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.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Trump'ed' Up or Out?

Thinking, clear thinking,.. Is it making a comeback?  Indeed it would seem that this new technological generation which has given way to 'alternative media' is effectively silencing the status quo with regards to global perspectives.  Who's right or wrong, or still which bio-ethical hot button topic of the day will become interwoven inside an editorial narrative put forth by ideologically engineered funding that suits their goal.  The 'right' and the 'left' has become so polarizing that any person channel surfing from FOX to CNN could find themselves battling schizophrenia.

Where do I stand?  I consider myself 'right of center' on socio economic issues, and perhaps the best definition is that I'm 'A classical english liberal.' (to paraphrase Dr Jordan Peterson.) I tend to 'think' with the mind of the Church, while keeping an open perspective to the plights of those not quite in agreement.  I try to see it from their angle, before offering a debate.  The classic example of people advocating homosexual unions inside the Church based upon a false sense of 'mercy' comes to mind.  The Theological argument shows Jesus as open to all, however there is a forgetting of His command to go and 'sin no more.'  (John 8;11)  From the secular perspective, the argument of what happens between two consenting adults falls short, when using their logic, incest between consenting adults would have to be accepted as well!  Otherwise we could invent a new term, calling them 'incestophobic!' (credit to Mark Dice for that one.)

As a Canadian, I eagerly watched the American elections, and I will admit despite being 'right of center' politically, once Trump won the Republican nomination, I was scared.  Despite being 'pro life,' I worried about the media perception of a madman with his button on the nukes.  Nonetheless, once he won, I found it curious that the media CNN, NBC and ABC were almost in overdrive trying to dump him.  Celebrities, (Meryl Streep) issuing pleas to 'stop the hate,' (All the while she applauded Roman Polansky) Madonna threatening to blow up the White House, and Rosie O'Donnell were a continuity.  To be clear, I was no fan of Hilary,.. However this anti-Trump stuff was well,.. demonic!  Why was there a double standard?  I started listening to Joe Rogan's podcast,.. More people speaking about 'pizza gate,' and a deep state.  Russia, etc...

We are a year into Trump's inauguration, and while yes he still remains a blowhard, I found it interesting that the media never reported other things.  The US economy is stronger than ever.  Granted the 'left' says its not because of Trump, however it is still happening under his presidency.  The illegal immigration issue.  Well my Grandfather was in a POW camp in Petawawa during war times,.So you ain't gonna get sympathy from me.  I remember arguing that Trump was being 'unChristian,' and the rebuttal the individual gave me was the media never uses the word 'illegal.'  I countered with, but we are a country (Canada) built on the backs of immigrants along with the french and english,.. 'Dude, do you lock the doors to your house at night? was his reply... Eeesh...Then I found out that Obama pretty much did the same moratorium a few years back.

A few questions,...

The whole Russia collusion.  Did Russia interfere?  Probably.  Doesn't every country's intelligence community attempt to meddle?  Didn't the Obama administration meddle in Israel's?  Then wasn't it Clinton who sold uranium to the Russians?  Comey and Mueller,..Are they not in collusion?  Is their a fake Russian dossier ordered by John McCain?  Eeeesh,...The plot thickens,..

Up next is the METOO movement.  It seems that Hollywood is ripe with sexual abuse of women and minors.  Yet the media hasn't spent much time questioning why Bill Clinton was on Jeffrey Epstein plane to his island.  All these women coming forward,.. The left takes advantage, but even this seems to fizzle out. 

Trump's sh%^hole comments,.. or alleged comments.  Apparently its hearsay.  If he did say it, he does expose himself as an ass, no question.  However name one person who hasn't spoken like this in private?  Does this comment rank in the same league as Slick Willy's bl%&job from Monica Lewinsky along with him lying under oath?  The media at the time stated that it had nothing to do with his capacity to run the country.  Fine.  Then comments that were allegedly said don't either, right?  Even Oprah, (who recently gave an election style speech) what about her comments regarding a generation 'needing to die.'  Ouffff...

My point in all of this is that I enjoy playing 'devil's advocate' especially in the face of a force-fed global narrative.  Trying to read, reread and balance everything from all sources.  A year ago, the news of the Christian bakery refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple made headlines,.. So Steven Crowder decided to go into muslim bakeries asking for a wedding cake for a gay couple,.. Well he also got refused.  Its the Christians however who are the new targets! 

For my fellow Catholics,.. I leave you with this video of Trump,.. watch for yourself, then decide.

Credit to FOX news

**To the liberals who think I'm now a conservative,. just remember that I too was against the Iraq invasion and thought Julian Assange did right by exposing a false war,.. The difference is that I still think he is doing right by exposing another false narrative.**

God bless!


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!