Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Christmas break affords a number of luxuries that usually do not appear during the nine months of school. On a whim my brother and I went out to see a 9:50pm showing of the new Tom Cruise movie, Valkyrie. I did not go in with very high expectations, but much to my surprise, the movie was quite good.

Tom Cruise plays an officer in Hitler's Third Reich who's conscience is unsettled by what has happened to his Germany. He undertakes a leadership position in a resistance movement set on assassinating Hitler to bring peace to Germany and Europe. One major theme rang through the film. I was reminded of what so many people have sacrificed for basic freedoms both for the United States and around the world. I thought about what I would do in such a situation. Would I have the guts to stand up to such evil?

Our Faith is under great persecution all over the world. From major demonstrations and mass killings to a simple conversation with colleagues, the values, rights, and beliefs we hold dear must be protected from those who would like to strip them away as Medieval foolishness or an attack on their own sensibilities. We do not want to force our beliefs on anyone. That would be stooping to a low level and denying the freedom of choice that God has given us. We should, however, live our lives and actions according to our beliefs and His Divine Will. When we shine His light and spread His fragrance others will see the good that we have and do and glorify God.

May God grant each of us the grace to fight the oppression and attack in our own lives so that we may glorify God and lead others to His open and waiting arms.

We are United in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!

Thursday, December 25, 2008


As I prayed Christmas Eve before our manger scene, I began to contemplate the idea of "God-made-man". I had meditated on this before and am still trying to wrap my brain around the whole idea. The Holy Trinity has existed since the beginning of time. The second person, with one woman's "fiat", suddenly becomes contained in a single embryo within her womb. God is suddenly brought down to one of the most insignificant and vulnerable states.

Angelus Domini, nunciavit Mariae et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.
The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary and she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Out of love God became man. He permitted Himself to be made vulnerable so that we would no longer be vulnerable. He continues this gift of Himself in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. The Divine Presence we receive this Blessed Day at Mass is the same Divine Presence in the manger at Bethlehem two millennia ago.

Let us welcome Him and give Him all praise, honour, glory, and devotion!

Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th'angelic host proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem!"
Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!"

We are United in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!

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.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Your Cross

Christmas is almost upon us. We are now in those dreadful last days before Christmas when all stores and commercial outlets should be avoided for fear of last minute crowds shopping for those last few items on their list. You hear too often, "X number of shopping days 'til Christmas!" Everyone has ideas running frantically through their heads of the best Christmas ever: the perfect food, the family that gets along, the ideal presents for everyone.

Woah! Wait a minute! Hold the phone! If that is your gauge for a good Christmas, you will fail. I guarantee. Something, or everything will always go wrong. Isn't it all about our relationship with Christ? Do not let panic overtake you as you have your worries, concerns, scruples, pains, and sorrows in the days leading up to Christmas. Christ will take care of it all. Life does not stop when Advent and the Christmas season begins. Someone will fight on Christmas. Someone will die on Christmas. Someone will not make it home for Christmas. Someone will be alone for Christmas.

Take the time to fly to prayer in the coming days. If you are continually focused on Him, you will grow closer to Him in the ways He decides. You will be able to handle anything that comes your way. Only then will you be able to have your best Christmas ever.

The everlasting God has in His wisdom foreseen from eternity, the cross He now presents to you as a gift from His innermost heart. This cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with loving arms and weighed with His own hands to see that it not be one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with His grace, perfumed it with His consolation, and taken one last glance at you and your courage - has sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all merciful love of God.
-St. Frances de Sales

We are United in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!

Monday, December 22, 2008


"Joy is prayer. Joy is strength. Joy is love. Joy is a net of love by which you can catch many souls. God loves a cheerful giver. He gives most, who gives with joy. If in the work you have difficulties and you accept them with joy, with a big smile, in this like in any other things others will see your good work and glorify the Father. The best way to show your gratitude to God and people is to accept everything with joy. A joyful heart is the normal result of a heart burning with love." -Mother Teresa

I begin to write again at the beckoning of Jesus.
I write to be a witness to Him.
I write to focus myself upon Him at all times.
I write to serve others in Him.
I dedicate my writings to Him, present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar!

For a very long time I kept an online journal. In the hectic schedule of school I was unable to keep it up. While I was away, the journal disappeared from the internet. I return to writing as a resource for my own meditation as well as service to those who will read it.

For those of you who knew my previous writings, I am changing a few things. Each entry will be well thought out and taken to prayer. (All my entries will also be saved on my computer so I do not lose everything again!) Because I am using this as a spiritual exercise, because my writings come in waves, and because I will have time over the next month to write, I am only planning on a certain number of entries. At the end of the cycle, I will reevaluate and either begin a new cycle or take a hiatus. This cycle will last for forty entries. My old tag line used to be "Writings of a Catholic Teenager". As of December 28, 2008, I will turn twenty so that will no longer apply. Let us change "Teenager" to "College Student". This journal will also have a patron saint, one of my strongest intercessors, whose quote began these writings.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, PRAY FOR US!

We are United in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!