If I don’t preach the Gospel, what can I ever hope to do?

We are bound by love, by the commission of our Baptism to proclaim Christ, crucified, resurrected, and alive to each we encounter! Here’s a great reflection on our duty as Christians from Blessed Paul VI, Pope.

How have you proclaimed Christ today? Have you? What’s holding you back? Don’t wait!

From a homily by Blessed Paul VI, pope

(Hom. Maniliae habita die 29 novembris 1970)

We proclaim Christ to the whole world

Not to preach the Gospel would be my undoing, for Christ himself sent me as his apostle and witness. The more remote, the more difficult the assignment, the more my love of God spurs me on. I am bound to proclaim that Jesus is Christ, the Son of the living God. Because of him we come to know the God we cannot see. He is the firstborn of all creation; in him all things find their being. Man’s teacher and redeemer, he was born for us, died for us, and for us he rose from the dead.

All things, all history converges in Christ. A man of sorrow and hope, he knows us and loves us. As our friend he stays by us throughout our lives; at the end of time he will come to be our judge; but we also know that he will be the complete fulfillment of our lives and our great happiness for all eternity.

I can never cease to speak of Christ for he is our truth and our light; he is the way, the truth and the life. He is our bread, our source of living water who allays our hunger and satisfies our thirst. He is our shepherd, our leader, our ideal, our comforter and our brother.

He is like us but more perfectly human, simple, poor, humble, and yet, while burdened with work, he is more patient. He spoke on our behalf; he worked miracles; and he founded a new kingdom: in it the poor are happy; peace is the foundation of a life in common; where the pure of heart and those who mourn are uplifted and comforted; the hungry find justice; sinners are forgiven; and all discover that they are brothers.

The image I present to you is the image of Jesus Christ. As Christians you share his name; he has already made most of you his own. So once again I repeat his name to you Christians and I proclaim to all men: Jesus Christ is the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega, Lord of the new universe, the great hidden key to human history and the part we play in it. He is the mediator—the bridge, if you will—between heaven and earth. Above all he is the Son of man, more perfect than any man, being also the Son of God, eternal and infinite. He is the son of Mary his mother on earth, more blessed than any woman. She is also our mother in the spiritual communion of the mystical body.

Remember: [it] is Jesus Christ I preach day in and day out. His name I would see echo and re-echo for all time even to the ends of the earth.

Pray God that we might preach our Lord even with our final breath!

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Whips & Chains Excite Me :: A Reflection on 50 Shades of Grey from a Catholic Seminarian

fifty-shades-fan-made-movie-poster

“Before I know it, he’s got both of my hands in his viselike grip above my head, and he’s pinning me to the wall using his lips … His other hand grabs my hair and yanks down… ”

What did the above quote make you think of? How about this next quote? What does it make you think of? What is the first thought that pops in your head?

“Suddenly he grabs me, tipping me across his lap… He throws his right leg over both mine and plants his left forearm on the small of my back, holding me down so I cannot move… and he hits me – hard.”

The above quote is from the now “best-seller” Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2011 Erotic novel by British novelist E.L. James. The book now lies on the best seller list with classics such as the Lord of the Rings series, a Tale of Two Cities, and The Bible. I want to return now to my former question: What did you think of when you read the two above quotes? How about these quotes? What do you think of when you read them?(Warning: The following 2 quotes can be seen as vulgar and obscene. I have **** out most of the offensive material. Feel free to scroll past and continue reading this post.)

“You are not just a pretty face. You’ve had six o****** so far and all of them belong to me.”

“It’s taking all my self-control not to **** you on the hood of this car, just to show you that you’re mine”

So what did you think when you read the previous four quotes? Let me suggest some words that popped into my own head: abuse, rape, harassment, forced sex, non-consensual, woman about to be kidnapped and/or raped  in the elevator, fear, woman-beater, controlling… I could go on and on. What did you think of when you read them? Seriously, if you had no idea that they were from 50 Shades of Grey, what did or what would you think?

According to the Hollywood Reporter, “The coming attraction for the erotic drama based on the hit E.L. James novel notched more than 36 million YouTube views in its first week.” This comes as no surprise to scholars of pop culture. The movie trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey, along with the trilogy of books it’s based on, is nothing short of a media phenomenon. The trilogy, which is among the fastest-selling books of all time, has been celebrated by the media as “porn for women” and a playful fantasy that encourages women to become more daring in their sexuality.

DomesticViolenceMissing from this hype, of course, is a detailed discussion of how the books eroticize violence against women and render invisible the predatory tactics the “hero” uses to groom, seduce, and abuse a much younger woman. (Yes, Christian Grey grooms Anastasia like a pedophile or sexual abuser grooms their victims.)

If a man were to do the things that Christian Grey does in the book today, he would most likely would end up in jail and Anastasia would end up in a battered woman shelter, or even a morgue. Why is it that this book which objectifies women, makes them something a man can use for his sexual pleasure and treat as property making the best seller list?

We live in a broken world.

We read in the book of Genesis on how Man was created in the Imago Dei, the image

Carpioni - Creation of Eve from Adam

Carpioni – Creation of Eve from Adam

of God. To be created in our very maker’s image means that we have something very special about us. We are different than a dog or a cow or a tree. The problem with the quotes I shared from 50 Shades and the book as a whole is how it forgets whose image we are created in. As the Catechism of the Catholic  Church puts it:

The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God it is fulfilled in his vocation to divine beatitude. It is essential to a human being freely to direct himself to this fulfillment

Christian Grey in 50 Shades forgets that Anastasia is created in the image of God. He forgets her dignity and treats her as his sexual toy, able to be used as he please for his own personal gratification. He does this so much that he convinces her to sign a contract saying she will do what he wants her to sexually. WOAH?!? Wait, WHAT? When was the last time that you ever met someone who signed a contract to allow another to do anything they want sexually to you? Even in marriage, when a man and woman become one, they do so of free will  and through free gift of self.

FaithStreet.com puts it well in their article when they state:

We live in a society in which there seems to be no limits regarding what you can experience sexually. We erase the shame of hooking up, joke openly about porn, and celebrate sexual experimentation like BDSM. Yet, at the same time, more than a quarter of the American population fits the diagnosis of a psychiatric disorder like clinical depression, bipolar disorder, or substance addiction. Is there a correlation here?

In case you’re wondering what BDSM stands for: (I had no idea, now I wish I didn’t know)(Definitely something Satan thought up)

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Why would it be that in our culture we would celebrate something like BDSM or that we would ever joke about the sexual exploitation of women through porn, sex trafficking and the like? As much as we might want to experience a “sexual high” sexuality is WAY more than just having sex. (Let alone saving it for marriage) It’s quite clear that the “sexual freedom and expression” we “think” we have hasn’t solved our relational problems and has, perhaps, even intensified them. Underneath all of the sex, we are lonely.

Lonely but made for SO much more!

God did not create us to be lonely. Again we read in Genesis (Gospel from this Thursday) that God created all these different animals and brought them before the first man to see if they could be his companion. Dr. Sherman, my moral theology professor likes to say that he imagines God saying something like: “Hey, Adam buddy here’s a dog, how about her? No? Okay. Aw man! I found you the perfect one, it’s a Liger! Too ferocious? Okay. And then we read of how God made woman, fashioning her from the side of man thus she was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. God put her by Man’s side, not apart, but by his side and told them to exercise dominion over all of creation; to be fertile and multiply! God does not ask us to do something we cannot do. He made us to be sociable. We were made for so much more!

When we read of the first sin in the Garden we see how Adam and Eve were selfish. Instead of relying on God to take care of them as he always had and walking with him forever in the garden we see a world where sin enters and with it, the punishment of death. To have sex is not a bad thing. What is bad is when we do it contrary to how God intended it and when we use it as in 50 Shades, solely for pleasure, and not procreation. To have sex just for pleasure is selfish. We were made for so much more.

FaithStreet.com also said that:

Material like Fifty Shades of Grey fuels the allusion that fantasy and a sexual release will bring satisfaction. It leads to an insatiable desire for more. Men and women who engage in pornography and erotica will ultimately be less satisfied in their intimate relationships.

This is statistics, folks. If you look at porn there is a higher probability that you will try to imitate things you have seen with a partner later in life, which can lead to you not being satisfied, because no one can do it like the person you saw can. Again, selfish. Relying on ourselves for sexual gratification and watching a screen has been scientifically proven to change the chemical make-ups of our brains and change what we are attracted to.

Pope Benedict addressed the issue of pornography and erotic literature saying, “A relationship that does not take into account the fact that a man and a woman have the same dignity represents a serious lack of humanity . . . The moment has come to energetically halt the widespread distribution of material with an erotic and pornographic content, including through the internet in particular.”

Couples (married) who really “get it” know how to fully share their sexuality — how to communicate the most intimate of experiences with and without words. Being emotionally naked makes you extremely vulnerable. Both you and your spouse have to feel completely safe to let go, to share thoughts, desires, and physical sensations. The journey toward authentic intimacy is one of creating the safest environment possible so that you can bear all with each other and become as Genesis puts so well: “one.” To be “one” with your spouse is to be vulnerable, to share everything and in doing so to help each other strive for holiness and for Heaven.

Fifty-Shades-of-GreySo to wrap up here are some points that 50 Shades of Grey tries to instill in it’s readers/watchers (If you disagree trust me. As a philosophy major you can get pretty good with reading subliminal messages):

1. Girls want guys like Christian who order them around and get rough.

No! A psychologically healthy woman avoids pain.  She wants to feel safe, respected and cared for by a man she can trust.  She dreams about wedding gowns, not handcuffs.

2.  Guys want a girl like Anastasia who is meek and insecure.

Wrong.  A psychologically healthy man wants a woman who can stand up for herself.   If he is out of line, he wants her to set him straight.

3.  Anastasia exercises free choice when she consents to being hurt, so no one can judge her decision.

Flawed logic.  Sure, Anastasia had free choice — and she chose poorly.  A self-destructive decision is a bad decision. (think about the holocaust)

4.  Anastasia makes choices about Christian in a thoughtful and detached manner.

Doubtful.  Christian constantly supplies Anastasia with alcohol, impairing her judgment.   Also, Anastasia becomes sexually active with Christian — her first experience ever — soon after meeting him.  Neuroscience suggests their intimacy could jump start her feelings of attachment and trust, before she’s certain he deserved them.   Sex is a powerful experience — particularly the first time.  Finally, Christian manipulates Anastasia into signing an agreement prohibiting her from telling anyone that he is a long time abuser.

Alcohol, sex, manipulation — hardly the ingredients of a thoughtful, detached decision.



5.    Christian’s emotional problems are cured by Anastasia’s love.

Only in a movie.  In the real world, Christian wouldn’t change to any significant degree.  If Anastasia was fulfilled by helping emotionally disturbed people, she should have become a psychiatrist or social worker.



6.  It’s good to experiment with sexuality.

Maybe for adults in a healthy, long term, committed, monogamous relationship, AKA “marriage”.  Otherwise, you’re at high risk for STDs, pregnancy, and sexual assault.  It’s wise to be very careful who you allow to get close to you, physically and emotionally, because just one encounter can throw you off track and change your life forever.

The bottom line: the ideas of Fifty Shades of Grey are dangerous, and can lead to confusion and poor decisions about love. There are vast differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships, but the movie blurs those differences, so you begin to wonder: “What’s healthy in a relationship?  What’s sick?  There are so many shades of grey — I’m not sure.”

– From Catholiceducation.org

All in all. PLEASE don’t go watch or read 50 Shades of Grey. If you have, go to confession! Burn the book! Throw it out with the trash! As a Mother (The group of buyers the book tries to suck in) would you let your son keep a Playboy in his room? Would you let your daughter allow a man to hit her… let alone, HARD? Why is it okay then if we as adults read it? What makes it not affect us like it would affect our children? The answer is nothing. We are what we put in. So don’t put bad things in! 50 Shades of Grey is not full of blurred or grey lines. It is in fact very, very defined and not full of any shades of grey at all. Resist the temptation!

St. Augustine said: ‘Lust indulged became habit, and habit unresisted became necessity.’

Now the main reason why I chose to call this blogpost “Whips and Chains Excite Me, probably has to do with I wanted something catchy. And whips, chains and seminarians is definitely “eye-grabbing.” But seriously, this book has been a long time coming. With our culture, theater, and music spreading horrendous things like Rhianna’s S&M (where I got the whips and chains line). A book that softens the look on abuse, porn, and violence, goes right in line with the degrading of the value of the human person and the dignity which each is endowed with.

Let us ask our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, the perfect example of a chaste, caring, and loving family, to pray for us and for our world as we renew our attention to defending human dignity and praying for it’s greater respect from conception to natural death. As we continue to walk this way of beauty toward Heaven, let us pray for a greater respect of real beauty, which has been placed by God in the human person. Feel free to comment your thoughts and share this post!

Jesus, Mary, Joseph - Pray for us!

Jesus, Mary, Joseph – Pray for us!

Notate Bene – Researching some of the things about this book worried me. I tried to stay as clear away from images/and excerpts from the book because I don’t want to invite that type of evil into my life. If reading any of the excerpts or seeing the covers of the book led you to be scandalized I apologize, it was not my intent. As of late we have been discussing this book with some interest at school and at the seminary. All of us pray that we can reverse the damage already done by the movie and book and that souls will be saved. I offered my rosary tonight in reparation for the sins against the human person committed by this movie. I encourage you to do the same.

Bishop Medley’s Lenten Message: The Light is on for you

I shared this on my Facebook wall a couple of weeks ago, and thought that I would share it here as well. The Light is on for You is a great opportunity that our Diocese has been participating in during the penitential season of Lent. It is an open invitation and opportunity, to go to confession, and receive God’s mercy and grace. We are bound by the church law to confess our sins only once per year, during the Lenten season. Why not go more, though? The graces that we receive from the Sacrament of Confession and reconciliation are immense.They bestow grace upon us and help us to live our lives more faithfully to the Gospel.
When we sin, our sin does not just affect our relationship with god, rather it also affects our relationship with the community and the church. Sin, is selfish by nature. It does not focus on the good of ourselves and others, rather it focus on temporal moments of pleasure for ourselves, most of the time the results then hurt others, directly or indirectly. We, as Catholics confess our sins to the priest, for multiple reasons. One, it is private, very few people would ever want to go in front of their whole church and tell them their list of sins, it’s embarrassing. Telling our sins to a priest helps make it easier, yet, because we are sharing, we are vulnerable and it takes some humility to bear our sins to another. Secondly, the priest represents the power of the church, to whom Christ gave the power to forgive sins. (Remember when he gave Peter the keys to the Kingdom? He said: “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”) Thirdly, the priest represents the community. He stands as the leader of the local church, and is able to represent them. So when we confess our sins to a priest, we receive forgiveness through the power of the church, confess in secret, making it something that we feel comfortable doing, and we bear witness to the community, through the priest standing in their place.

At the end of time, we are judged twice. Once at the moment of death, when we receive Heaven or Hell, and lastly at the end of time where we bear witness to our sins before the whole body of people in the world.

Try to go to confession at least once a month. Reconcile your soul to God, his church, and the community. Make this Lent a good one. Come home!

St. Stephen and the “Bloody Octave of Christmas”

St.  Stephen: protomartyr, deacon, and patron of the Diocese of Owensboro

St. Stephen: protomartyr, deacon, and patron of the Diocese of Owensboro. This image hangs in the back of the Cathedral, near the baptismal font.

A blessed feast of St. Stephen to you all! St. Stephen is the patron saint of the Cathedral and Diocese of Owensboro, KY. He was the first martyr of the early Christian church, and was also a deacon. His death (by stoning) is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, having been witnessed by Saul of Tarsus (St. Paul). Stephen’s name is derived from the greek Stephanos, meaning “crown”. Traditionally, Stephen is invested with a crown of martyrdom; he is often depicted in art with three stones and the martyr’s palm. (In our Cathedral image, though he is just shown wearing a dalmatic (the vestment of the deacon in the Mass.) I keep a small statue of St. Stephen on my nightstand at the seminary, reminding me to ask for his intercession and to pray for the people in the diocese who are praying for me.

Our Cathedral was restored as part of the Diocesan celebrations for our 75th anniversary. Sam and I who were the only college seminarians for the diocese at Bishop Bruté, were able to take part in the historic, Solemn dedication of the renovated cathedral. You can see pictures from the day, by visiting my old Flickr profile, which is the last link on my photos page.

St .Stephen Cathedral in all of it's glory!

St .Stephen Cathedral in all of it’s glory! AP Imagery: photographer. Find his (Adam Paris) work on Flickr.com

https://flic.kr/p/9r2m8Q (To find photo, search “St. Stephen Cathedral” on Flickr.com)

 

The Cathedral renovation was done by the Talleres Art de Granda studio out of Spain. The work they do is absolutely beautiful, and it really showed with our Cathedral. Part of the renovation project included a new Allen 3-manual organ. We already have a Wicks Pipe Organ in the Choir Loft of the cathedral, so having two organs, both of which are magnificent instruments, really makes an organ nerd(and novice) like me happy!

The "former" cathedral decor. Notice the sound tile in the Choir Loft and the very pale, non vibrant color scheme. It fit it's time, but the new decor fits even better!

The “former” cathedral decor. Notice the sound tile in the Choir Loft and the very pale, non vibrant color scheme. It fit it’s time, but the new decor fits even better! (Wicks Pipe organ casing in the Choir Loft.)

3-manual Allen organ, that was installed in the Cathedral. Notice, the change in color schemes and the organ pipe casing in the choir loft. (There's another organ up there!)

3-manual Allen organ, that was installed in the Cathedral. Notice, the change in color schemes and the organ pipe casing in the choir loft. (There’s another organ up there!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cathedral renovation included a reredos, containing three sculptures of the life of St. Stephen. It is a beautiful piece!

The Sanctuary of St. Stephen Cathedral, notice the gold leafing on the Altar, Reredos, etc. Truly a work of art, fitting for God!

The Sanctuary of St. Stephen Cathedral, notice the gold leafing on the Altar, Reredos, etc. Truly a work of art, fitting for God!

So, the next time you are in Owensboro, I encourage you to stop by and visit our lovely cathedral. It will be well worth your time and I am positive that you will enjoy your time with our Lord!

The main entrance to the Cathedral.

The main entrance to the Cathedral.

 

The historic octave of Christmas is one of my favorites. (Yes, in the modern Roman Calendar, there are only two octaves (Easter & Christmas), but the octave of Christmas is one of great rejoicing, in a different sense. Monsignor Charles Pope, of the Archdiocese of Washington wrote a beautiful meditation on what he calls the Bloody Octave. What is the Bloody Octave? Monsignor Pope states: “It is one of the bloodiest weeks of the Church’s years. Thus, on December 26th, when we have hardly digested our Christmas dinner, we celebrate the Feast of St. Stephen, the Martyr who was stoned to death. On December 28th we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Innocents, the young and infant boys who were murdered by Herod seeking to kill Christ. On December 29th we celebrate the feast of St. Thomas Becket who was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral. (I’m planning on watching the great film Becket 1964, starring Richard Burton & Peter O’Toole. You can watch the whole movie free on Youtube here.Even St. (King) Wenceslaus of whom we happily sing “on the Feast of Stephen” was brutally killed by his brother.” 

So, we have a week of blood, a week of remembrance of those who gave their lives for the faith. (Remember Pope Benedict  wearing red shoes? It was a tradition in the church of showing the blood of the martyrs, which he (the pope) would be willing to accept in a moment for the sake of Christ. (JPII and Pope Francis are the first pope in hundreds of years not to wear the shoes))

Christ was born, as a sacrifice, he came to bring peace, through the offering of his life. “He who knew no sin, was made sin for us…” -2 Corinthians 5:12. Christ came to die, he was born into a world, so that he could give his life for it. Christ was born into the wood of the crib, only to be killed on the wood of the cross. This “bloody octave” teaches us that our faith is not that requires no effort, rather it is one that requires a total gift of self like the martyrs. Maybe we aren’t called to be killed physically for Christ, but we are called every day to pick up our cross, face the challenges of life, battle sin and temptation, and work toward our goal of Heaven. May these blessed “bloody” martyrs help us ever in our path toward Heaven as we continue on this Christmas Season, proclaiming: Glory to god in the Highest, and on earth peace to men of good will…

I hope that you and your families have a blessed Christmas Season! Remember, it’s not over until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord if you follow the Novus Ordo Mass, and then not until February 2nd (The Purification of Mary, Candlemas) in the Extraordinary form. Also, this Friday ranks as a solemnity (it falls in the Octave of Christmas) so go ahead and eat meat, enjoy a piece of cake, Christ the savior is born and we are celebrating!

Merry Christmas!

 

St. Stephen, martyr, deacon, and patron of the Diocese of Owensboro, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Day at the farm- Truly blest

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My date for the day! 🙂

It’s on days like today that I feel extremely blessed! This morning, my Dad, Grandpa, Brody & I headed up to our family farm for a day of completing some work, prior to the full onslaught of the winter season. Brody was going to use the pole chainsaw and regular chainsaw and trim some of the trees that were covering the sides of the main trail going back to the campsite, so that it was easier for me to mow along them. (I was on the tractor all day.) (shown above^) My Grandpa, drove around supervising us and telling us where to go next, Dad drove the Honda (four-wheeler) around helping Brody with things and helping move limbs out of the way so that I could mow.

After about 2 hours, one of my older brothers, Nathan, came up with his son Oliver to roast hotdogs and play around a little. Oliver was sweet as he always is, helping me throw old buns into the woods for the turkeys and waving at me as I mowed. Back in October, over fall break I came up with my Grandpa to work on clearing some smaller shrubs and trees that Adam (my eldest brother) had dug out with an excavator. It was my first time driving a tractor in almost two years, and took me a little bit of time to get back in the swing of how all the levers and such work. Haha! Needless to say, this trip I knew what I was doing and thoroughly enjoyed the mowing and other work I did with the tractor.

In highschool I and a friend worked during the summer mowing for a farm, my Ag advisor looked after. I also was sort of in-charge of doing ours at home. Mowing is one of the things, which I take great pride in. I remember that I used to get quite upset if my brother mowed the lawn or weed-eated, because he didn’t do stripes, or fit my pretty high standards. Haha! Okay, I’ll admit it I had problems. Maybe I still do, but I’m working on them. OCD, does come in handy sometimes! I like ORDER! 😀

One of the many reasons who I love to mow, is the time that it gives me and the place that it puts me in. Sitting on a tractor for sometimes hours, have given me a lot of time to “think” about stuff. I remember mowing the yard at home, (I could get the whole yard done in an hour and a half. (2 1/2 acres) It was sitting on the tractor that I experienced a lot of love from God, as well as his mercy and peace. I would usually start out by praying a rosary and then just talk with God about my day, school, friends, anything and everything. Usually I would talk out loud. (hey, it wasn’t to myself!) When my dog Maggie (Bubba, as I called her.) (Yes, I already told you I was weird.) was alive she was my constant companion. She would trot down the line I was mowing on the left front side of the mower, sometimes I would have to stop if she smelled a mole and had to dig in front of the tractor. It also gave me a way to expel my feelings if I was upset or angry about something, (manual labor seems to be a remedy to about everything with me.) Talking with God while I was mowing, helped my vocation journey as well. One-on-one time with God to pray and ask about what he was calling me to, helped so much! It was times like these, that I remember with great love and joy.

Like, when I would mow at home, today on the tractor left me a lot of time to think. Especially of many the memories that I had experienced over the years at the farm. I was recollecting on the many adventures I have had with my family at the farm over the years. The farm is somewhere around 330 acres, and has been in my family since like the 1970’s or something. The farm is actually two separate plots, that make up one large whole. Consisting mostly of woods, there are also a few fields that we crop out, and the lower parts of the woods classify as wetlands. Located in the heart of Hamilton County, in Illinois, our farm has some of the best whitetail deer population in the state.

My Grandpa, is a very intelligent man. He is one of my role-models and someone who I look to for wisdom. I remembered waking up early to go with Brody and him to the farm to work, stopping to eat breakfast at the now closed Hoop-N-Wink in Ursa, on the way. I remember asking to learn how to drive the bulldozer, he being the jovial man that he is said sure! “Just clean the windshield for me first.” Imagine a little me, climbing up onto the bulldozer, only to find that there was no windshield! I remember the fall weiner roasts, bringing Maggie up and getting worried that she would run away. Sitting next to Grandma Carrie, who came up for a picnic and watching Nathan almost tip one of the 8N Ford’s over, trying to pull a stump out of the creek bed. (Grandma thought he was on a horse! Oh, how I miss that sweet lady!)  I remember, having a hail storm during a bonfire, everyone leaving, then realizing that we forgot the cabbage on the fire, so we drove back to get it in my Grandpa’s old Jeep, which slid around in a 360′ because of the mud!

I remember, Adam, my older brother taking Brody and I  bow hunting with him. I remember, riding four wheelers with Adam, along the property line, and removing deer stands, from trespassers. I remember collecting buckeyes in the creek bed  with my mom as a little kid, and when Uncle Tim took Brody and I frog gigging for the first time. (We marinated the frog legs in kook-aid) (I told you I was weird!) I remember catching 20 something catfish in the pond, with crystal light bottles, and then staying up late that night back at home, to help my grandfather fillet them.

I remembered, all of the good times that we have had at the farm as a family. It is on days like today, sitting on a tractor and mowing, praying, thinking about life, and recollecting on times spent at the farm, that I realize I am truly blessed. Not only with a great family, but one that is blessed with beautiful places like the farm, to make memories, learn, make mistakes, pray, and be silent. I am extremely thankful for my time spent in the FFA, and the AG program at school, for the continued love of the land that it instilled in me, but also for the skills that I gained from it like: tractor driving. As I come to the close of this day, I give thanks for these memories, for my family, for our blessings, and for almighty god, with whom I would have nothing. I thank God for this day at the farm and for being truly blest.

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Sunset, over the farm today.

 

Welcome to the world of Catholic Blogging C.J. Glaser!

C.J. Glaser

C.J. Glaser

As is my custom, I want to wish a warm welcome to the world of Catholic blogging to my Diocesan brother C.J. Glaser! Although he is not new to the world of Catholic blogging as he has had another blog before, he has started a new one to keep up with his seminary journey. A link to his site has been added to the blogroll on the left of this page and in this post.

C.J., one of our new freshman for the Diocese, just recently graduated from Owensboro Catholic High School in Owensboro, KY. He sings with myself and the other guys in our Schola Cantorum, attends Blessed Mother Parish in Owensboro, and is an avid photographer, Tennis player, and all around just a great guy. He blogs at Ad Infinitum (To Infinity).

Welcome again C.J. and happy blogging!

Prayer for National Vocations Awareness Week

Heavenly Father, Your divine Son taught us to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into His vineyard. We earnestly beg You to bless our Diocese with many holy priests, seminarians, religious, consecrated, deacons, marriages, men and women serving in ministry and all vocations, that they will love You fervently, gladly and courageously spend their lives in service to Your Son’s Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

We pray that their lives may be always centered on our Eucharistic Lord; that they be always faithful to the Holy Father; and that they may be devoted sons and daughters of Mary, our Mother, in making You known and loved; and that all may attain Heaven. Bless our families and our children and choose from our homes those whom You desire for this holy work. We ask this in Jesus’ name.
Amen.

 

Pray for Vocations!! nuff said!

Quo Vadis Retreat

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The Vocations office for the Diocese of Owensboro will host a QUO VADIS vocations retreat on December 29, 2012 at St. Margaret’s Chapel in Henderson.

The retreat will be a full day of discussions and information from the vocations office with specific talks given by seminarians. Lunch will be included, Bishop Medley will say Mass, and time for questions and answers with Fr. Andy Garner (Director of Vocations) and Bishop Medley will be provided

The retreat is offered to High School Seniors and all men 18 years of age and older who feel that they have received a call from God to a vocation in the Church. Please contact the vocations office to reserve your spot!

Dr. Fred Litke, Associate Director of Vocations

fred.litke@pastoral.com

270-748-0038 (mobile)

Gaudete, Gaudete! Iterum dico vobis, Gaudete!

Rejoice, Rejoice! Again I say to you, Rejoice! is the translation of the above Latin title for this post. 

Today is the third Sunday of Advent, otherwise known as Gaudete Sunday. (“You need to Rejoice” Sunday) The church’s ministers don themselves in Rose colored Vestments today as a sign that this penitential season of Advent is almost over. The only other time Rose is worn is on Laetare Sunday during Lent. The purpose behind this color, and it being used so infrequently is to draw our attention to wait a moment!  It is almost time! It’s almost here! Am I ready?

Hopefully today you are rejoicing that the coming of our Lord is less than 10 days away. Are you ready for his coming? Have you gone to confession so that you are worthy to receive him on Christmas morning? Have you been keeping up with your prayers? Praying and meditating on the mystery of the Incarnation? If not, that’s what today is for! To tell us to get up, get ready, be prepared for the coming of our Lord. CHRISTmas is coming! Jesus is coming! Get ready! Rejoice! Our Rector at Bruté, Father Bob tells the story of a professor of his, upon hearing 2 Dominicans discuss the Mystery of the Hypostatic Union “Christ being both Fully Divine and Fully Man” said to them in a Jersey accent: “You wanna know about the Hypostatic Union? Well I’ll tell ya! It’s a Mystery! Go Home!”

Did you see Rose vestments today? I did!

We rejoice today that our Lord is coming. Veni, Veni Emmanuel! Come Lord and do not delay! Have a blessed “wake-up” call Sunday and remainder of Advent!

Gaudete, Gaudete! Iterum dico vobis, Gaudete!!!

 

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Finals Week

Well, it is finally here! The end of my first Semester in College Seminary. Please keep all of my brother seminarians and myself in your prayers this week as we take on all of our final exams head on. I have 3 today and then 2 Thursday. After this is all over, I will be sending out my monthly newsletter. I wanted to yesterday, but finals are a little more important! haha. May God bless you as we are in the middle of this Advent Season, as we await the coming of our king. Come Lord Jesus, Come!!!