Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year, Renewing Person

I’ve seen a bunch of blogs going around summing up the biggest lessons learned this year and the goals for the next, so I thought I should sit down and reflect on the things I learned and on the best of times and the worst of times.

Highlights of the year:

April 11, 2009: I was formally received into full communion with Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Austin, Texas the Vigil of the Great Easter. It was an amazing and hard journey that culminated in my decision to join the Catholic Church. One chapter has ended, the next has only begun! And it was real blessing to see friends, new and old, there. All ranging from Dr. Budziszewski, and Dr. Koons to Kody Cooper, (unofficial representative for the Witherspoon Fellowship), my roommates, old roommates, high school friends, new freshmen kids, and best friends there. So much grace has been poured upon me ever since. Little did I know, Christ actually means it when he said, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.”

May 22, 2009: Graduation Day! College was loads of fun! I’d do it all over again if I had the chance. In fact, I plan on doing it all over again, just for a JD or MA or PhD this time though. This day marked the point upon which I no longer belong to Austin, TX. It took me months more to realize that though. The day was amazing, from everyone (and I literally mean everyone) in the gymnasium applauding for me to good ole Rudy’s Barbeque with the family. This day also marked the future. As the immortal words were said in Gladiator, “What we do in life echoes in eternity.” I made a fateful decision less than two years ago to change my major. It’s a big decision. And I’m gonna continue to pursue it.

September 26, 2009: The LSAT. Let me be clear about one thing for you before you finish reading this blog. I HATE THE FREAKING LSAT!! I have never faced so many feelings of inadequacy (which is really disheartening for men), of loneliness, of despair than this damnable test designed to mock the God-given intellectual powers given to man. On the flip side, I did way better than I expected. Looks like the practice exams were harder than the one I took.

November 6-7, 2009: My grandmother died. The John Jay Institute declined my application. And I got drunk for the first time in my life. Note to self: Don’t have any more than five servings of alcohol. Six is pushing it. And seven is the perfect number. Eight is an abundance and nine will get you drunk. Too bad it came without warning though.

And the various days in between: the nice days were the ones where friends came by to visit, either unintentionally or with intent, it’s always nice to welcome them to my humble abode. So if I got to see you in Austin or in Houston, it was great hanging out with you. The occasional surprise instant message from someone I rarely talk to or a friend long forgotten. AMS, KL, RCY, JAMM, WW and W, along with hanging out with MR and JJK and JN, y’all are in my prayers, always. The phone calls from various people around the country reminds me of Christ and his love. All the aforementioned are agents of Christ, they pass the love given to them and continually sanctify the world with it. I duly admire you and consider my life a better one because of your love for me. Fight the good fight, finish the course, and keep the faith.
I am yours always, God is my Judge.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Proclamation of the Birth of Christ

Today, the twenty–fifth day of December,
unknown ages from the time when God created the heavens and the earth and then formed man and woman in his own image.

Several thousand years after the flood,
when God made the rainbow shine forth as a sign of the covenant.

Twenty–one centuries from the time of Abraham and Sarah;
thirteen centuries after Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt.

Eleven hundred years from the time of Ruth and the Judges;
one thousand years from the anointing of David as king;
in the sixty–fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel.

In the one hundred and ninety–fourth Olympiad;
the seven hundred and fifty–second year from the foundation of the city of Rome.

The forty–second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus;
the whole world being at peace,

Jesus Christ, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,
desiring to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming,
being conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and nine months having passed since his conception,
was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary.

Today is the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dream I Had: Life

The march of time has been wearing me out lately. Some days I go to work, get home and just fall on to bed and sleep till the next shift. Other days I think, when is this cycle of work gonna end? Life is hard, no kidding about that. What makes it worth living? How can we go on each day with new hardships and ones unresolved and still have hope?

Last night/this morning I had a really cool dream. Set: at home, in the future.

My wife and I were at home. We just got home from the hospital. We just got quadruplets! It's so great. She wanted to give the newborns a bath, and the only thing I ever remember of bathing infants was in the sink, and that's what I did. I went to the sink and turned on the hot water mixed with cool water. At this point, I really had no idea what I was doing. I was so nervous about the prospect of being a father and taking care of my kids and to the point I'm supposed to do so. So when I got the first one in the tub, (it's a boy, btw!! and i'm already thinking of names.. mm, how bout Thomas or Augustine? Ambrose or Athanasius would be nice too), I kept asking him, is the water warm enough? Are you ok? good?

He looked at me. At some level, even though he didn't say anything, I understood him. "Dad, you asked me that like 10 times alreadyyy...!"

All the washing and caring for him, putting on baby powder on him and putting the diaper on. It was so fun. The wife, well, I guess she didn't think it was as amusing as I did. I hope I would love to wake and jump at the moment's notice at night when the kids cry for milk. It's a good life.

Dreams.. What are my dreams? What do I want? Who do I want to be? I want to have a wife and kids. I want to be a good father. I want to challenge, impact others for Christ and His Holy Church. I want to teach a whole generation of young minds to rise as the greatest generation again.

Although these things are good, and they are good of themselves, they can never truly satisfy my heart. Only with the Good can these things be really good. I may have lost you there. Without God, none of these things can be enjoyed. Without the Source of Good, what good is there?

What's on my wishlist this Christmas? Only Yourself, Lord. I don't want just love, or grace or peace. I want Love, Grace and Peace. I want the Prince of Peace to reside in my heart, my body, my life. I want to know You, for You to live in me, and I to live in You. I want my body to be a Temple for Your Body. I want to carry You and Your Light into the dark places of this world. My heart longs for You, the Desire of Nations. This Christmas, let's draw nearer to Christ. Let's take up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.

What are your dreams? What are your hopes? What do YOU want to do? And what's on your wishlist for Christmas?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel, our king and our lawgiver,
the hope of the nations and their Saviour:
Come and save us, O Lord our God.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

O King of the Nations

O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay.

Monday, December 21, 2009

O Rising Sun

O Rising Sun, splendour of light eternal and sun of righteousness:
Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

O Key of David

O Key of David and scepter of the House of Israel
you open and no one shuts
you shut and no one opens
Come and lead forth from his prison the captive
sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

O Root of Jesse

O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples;
before you kings will shut their mouths,
to you the nations will make their prayer:
Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.

Friday, December 18, 2009

O Adonai

O Adonai, and Leader of the house of Israel,
you appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush
and gave him the law on Sinai:
come, and with an outstretched arm, redeem us.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

O Wisdom

O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other mightily,
and sweetly ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Questions burning inside of me.

What does the ideal father-son relationship look like? What makes a family a family? In what ways love is made known silently?

How does Jesus pour his grace into his followers? In what ways? Are there ways in which grace is more readily available?

Is there a way to worship God? Are there more than one way? Are all ways equally the same in value or are they different? If they are different, what is the best way to worship God?

What came first, the Gospel or the Bible? Do we get Gospel from the Bible or do we get the main points first, with scripture written to deal with particular specific problems? If the first one, who has the final say to interpret the Scriptures to give the final interpretation on the Gospel? And what does a person do if he disagrees with the given interpretation? If the latter, how is the rest of church doctrine passed down and where did that church doctrine come from? Are they traditions of men or were they too divinely inspired?

The first commandment says "Thou shalt not make a graven image." Does taking pictures count? How about video recording?

You don't have to agree with everything Luther said to be a Lutheran, nor agree with everything Thomas Aquinas said to be a Thomist, nor Calvin for Calvinists, nor Augustine for Augustinians, etc. Do you have agree with everything Christ says to be a Christian?

Do you pray? If so, do you pray for most of your friends? And when you're old, and most of your friends are dead, do you still pray for most of your friends?