Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Seeking the Good through the Intelligence.

**Blog title was changed, based on some emails**

According to an Aristotelico-Thomist format, the 'good' is designated as 'that which is in accord with the nature of the thing.'  We use words, phrases and expressions on a daily basis, but at times we forget essentially what they mean.  Vocabulary in the west has been hijacked and thus we are left with using words all the while not really knowing what they truly mean.  Our current crisis, is one of intelligence, not properly knowing how to think.  Our experience and emotions become the navigational tool instead of right reason and judgement.

Our current climate is seeing a clash of civilizations, to paraphrase Samuel Huntington.  It seems ideological standard bearers on either the so-called right or so-called left have hijacked the political and religious landscape essentially leaving no room for common sense.  The religious right, backed by fierce evangelical Christians particularly in the United States adhere to a fideistic, fundamentalist notion of what they understand as their Faith.  (Ie, Homosexual marriage is wrong because the Bible tells me so, and refuse any serious discussion as to the 'whys' of the Biblical commandment.)  Those on the left, adhere to a false social justice, and claim a subjectivist man-centered equality in marriage.  (Ie  Homosexual marriage is my right, because we are all equal.  They refuse any discussion of either authentic metaphysics or anthropology.)  The solution is the why's of certain proposals which never seem to make it to light. 

The crisis if one of anthropology.  What is a human being?  According to the Aristotelico-Thomist model which built Europe, we are a body/soul composite.  There are certain faculties proper to the soul and are immaterial.  Intelligence, and will for example. Now, we don't need the Bible or Catechism to show us that there is an inherent gap between the two.  My intelligence freely knows that 'broccoli' is 'good' for me, but my will is predisposed toward donuts.  For a human being to make a free decision, he must adhere to his intelligence, training his willpower to follow it, and thus create a habitus. (habit.)  On the other hand, when he adheres exclusively to his emotive and experiential side, negating the knowledge he may possess because he deems it to hard, he will create an addiction or a vice.  To adhere to the higher faculties of intellect and reason over sense and emotion is indeed the complex situation that we find ourselves in. Still it remains the path to true freedom, or doing what you ought. (As distinct from 'license,' doing what you want.)

Today's relativism will soon give way to an individual choosing to put orange juice in their car because it is cheaper than gas, thereby becoming a pedestrian.  An individual getting hurt, because he jumped out a ten story window claiming it was his right to 'fly.'  A quadriplegic will be suing the Olympic commitee for discrimination because he cannot compete in a downhill slolem.  Finally people attempting to marry their 'pets' as they are the only ones they 'feel' truly 'loving them' and it will be their 'right' to do so.

Into this vaccuum of false anthropology, comes ideology whereby the 'good' is ultimately what the deity decides in their particular holy book.  There is no room for questioning, or intellectual discourse, only blind obedience.  As thinking people, we need to stop labeling, and separate the person from the ideology.  A member of Isis has intelligence and can love, while radical islam cannot.  There is no such thing as an 'alcoholic,' instead there is a person who is suffering an addiction to alcohol.  We are men and women, equal but different.  We can be 'conditioned' but retain an actual capacity to discover Truth.

In closing, our current crisis is one of intelligence.  I pray that I don't come off as a right-wing nutjob(some of you accuse me of being) or a bleeding heart liberal. (Others accuse me of being.)  All I am asking for is an authentic search for what the Truth is in all the bio-ethical, moral, civil, and social issues affecting us today.  Millions of lives lost through abortion, yet we will willingly dive in front of a bulldozer to save a tree.  We are in the middle of bathroom issues with regards to so-called transgendered.  We blame pitbulls and guns, but what about trucks?  (That last attack was with a truck.)   We need to reclaim responsibility for ourselves and stop passing the buck.  I don't blame the dogs, instead I question the intellectual and moral acumen of a person with a young family buying such a dog.

Until we rediscover authentic anthropology, true metaphysics, and seek the proper 'good?'  We will remain at the mercy of Isis, and the new 'evangelization' will remain futile.

My ADD came out full force on this one.

Our Lady of Fatima, ora pro nobis!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Jiu Jitsu and Life

The last time I posted, I gave a quick 'heads up' that my next post would be about BJJ.  Well here it is.  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a martial art I've been practicing exclusively for the last 7years.  Before that I had experience in Traditional Kung Fu, some wrestling and when I was young, some Judo.  Still BJJ is different, waaaaaaay different.  So much so, that most of us who train would spell it 'H' 'U' 'M' 'I' 'L' 'I' 'T' 'Y.'

Learning to tap is definitely an acquired taste.  For most of us, our pride gets in the way and thus our fragile ego gets bruised when as a white belt, (and sometimes being experienced in another style) we get washed clean on the mat and end up in a choke or armbar.  (This happens at every belt, but at white, its especially discouraging)  A 'tap' is essentially a surrender to your opponent or training partner signifying that you are done.  To paraphrase Joe Rogan, a tap is essentially telling the other guy that you are dead, or your arm is in a position to break, and then they'll kill you.  At first, the power game becomes a way of survival at best, but then, you go up against a blue belt 50lbs lighter than you and you quickly realize that throwing your weight around is futile, when he'll want to throw your weight around first and with technique, it becomes a reality check.

Jiu Jitsu is also an investment in one's self and personal development.  Along with 'learning' to 'tap,' and getting your ego in check, you realize that the road to black belt is long and arduous.  Today, people will say that it took them 2yrs to earn a black belt in Karate, but you've been training for 7yrs and your only a purple!   You invite them to do their homework, and then they realize that up until a few years back, it was easier to find a sasquatch than to find a black belt in BJJ.  This art shows leverge and common sense.  It doesn't complicate things and then only way to progress is to train and to roll (spar).  There are no katas, forms or other ways to get promoted, you need to work, accept defeat and keep on truckin!'

God gives us many talents and many gifts.  The Martial Arts are a way to sharpen those talents and gifts putting them at the service of your community.  I've trained BJJ in other academies and the same respect and friendliness is everywhere.  Show me one BJJ/MMA/Kickboxer with a 'punk' attitude and you'll find no so great a fighter, and an even worse human being. 

I'll continue to say it, train BJJ!  You will never regret it, only if you give up.   Your confidence will improve and your humility will be realized.  See you on the mats!

Blessed Pier Georgio Frassati,........................ Ora pro nobis!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Adding to the Blog,.. 'Sinner.'

June 3rd, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an apparition to St Margaret Mary Alacoque is truly an apparition which all have seen!  The image of Jesus with His heart exposed.  We can all go research the devotion itself, Jesus, devotion to His Sacred Heart, reparation of sin.  All this leads to humility.  A trait that I am realizing everyday needs to be cultivated in my life.  This blog, 'I am Catholic, Man and Marco' forgot one essential!  I am a sinner. (I'm adding that to the title.)

Its tough when the label 'sinner' is labeled onto us.  Yet, this is essentially why we need a Savior! (American spelling!)  The Church continues to be a hospital for sinners, and never a hotel for saints. My next post will address how Jiu Jitsu can cultivate humility in anybody!

God bless!  Sacred Heart of Jesus,...... Have mercy on us!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Final post from Cybertron. (Time to return to Earth.)

Its been over a year since I posted, and despite some setbacks, the Call to Holiness remains strong and a clearer vision and path is now in front of me!  Its true, that in order to move forward, sometimes one has to take a step backward.  In my case long overdue.   While still on the road to priesthood, my path will take a little longer.  This past January, (4th) I suffered a nervous breakdown and thanks to many awesome confreres, I am now able to bounce back!  Our Lord will often use a means of purification that we have no control over, and in the end, despite the hardships it is all to make us more humble!

As an aside, what is saving me right now is Jiu Jitsu.  The ultimate act of humility.  'Tapping' isn't fun, but it is a way of crushing one's ego to the point of fragile psychological acceptance!  This blog will somewhat take a different tone, but still Faith, politics and of course WWE will be analyzed! 

This video is only fitting as the official end to 'Confessions of a Thirty Something Cybertronian.'

God bless and see you soon under a new name!


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My Mom and my Dad.

I haven’t been around,.. Ha!  The obvious!  The workload, the prayer life and the general rhythm of the priest /seminarian life is something that I will never be used to.  Taking on so many emotions from preparing a child for baptism all the way to accompanying a family in the death of a loved one.   One thing is for sure, the priest is not is own and must love the way Jesus loves.

My last post was waaaaaay back in 2014, my birthday.  Now I want to just call to attention, my amazing mom.  A woman who. Like Mary at the Cross,.. prayed for me.  I brought home every girl under the sun, and jumped from job to job,..yet my mother always stood by me.  My mom is my rock.  I love both my parents, but for a future priest, She stands with Jesus at the foot of the Cross.   I read somewhere that a piece of the stole is buried with his mom,..

For my dad, well, he is my hero.  A practical approach to real issues.  BOOM!  He doesn’t want to hear about nonsensical pseudo intellectual gobbledeegook.  Thank God I listened to him.  The world changed, and get prepared to face it!

Holy Mary Mother of God,………………………………………ora pro nobis.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Thank You...

Sometimes social media is written off as either a waste of time or otherwise.  Well, in my case, I can attest to the true power of Facebook, Twitter, even Email.  Obviously these services can be addictive, yet at the same time, they can keep people connected, as well as connect to likeminded and sometimes even friends who have moved to different provinces or countries.   Today is my birthday, and I am a seminarian, and thanks to the power of social media, I was blessed if not downright humbled by people taking time out of their day to send me a wish, Blessing or thought.  I thought once again, who am I to receive this amount of love?  I am a broken sinner, I have done too much… (Yeah, even a guy with 17inch arms can get a little emotional…)

As I reflect upon my journey, I can only see my smile widening.  Obviously there are some issues that I still would like to resolve, and there are things that I did in my past that I’m not proud of.  The ‘Marco’ that is being forced to die, is the self-centered, ego maniacal, marketing salesman, womanizing creature that can always come back to haunt me.  God however, has provided me with a few guardian angels, and one of them is my roommate in the Rectory.  A seminarian, who took a step back in the formation, but in reality is miles ahead of me Spiritually.(The REAL formation!)  Thanks be to God for his presence, as without him, I could easily spiral and create the Marco centered universe.  I am so blessed and truly so happy to be a part of this community!  I also live and am being tutored by a Faithful Pastor and an unbelievable staff of Grace filled people who can put any seminarian/priest to shame!  The ‘Missione’ is enabling me to re-activate my Italian, to adopt certain Salesian dimensions of Spirituality, and most importantly, to truly live out a relationship with Jesus! 

How does all that have to do with social media?  Well, the combination of old friends and new, some I never met, all wishing me well caused my heart to stir.  I pray everyday that God will make me the Pastor that I am called to be.  I pray that I am able to stand up for the Gospel, unashamedly.  I pray that my past mistakes can be chalked up to experience.  The old me, it seems will always be there, lying somewhere, I guess that is where the devil finds my ego to stir me up.  Through it all though, these days finds me praying for the happiness of others, wishing success in families to friends who have moved on, wishing comfort to friends who need it, a good man to old girlfriends, and finally money to those who have none.   Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle at times, but again, nothing that my Spiritual Director can help me live with and control, through God’s power. 

I am beginning to realize why sometimes Jesus leaves us with certain frailties.  Perhaps if He gave us all the Grace we asked for, we would forget that it is He who saves us, we don’t save ourselves, and should we forget that?   He will readily remind you!  

Mary, Help of Christians,...................................................ora pro nobis!

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Mission(e)

Well I guess that my blog postings are becoming as rare as Big Foot sightings, but honestly time is playing a big factor.  Where have I been?  Am I still studying for priesthood?  Am I still Catholic?  Well the answer is YES.  The reality that I am living however is a new one!

This year will be my third year as a seminarian, yet I’m considered a 4th year of formation and thus have been sent to live in a Parish for a year.  This field work will allow me to truly experience and apply all the theory that I have accumulated.  Actually it gives me an even greater chance to deepen my prayer life, get closer to Jesus and apply His pastoral style and less of my own.  The spiritual life of any seminarian or priest is the backbone of his ministry.  Being in seminary is great, but being close to God’s people is humbling and a truly Spiritual experience.

God has not taken away my manhood.  My desire to be a father is expressing itself in another way, through the many people I’m encountering, the pastoral team, the Catechists etc…Sooo that being said, I still train and read comic books and love Transformers!  All of these things will be put to good use within and at the service of Christ through the New Evangelization!

(By the way??  The Sacraments are essential, especially Eucharist and Reconciliation!  You would be surprised to see who frequents the Sacraments!) 

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Mary Help of Christians,…………………………………ora pro nobis!