Conscience The Guiding Light

11 03 2012

Conscience is sometimes a difficult concept to explain to the average Joe. Simply put, “Conscience is the light of the soul, of what is deepest in man’s being; and if this light is put out, man is thrown into darkness and can commit the most dastardly abuses against himself and against others.”(Francis, Ferdinand) Luke 11:34, says Your eye is the lamp of your body, says the Lord. Therefore conscience is the lamp of the soul, and if we form it well its light up the way which leads to God, and we can make progress because of it. We can fall our journey but the good news is that we can get right back up on the path. Those that choose to have their interior sensitivity “drowned out” will lose those signposts and become lost. Those things that surrond us and have a negative impact on our lives have sometimes the upper hand and control our actions. Have the courage to overcome them and challenge yourself to do things out of the ordinary that will help you feel better and not have this “false” sense of happiness that society gives us. You can always tell a false sense of happiness in another person because their lives are left unfulfilled in things that can’t satisfy their souls.    During this period of Lent, our prayer is that our consciences open up to the will of God. That we become more open to his will and follow it without complaint.


All In Good Time

1 03 2012

“Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and  you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened.” – Matt 7:7-12

We live in a demanding society where we would like everything now, now, now. As the saying goes, Speed Kills. The spirit of selfishness is out of control these days. It is utterly disgusting. As I was speaking to my friend today as he brought up an important fact that, “Gods time is outside of this world, and he is all-knowing of what will happen tomorrow and in years to come.” So when it comes to prayer and our relationship with God we so often ask for his intercession now and along with that an answer! Asking by no means is of course a good thing because without asking we become victims of our selfishness of having all the answers. And we certainly don’t have all the answers. Asking, makes us more humble human beings and it shows our humanity in its true form. We come to know the love of God, the Father, has for us.

The first condition for any petition to be effective is the that you conform our will to the will of God’s. Every time we acknowledge the fact that this is indeed the will of God we grow in the virtue of humility. Two virtues that help with this understanding is patience and wisdom. Two virtues which I always am praying for an increase for and I recommended for everyone else. And also I recommend saying at the end of every prayer you make, Not your will, but thine be done.-Luke 22:42

And I’ll leave you with this great quote from St. John Vianney:

“Won’t you agree with me that, if we do not receive what we ask God for, it is because we do not pray with faith, with a sufficiently pure hear, with enough trust, or because we don not persevere in prayer as we should? God has never denied and never will deny anything to those who ask for his graces in the right way.” – The Cure’ d’Ars, Sermon on a Prayer 

Big to Small

4 12 2011

“The wisdom of the humble lifts their heads high, and seats them among the great. Do not praise individuals for their good looks, or loathe anyone because of appearance alone. The bee is small among flying creatures, but what it produces is the best of sweet things. Do not boast about wearing fine clothes, and do not exalt yourself when you are honored; for the words of the Lord are wonderful….” ~Sirach 11:1-4

Pride. The first downfall of human beings. Not all pride is bad of course. But this simple word leads to all other evil in today’s world.  Our egocentric driven society doesn’t help much either. Everywhere you go you see advertisements saying, “this is what you have to look like to be hip.” I feel bad for girls because they get the worst of it. From such a young age now, girls are expected to dress a certain way. This goes on to hurt them as they grow up because they learn to not value themselves for who they are. They don’t learn how to love themselves which is a travesty because its causes a lot of heartbreak in the long run. This all goes back to pride. How do we lessen ourselves and produce fruits of humility and generosity?

Being that this is the Christmas season this is a great time to sit back and think of, “How can I better prepare myself for Jesus’s coming?” A good comparison would be saying that going for the big would lead us to prideful decisions. Seeking for the small, in humility offering those gifts that you would normally receive to maybe your friends. Like the verse says above, even the smallest of creatures produces often times the best of things. The simple decision of, “Can I live without this (insert your own craving here) week,” produces often times the most joy and lessons learned in life.

Two Lessons From G.K. Chesterton:

1. Nothing so ridiculous in life than Human Vanity and Pride. – Vanity ruins the good talents we have.

2. The material world is made for Laughter. – We are made and saved for Joy. The joy being the second coming of Christ.

As I have probably mentioned before from one of my friends, “To know how to live, is to know how to receive.” This goes back to the virtue of humility. If we receive with a great deal of thankfulness and appreciation, we grow in virtue.

Proper Place, Proper Order

1 11 2011

Many people today seek the meaning of life with an emphasis on the word “freedom”. As Blessed John Paul II says, “Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.” I think that is so true. So often we are in denial of what we think we can and can’t do. Obviously we are very blessed to live in this great country where we have many freedoms in which other people will not see in their lifetime. I think the word has become bent in the wrong direction and used out of context in many situations throughout history and this present time. I want to do this, I want to do that….how many people have heard this. But in fact a lot of the times this is just our pride and egoism taking root in our selfish ways.

Order and discipline I believe are constantly lacking in society today. Many kids are raised today with no manners, let alone discipline. One factor I believe is often the lack of fatherhood in the household. There are so many broken families in society today that fatherhood so often goes unnoticed and is tremendously missed down the road. The devil knows that the Father holds the family together and will attack the root of the family to demise it.

Our passions and desires in life are sometimes both hard to contain and can also be a burden. The evil one knows that our passions and desires can easily be attacked and used against us as we fall daily in life. He has access to our imagination and passions. Its is hard for many to understand that the greater realities of love and forgiveness are won in the will. It is chore for many, sometimes to do good. They are unaware that love is a choice, a decision, a commitment of the will. We can be aware of these passions and temptations and yet still be in conformity with the will of God, living in peace and love, even in the midst of our everyday life struggles. In terms of behavior, if we do not act as we think, we will end up thinking as we act. If we don’t rule our behavior, our behavior will rule our hearts. We need to have a clean heart, or our minds will not function properly. Our belief system and way of thinking will be dictated by the way act. Our minds then become slave to vices(lust, pride, etc) and we constantly have to explain and justify our actions.

Prudence is a virtue of acting and caring for events in the foreseeable future. Sometimes we have to make short-term sacrifices in order to bring out a better result, and that is also part of the virtue. When our passions are in charge, this virtue becomes lost. We may say, “Oh this is just a one-time thing that happens every now and then.” But in fact this is slavery to vice. So we need to have strong foundation. Not a house without windows, blowing things through it causing commotion. If you think about it, everything in life must be in a proper order, otherwise we have chaos. Our actions have consequences. Sin causes sickness. There is no “perfect man.” And none of us can be reprogrammed to become perfected.  We need that living voice that can guide us everyday. With God all things are a reality. Keep your head on straight and with constant help from our Lord we will overcome!

“Don’t you long to shout to those youths who are bustling around you: Fools! Leave those worldly things that shackle the heart – and very often degrade it – leave all that and come with us in search of Love!”
-St. Josemaria Escriva

Firm in the Faith

12 10 2011

As summer has just blown by, I obviously was missing in action! I was extremely blessed the past summer with some tremendous fun times and spiritual graces. I had the opportunity to go to Europe for a month and a half . I visited Rome, Assisi, Padova, in Italy. Then from there I traveled to Madrid, Spain and went to World Youth Day with Pope Benedict and 1.5 million other youth from around the world. And then to cap it off, I traveled to Hamburg, Germany  and visited my cousin who lives there.

I received so many blessings as I traveled throughout Europe. No major mishaps or accidents, which is always a relief. So many highlights from the trip I could write ten pages about it. But the major highlight had to be World Youth Day in Madrid! I was able to join the community that both my brother and cousin are in with a two-week pilgrimage. I was with seventy other guys from around the world and it was just an awesome experience making new friends and sharing in the faith. We checked out some awesome sites around Madrid and were led by the priests of the Home of the Mother throughout the pilgrimage. We all received a lot of spiritual guidance  from all the members of the Home. Certain truths that stood out  as Father explained  were that, “A man will never be a man, unless he is a man of prayer.” The opposite is a man full of “substance”(vices, addictions, etc). We need to be men of the spirit and not of superficiality. We have to have a foundation house of prayer, otherwise we a just a shack blowing down in the wind.

Above is a picture of myself with my Brother Benny, Sr. Sasha and my other brother Spencer.

Sexual Healing

16 06 2011

With the dominant theme in society being that sex has no consequences, I couldn’t help in wanting to post this video below about the effects of having that mindset.  To add to it, I think that we as men need to step up to the plate and start being responsible for our actions. Too many men these days are blaming everyone but themselves for their actions. When couples enter a relationship often times they lack the mature intention of giving oneself to the other person. This is why so many relationships fail. This can’t be the mindset of relationships with the mindset of “seeing how much I can get out of her.” Sex is a intimate expression of total self-giving. It  is an act given selflessly to your spouse. As is mentions in the video, many are hurt as a result of their actions but God is always ready to pick up those are in need of help.

From the description of this awesome video:

A poem I originally wrote for open mic at Pacific University. The poem highlights our culture’s blind obedience to sexual norms, when it only seems to reap destruction. Pleasure is more at our fingertips in America than ever before, and yet depression steadily rises every year. It only shows that sex as recreation, or just for fun, is unable to satisfy us the way we were meant to be satisfied. Sex is good, in it’s proper context. This poem mainly focuses though on anyone who has been deeply affected, hurt, and damaged by sexual sin. Forgiveness and mercy are given freely by Jesus. He cleans, restores, and heals us beyond measure and asks nothing in return. He saw all our sin and filth before he went to the cross and it was still his joy to go get us.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”-Matthew 11:28

Always Thirst For Holiness

17 05 2011

Happy Easter Everyone! Hope everyone is having a great Easter Season! It has taken me a while to write this new blog post just from bouncing back between ideas going on in my head. I think though, as a challenge for men this Easter season is our call for us to continue our thirst for being holy men. I heard today that we can always think of ourselves as being holy and perhaps thinking this may be a detriment to us. We can never do this though because until we die and our lives are examined who is to judged us that we have lived holy lives except for God. That is why we always want to continue to live holy lives. As I said in previous posts, the downfall of living in mediocrity can be a cancer. You may have all the worldly goods but in the end you might not end up being truly happy.

“Why should we be Holy Men” 

Jesus preach holiness to each and everyone of his disciples during his ministry. ‘You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is Perfect.’ – Matthew 5:48. Jesus takes the initiative, if he doesn’t here, then the possibility of becoming saints would not be possible. As I heard the other day from Father Francisco Nahoe, we have to be beings that crave virtues and not worldly items. Living virtuous lives helps us become better men. As we grow in virtues and desire of holiness, we help avoid that vice of lukewarmness and mediocrity. It helps us take initiative in the relationships we make everyday. But especially with those women we may be courting or our spouses. They other day I heard my friend say that most men lack the courage to be “the man” in the relationship. Its really a pitiful situation if you think about it. But with the way our culture and society are these days I am not surprised. So I want to challenge the men today to be “Holy Men of Virtues.” Always continue to pray for virtues: humility-that we gain the ability to accept the truth, and specifically for Hope-one can only effective desire something when there is hope of attaining it. And finally to sum it all up perfectly below with a quote from St. Gregory of Nyssa!

“If we truly think of Christ as our source of holiness, we shall refrain from anything wicked or impure in thought or act and thus show ourselves to be worthy bearers of his name. For the quality of holiness is shown not by what we say but by what we do in life.”

-St. Gregory of Nyssa