! upon entering a room, do i take the lowest place, or the place of honour? i'm thinking Brain would demand the place of honour, while Pinky would be happy with the lowest place. true humility is difficult, because it frustrates our pride. just like Pinky humbles Brain, so do we as Christians humble our culture, and so do my brothers and sisters humble me. how many times must Brain fail at his plans before realizing that happiness, joy, and peace - as Pinky knows it - is what it's all about? why does the world not understand the joy that Christians have? and for me, time to put away dreams of taking over the world, and enjoy my coffee already - enjoy life! how's the motto go, the world is just awesome! love God, love neighbour! what else is there?

speaking of loving life, September is upon us which means the official start of the year - apparently! meetings are beginning, we have a new Sacramental Preparation Team here at the parish preparing our children for Christian Initiation - the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation, and schools open soon as well. i have a meeting with the MRI doctor on Wednesday, hopefully to put a close on this chapter of my life. i have been exercising and playing ultimate frisbee for the past couple months, and so far so good. there's also a new wave of seminarians hitting our diocese, with 8 new guys! WOW! my vocation work continues, and i hope to help update mavocation.ca this year, part of my new responsibilities. it's going to be a good year, i can feel it in my bones. here i go again making plans to take over the world. how about i work on Monday, and let you know how that goes first, then we can work out something for the world later. peace out.

Monday, August 16, 2010

not afraid


"i'm not afraid
to take a stand
everybody
come take my hand
we'll walk this road together, through the storm
whatever weather, cold or warm
just lettin you know that, you're not alone" (Eminem - Not Afraid, 2010)

there's been a few things in the paper lately - Ontario moving forward with online gambling, Ontario approving mixed martial arts - and one must take a stand. both are dangerous to our health. i'm not sure what to say about it all, however, the lack of words does not equal that i'm wrong to think this is the wrong path to walk on. indeed, if you understand the truth behind Eminem's words, than you would take his hand. just as St. Paul told some of his friends to take his, because taking Our Lord's proved to be difficult. he said follow me, and we'll walk together, through any storm. instead of leading one deeper into the truth of God in Our Lord Jesus Christ, gambling slaps you in the face and take the money from your hand. instead of loving neighbour, lending him a helping hand, mixed martial arts decides to punch you instead, and kick you while you are down. where's the Good News in either of these things? indeed, standing up for your faith is difficult sometimes. as Cardinal Ouellet said this past weekend,
"the message of truth causes suffering to those who are listening and sometimes to the one who proclaims it."
i'm off to stand, or rather run around playing Ultimate Frisbee with the youth of the parish. the week is moving fast already, with a few meetings scattered throughout. no worries, because many people have my hand, and i'm not alone. peace.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

treat your mother right


"the last letter R is that She taught me Respect
and for the room up in Heaven that I know She'll get" (Mr. T - Treat Your Mother Right (video), 1984)
on the eve of the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, i'm moved to write on mothers! i love mom! i called her this morning as i was finishing up my Sunday homily. indeed, i remembered something she once said, and needed to be reminded of it! i enjoy songs that discuss mothers. however, i was torn as to which one to use for this small reflection. my options were 1) jann arden's good mother, 2) john lennon's mother, or 3) pink floyd's mother. i decided to go with none of the above. after a quick search on da Internet, i decided to go with Mr. T's Treat Your Mother Right.

hoping to see the new movie A-Team, very soon, i was quite intrigued with Mr. T's motivational video series - "be somebody, or be somebody's fool"! there's a dash of humour, of course! his hit song about mothers had me at "m". you see, the rap/song begins with each letter spelling out mother. good times.

just as in life, Mary, our Mother, must be part of our lives. if i don't call mine once a week, i get in trouble. if i don't call on Mary daily, lookout! Mary is there to help on this journey of holiness, always searching for God in Jesus Christ. i call mom in Moncton weekly, and call on Mary daily through prayers - Angelus (i'm working on that one), Rosary (great devotion), three Hail Mary's before going to bed, or how about the Memorare, the beautiful prayer by St. Bernard of Clairvaux. either way, today/tomorrow, tell your mom you love her, and ask God for the grace to get closer to Mary, Our Mother, assumed body and soul into heaven!
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen. - Memorare

Friday, August 13, 2010

men in black


"here come the Men in Black
(Uh it's the M.I.B.'s)
(Uh here come the M.I.B.'s)
Here come the Men in Black" (Will Smith - Men in Black, 1997)
i'm back from greater Napanee. occasionally i meet a classmate there - we meet halfway (he's in T.dot, i'm in O.town). we both have our days off on Thursday and so, after the Knights of Columbus gathering for softball Wednesday nights, i drove over. we spent the day chillin' and relaxin'.
"nah, nah, nah,
the good guys dress in black, remember that,
just in case we ever face to face and make contact."
we reflected on the first year of our priesthood, JC - ya you know me, and the lay faithful, the people that pray for us! we ate, went to see The Other Guys, and got lost on the waterfront trail in Kingston, On. like Martha, Martha, Martha, i get distracted and worried by many things. it was nice to take a full day, to choose the better part, as Mary did, and spend some time in quiet, silence, prayer, and rest.

once i got home i returned to the reality of parish life. i was happy to read one of my emails regarding a classmate, Fr. Frank, who is beginning to dip his toes into the blogosphere! the Church must be part of the public square and her priests, as well as the laity, must also play a part in the online world. this new social media also includes my still favourite XM radio. i was listening to the Catholic Channel, and enjoying the dialogue of the holy family of The Catholics Next Door (Greg and Jennifer). they were discussing their last 10-year experience - ups and downs - in using NFP. these conversations, whether done through the laity or priests, help us all to be better people, Christians and Catholics in the world. they help and encourage us to live the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ, in 2010. how does one do that, exactly? together! see you at mass on Sunday. peace.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

your smiling face


"whenever i see Your smiling face
i have to smile myself
because i love You (yes, i do)" (James Taylor - Your Smiling Face, 1977)
4248. i remember in school, when working on graphs, etc., i kept forgetting to put down the measurements, as in years, millimeters, percentage, and in this case, kilometers! three weeks ago i left for a rest, and now i'm back, 4248kms later! i had a great time visiting family and friends! dad in Qc, mom in NB, sister in PEI. i enjoyed the drive! i listened to XM Satellite Radio for most of the trip(s = side trips to Saint John, Shediac, Fredericton, Baie Comeau, etc). now, time to get back on track with blogs, social media, and da Internet?!

i enjoyed time with family and friends, but i definitely remembered in my prayers Annunciation of the Lord, my family in Ottawa! i realized this while chilling with the VBS crew (Vacation Bible School) from a few weeks ago, and seeing everyone from Sunday and daily mass! hence the song from James Taylor! my identity as a priest is with the People of God! as a fellow priest/brother reminded me once, Love God/Love the People! that's my path to holiness. it's good to be home.

back to this XM thing! it led me to get lost a few times on those highways! in fact, laughing so hard sometimes to this Catholic guy, that i had an almost 200km detour. when i realized i was lost, i decided it's time to plug in my GPS. i made it home to mom, in time for a late supper, no worries. Lino Rulli, the Catholic guy, has a great show on XM's Catholic Channel. since i've returned, he's been mentioned by Salt & Light, and my own Archbishop, indirectly, since he was commenting on XM/Sirius Radio, who employs Lino. this particular channel is great, and i recommend it to all. it's good to be back on blogoworld. i'm off to prepare for mass! peace out.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

father and son

The Runaway - Norman Rockwell
"how can i try to explain, when i do he turns away again.
it's always been the same, same old story.
from the moment i could talk i was ordered to listen.
now there's a way and i know that I have to go away.
i know i have to go. " (Cat Stevens - Father and Son -(video)-, 1970)
these are the words of a son speaking with/about his dad, in the song by Cat Stevens. a powerful song, for a powerful weekend - Father's day. the father doesn't understand his son's desire to explore the world. the son doesn't understand himself, and why his father won't let him go.
"when i was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant i could hardly stand to have the old man around. but when i got to be twenty-one, i was astonished by how much he'd learned in seven years." (Mark Twain)
i've learned a lot from my dad in the past few years, and i'm glad that some of his ideas are finally sinking in, that i'm finally letting them. just as dad gave me confidence, so does God - each and every day. as a boy, i had all the answers. as a young man, i was on top of the world. as a seminarian, i began questioning my so-called knowledge. as a priest, please, not to me, but to God give the glory! and so the father continues, ...
"it's not time to make a change,
just relax, take it easy.
you're still young, that's your fault,
there's so much you have to know"
as a young boy, a young man, a young seminarian, i thought i had all the answers. in my frustrated responses, i am now understanding better my role as Father. i was tentative in my first step of the priesthood. but then i took another one, and another.
"i was once like you are now, and i know that it's not easy,
to be calm when you've found something going on.
but take your time, think a lot,
why, think of everything you've got.
for you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not."
and so the father continues and the son, me, after a year of ups and downs in the priesthood, i'm ready to listen to my brothers, to my Lord and my God. this year has been a time of growing up, in the priesthood - both as a Christian with you, and as a priest for you. i do think a lot, and continue to feel deep inside that i have something to say.

this year had me begging for answers on my knees, and jumping up and down for joy. "what's going on" was my refrain through it all, what do you want from me? however, the people of God, kept me on the path of holiness.
"all the times that i cried, keeping all the things i knew inside,
it's hard, but it's harder to ignore it."
as a young boy, i was a know-it-all, and could do everything alone. i'm still learning! listening to the Father, i am never alone, and never will be again. as the antiphon read a few weeks ago, my support is in You my God, and i am no longer afraid. the question is not "what's going on", but "what would you like me to do today?" not as in "whataya want from me?" à la Adam Lambert, in some kind of desperation, discouragement, despair. but rather, with peace of heart à la Paramore. the only exception for me is Our Lord Jesus Christ! there is no other. love God, love neighbour. what more can there ever be! and woe to me if i don't sing (preach the Good News).

back to father and son, and son becoming Father jsb! it's been the journey of a lifetime. but, of course, how can we forget mothers, on this beautiful Father's day! "behind every man is a good woman. behind every priest is Mary." have a great weekend this Father's day weekend, and be sure to buy a beautiful tie for dad! however, don't forget to pray for your priests, that they may, in the words of my spiritual father, ABP Terry:
"by Your Spirit, mould in the heart of Mary to be the image of your Son, faithful stewards of your grace. Shape them into zealous apostles, who will preach the Gospel with boldness, celebrate the Eucharist with reverence and beliving signs of your love for all people." (Prayer for Vocations, Year for Priest 2009/2010)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

connected

the Matrix

"something ain't right
i'm gonna get myself connected" (Stereo MCs - Connected, 1992)

it's been a busy week, month, year! time for a little rest. balance is crucial in life, and so, to reconnect, one must take a small vacation sometimes. i'll be gone for three weeks. off to Sept-Iles, Qc to visit dad for a week, then off to Moncton, NB to visit mom, my sister, nieces, and friends. i'm off to rest - not rest from, but rest with the Lord - continuing to abide in His Love. hope you have a great three weeks, and see you soon. peace.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

feel it in my bones


"left hook, i didn't see it comin'
left hook, you've got dead aim
rushes out, run away
rushes out, you always run away" (Tiësto feat. Tegan & Sara - Feel it in my Bones, 2009)
i've been in the ring of the priesthood for the past year now, and the left hook that i didn't see coming was none other than Mr. Administration. Pow! Bang! Snap! what the? seriously, where did that come from? it feels i'm always in the office trying to return calls, email, etc. i'm always behind, trying to catch up. i must admit that i did not expect this, and that it has taken me longer to find that much desired balance. oh well, at least i got to use a cool pic of NES Punch-Out, coupling it with this techno song.
"what rushes into my heart and my skull
i can't control, think about it
feel it in my bones
what rushes into my heart and my skull
i can't control"
tonight, as mc, i was helping with Paul's ordination rehearsal, at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. he'll be ordained a permanent deacon on Saturday. things went well, and i'm looking forward to the celebration. after a year of priesthood i'm picking up a few tips and tricks. administration may not be very far, but i'm managing to manage it - somewhat. more on reflections on my year thus far, but let's begin by saying that it was a rollercoaster of a ride. good times!

we are entering the last week of the Year for Priests. this year has been about the interior renewal of the priesthood, and of the priest. let's pray for our priests, that they may continue to purify their calls, so that they may be the salt of the earth, and light of the world.

briefly, the week that was, à la Michael Coren, the March for Life a, and b, my brother Hezuk's ordination to transitional deaconate, Montée Jeunesse went extremely well - here are a few pics 1) ABp Prendergast: a on the Eucharistic Process, b, 2) the Anglo-Catholic also on the Eucharistic Procession. ok, more than a week is featured here, and more has happened since. however, it gives you and idea that Mr. Administration hasn't won afterall! another jammed pack two weeks, then i'm off to Qc and NB! peace.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

praise You


"we've come a long long way together,
through the hard times and the good,
i have to celebrate you baby,
i have to praise You like i shouldddddd" (Fatboy Slim - Praise You, 1999)
happy Mother's Day! i called mine, have you called yours yet? this pic is from Picasso, Mother and Child. that's all i got. however, i did give a special blessing for mother's today at mass.

this weekend was busy - with a youth retreat for our LifeTeen! after leaving Waupoos Farm, where things were happenin', i was listening to my new XMRadio, channel 90's on 9! good times. i heard Praise You by Fatboy Slim, and it was fitting since we had just finished celebrating mass! no matter the hard times or good, the family of God lifts up my heart so that i can praise Him! i was happy to help with their retreat, theme: joyful noise. the first thing that came to mind when i heard about the theme, was Flavor Flav, "yeah boy"! indeed, i remembered Public Ennemy + Anthrax's duet, Bring the Noise (1987). sounds funny when using the word 'duet' while speaking of heavy metal bands. anywho, this is not my favourite genre, however, God's light works through everything. the theme, joyful noise, hence ... bring the noise, was based on the psalms. it was a good weekend. i also enjoyed the videos the youth did to popular songs. maybe i'll get to do one someday.

back to my xmradio fad. i've listened to local radio for far too long. i'm tired of all the stupidity sometimes - for example, Hot89.9's contest married in 23hours! come on?! enough, already. so, using a gift card i received at Christmas, i bought a kit to install xmradio in my car. i set it up last week, and groovy, it works! i've now got over 100+ channels of music, talk and sports. i've listened to eight channels so far. like McDo's, i'm lovin' it! i've also noticed the same experience that i had when i first signed up for my facebook account. after signing up, i was back in contact with people i hadn't heard from in over 5, 10, even 20years. can you believe it? similarly, after listening to xmradio i've heard songs that i forgotten i knew, and loved! yeah boy!

anywho, maybe that will help me post more frequently, eh? there's a strong chance of it. also, at the parish, we are preparing to go live with a new website. hopefully that will come out soon.

finally, this is pro-life week. it'll be busy. my dad's coming in to surprise me with a two day visit, vocation's meeting tomorrow night, finalizing Montée Jeunesse details, March for Life on Thursday, ordination of our brother Hezuk to the transitional diaconate on Friday, more Montée Jeunesse activities next Saturday including a few baptisms, and first Holy Communions! yeah boy! if my knee hangs in there (indeed, hopefully it does not fall off), i may play a little street hockey - just a bit, no worries. enjoy the week, enjoy Life! peace out.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

the cover of the rolling stone


"rolling stone
wanna see my picture on the cover
rolling stone
wanna buy five copies for my mother
rolling stone
wanna see my smilin' face
on the cover of the rolling stone"
(Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show - The Cover of the Rolling Stone, 1973)

well, it's not the Rolling Stone, but better, seriously!!! the Knights of Columbus have a monthly magazine, Columbia. every month they have someone on the back cover sharing their journey of faith, and how they have answered God's call to embrace their particular vocation. this month, in April's edition, that would be me, Father April, as i'm now known to some. i'm there because of the tremendous help that the Knights have been for me in answering my call to the priesthood. from day one, when i was a wee seminarian, still wet behind the ears entering the seminary, throughout my six years of formation, the Knights supported me and encouraged me financially and through their prayers. many different Councils from the Archdiocese helped me take the necessary steps so that one day i may embrace the Cross of Christ. because of them, their fidelity to the Church, and their authentic Christian witness, i became a third degree knight during my internship year at St-Joseph parish in Orléans.

however, if i am there, on the back cover, it is because of God! i'm there because of His love and mercy for me! if anyone should be signing the back, or front cover, it would be Him. indeed, by the grace of God, there go i, as St. Paul taught me. it does not change the fact that i'm collecting 5copies as we speak so that i may give them to mom!

Happy Easter! last week were getting ready to rrrruuummmbllle (during Holy Week), and the Easter Triduum - Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, and today, Easter Sunday - were like a mini-marathon! i loved every minute of it. i felt the gift of the priesthood in a very special way on Holy Thursday, laid down my life again for Christ and His Church on Good Friday, and celebrated the Resurrection during the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday! the bells during the Gloria were like nothing i've ever heard before. it was beautiful!!! Christ is Risen. I have seen the Lord.

preparing for homilies takes time, and it is a big part of the priest's ministry. of course, the man of God must be rooted in prayer, and because of that reality, he has something to say, as all Christians do. the issue remains, how to say it! preparing for Sunday morn' homily, my attention veered towards Plato. the seminary opened my world to philosophy. what it taught me is that i know nothing. anywho, i recalled Plato's allegory of the cave (video). the prisoner's do not know reality, only shadows. only after they have been set free, and begin seeing things for the very first time do they come to know the truth - though difficult at first, they know not what they see, nor how to explain it. however, after their eyes get acclimatize, they start to understand, and need to share this new joy with their companions, and the world. after seeing, experiencing the light of Christ, everything changes, as we do today, the day of the Resurrection! i have seen the Lord, and now everything i knew, is transformed because of the encounter with the living God. He is Risen. Indeed, He is truly Risen. Amen! Alleluia!!!

Happy Easter. don't eat too much chocolate!

Friday, April 02, 2010

today

Saint Dismas - the Good Thief
"today is the greatest day
i've ever known"
(Smashing Pumpkins - Today, 1993)

after an amazing and powerful liturgy last night during the Mass of the Lord's supper, i celebrated today the liturgy of Good Friday. here's my homily:

today, Good Friday, is the most solemn day on the liturgical calendar, and the homily demands briefness, in order to let the proclaimed Passion speak for itself. The liturgy of Good Friday, in which we enter into the mystery of Christ’s redemptive death, invites us to contemplate the deep relationship between the Last Supper and the sacrifice of Calvary – what has begun last night, continues today.


on Good Friday, we find ourselves standing at the foot of the cross with our Blessed Lady and the holy women. We once again hear the Passion of St. John proclaimed, which, from start to finish, is the story of Christ’s glorious victory, shining through his broken and crucified humanity. Many things are going on this Easter Weekend, and we take time today to remember Our Lord JC, and what he has done for us! After spending the day with my brother priests this week at the Mass of the Chrism, I realize how busy they are as well. It is because of the Paschal or Easter Triduum that the Church refrains from scheduling baptisms and/or weddings – the priests are busy too. In this same vein, it has been misunderstood, though, or wrongly communicated that there should be no confessions. The scheduling of confessions on Good Friday and Holy Saturday is admirable and not at all in conflict either with the letter or the spirit of the liturgical norms. Perhaps one of the more eloquent arguments in support of this position is the practice of the Holy Father himself, who has personally heard confessions as a regular practice on Good Friday.


at this point I recall what Our Lord did for the repentant thief. When one was heard saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” The other said, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong. Jesus, remember me when you come into Your kingdom.” If Our Lord has the time to hear one last confession, before his death – death on a Cross, surely this puts aside any doubt as to whether the priest can hear confessions during the Easter Triduum. Through the priest's words of forgiveness and absolution, the penitent hears once again the words of Christ to the repentant thief, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”


as we continue with the liturgy, we will be invited to venerate our crucified Lord on the Cross. This is a powerful gesture of affirming our personal sorrow for whatever way our own sins necessitated such suffering. Like the good thief, carrying our cross, we also see something in Jesus that we cannot explain - he saw a man on a tree and knew He was God. His need made him see his own guilt and Our Lord's innocence. A common thief responded to His love with deep Faith, Hope, and Charity. He saw more than his eyes envisioned - he felt a Presence he could not explain and would not argue with. He was in need, and accepted the way God designed to help him.


the promise of eternal life is made to the good thief, and to you and I today – our tears, are not tears of sorrow but of joy, for a God who loves us so much. Indeed, this is the wood of the Cross, on which hung the Saviour of the world.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

keep on loving You

ouch! yep, that's a magnetic resonance image of a knee - not my knee, but maybe it will be someday soon. i busted my knee. i torn my cartilage. i can give you two versions of how i busted my left knee - the real version, or slightly exaggerated version. i thought so, so here's the super-duper version.

once upon a time, a Catholic Ninga (that's me, and yes i bought this t-shirt) was practising my art with my pastor. i was learning new things in the power of love and mercy, jumping off the ceiling with joy, trying to imitate my pastor. i couldn't keep up, fell of the ceiling fan, unto one of the pews, and landed awkwardly on my left knee leaving a crater in the floor.

"and i meant, every word i said
when i said that i love You, i meant that i'd love You forever
and i'm gonna keep on loving You
'cause it's the only thing I wanna do." (REO Speedwagon - Keep on loving You, 1980)
i had to exaggerate, slightly, since many people after telling them the truth laughed, and immediately said to spice up the parable, scoop, feature, comedy, cliffhanger, news item, report, etc. indeed, this cliffhanger was intense. the truth is that i was playing squash two weeks ago (and winning, by the way). i went to play an amazing, supper-dupper drop-shot, and as i was leaning in for the kill, BOOM! BANG! SNAP!, my knee collapses, as if deciding to play no more! i was not a happy camper, not one bit, seriously. i told my opponent, "give me a sec'". i debated, should i tough it out, walk it off?! :) would Jesus do? He would. what would mom say? "get off the court, NOW!" since i'm working on being Christ-like, i decided to listen to mom. i forfeited the game, and i tell you, that hurt more than my torn cartilage. oh well.

i walk it off last week and thought i was fine. then, get this ..., i was playing ping pong this past friday, and started running around the table (new game, good times), and as soon as i did, Boom! Bang! Snap!, i felt the same pain from a week before. this time i knew i was out. saturday morning i went to the clinic and they told me what i feared - "you are too cool, time for a little humility." that's my paraphrase. they said the cartilage is torn, probably, take some Tylenol 2s, and get out! not really, but they did say to call my family doctor, to sign up for an MRI. i have been wobbling ever since. i feel better today, but had to cancel a number of things this week. i was supposed to MC the mass at St. Patrick's Bascilica for St. Pat's day, and we have the consecration of St-Joseph, Orleans, tomorrow night where i'll have to get Daniel to cover for me again. i'm hoping to be able to walk with ease soon, which will help. however, no sports for me for two months - doctors orders (literally).

enough of this tall-tale (though, all true!). today i'm doing what the doctors told me, rest! i'm resting my knee, healing it with coffee and french toast, listening to REO Speedwagon. after which i went to celebrate the Sacrament of Confession, as the penitent. i recalled these words, "keeping on loving You." indeed, since my deaconate ordination in 2008, my priestly ordination in 2009, and since 2003, when i realized i was Christian, Catholic, i have been trying to love Him, and abide in His love, forever - that's all i want to do! wobbling down the aisle to celebrate mass was not my first option of making Him known and loved by all, however, i'm sure He knows what He's doing. leaving the confessional, i realized, it is God, who keeps on loving me, loving us - that's all He ever wants to do."

no matter how many times i fall, He'll keep loving me, loving us, and i'm finally beginning to trust in His mercy for me, a sinner. as a climber moves up the mountain, trusting in his foothold, so i trust in God's mercy and love. though i may slip, His mercy will protect me, and guide me home. i'm gonne keep on loving You. it's the only thing i want to do. love God. love neighbour. now, off to finish the weekend homily, reconciliation service for next week, and to figure out what i can do for exercise. any suggestions? peace.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

happy together

"love and marriage [philosophy and theology, french and english, faith and reason (update: mass and confession, love and mercy)] go together like a horse and carriage, this i tell you brother, you can't have one without the other." words once spoken by Frank Sinatra in 1955, are as true today as they were then. of course, i added the words in brackets. i read yet another article by an author who believes that the two best buds - faith and reason, must somehow be split up, separated, divorced. why is that?

faith and reason live on the same axis. however, Rebecca Goldstein, an American novelist, disagrees and writes about it in her new book. the danger with splitting faith and reason up is that it usually means building up one at the expense of the other. both are needed, period.

in the article, there are several mentions of new atheism - whatever that means. maybe it's like the new country? anywho, you can't separate faith and reason, nor can you separate love and marriage, soup and sandwich, or the strands of DNA without becoming lost. faith and reason are happy together, are they not?

i remember my first year at the seminary. i had to study philosophy first, before theology. some people told me that it would make me lose my faith. i was necessarily a bit weary of beginning those studies. however, nothing could have been further from the truth! it did not make me lose my faith, but rather made it stronger. we had to study all type of philosophers, their thoughts, ideas, atheists, religious, and everything in between. i enjoyed that year and the conversations that it made me have with my fellow brothers. i particularly enjoyed David Hume's idea on causation - not because i understood it, but because he used billiard balls in one of his famous examples on the topic (see An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding). i love playing pool. ask me, and i'll challenge you! :)

faith and reason go together, and when reason has no answers, faith goes beyond it. many have discussed this in greater detail vs. this blog entry. a classic of course is Pope JPII's encyclical Fides et ratio on the relationship between faith and reason. i'm sure many remember Pope BXVI's lecture at the university of Regensburg, in Sept. 2006 (summary, comment). on the topic of faith, reason and university, it sparked international reaction and controversy. Charles Taylor also speaks of the divide between the two in his book, A Secular Age, which i still must finish.

however, the marriage of faith and reason still causes people to get upset. comparing the two, Pope BXVI said that "faith and reason are inextricably linked for both seek the truth". there have been many yesterday, and today that try to break the two apart. and i'm sure more will in the future. for example, St. Bernard of Clairvaux and Abelard fought tooth and nails about where to put the focus - faith or reason. faith seeking understanding. St. Bernard put the focus on the first, where as Abelard put the focus on the latter. St. Bernard won that battle. indeed, Pope BXVI said in another report "when controversies arise in theology people should always strive to protect their faith while searching for truth." both men were fully reconciled, by the way.
"me and you and you and me
no matter how they toss the dice, it has to be
the only one for me is you, and you for me
so happy together" (The Turtles - Happy Together, 1967)
faith and reason, it does a body (+ soul) good. have a great prayerful Lent! peace out.