Reflections from a man preparing to begin formal theological studies

I have been thinking for a few weeks about what’s to come, now. I’m at the tail end of my studies in philosophy in preparation for theology. Monday, I will have my final evaluation in Pre-Theology, which includes a vote on whether or not I should advance to the theologate. Then, God-willing, I will be in three years a deacon; in four years, I will be a priest of Jesus Christ and entrusted with the care of souls. “How do I feel about that?” you might ask. Well, even if you don’t, I’m going to tell you because hey, this is my blog. The answer is Terrified. Mortified. Petrified. Stupefied. (Please give yourself 1 point if you caught that movie reference.) Continue reading “Reflections from a man preparing to begin formal theological studies”

Never waste suffering – Part II: The reflection

Archbishop Hughes visited me while I was injured and in bed on two occasions. On each visit, he offered some advice that stuck in my head:

It is important that we never waste suffering.

and

You have been given a gift to participate in the sufferings of Christ and the Paschal Mystery. Those mysteries that we enter into symbolically in the Triduum, you are actually experiencing.

Continue reading “Never waste suffering – Part II: The reflection”

Never waste suffering – Part I: The narrative

5K Finish Line
Crossing the finish line at 45 minutes in my first, and what would prove to be my only 5K.

I was doing so well.
I was running and training and trying to be healthy several times a week.
I ran my first 5K.
I was getting healthy.
I was facing down my demons from life and growing to know, accept, and love myself.
Then, as Lent wound to a close, some of the greatest trials you can imagine came to challenge me.
A friend shut me out of their life.
I bent down wrong and threw my back out.
Things began to unravel.
Why today? Why now? Continue reading “Never waste suffering – Part I: The narrative”

Rejoice in suffering

Salvador Dali’s Christ of Saint John of the Cross

Back in 1951 (I had to look that part up), Salvador Dali painted a view of the crucifixion called Christ of Saint John of the Cross (that’s the painting at the beginning of this post). This was unique among art depicting the crucifixion of Christ because it was presented from the perspective of God looking down on the cross rather than the worshipper looking up at the cross. It actually seriously offended some people so much that one man, angry at the idea of usurping God’s perspective, hurled a brick at the painting while it was on display in Scotland at it’s permanent home. Now I can certainly see where this objection could arise, but I also think that it is overstated. Such a point of view can lead to some real reflection, and I tried to spend some time on that earlier this week. God was, obviously, looking down on the events as they unfolded. Even though God, in His Eternal Now, was already living those same events at all points in history – indeed, each time we celebrate the Mass, those events unfold again in the sacrament. From a human perspective, that bloody sacrifice happened once so that it could have a lasting effect. I don’t want to go wandering into that theology at the moment, though. I’m more interested at this moment in the events of the actual crucifixion in human history and how those events were perceived by God. Continue reading “Rejoice in suffering”

Teach me to love like you love

Jonny Diaz released a song on “More Beautiful You” called “Love Like You Loved.” While neither this post nor the prayer that I said early last week were inspired by his song (sorry, Jonny), it is a great theme song for the point of this reflection. If you haven’t heard the song, I encourage you to go have a listen. Honestly, there’s a lot from him that’s worth listening to, but I digress. (No, I do not work for Jonny Diaz or even know him. Save for meeting him once at one of his concerts as a lowly fan-boy, I’ve not even met the man. He is from my hometown, though, which gets him some bonus points.) Continue reading “Teach me to love like you love”

A Revelation

I hope this post doesn’t come across as particularly emo, but it probably will.

First off, to understand where it is coming from, you have to understand that the last few years have been some of the darkest spiritual time in my life, and they came to a head the end of last year. In the last half of December, I was in a pit that felt like there was no way out. Continue reading “A Revelation”

Vocaaaaaareeeeeeeeee (in a Dean Martin Voice)

People have asked me on several occasions why I want to be a priest. They want to know how I know it’s right for me. Well, I don’t know that it’s right for me. I read once that various Bishops have said that “No man knows he’s called to be a priest until I place my hands on his head.” So, for now, I can’t truly say that I’m 100% on this, but I’m confident that it’s where I need to follow next. Continue reading “Vocaaaaaareeeeeeeeee (in a Dean Martin Voice)”