Welcome, Pax Estiscum!

Welcome to my blog, I will attempt to keep this posted with the current goings-on in the Church each day, and respond to what may come my way. Please understand the difference between when I discuss dogma or things that are Church teaching and my personal opinion, which- thank God- is not official Church teaching. I hope to debunk lies, heresies, and mysteries of the Catholic Church and the world we live in. Pray that this may be for His Glory and the furtherment of the Kingdom here on earth that is Holy Mother Church!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My Top 25 Theology & Philosophy Booklist

I recently was discussing "good reads" with my Confirmation Sponsor and High School Youth Minister, and realized instead of having to recant what is good to read for growing Christians and why, I thought I might just put it out for all to see.

These are in order of what I feel would help "kick-start" someone into reading theology and philosophy for the first time, or if you have a well-crafted mind and strong prayer life, in short, anyone and everyone. I must stress not to jump ahead (i.e. from 3 to 20) because many of the books lower on the list (from 21 on) must be read under supervision of a spiritual  director and in the confines of an established prayer life; I attempted to read Under The Mercy and realized I wasn't ready to read such saintly material!

1. Prayer Primer by Fr. Thomas Dubay S.M.
2. Prayer For Beginners by Dr. Peter Kreeft
3. The Way by St. Josemaria Escriva
4. Deep Conversion/ Deep Prayer by Fr. Thomas Dubay S.M.
5. Intro To The Devout Life by St. Francis De Sales
6. The Lamb's Supper by Dr. Scott Hahn
7. Deus Caritas Est by Pope Benedict XVI
8. I Believe in Love by Fr. Jean C. J. d'Elbee
9. Happy Are You Poor by Fr. Thomas Dubay S.M.
10. Spirit Of The Liturgy by Pope Benedict XVI
11. Heretics by G. K. Chesterton
12. Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton
13. The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton
14. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis
15. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
16. Man and Woman by Dietrich von Hildebrand
17. Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas
18. The Fathers Know Best by Jimmy Akin
19. Mass of the Early Christians by Mike Aquilina
20. Problematic Man by Gabriel Marcel
21. Seeking Spiritual Direction by Fr. Thomas Dubay S.M.
22. Confessions by St. Augustine
23. The Evidential Power of Beauty by Fr. Thomas Dubay S.M.
24. Under The Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
25. Transformation in Christ by Dietrich von Hildebrand
26. Fire Within by Fr. Thomas Dubay S.M.
27. The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Aggie Catholics: Video of Life On The Rock

For those of you who haven't seen this yet, this is St. Mary's Campus Minister, Marcel LeJeune, and a fellow student and friend, John Thorkelson. Marcel was asked to discuss the Catholic Students program that exists at Texas A&M University through St. Mary's parish.

I was just a bit perturbed by how the hosts seemed not as engaging or prepared as I would have expected (or liked!), but Marcel & John were both well spoken and thought-out in their responses! Overall, it was well done, and shines immense praise on both Marcel and John; great job guys!

Video of Marcel & John! "Here is the video of us on Life on the Rock (EWTN TV) from last week."

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Calling Everyone To Awesomeness!

Do you want to discover how to live your life for Christ and His Church daily, even in the mundane routine of being a student, parent, worker, or anyone/ anything? Need people or an organization to help you stay faithful to a life of daily, better yet, constant prayer and fulfillment in your vocation? Then you need two of the greatest, and relatively new Movements in the Church.

I've discovered two extremely powerful and influential "Movements" within the Catholic Church, Opus Dei and the Focolare; both are phenomenal and will change your life- for Christ! I discovered these in talking with two dear friends who are intensely involved in these movements.

The first, Opus Dei, is not what The Da Vinci Code would have you believe; it's so radically different than anything you've ever been lead to believe by society. Opus Dei means in Latin "The Work of God", and was founded by St. Josemaria Escriva, a priest from Spain in the 1940s. The foundation of this movement is finding God in the mundane, making every act you do in the day towards the work of God in the coming of the Kingdom. Originally, St. Josemaria Escriva only allowed lay singles or married couples to join, feeling those who have less physical & spiritual ties to the Church (in that a priest lives at his parish, a nun her convent, both immersed in Mass and praying) needed support and direction in their not-so religious daily work. He wanted the laity to realize that their vocation of single & married life, in doing business, farming, sewing, carpentry, and everything else was their path to holiness and sanctity. By following the Jesuit phrase "Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam", meaning "To the Greater Glory of God", all peoples were called to holiness and did God's work in their daily life of their individual vocation. What a beautiful calling, to remind ourselves when we don't feel like studying, working, changing diapers, or whatever, that if we don't do what we ought to, we are failing our vocation and not doing God's work here on earth!

The second is the Focolare movement, which in Italian means "hearth". This too was started in the 1940s, by a young woman named Chiara Lubich, who first coined "God is Love". She desire to found something to proclaim some of the last words of John's Gospel, "May they all be one, as you, Father and I are one, so that the world may believe that you have sent me." (John 17:21). The aim of the Focolare movement is unity, to bring all peoples, nations, churches, and everyone into one faith, the true faith. The movement deeply resonates with Phenomenology, a branch of philosophy proclaiming that absolute truth indeed exists, but how each of us, subjectively, comes to that objective truth is what makes us human and gives depth to the infinite amount of truth of God. This is tremendous philosophy of the Catholic Church, coming from Marcel Gabriel, St. Edith Stein (Teresia Benedicta of the Cross), Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, Dietrich von Hildebrand, and many others. Two points of interest, while Chiara Lubich is not a saint yet, she is on the list for beatification, and one of the main supporters I know of this movement is Bishop Mulvey of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas (he was pastor at St. Mary's, College Station).

Just to clarify, both are obviously Church approved movements! I hope that you can discover how to find God daily in your routine, and to see how vast the perspective of truth is, yet how fine and absolute it is.

Go to these for more info: http://www.focolare.us/us/home & http://www.opusdei.org/

Monday, June 20, 2011

NFP Goodness

NFP has been one of those things, so to speak, that I haven't fully yet been able to know a great deal about. If your like me, I understood why contraception is wrong and why NFP is right (if done with proper intentions), but didn't still fully understand the methods of practicing NFP. Thankfully, a good friend of mine and third-year Theology student at St. Mary's-Houston/ Seminarian of the Diocese of Ft. Worth, Khoi Tran, has written an excellent analysis and overview of not only the theology, but the most effective methods used in practicing NFP.

It's difficult to read on his blog, but just copy and paste the text into Word to make it easier. Probably the most concise twelve-page thesis I've ever read, yet containing an abundance of theology and bio-ethic knowledge.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

In The Beginning...

Well, this is my first blog post and I spent more time on creating the blog than I thought I would, so this is going to be simple- which is probably for the best!

Today the secular world honors Fathers, yet there is something that I think is like every other "secular day" where it's origins are irrevocably rooted in faith. I don't honestly know the when and why the first "father's day" was inaugurated, but I can tell you easily where it undoubtedly comes from.  The Old Testament clearly in Exodus 20:12 to "Honor your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land which the LORD, your God, is giving you" and when Christ reiterates the Old Testament in Matthew 15:4 quoting "Whoever curses father or mother shall die". Jesus continues further in Matthew 15, discussing how the Jews had loop-holed this commandment in saying "Whoever says to father or mother, "Any support you might have had from me is dedicated to God, need not honor his father.' You have nullified the word of God for the sake of your tradition".

I think we in this day and age can take much from Christ words in that we too have reversed what the Jesus accused the Jews of; that is, we honor man more readily than our Almighty Father, and do not truly honor man because of our lack of placing honor in our Heavenly Father. The Jews had the right idea- honor God the Father of all most earnestly- but they used it as an excuse to not use the grace from honoring God the Father to honor their own fathers and mothers.

So on this day of taking dad out to lunch, buying him some frivolous immaterial, or whatever is prescribed by society today, we should instead honor all fathers in thanking them, spending meaningful time with them, maybe doing something for them... and especially, pray for them!

And remember that this day, and more importantly, the fourth commandment applies to our earthly, spiritual fathers in the ministry of the priesthood... so thank your priest, pray for him, honor him in word and deed.