Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Douchebag Invitation

So its 2018, and your new year’s resolution is to get into shape.  So you walk into a gym for the first time in a while.  You got all your gear at Walmart, ‘tap-out’ t-shirt, wide brimmed fitted hat, ridiculous attitude, tattoos up to the nostrils, the time you did train you gassed yourself up to the gills but forgot to take your anti-estrogen, thereby assuring that your pecs are probably man boobs by now but you don’t care, and to complement your illusion, the ‘bling.’  and oh yeah,. You’ve never fought.  The fights you had were gang up style beatdowns on lesser more timid people.  The coup de gras?,. You are probably a drug dealer, a wannabe slimeball with no ambition or work ethic, but you dream to live the so-called ‘gangzta’ lifestyle!  I get it, you’re in your twenties or thirties (the latter pathetic) and are searching for an identity!  Two problems though,.. You live your life financed by my tax money and,.. You’ve never come face to face with an ‘Alpha male’ so to speak. 

Allow me to introduce my program of ‘unf@#king.’  It’s usually a 10 week course, whereby you’ll train, (yes, legs too! 😉) learn and develop humility and hopefully leave as a better person offering a contribution to society.  Weights, Jiu Jitsu (any Martial Art for that matter) or perhaps the military could’ve helped you, but don’t worry,.. Its not too late,.. I’m here.  You see I detest your character, not you, (that would be unchristian of me.).  You live a lavish lifestyle based upon our socialist Canadian principals, ie,. You collect ‘pogey’ while you deal your dope for cash.  (BTW,. I am not against drugs, in fact, I would probably legalize them all, and slap a tax on them thereby cutting into the black market.  Obviously there would be an ‘age moratorium,’ but if you’ve made a free choice to snort powder, inject needles or whatever,.. Who am I to stop your free will?  BTW,. The reason I don’t take drugs, is the same reason I don’t drink Javel or Antifreeze either,. There is a warning sign with a skull and crossbones informing me of the consequences.)  From a Faith standpoint, you will also learn how to pray that Rosary you hang around your neck as an added bonus! 

So I invite you to enter a gym, maybe an MMA or Jiu Jitsu gym?  See that little 145lbs red headed accountant kid?,.. Spar with him and experience him kill you, several times.  Then will come the real test,.. Will you come back?  Now with a sore neck and joints, and an even more injured ego comes the reality of whether or not you will come back?  In my experience, the wannabe douchebag schmucks have a 1/3rd ratio.  1/3rd will stay, and slowly they will begin not using four letter words to describe a newborn kitten,.. They will begin saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ and they will begin respecting women.  By respect, it means being authentic and honest, gallant and chivalrous. 

To conclude, I hope that 2018 truly brings about a positive change in all of our lives!  

God bless!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

2 Years and Time to Close a Chapter.

It was two years ago,. I remember looking at the clock, my breath short, my heart racing, what the hell is going on?  (My first thought..),. Is this a heart attack?,.. (My second..)..Why can’t I think or breathe?  Why am I feeling like this,.. Why are my older parents helping me off the floor?  At that moment, I knew I needed some time, I needed to think and to re-assess.  I asked for some time, and they granted me all the time I needed.  (Take that for what it’s worth.)   January 4th, 2016, .. The day that God reminded me that I’m human. 

Fast forward to now.  I recently met with the rector of the seminary, although not officially,.. He mentioned that I looked more ‘at peace.’  Perhaps?,. I work in the funeral industry, and I work as a Jiu Jitsu instructor,.. My question remains,.. What the hell happened?  The answer I guess is simple.  God wanted to get my attention, and His subtle attempts were being ignored, so He got a little more intense shall we say?,.

While two years removed from official formation, and having finished the intellectual component, I have no ill will toward my time discerning priesthood.  I still practice my Faith and perhaps have a more developed prayer life because of that time spent.  Priesthood is not a ‘dead issue’ but it is an issue of discernment, one that an individual with a bit of ‘traction’ needs to undertake with a similar formation team.  My sin remains my EGO.,. IT IS HUGE!  Perhaps this is why God took such drastic measures?  I will admit that most people will attain Heaven through the mercy of God ahead of me.  Why?,.. PRIDE!!!!  The Mother of all sins. 

While I may criticize the formation team, I can never criticize their zeal for what they believe to be ‘bare minimum’ with regards to Spirituality.  Jesus invites us to follow Him as in the Gospels, but sometimes we forget that the ‘follower’ and the followee’ are flawed and sinful human beings.  The seminary is not perfect, but as it stands and after much prayer, it is not an environment for men like me.  The excuse of ‘you don’t understand the Quebecois’ must eventually give way to common sense.  As was explained to me, I did well in Parish and my secret?,. An active prayer life!  Mass, Marian devotion and of course ‘morning prayer!’  

As I have said, and believe,.. I am not a ‘Traditionalist.’  In fact, I detest the term, as it denotes an ideological bent so to speak.  I am, however, ‘Traditional,’ if that is how you would like to describe me.  I remain a man convinced that God is calling,.. to what?  Not so sure anymore.  I guess that is normal?  I can never apologize for being ‘Alpha’ as you described me,.. I was raised by awesome parents in a traditional home, I can’t change that.  I’m heterosexual, and women will always remain a temptation for me, whether I discern Marriage or even a Consecrated lay state.  I speak as a man, and thus am able to draw parallels with those young fathers in the community, because I viewed Priesthood as just that, spiritual fatherhood.  I’m sanguine in my temperament, and can’t change that but can attempt to control it. 

As I bookend this post, I reflect upon going forward.  I remain a sinner, and in desperate need of Jesus’s redemptive Sacrifice.  At the same time, perhaps my writing can help others who are ‘like me’ and don’t feel welcome in the ranks.  I will say this,.. My name is Marco and I was never a bully, and I also was never bullied,.. until I entered formation. 

To conclude 2018 is all about smiling.  I will use my God given talents to continue to empower people in Jiu Jitsu, to smile and always accompany by the Grace of God, families searching for a sense of coherence at the death of a loved one!  Here is to positive vibes!!!!! 

God bless!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Fr Optimus Prime.

Like all boys growing up, I had heroes.  These were men of virtue, characters who embodied true courage and nobility.  Honor perhaps is a better word.  Optimus Prime for instance, the courageous leader of the autoboots who gave his life for his cause.  He was calm, serene and composed. Another hero, was the character of Hulk Hogan.  He would yell and scream, encouraging all of us to ‘Train, Say our Prayers, Take our vitamins!  He always beat the ‘bad guys’ in wrestling.  (This of course distinct from the actual man who was jacked to the gills on **ahem** pharmaceutical aides!) Needless to say, that our heroes are people/characters we can try to emulate.  Well why not a priest?  I know some awesome holy dudes, trying to shepherd amidst this crazy world and they need our prayers!

Today is the Feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of the Americas.  The Church in 2017 seems at a crossroads, but where there is much distress, there is even more grace to be acquired for our sanctification and the sanctification of others.  Heroes especially among the younger clergy are coming forward (along with some very faithful older priests), being bold and facing the world.  These men are heroes standing up for God’s faithful and encouraging us to grow, to think and to get Holy. 

Too often today we see a disconnect between being ‘pastoral’ vis a vis being ‘doctrinal.’  This false notion must come to an end, and I believe it will through prayer and the JPII generation of priests getting ready to ‘take the reigns’ so to speak.  To be ‘pastoral’ doesn’t mean speaking in soft feminine overtones with no punch, it means administering the proper dosage of Spiritual Direction at the moment the Faithful need it.  It means forming the heart, so that the heart may mirror the heart of Christ Himself.  Most ‘doctors’ administering euthanasia come off as ‘nice,’ but it does not change the poison that they will give to the patient. 

Instead of criticizing, we need to pray for our pastors, that they be men of prayer, holiness, courage, boldness and honor.  That they may preach with firmness and vigor, sometimes even rocking our worlds and causing us to think.  To paraphrase late Archbishop Fulton Sheen, in order to be a lamb in the confessional, you must be a lion in the pulpit!

Our Lady of Guadalupe,…………………………………………..ora pro nobis!