Friday, March 1, 2019

A Year Later,..

Where to begin?  Where have I been?  What's going on?

I guess I cannot truly answer any of those questions.  As this readership knows, I struggle with depression and thus have 'ups' and 'downs.'  My mental state is somewhat stabilizing by the Grace of God and the support of incredibly wonderful people.  My personality has always been both a strength and a curse.  My mother, since I was a child warned me,.. 'Ignorance is bliss..'   ... I guess I didn't listen.

I find myself counter cultural,..

I find myself staunchly Catholic,..

I find myself more self critical,..

I find myself questioning the Clergy,..

I find myself more pro 'Trump.'

I find myself trying to constantly challenge myself...

I find myself isolated,..

I find myself 'redpilled.'

I find myself loved. 

The one constant remains Jiu Jitsu,.. Jesus let me keep that and with every passing day, I realize why.

So much has changed since my seminary days.  I started 'Confessions' over ten years ago as an outlet, a way to express myself which was therapeutic.  At that time I was dating an awesome woman.  She has since moved on.  While working at my uncles's gym, I lost control of myself, (did I truly ever have any?), ..the single life, women, while being intellectually Catholic on Sundays.  (Kind of like a 'straight' Milo Yiannopoulos)  I then found another amazing woman, right before my decision to enter seminary,.. I left her to serve God,..  She moved on and though we both work in the funeral industry, I find myself happy yet asking many 'What if's?,..' 

God has since sent me a third amazing woman.  She supports and is aware of my weaknesses.  I pray that I don't break her heart.  

St Augustine,...... ora pro nobis.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Only One Superman,.. my Dad!!!

You know when you’re a kid, and everybody says ‘my dad can beat up your dad?’… Well, I’m here to say that my dad can still beat up your dad, and I learn so much from him everyday!  This game we call ‘life’ is a testament to those who went before us, who introduced us to Jesus and who continuously bust their ass making sure we do right by our baptismal promises!  A man is supposed to be noble, respectable, honorable and finally holy!,.. My father is truly the embodiment of all those realities!

My father recently went through knee replacement surgery.  He is also 77.  Nonetheless, he remains a warrior anchored in Christian virtue and as far as I can tell,. devoid of fear.  These men grew up in another generation.  A generation of no complainers,. ‘You kids cry at the least little f^&k up!,  You should know true persecution!’… These men grew up with manners,.. ‘Sir take your hat off in Church,.. – F-you,’s my hat!’.. Ans; - Well its gonna be your hat shoved up you’re a$$ if you don’t show any respect!’… These men also showed chivalry,.. ‘Hey idiot, give your chair to that woman!’ – But dad, I am tired and we’re the same age!’…- ‘You’ll be in the f’n street if you don’t listen to me!’  ,. True pastoral theology!!!,.. Those in charge of pastoral theology should take note!

You guessed it, I was raised a little ‘old school’ and you know what?,.. I would never trade that education for anything in the world!  My dad was there for me when I had ‘legal trouble,’ he was there for me when I had girl trouble(s), and he was there for me when seminary decided I wasn’t soft enoug,.. err,.. pastoral enough!  (What,.. do they want a creampuff?).. Point being, is my dad remains in my opinion, the epidemy of paternal role models,.. He will push you, encourage you, pray with you, and always uplift you!  He will also kick your ass!  My dad knelt in prayer before the Blassed Sacrament and prayed in the chapel of our home Parish.  Just this afternoon, he went for a walk, cane in hand!,.. He walked the whole distance!

Why am I saying this?,.. Well, tomorrow my dad becomes a 1st degree Knight of Columbus.  I already being one, cannot wait!  As much as I am a Jiu Jitsu guy, with experience in boxing, kung fu, etc,.. My dad will always kick my ass and yes he may raze and bug me!  However, as a Christian man, I know he will always have my back!  

God bless!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Trump, Guns, and free thought.

You know?’  The amount of ‘hate mail’ that I receive is almost too funny.  Whose side are you on?  You are nothing but a liberal loving loony tune, jacked up to look conservative.  On the other side of the coin,.. As a Trump lover, you are nothing but a rascist, homophobic gun living maniac!  Where o where can I hang my hat?  I believe that the answer is in Truth anchored in Love.   Point final, I’m a Christian, a sinner who seeks to follow Jesus Christ and His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

These days we get labeled all too easily.  For myself, I must admit that I do enjoy playing devil’s advocate.  Ideology which in and of itself has become a disease more deadly than cancer has crept into every facet of politics and religion.  In my opinion, this has become way more dangerous than Trump, Trudeau, gun laws, freedom, religion or any other hot button issue.  In short, we have lost the capacity to think for ourselves.

Case in point, years ago the priest at my Church was somewhat of a local celebrity.  A man, whom I believe was a sincere individual seeking to do the ‘good.’  While I may have disagreed vehemently with all he stood for, I never doubted where his heart was!  This man was a ‘social justice’ warrior.  A product of his time, whereby he sought to perhaps use Faith to right any perceived or actual wrongs that he saw.  To many, myself included he was true to his mission.  He helped out tons of people made an impact.  As far as his adherence was concerned, that was another story.  Nonetheless, I am mature enough to respect his opinions, although truthfully, I wish he would join a mainstream protestant denomination for the good of his own soul and others he may lead.  Then again, I will let God judge.

Recently, the mainstream media is doing intellectual backflips trying to find a smoking gun between Trump and Russia.  My opinion is simple.   Of course Russian intelligence interfered, just like every other country’s intelligence interfered.  Under Obama, the US interfered in Israel’s electoral process as well.  Don’t we remember the George HW Bush years?  How many South American governments were taken down backed by the US?  Why is this such an issue right now?  My opinion,?.. because it’s Trump.  So far nothing significant found to link anything.  (There is an awful lot of monkey business surrounding the democrats and Hillary Clinton rigging the primaries, yet the MSM seems strangely silent.)  Up next, they dug up photos of Trump with a porn actress and subsequent ‘hush’ money.  Well, honestly is anyone surprised really?  Yet, how much coverage did the uncovered photo and hush money regarding Barrack Obama and Louis Farrakhan get?..  . Hmmm… Years ago, Julian Assange was a hero to the ‘left’ as he exposed George W. Bush’s illegal war with Iraq,.. Now, he’s the scourge of the earth, because he is going after the ‘left?’  All valid questions…

To the right and to the left,.. Have we forgotten how to think?

To the right-wing;

Do you really need an AR-15 to hunt?  All that will be left is enough meat to make a keychain.  Why isn’t a ssberg Patriot enough?  Defense?... Fine!  A 9milimetre glock.  A semi automatic for defense?  Why not a bazooka or a tank?  I need a license to drive a car, so why are so many of you against registering your firearms? 

To the left-wing;

Is gun control or banning weapons the answer?  There is a reason, we call ‘bad guys, well ‘bad guys.’  Simply put, they won’t obey the law, and a black market will explode out of it.  The innocent will be deprived of the right to defend themselves.  Remember that Church shooting in Texas was stopped by a man with a gun.

These are two examples of complex issues plaguing today.  The reason I put these two opinions out there is simply to show that we need to listen to each other, get to know each other and finally as Christians, love each other.  We all desire the good, however sometimes our intellect may be darkened by modernist thinking, or still ego.  To those of us (I point the finger at myself) more ‘theologically’ oriented, we need to carefully listen to people with other ideas.  To see, that their heart may be in the right place, even if their intelligence isn’t.  To my friends on the left of the spectrum, learn to argue ideas, instead of knee jerk demonizing people.

To conclude, I’m working on a response to Joe Rogan’s opinion of Catholicism.  No I’m not triggered, but pray that time constraits may allow me to offer a rebuttal of certain pre conceived notions and stereotypes.  By the way, I welcome authentic discourse and rebuttals,.. I have many friends who disagree, but we do so in a climate of respect.  

God bless!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Introspective Thought Porn

Did that title grab your attention?  I hope so!,.. :)

Who am I?  My identity whether it be in the Church or in the world seems confusing, even to myself.  I am a few ‘ex’s’,. Ex trainer, ex seminarian, you get my point,. So who am I and what is my mission?  I don’t seem to fit in the Ecclesial world and I don’t seem to fit with my old world.  A few weeks back was the memorial of St John of the Cross, a master in Spirituality, and today?,. Well it seems that prayer is difficult, working out isn’t working and I’m searching for a dopamine rush,.. somewhere.  Is this a blog?,. or the diary entry of a fourteen year old girl?

My mission for 2018 is to find an identity.  You see I’m told that I ‘look’ like the world, but am striving to follow Christ.  This poses problems (along with loneliness) as I try to navigate these new ‘waters.’ Gone are the days where I would date the secular ‘good’ woman, and instead I find myself seeking a Catholic one.  The timing is realizing that I’m a ‘work in progress’ striving to follow our Lord, and like any sinner, always falling short.  It appears that I’m a twisted combination of Joe Rogan, Mark Walberg, Thomas Aquinas and well,.. Ultra Magnus. (Perhaps because he can’t ‘deal’ with now! A reference to the iconic 1986 Transformers Animated movie!)

Work 1.  Cemetery

I work in a pastoral context, one of accompanying families at the cemetery.  The burial can be a moment of trauma for many, as the reality of the moment truly sets in.  My job, to listen, to be a voice of reason, even to calmness and to accompany those who wish final prayers before the burial.  My appearance is often the 1st thing people notice, and while funny at first, it could become an impediment to people encountering God.  My mission is simple, leave every family and every person I encounter with a true sense that God loves them!,.. Perhaps being built like a wrestler is a blockage, but perhaps it also acts as an ‘attention’ getter?  Either way, God uses this to humble me, constantly.  I can’t undo my body, because I’ve never taken steroids and thus my body is natural.  Even if I didn’t train for a month, I would maintain my ‘size.’ 

Work 2.  Jiu Jitsu Instructor

This year saw me get my brown belt under Bruno Fernandes. (Not exactly Joe Shmoe)  Doing so was a call to reality for several reasons.  The first is that I’m no longer in my prime.  Years of sports/combat sports, training and Martial Arts have taken a toll on me.  The reality is that a concussion, cracked rib, and two knee surgeries later, I’m not exactly the apex predator (Sorry Randy Orton) that I once sought to be.  At 40yrs, I need to accept that the athletic blue belt who came over from another style is capable of ‘hangin’ with me, if not outright holding me off or still ‘tappin’ me.  Nonetheless being a BJJ brown belt is an accomplishment, especially considering there was no real ‘Jits’ available when I was 20yrs old!,. (You hear that you young whippersnappers you!)

Let’s put this in a ‘Magic Bullet.’

Now that my work has been addressed, my character development and disposition must be.  If there is one thing that the seminary can be accredited for, it is for revealing and holding up an mirror to one’s own strengths and weaknesses.  Strengths,.. hmmm,.. I guess to some, I remain fearless.  One older Sulpician priest called me a ‘warrior.’  I do fear things though,. Sin for one, my inability to own up to self criticism, and perhaps my ego.  While these at one time served as a strength, they are HUGE weaknesses in the spiritual world.  Being a twisted combination has helped me build authentic bridges with God’s people.  While at the same time, it has alienated me from many in the Clergy.  The quote, ‘Marco, they are just not ready for someone like you’ has constantly been thrown in my direction.  ‘You’re too American’ is still another.  I had mentioned moving forward, but I guess my time in the seminary heading to Priesthood was a true love affair, and what I’m experiencing is akin to a ‘divorce?’.. Not so sure anymore. 

In the end, I remain loyal to Jesus and to my Faith.  My personality intact, albeit bruised (perhaps in need of psychological healing.)  I enjoy Theology, and yes,.. to those detractors, you are right,.. Pope John Paul II’s ‘Veritatis Splendor’ was his ‘halting’ of all the ‘Nouvelle theologie’ synonymous with the ‘spirit of Vatican II’ complete with its moral subjectivism.  As a man who grew up in it, then discovered Thomas Aquinas, I will always affirm the timeless Truths of our Faith, popular or not.  That doesn’t mean it will be done in a malicious/narcissistic manner, yet in a firm and paternal way by the Grace of God. 

My apologies to those readers of this blog who come here hoping to find a frothing at the mouth ‘traditionalist,’ as you won’t.  My opinions on what the Pope may or may not be thinking is simply too far down the list from my own sinful self.  Before I remove the speck in my brother’s eye, I need to address the log in my own.  As Dr Jordan Peterson says,.. I need to clean up my own house.  With God’s help, I hope I can put aside my ego, and let Jesus take the wheel.

May God continue to bless and keep you!

Our Lady of Good Success,…………………….. ora pro nobis.