Friday, November 30, 2012

new soul

"i'm a new soul
i came to this strange world
hoping i could learn a bit about how to give and take
but since i came here
felt the joy and the fear
finding myself making every possible mistake" (Yael Naïm - New Soul, 2008)
on this day, 30 november, in 1975, guess what?  chicken butt.  no really, ... it was the birthday of moi, a new soul, and i have been finding myself making every possible mistake since.  what can i say, ... i'm still learning, even after these many years.  as my grandfather told my mom, and as she keeps reminding me, "we don't all get the chance of growing old."  it is a grace given to us by God, and i am joyful knowing i am walking this walk with you all.

thank you + merci to all my peeps - in person, and across the digital continent - for the many beautiful birthday wishes + prayers!  i received hugs + love through facebook, twitter, email, + yes, even snail mail!  good times!  i celebrated mass (St. Andrew, pray for us!) at 9am with the faithful, and after the final blessing, a non-liturgical song for me erupted to my great surprise   bonne fête!!!  i'm still smiling.  the cake and coffee afterwards also came in handy.

i also had a surprise visit from my dad.  he dropped by last night, treated me to supper, and i humbled him in a few games of pool!  you can i say i have a few skillz, yo!  i'll challenge you in squash, badminton, and pool.  at the same time, too. :)

plus, on my birthday i don't have to worry about setting my alarm clock.  that's where my mom comes in!  every birthday since i left home she calls me earlier, and earlier - trying to beat her best time from the previous year, to be the first to wish me happy birthday!  good times! :)  this morning was her new best record:  3:43 AM.  ok, i'm exagerating a bit, as i always.  i love that about mom, merci maman!!!  however, around her birthday time, i always warn her that it is my turn to call! :)

as St. Andrew brought his brother, St. Peter, to Jesus, so my parents shared with me their gift of faith in God in Our Lord Jesus Christ.  through them, i grew to love God, love Holy Mother Church, and found my strength in prayer.  i love mom.  i love dad!  merci!

once again, merci + thanks to all of you - family, friends, brothers and sisters!!!  you are always in my prayers too.


ps.  i'm now growing older (wiser).  maybe that's why i found a (as in one) gray hair today.  time for:

Monday, November 05, 2012

lonely boy

Paul Anka, b. 1941, Ottawa, ON
"i'm just a lonely boy
lonely and blue
i'm all alone
with nothin' to do 
i've got everything
you could think of
but all i want
is someone to love" (Paul Anka - Lonely Boy, 1959)
that's right, we all need God in Jesus Christ!  but sometimes we do feel lonely.  that's true of single people.  that's true of those married.  that's true of those who have made promises and vows of celibacy.  the good way of abiding in God's love is to find people who will show you that love.  as someone told me last week, in order to preach the Good News, you have to first experience the Good News.  that's why it is important to take time with family and friends.  how much more important then to take time with God.

this week, all the English priests - with His Grace - of the Archdiocese of Ottawa are going to be away on Study days, rekindling that love of God in Our Lord Jesus Christ.  as we begin to focus more and more on new evangelization, it is important for us who preach God, first experience God!  please pray for your parish priest!

we are going to spend 4 days in God's country - Mont Gabriel, Saint Adèle, Qc.  a few speakers are invited to speak on the theme of new evangelization.  1) Mr. Peter Herbeck is the Vice President and Director of Missions for Renewal Ministries, working to equip Catholic lay people to respond to the Holy Father's call for a new evangelization with the parish.  2) Dr. McNamara is Assitant Director and Faculty Member of the Liturgical Institute, University of Saint Mary of the Lake in Mundelein.  His Ph.D. is in Architectural History, University of Virginia.  How do our churches help serve an evangelizing role?

therefore, not much blogging for the next couple days.  however, i maybe Instragramming.  they are study days after all, not a silent retreat.  i'll be back here on Thursday, for another retreat day with all Region IV French priests of the Archdiocese, a meeting in Alfred, On (more on that later).  again, please pray for your parish priest(s).


ps.  the video:

Sunday, November 04, 2012

gangnam style

"oppan gangnam style, gangnam style
op op op op oppan gangnam style
gangnam style
op op op op oppan gangnam style" (PSY - Gangnam Style, 2012)

alleluia!  i am now a challenger!  what a beautiful, joy-filled weekend!  props to the Team, and to my new sisters and brothers who also made Challenge 158:  Your Love Never Fails this weekend!  i had no idea what to expect, and was blown away by the presence of the Holy Spirit!  have you ever done a Cursillo?  have you ever done a Challenge weekend?  i strongly encourage anyone, everyone who is looking for the joy of our faith - the joy of God in Our Lord Jesus Christ, to look into this beautiful movement of the Church.

often times in my ministry i am surrounded by people who believe the faith to be serious, to be all about the Old Testament.  is that a good description - serious - about Christianity, Catholicism?  is our faith about walking the high-wire all the time, trying not to fall over?  as a brother mentioned today, we believe not out of fear, but rather because of love!  yes, sometimes things are serious - we cry with those who cry, and laugh with those who laugh.  but throughout our ups and downs, we should seek the peace and joy of God in Our Lord Jesus Christ.  we are not people of the Old Testament, of the Law, but rather of the New Testament, of Jesus Christ!  we go to Him not out of fear, but because of love.

these weekends (retreats, pastoral days, etc.) help me in my own faith because:
"while Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him.  Someone told him, 'Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.'  He replied to him, 'Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?'  Pointing to his disciples, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers.  For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.'" (Gospel of Mark 12:46-50)
we are built for community, and one cannot be Christian by oneself.  we need brothers and sisters, seeking, desiring, to do the will of the Father.  and though this might be challenging at times, it is a beautiful journey of joy!  the weekend was filled with joy - a fruit of the Holy Spirit.  i loved the talks, the prayer time, confessions, and mass, but most importantly the personal witness to the faith, to the relationship with God in Our Lord Jesus Christ, by everyone, in every detail, in everything!

i also loved the skits, and the music too!  like i briefly mentioned last week, i didn't dress up like PSY, but i did put on a bow tie this weekend!  there are serious moments within our faith, questions that we absolutely must struggle with.  but there are times, like this weekend, when all you have to do is let go, and let God.  thank you to you all who made this weekend possible!

this year, the Year of Faith, will be a year of gangnam style!  :)  there is too much joy in Our Lord not to.  word.  peace out.

de colores.