You Will Be Perfect

So, today’s readings are all about loving your enemy and praying for those who persecute you.  I would you encourage you to visit the post I wrote about loving your enemy before moving on to this if you haven’t read it already.  Since I don’t need to repeat what I’ve already written, I’ll be moving on to the equally important ending of today’s Gospel: Christ’s call for perfection.

“Humanum errare est”.  To err is human.  We all know this.  Ever since the fall of Adam and Eve and the birth of sin, we as a human race are very not perfect.  We’re even bad, extremely bad at times.  We can be, and often are, monsters.

Take a good look at yourself.  Not just your body, your whole being.  You’re weak.  You’re corrupt.  You can’t even keep yourself from eating that extra cookie when you’re trying to lose weight!  What on God’s green earth could you possibly hope to ever accomplish?  Eternal life?  What a joke.  How could you hope to follow Christ when you can barely follow traffic laws?  Why, asking you to be perfect is like asking a caterpillar to fly.  No, its like asking a caterpillar to fly a thousand miles, no THREE thousand miles.  All while going 30 miles an hour.  And look beautiful and dazzling the entire way.  That’s insane.  Only a madman would expect that out of a dang caterpillar.  But yet Jesus tells us to be perfect, as our Heavenly Father is perfect.

Even the giants of the Old Testament fail God and His people.  Moses doubted God and struck the stone twice instead of once as he was commanded.  David committed adultery and murdered his friend. Jonah ran away. Whatshisface the son of Israel lied cheated his brother Esau out of his blessing, and Abraham did something wrong that is currently escaping my mind.  Even St. Joseph sinned once (I think he got super angry once or something like that).  Before his conversion, St Augustine was what you would call a teenage delinquent and a hedonistic party animal before he converted and became one of the greatest philosophers and theologians of all time.  St Thomas Becket was super wealthy and a scrooge who never gave to the poor before he became the Archbishop of Canterbury and a martyr.  Before her conversion, St Olga obliterated an entire tribe and sold the few survivors into slavery.  Her grandson, St Vladimir, gained power by killing his brother, had far too many wives, and sacrificed people at a pagan temple before being forever changed by the grace of baptism.  St Phillip Howard had been a playboy and a gambler before being inspired by watching the heroic St Edmund Campion defend his faith in the Tower of London before Anglican ministers armed with books and assistants.  St Phillip Howard reconciled himself with his wife, who converted with him.  While trying to escape to the continent where they could practice Catholicism, they were captured.  After 10 years of imprisonment, he died in the same tower Edmund Campion, his gateway to Christ, was imprisoned and interrogated before his martyrdom.  But the point is, none of us are perfect (with the given exceptions of Jesus Christ and Mary).  Yet here we have stories of how people, some like us, some far worse, followed the call of Christ, and became saints and heroes.  A saint is the person who, through whatever struggle on Earth, at least achieved perfection with God in heaven.  A saint is, by definition, perfect.  We have concrete examples of how humans somehow became perfect, just as our Heavenly Father is perfect.  It is achievable, even while it remains impossible, though not by ourselves.  That is the power of God, to turn animals into Sons and Daughters of God.  To make evil into good, to make sinners into saints, to make the impossible possible.

One week ago, a friar told me that if you look at the original text of this reading in whatever language it was, it doesn’t say “be perfect”.  It says “you WILL be perfect”.  God is promising you perfection.  He is calling you to achieve with Him what you could never hope to do on your own.  He is calling the caterpillar to fly.  He is making a promise, one which He intends to keep, even if He has to die for you.  And He did.  That is the wondrous beauty of it.  God became one of us. He reached down into a dark hole full of dirty water and snakes, and pulled out a turtle, that had fallen upside down, and could never get back up again without help*.

Do you know what’s interesting about caterpillars?  Nothing.  Nothing at all.  They just crawl around and eat stuff (much like me).  I guess some are kinda cute, but most are bland or just plain ugly.  There’s this one caterpillar whose camouflage is bird poop (the one in the picture at the top).  Yeah, really.  That guy must have some serious trouble hanging out at parties (I’m sure St Augustine could give him a few tips).  But you know something about caterpillars?  They don’t stay that way forever.  If they keep following the code of caterpillar law, and behave the way they’re supposed to (eat this, don’t eat that), they become something else entirely.  And you know what?  They FLY.  Not only that, but thousands of miles, some known to go as fast as 30 miles an hour.  And they are regarded as one of God’s most beautiful creations.

So, God today is promising you that you will be perfect, if only you follow his commands.  God will transform you into something so wonderful, you could never hope to imagine it.  Many of you are doubting me right now (heck, so am I).  But everyone knows what’s going to happen to the caterpillar except who?  The caterpillar.  Just trust in God, and one day, one day you will be perfect, as our Heavenly Father is perfect.  God Bless.

monarch

In Christ, Catholic2theMax

PS, I borrowed the caterpillar analogy from a friar who gave a talk at a youth event last Saturday.  Count on friars to be super cool.

* This actually happened to a friar.  Before he became a religious, he was waling around in the woods (super outdoorsy guy), and he saw a hole.  He couldn’t see what was in it, but typical dude (we’re not the brightest of the bunch sometimes), he decided to reach down into it and see what he found.  What did he find?  A turtle, laying on its shell, unable to get up.  It would have died there, as it was incapable of doing anything by itself at that state.  This inspired the man to become more religous, and eventually enter the Fransiscan order.    And no, he does not still have the turtle.

(What I Believe to Be) The Hardest Commandment

A lot of people reject Catholicism or even all of Christianity because they believe it to be too hard.  Most people think the church’s teachings on chastity are too strict, or its position on wealth isn’t fair.  I first off don’t think its too hard to the point of being impossible.  We have examples of humans, sinners like us, who became perfect in heaven after following the church’s teachings, even the hard ones.  But I also don’t think chastity or whatever rule it is are the hardest things we as Christians are called to obey.  CS Lewis, one of my favorite authors ever, agrees with me.  I am by no means saying chastity or whatever virtue isn’t insanely hard, but its not the most difficult thing we are called to do.  CS Lewis in his great book explaining what Christians believe, Mere Christianity, says that is loving our neighbor, and even our enemy, as God loves us.

I’m sure you all know that you’re supposed to love your friends and enemies alike, but boy, its easier said than done.  I struggle with this a lot, as many of my friends may be quick to tell you.  It may be that I’ve been to New Jersey once to many times so that it rubbed off on me or something, but I can hold a grudge for a long time.  But normally, its with very anti-Catholic or militantly pro-abortion people that I get angry with, and stay angry with.  My anger could be justified, as they are supporting murder of children or whatever it is.  But the thing is, anger can never be justified against a Child of God.  Not the initial emotion that all humans feel, even Jesus shows righteous anger in the Temple when He flipped the tax collectors’ tables.  Not the emotion, but the genuine hatred and disunity that may follow.  Disunity if Satan’s goal.  What does he fear most?  All humanity united in the Body of Christ against him in perfect harmony and love.  What does he want most?  Every single human being isolated from the others in their own pride.  In Dante’s Divine Comedy, the lowest part of Hell is reserved for Satan alone.  He sits there in the ice by himself, isolated from everybody.

On Sunday one of the Franciscan brothers was giving a homily.  He was talking about disunity.  He said that when they do a holy hour, they pray the psalms for 15 minutes, and then its silence for 45 minutes.  Its all good, for the first 30 seconds, until someone sniffs, or sneezes, or coughs.  He said that he just wants to shout “SHUT UP!  GET OUT OF MY CHAPEL!!!”.  Over time he really starts to dislike some of these people.  We all know people we dislike.  That kind of person that makes you grumble when they sit next to you at lunch.  You don’t want to accept that person.  You could care less if they sat by themselves every day.  But here’s what the friar said ,”This is satanic”.  I was shocked by his use of words.  Sure, thats what the devil wants, but satanic?  That gives the impression that you are serving satan.  That’s a seriously disturbing thought.

In JRR Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, it begins with Eru Illuvatar, God.  He creates many beautiful and powerful angels, the greatest of which is Melkor.  He instructs them, and they play music like that which would never be heard again.  Melkor started playing to his own desires, and others followed him.  Soon there were two bands, competing for dominance. Eventually Melkor, now Morgoth is thrown from the heavens, but he has achieved much of his goal at that point.  He has created disunity.  This I think is a spectacular metaphor for the fall of Lucifer.  Down on earth, Morgoth continues to divide the free people who oppose him, and create distrust and enmity between the various races.  Only millenniums later when these races unite under one banner to march on the Dark Lord is he finally defeated.  The call to love your neighbor as yourself is the remedy to disunity, harmony against chaos, charity against hate.

One of the things the Pharisees hated most about Jesus was that he hung out with sinners. We’re blessed with so many examples of charity like Mother Teresa and Pope Francis that this line is not such of a surprise as it was intended.  Jesus Christ, omnipotent Lord and Master of the Universe, hanging out with a couple of tax collectors.  One of the best stories in the entire Bible is the conversion of Matthew, the tax collector.  Tax collectors were scum.  They were Jews who collected taxes for the oppressive Roman government ruling their people, and most cheated and stole while they did it.  This is like the equivalent of a gangster today.  Jesus is out chillin with his bros, when He points to Matthew, a tax collector, a gangster, and tells him to come, and follow Him.  Matthew gets up and follows him.  What do they do next?  They throw a party with a bunch of other tax collectors.  Not only does Jesus loves sinners, He likes them.  For us speaking English at least, the word “like” can be much stronger than the word “love”.  Sure you love your brother but do you like him?  Do you enjoy hanging out with him and spending time with him?  Jesus likes sinners.  He hangs out with them and in the process draws them into himself.  Its comforting to know that Jesus likes you, and everything you are.  But its also important to know that you are called to follow in Christ’s footsteps, and spend time with the sinner, instruct the ignorant, and bear wrongs patiently.

I find it interesting that they threw a party.  If I was a tax collector, and this all-righteous Jesus guy invited me to follow Him, I would probably be thinking that He’s got the wrong guy.  I’m not the kind of person saints invite to their birthday parties.  But then this Matthew, one of the tax collectors, like me, goes and hangs out with Jesus and His buds.  I’d be thinking, wow, maybe I can follow Him.  Maybe God is calling me.  Remember what I said earlier, about the Body of Christ?  Well, its not like its just half Jesus and half you.  The entire Church is part of it.  And if you love your neighbor, and if you follow Christ, others will follow your example.  Others just like you who would’ve thought that there is no way that God’s mercy could ever possibly reach them, until they saw it reach you.  Whatever you do good radiates the world, and whatever wrong you do darkens it.

Today’s reading fits into this very well.  Its the whole thing where Jesus separates the saints from the sinners in Heaven, and tells the sinners that what you did unto the least of my brethren, you did unto me.  Well, its easy to pity a hungry child and help them. Its not hard to visit an innocent man in prison.  The least of my brethren.  imagine someone you hate, and would love to see fail.  And that person does fail, and loses all he has.  He comes to you for help, for shelter, for the love of Christ?  Well I could tell you without a shadow of a doubt that I would probably smash the door on his face and never regret it.  The least of my brethren is not the worst off, but the person you see as scum.  Its the person who you make to be the worst off.  Forgive me, but another movie metaphor is imminent.  In Disney’s The Beauty and the Beast, the story begins with a rich prince, who has all that he has.  An old beggar comes to his door and offers to give the young prince a rose in return for shelter from the cold rain.  It says the prince is “repulsed by her haggard appearance”.  We kind of get the vibe that he’s stating to hate her already, and he refuses.  Well it turns out that old lady was a super powerful enchantress and he gets turned into the beast and the movie begins.

You see, we’re not only called to love complete strangers, but even our most hated rivals and enemies.  Imagine the person you hate the most in the whole world.  That one guy whose nose just annoys the heck out of you, that one boss that is super mean and blames everything on you, that one girl at school who just likes to make fun of you in front of everybody.  That is Christ, challenging you to live like God lives.

Love your neighbor as yourself.  Seems pretty easy.  That super cool guy who lives next door to you that brought you dinner when your family had a baby.  Sure, you would love to return the favor.  Your called to love, even like those who you hate, the people you utterly despise.  This is totally contrary to where our emotions would take us, where logic would even take us.  Someone hurts you, you hurt em back, right?  Jesus calls us to love them instead.  The single most radical thing Christ calls us to do.  No religion in the history of mankind had yet taught this, even Moses said to fight your enemy.  And of course, its also probably the hardest thing He calls us to as well.

You may be thinking that this is relatively easy, that you do it all the time.  I know people like this who are just naturally nice and pleasant to everyone.  This comes easy to them.  But to those who much is given, much will be expected.  For those of you like me, who struggle with this, who would like nothing more than to just clock that one guy, God knows its hard.  He’s not oblivious to things like this.  God is all-just and all-merciful.  He won’t expect the same niceness from you as someone who is just naturally kind.  But that’s no excuse not to try as hard as you can.  All He calls us to do is to give it all you got, and you will be rewarded.  Just do your best, and God will take care of the rest.  Hey, that rhymes.  Maybe it will help you remember.

One thing CS Lewis recommends is to act nice, to pretend you like some person, and eventually, you’ll start liking this person more and more.  If you are mean, you’ll find yourself hating and hating even more.  For lent, I’ve decided to tackle this particular vice.  Whenever I get annoyed or angry with someone, I say a Hail Mary with the intention that they have a great day.  Its super hard to genuinely wish them the best, but when I do, I find me self being kinder and kinder.  So I recommend trying that and see how it works out for you.  Maybe even pray for their parents or family.  You have to deal with this person for maybe a couple of hours, they’ve been dealing with them their entire lives.

“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”
-Mother Teresa

 

In Christ, Catholic2theMax

The Gradual Death

Well, Happy 2016!  I hope all of you had a great Christmas season filled with joy, laughter, and good food (and maybe a little too much good food). Most of us are by now realizing how hard our New Year’s resolutions really are.  I told myself I would start running more.  I can tell you I’m not writing this on the treadmill right now, if thats any indicator to how that’s going.  Anyway, if you still haven’t figured out your resolution or looking for a better one, I have a late Christmas present for you.

Before I start off, if you haven’t read the Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis, that is now your New Year’s Resolution.  No ifs ands or buts, hightail it to a Barnes and Noble and get it.  I don’t really think I should have to persuade anybody to go to Barnes and Noble anyway.  I mean, most have fireplaces and a Starbucks, tons of books, soft jazz and that special bookstore smell.  So there’s that.

I read the Screwtape Letters a while back, and was completely intrigued by the way it was written.  The author of the letters the book is comprised of is Screwtape, a high ranking devil giving advice to his rookie nephew, charged with ruining a young man.  The story is played out solely from the perspective of hell, giving the reader a very unique interpretation of the story.  CS Lewis himself hated writing the book.  Having to put himself in the person of the devil is not a pleasant task.  I’m not sure if its a compliment or not, but he did a splendid job of doing so.

Throughout the story, we see the tempted young man change and grow…and struggle and fall.  I’ll do my best not to spoil it, but I do want to share some key points.

In the book, we see how involved demons are in this young man’s everyday life, but he’s not a murderer or a terrorist.  He’s just a normal person.  Going on with his life and not being too great at anything.  The devil is not trying to make him kill people or blow up buildings.  Most of the time he doesn’t even try to get him to do anything.  Screwtape said, “It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.”  This shows us that the battle for our souls won’t be a siege easily weathered.  We have to attack and fight for our spiritual lives.  The devil didn’t try to get him to attend a satanist temple or become an atheist, he just tried to water down his faith.  Screwtape told his nephew, ““A moderated religion is as good for us as no religion at all—and more amusing.”

We see now the devil’s standard strategy, especially with us Christians.  He will try to warp our religion and get us to “good enough”, which of course is not good enough.  I call this the gradual death.  The soul is not doing anything very bad, in fact its not doing anything really.  Its just stagnant, decaying while Satan waits.

“Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,…Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape.”

Our greatest danger seems to be falling into lukewarmness.  Its hard to detect, and addictive.  As the character Ahem said in the Veggie Tales show The Lord of the Beans, “Once you taste the life of ease, my friend, there is no going back”.  And yes, I just quoted Veggie Tales.  I’m just that awesome.

So, how did this young man ever escape the trap Screwtape set for him?  He didn’t.  Or at least, not by himself.  It was a special grace that saved him in the end.  A natural grace, nothing to out of the ordinary.  He fell in love with a girl, who happened to be a devout Christian.  And little by little, he was fished out of Screwtape’s hands until he was beyond their reach.  It is indeed as Screwtape said, small things, little things such as the song of a bird or the face of a girl is enough to topple the devil’s plans.

So, my suggestion for a New Year’s resolution.

  1. Read the Screwtape Letters.  But not like any other book, think about what you read, and pray over the topics that it brings up.  It really is a  profound book.  Readers are advised to remember, the devil is a liar.  Not all Screwtape writes is to be trusted (obviously).
  2. Be Legendary.  Be the opposite of lukewarm.  If you don’t feel like praying, get off your butt and say a decade.  If you’re to lazy to go to daily mass, but have the opportunity, you better take advantage of that and go.  Be on fire with the faith.
  3. Go to confession once a week, or if your schedule doesn’t allow, at least twice a month.  Don’t worry about what the priest will think.  You won’t say anything he hasn’t heard before.  Trust me, you’re not that creative.
  4. See Star Wars VII.  I thought it was amazing.

God Bless and have a great 2016!

In Christ, Catholic2theMax

 

Every Moment Counts

To start thing off, I would like to apologize to each and every one of you for my failure to post in over two months.  I’ve just been so busy.  But never fear, I will have much more time when Band season ends (nigh three weeks now).  This may not be my best piece to come back in style with, but at least its something to let you guys now that I’m still here so to speak.  Anyway, here we go.

We live in a world that is full of selfishness.  I’m sure all of you are aware of this already.  Especially in my age group, there is such a prevalent force of narcissism in each and every bit of culture.  All people care about is there social media, the only person they want to take a picture with is their own face, and the sole thing that matters to them is being accepted.  Okay, maybe I shouldn’t say they, we would be more appropriate.  Because I struggle with selfishness too. I care way too much about how I look to others and spend far too much time with people who aren’t getting me any closer to heaven just because I feel cool doing it.  This is all a waste of time.  And we don’t have enough of it to throw around.

Every single moment you spend think of yourself, committing sin, or failing to do something good is a moment you will never get back.  Worse than that, it could have been that moment where God selected you to be his messenger to a person who has perhaps fallen away from the faith.  It could have been one of those times where you act as an instrument of God’s grace to someone else.  And instead of bringing another into Christ’s loving arms, you spent it telling inappropriate jokes with kids you barely know, or not paying attention during a boring business meeting.

We do not have any time to waste in our lives.  That doesn’t mean you can relax.  Sweet Moses no.  You definitely should spend some time doing useless things, like reading a novel, playing in the park, watching a movie, or simply taking a well deserved nap.  These are some of the most important things you do.  That’s why God set aside an entire day for you just to take it easy.

thu

On a more serious note, taking a well deserved nap here and there does not entitle you to laziness.  Just yesterday I was going to confession.  I’m proud to say that I didn’t have anything serious to confess, so I picked apart every single little venial sin that I had done throughout my week.  Father first congratulated me on making such a good confession.  Then he said, “Son, I think you’re starting to struggle with sloth”.
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Yes, Sloth.  One of the seven deadly sins.  Most people wouldn’t think it would rank as bad as lust or wrath, but it is in some ways even worse.
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Sloth is very hard for the victim to detect.  If they do, they don’t think much about it.  Because, like most sin, it starts out small, and gradually builds into mortal sin.  The thing about sloth is that usually you don’t even categorize it as a sin, just a small mess-up.  It could start with not doing your homework for one night for whatever perfectly reasonable excuse.  But the net day, you’re like, “You know, I didn’t do it yesterday…and nothing bad happened then.  I guess its okay if I just don’t do this one worksheet.”  Then you gradually never do your homework, your grades go down, and before you know it, you failed your high school and end up working at a McDonald’s in the rough parts of town, if you’re lucky.  Okay, that may be a little extreme, but not by much.

The Devil knows the truth about what I was telling you: we really do not have any time to waste.  So, guess what he’s gonna try to get you to do, or should I say not to do?

You’re gonna try to convince yourself that not giving your all on this seemingly insignificant business project is fine, or not paying attention in class is okay.  You have to be extremely ware of the enemy’s movements.  As soon as a lazy thought enters your head, go out and start dong something productive.  If you do let Satan sow a seed of sloth in you soul, it will grow, ever so slowly, until you have no control over it.  It is like those weeds you have to root out in a garden.  You don’t really notice them until they have grown large and have become very difficult to take out.  You have to go looking for them in order to prevent them from ever gaining a significant hold on your will.

Is anyone here a Latin mass fan?  If you are, you probably know about those cool red mini-missals they usually have.  There is a prayer towards the beginning that struck me.  It was called A Christian Reflection or something like that.  Anyway, i don’t have it, but I have made my own (slightly different version).  I think it’s an important thing to think about when you rise in the morning. I call it “Today”.

Today, Christian soldier, is a fight.  Today, you have souls to save.  Today, you have sin to destroy.  Today, you have others to love, and God to serve.  You have friends to aid, and enemies to reconcile.  You have demons to defeat, angels to help, and a battle to win.  Today, Christian soul, You have work to do.

Wow, that was deep.  I’m actually kinda proud of that.  Getting back on track.  I know that as far as kids are concerned, we think we have all the time in the world.  We don’t think that exams are really that close, or that college applications were due tat early.  Youth don’t really think they’re ever gonna grow up.  We have this sense of immortality about us.  We seem to think that we’ll never run out of time.  But, the sad truth is, no, we don’t have all the time in the world, yes the exam is really tomorrow, and sorry, you missed the college application deadline.  You only have one life, and its pretty short (which is why its so precious and worth protecting).  Or as my contemporaries say: YOLO.  Don’t waste it playing video games or flirting.  Make use of your time.  Get out there and kick some evil butt!  Whatever you do, just don’t be a sloth.

sloth-at-speed-o

You’re gonna get yourself run over by the Devil on a motorcycle.  I don’t think you’ll be as lucky as Sid and have a big mammoth and a saber tooth tiger to watch out for you.

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Vh-Slow_Some_of_the_most_powerful_Inspirational_Quotes_and_pictures-s408x384-359214-580

Well guys, It’s great to be back.  Go out there and kick some butt!  God Bless!

In Christ, Catholic2theMax

As for Me and My House

As for Me and My House

So, in my English class, I have two very good friends, and we were just talking about games, Madden Mobile to be precise.  One of them asked me if I got the new update.  I said no, I don’t have the game.  He freaked out and told me to take out my phone and download it.  I said, “I don’t have a phone”.  The entire class collectively gasped.  Okay, that stretching it.  It just got really quiet and everyone looked at me.  Long story short, they both thought my parents were communists for not allowing me to buy my own smart phone.  I told them calmly that is just the way we roll in my family.

Last week, on Thursday if I’m correct, I had probably the most stressful day I can recall.  I won’t go into details, because then this post would have about one hundred lines of negative thoughts, and that’s not what this blog is about.  Anyway, I was at school calling my mom on my dad’s extra phone that he (thankfully) left in my band bag.  i was so stressed that I completely forgot my mom was even on the phone.  Someone asked me a dumb question and I started swearing.  Pretty loudly too.  Anyway, afterwards I kinda beat myself up about letting it loose (I am just one of those weird people who doesn’t swear every other word).  My friend asked me why Catholics had to be so different from the rest of the school.  Why can’t we just be like everyone else?

That seems to be the question everyone is asking nowadays.  We seem to be the only ones standing up for traditional marriage.  One in a small group who stand for the Right to Life.  We are a lot like the apostles in today’s readings.  Jesus tells his disciples that to enter Heaven, they must eat His flesh and drink His blood.  “This is a hard saying” they murmur, “who can follow it?”.  With that, many turn and leave Him.  Jesus turns to His disciples and asks, “Do you also wish to go away?”.  And Peter, the first Pope replies, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”.

Have you ever noticed that, out of the thousand Christian denominations, Catholics are the only ones who believed Jesus when He said “This is My Body”?  That alone is enough to make us different.  But why do we act different?  Maybe it is because we are not ordered to this world.  Death is not the end for us.  We live for Christ.  That is why we are different.

Take a Catholic, a good, faithful, devout Catholic, and order his life to the world.  What do you get?  A normal person at best.  Probably a bad person.  All he would want to do is to be happy, nothing else.  He looks for fleeting pleasure in everything and cares about himself.  Whatever is good about Catholicism is ordered to God and Heaven (A.K.A. ALL OF IT).  And whatever is good about you is what is ordered to God.

I found this poem on Star of the Sea blog in a post about wealth.  It’s very powerful.

Wealth can be an idol, built of gleaming gold,
bringing dreams of paradise, futures bought and sold.
Some will choose to gather it, all that they can hoard,
but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!

Don’t fall into peer pressure.  Don’t let others influence you to do wrong.  Others are willing to let their technology govern their lives.  Many push for evil in our government.  Almost all are ordered towards this world, and what little it offers.  Tell them boldly that they can do as they wish, but as for me and my house, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD!

News

  • I was notified recently of what is essentially, a Catholic Facebook.  Its called Awestruck, and its awesome.  You can join groups that have similar interests as you.  For example, I’m in the Tolkien group, as well as the Latin Mass group.  You can pray for each other and post prayer requests.  You can Pray a virtual Rosary complete with Scriptural Reflections, as well as the Liturgy of the Hours.  I highly recommend it, and you can follow me at http://awestruck.tv/members/catholicteen/
  • There have been a ton of new readers recently, so I just wanted to point them to the Follow button on the sidebar.  If you click that and type in your email address, you’ll get an update overtime I write a new post.  It is a must for any reader of this blog.
  • Fo those of you who missed the memo, there will only be posts on Sundays for a while.  I am extremely busy and do not have time during the week.  I may be able to drop in a quote like I did last Monday, but the chances are slim.
  • NEW FEATURE!!! – Just a few inches below this, is Tolkien Tavern.  It’s a little thing I’ll do every Sunday writing about Tolkien and his works.  I might have a language corner, or a reflection about his life, and definitely a quote.  Remember, this is a new feature, so I need reader advice on how to improve it, and what you want to be in it.  I don’t write a blog just to read it myself, I have a journal for that.  I think eventually it will morph into a post by itself, maybe even a newsletter.  But again, I’ll only do it if people will read it.  I you want that to happen, MAKE SURE TO TELL ME!  I’m not God, I don’t read minds.
  • Guess what, GOD LOVES YOU!  Don’t forget it!

~ TOLKIEN TAVERN ~

Quote
Sam Today’s world is very dark.  And getting darker.  But remember, even darkness must pass.  “A new day will come.  And when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer” – JRR Tolkien.

Quick Quenya

For this of you who do not know, Quenya is one of the two main Elvish languages spoken in Middle Earth.  It was brought into Middle Earth by the Noldor when they came to fight Morgoth.  For the most part they adopted the other language, Sindarin, but Quenya was still used as the High Tongue of the Elves.  Quenya is a lot like Latin, whereas Sindarin is a lot like Celtic.

I prefer Quenya for two reasons.  One is that it is a lot like Latin, and therefore, easier for a latin student (such as me) to understand.  The other is that it sounds better in my opinion.  Another great thing about Quenya is the resources Tolkien left for us, compared to the little we know of Sindarin.

I have worked with a couple like-minded friends to produce the first translation of the Rosary in Quenya.  Feel free to use and share it as you will.

Sign of the Cross:
Essenen Atarwa, ar Yondova, ar Ainasúleva. Násie.

Creed:
Istanyë Eru, Illúvatar Antaura, I ontaro menelo ar cemeno. Istanyë Yésus
Hristo, Sonya eressë Yondo, Herúlva. Tullë túrenen Airefeo
ar etnoná Marí Vénëa. Nés nwalyaina nu Pontius Pilátus,
Tarwestaina, firnë, panyaina noirissë. Lelyanes nún I vanwanna.
I nelya auressë enortanes. Rostanes mir menel, ar
ná hamna sé forma Illuvataro. Entuluvas namien I cuina ar I
firin. Istanyë I Airefëa, I aire Palurin corda, I yomenië nerion airi, I
avatyaralë lucassion, I ortalë I hroan, ar cuile oia. Násië.

Our Father: 
Átaremma i ëa han ëa,
na aire esselya.
aranielya na tuluva,
na care indómelya cemende tambe Erumande.
ámen anta síra ilaurëa massamma,
ar ámen apsene úcaremmar sív’ emme apsenet tien i úcarer emmen,
Álame tulya úsahtienna mal áme etelehta ulcullo. Násie.

Hail Mary: 
Aia María quanta Eruanno, i Héru as elye. Aistana elye imíca nísi, ar aistana i yáve mónalyo Yésus. Aire María Eruo ontaril, á hyame rámen úcarindor, sí ar lúmesse ya firuvamme. Násie.

Glory Be: 
A laita Atar, ar Yondo, ar Ainasúle. Ve nés i yessesse ná sin, ar yéva tennoio. Násie.

Salve Regina: 
Aiya Tári, Amillë oraviéno,
cuilelma, lisselma ar estelma, aiya.
Lyenna yélalmë, etya-híni Évo,
lyenna síqualmë, nainala ar nyérala
sina nandossë nieníva.

Ai! etta, a sámelma, á querë
menna oravála hendulyat;
ar ámen tana Yésus, i aistana
yávë mónalyo, apa etyalë sina.
A raina, a méla, a lissë Wendë María. Násie.

God Bless (nai Eru lye mánata)!

In Christ, Catholic2theMax

The Universal Call to AWESOMENESS

“Awesome”.  Try to picture that word in your head.  Visualize the most awesome thing you can think of.  The coolest, most amazing, and most astounding thing you have ever seen.  I would’ve told you to close your eyes, but then you couldn’t really read the post.  Ah well.  Anyway, think of what you just visualized.  If you though of JPII holding a Koala, you’d be like me.
682343cd15468f7eba7f4751b9525618You may be cool, but, you’ll never be St. JPII-is-holding-a-koala-cool.  Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, pure and total awesomeness.  As, you can tell, I like that word.  And not without reason.  The word mean “to inspire awe”.  And to me, the most awe-inspiring thing is God.  Well, He’s not a thing, but you get the idea.  So, anything “awesome” in it’s purest form is anything like God.

You may have heard of the Universal Call to Holiness (I certainly hope so).  The idea is that no matter who you are, where you’re from, or what you’ve done, you are called to be a Saint.  When I was confirmed, I chose St. Josemaria Escriva as my patron.  At the time he lived, there was a lot going on.  Well, duh, it was the Spanish Civil War.  But it was also a time of struggle in the Church.  Priesthood was seen widely as just another job you could choose from.  But one of the biggest wrong ideas of the time was that only religious (priests, nuns, monks, etc.) could be a saint.  Josemaria started Opus Dei, or the Work of God, dedicated to making saints out of ordinary people.  Not only that, but to do every single thing for the Glory of God.

St. Josemaria liked to get up early in the morning, and say the Morning Offering the moment he woke up.  He asked people how could they expect to win the day’s war if they lost the first battle to laziness?  He would get up and squash temptation before it even had the chance to yawn.  Pretty awesome.  Whatever he did, it was for God.  Now, I don’t expect any of you to be praying a rosary while you take a final exam.  We’re not that good, well, I’m not at least.  You guys might be.  Giving everything to God is amazing, but it is really hard to achieve if you’re not used to it.  So, I propose something simpler to get you on your way.

Here it is.  Whatever you do, be awesome at it.  Do it well.  If you’re a baseball player, swing like Jesus was your coach.  If you’re taking a test, study like Jesus was your teacher, or maybe your mom, that might inspire you not to fail more.  If you are a doctor, operate like Jesus was your patient.  If you’re a babysitter (or just an older sibling, like me), care for the kids like you were holding the infant Jesus in your arms.  If you blog, write like Jesus is going to read it (because He is!).  You get the idea.  If you’ll do that, you can’t go wrong.

Just because that was kind of vague, here are some easy to do and simple ideas for being Awesome, each and every day of the week.  The way this works is that you try to accomplish all of the goals everyday, but focus the most on the one for the prescribed day.  Here we go:

  • Monday: Smile more often.  Frowns take more muscle anyway.
  • Tuesday: Talk to God.  No need for a set prayer.  Have a conversation with Him like you’re sitting at the coffee shop with your best friend about whatever you want.  Tell Him about your day, or about how fun that new video game is, or about how amazing this “Catholic Teen” blog is.
  • Wednesday: Laugh.  Not only does it relieve stress, but it gives you an excuse for looking up memes during study hall.
  • Thursday: Listen to good music.  I mean good music.  I want none of this Taylor Swift nonsense.
  • Friday: Read a good book.  If you can’t think of one, read the Lord of the Rings.
  • Saturday: Try your hardest at everything.  You have no good reason not too.
  • Sunday: Relax.  If you care enough to have read this far, you are probably a hard-working and devout Catholic who is in no desperate need of my advice, except maybe this one.  Humans are designed to need rest, so we Catholics vote an entire day to it (how typically awesome of us).

This isn’t all you can do.  This is more like The Beginner’s Guide to Being Awesome.  It is more concerned about how you are at work or school than how you are at church.  Confession should definitely be somewhere in there, along with Mass and stuff.

You might think that you’re just an average citizen, an ordinary person.  But there is no such thing as ordinary.  You are a child of God!  That is pretty extraordinary!  The saddest thing I see everyday is someone who has forgotten who they really are.  You’re AWESOME!  Start acting like it!

In Christ, Catholic2theMax

PS, I secretly was scanning you while you read this article with a state-of-the-art Awesome meter.  Here is what you scored: awesome-meter

When You’re Done with Everything

Today, I’ll be honest, was horrible.  It started out good enough.  I slept in until about 8:00, and went to the 9 am Mass.  After that, I went to the library to get some movies.  My mom told me that I might not be allowed to watch some of them.  I was pretty tired, and that kind of got me annoyed.  Then we had to go to a couple more stops, which further irritated me.  When I finally got home, i locked myself up in my room and started to read a book.  That’s when my mom told me I had to go to the pool (which I really didn’t want to do).  After that she said, “you also have a dentist appointment Thursday, and you have to get a haircut this weekend (Gretclips always messes it up).  Oh, and you have band rehearsal tonight”.  It was like the 4 worst things in a row.  I was very angry.  Then my brother came into the room and said, “Why are you angry.  Huh?  Just tell me why you’re annoyed.”  It lasted for like ten minutes.  I finally escaped and ate lunch.  When I came back upstairs, I was checking what time band was tonight, when I got a notification from wordpress.  It was a post from The Honan Chapel Newsletter.  It was a video from a father whose 5-year old daughter is battling cancer.   

I realized that my life is pretty awesome.  I have to go to the dentist and that means I have teeth to get checked out.  I have to get a haircut and that means I’m not bald.  I have to go to the pool which means I have a pool to go to.  I have to go to marching band which means I’m healthy enough to do it (that’s saying a lot).

My life is great, just like most people’s.  But sadly, most people don’t realize it because their heads are always down to their phones.  Enjoy your life that God gave you, you only have one.

In Christ, Catholic2theMax

PS.  If you’re having a bad day, imagine a t-rex trying to make a bed.  If that doesn’t work, go to catholicmemes.com, that should do the trick.

Turn the Other Cheek

Today is the Feast day of the First Holy Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church.  Today we honor the brave men and women who gave their lives to spread the gospel to the world.  Without them, we would never had heard the good news of Christ.  Some of them we know, such as St. Peter and Paul who we celebrated yesterday.  Today is for the unsung heroes who names are known to God alone.

They say history repeats itself, that what happened will happen again.  The world is definitely heading in that direction.  Doubtless you have heard of the Supreme Court’s disappointing decision regarding so called “gay marriage”.  What disappoints me even more is the reaction of the people.  Wordpress had a gigantic rainbow banner at the top of my screen for a couple days, Google had a weird video of it on their homepage, and Target had like thirteen different variations of Gay Pride swim trunks.  And people get mad at me for wearing a scapular under my shirt because it’s “offensive”.

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 1.39.47 PMOut of curiosity, I did a little poll at my high school with my friends.  There were just a couple of questions.

1. Should abortion be legal in any circumstance?

2. Should gay marriage be allowed?

3.  What religion do you believe in?

20 people agreed to take part in it.  My friend and I tallied them up, and the results were…well, you’ll see.  As for religion, 50% were Protestant-Christian, 20% were Catholic, and 20% were Atheist, Agnostic, or other.  Here is the actual chart.  35% responded “Yes” to Question 1 regarding abortion, but a staggering 80% said “Yes” to the second.  If you just look at the Christians, two-thirds of them don’t see a problem with what the Supreme Court just decided.

1f8a89ff35a61631d4404c44cdbd22a884d302b10a410758a4ba2f984f3ca8a2Good question.  If we figure out how we got here, the easier it is to get out.  For that, I highly recommend the book Worshipping the State: How Liberalism Became Our State Religion.  It explains in perfect detail about what we face today in the secular world, how it came to be, why it came to be, and how we can face it.

So, what do do right now.  First, you need to fight off despair.  I know that’s really hard to do.  But if you give up hope, that’s like just letting your boat drift during a storm.  You need to anchor your ship in the Rock of Christ, His Church.  That’s why hope is usually symbolized as an anchor.

The second thing is to pray.

“Give me an army praying the Rosary and I will conquer the world”  – Blessed Pope Pius IX

Pray for strength for yourself, strength for your fellow Catholics, and by golly pray some common sense into everyone else!

The third thing is to respond with love.  LGTB advocates say they support ‘love’, but often argue or respond with hatred.  The founder of Mozilla was forced to resign because he made a small donation to a Pro-Traditional Marriage organization six years earlier.

The fourth thing is to teach others.  Based on the poll I mentioned earlier, you might think kids nowadays haven’t been taught well.  You may even think that the culture taught them instead.andyouareright

So, teach people the truth, the whole truth, and notin’ but the truth!

The final thing you have to do is to resist.  With the successful watering-down of most of Christianity, the secular culture expects us to just be the nice guys who aren’t mean to anybody.  To that I say no.  We need to be the totally awesome guys who go around teaching the faith and saving souls!  That sounds cooler to me.  They expect you to turn the other cheek and not do anything, because that is what they have led us to believe that it means.

Back in Jesus’ time someone would backhand a slave with their right hand because using their left hand was seen as “unclean”.  Jesus says to turn the other cheek, making it impossible to backhand you with their right hand.  You’re telling the person that you won’t fight back, you won’t run away, but you won’t just submit to his hatred either.

The story that probably explains it the best is a tale of Mother Theresa.  She had a starving child with her, and stood at the doorstep of a bakery, begging for bread.  The baker spat on her instead.  She replied.  “Thank you for your gift to me, now how about something for the child”.

That being said, my favorite example is that of an African Bishop who was making his way along a low bridge over a large pool of mud.  He encountered a racist white man who was going in the opposite direction.  The man said, “Get off.  I don’t make way for gorillas.”  The bishop got off the bridge and gestured for the man to move on.  He said, “I do”.

Step One

tumblr_inline_nmomtoK4il1s9mb2r_250                                           

   Step Two
 awesome

Jesus isn’t telling us to just leave them alone or not doing anything.  He’s calling us to resist!  Turning the other cheek attracts the person to be sorry, to realize what he is doing, and to repent.  It reflects his hatred back at him so he can see what he has just done.  Fighting back just fuels the fire (One of my brothers is like 16 months younger than me and we fight all the time.  Trust me, I’ve tried that.  It does not work.).  Running away just confirms that what he is doing is working.

Sometimes all we can do is fight.  I mean, it would not end well for Batman if all he did was send the Joker text messages with burn jokes.  Again, sometimes we have to flee.  But usually, go for turning the other cheek.  That goes for our situation in America today.

Remember what I said in The Way, when I said that it’s easier to get to your destination when you’re caravanning?  That certainly applies right now.  Not only do you need trustworthy friends to keep you on the straight and narrow, but also to give you advice about how to answer people’s questions and arguments, to give you encouragement, make sure you understand what is actually the truth, and to most importantly, pray for you.  Always be on the look out for potential caravan members, or a caravan to join.  You can find one here by the way.  You can send me an email or comment about whatever you want.

Well, that is it for today.  Tomorrow I’ll be posting a month-in-review post, so get ready for that.  Think about that follow button by the way.  My caravan is always open to new members.  I’ll pray for you guys, and for America, please pray for me too.  God knows I need it as well.  Thanks!

In Christ, Catholic2theMax

Elusive Peace

I apologize for not having written in a while.  I’ve just been so busy, and as the title implies, have had only fleeting experiences of peace.  My little brother was born on the 2nd, the 8th child in my family.  As you can imagine, trying to maintain a calm household with my parents gone can be a very challenging task.  Anyway, since peace is extremely valuable and precious, I believe it would be good to learn more about it.

The Catholic Bible Dictionary defines peace as ” The harmony between persons and especially between God and man.”  Not to be confused with concordance (agreement).  Two evil men can be in agreement about the murder plot, but it is anything but peaceful.  As already stated, peace is especially harmony with God and man.  This generally means that your will lines up with that of God’s will.  So, unity brings about peace, which makes a lot of sense.  As Ol’ Abe said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand”.  It seems that it can’t be very peaceful in its not-standingness either.  It seems to me that concordance is not peace, but the beginning of peace.  Since peace is a Fruit of the Holy Spirit, it can only really be achieved as an effect of the Holy Spirit’s presence in your life.  That’s most likely why retreats are so peaceful, they’re quiet and you’re surrounded by the Holy Spirit.

So, we have begun to establish the meaning of peace.  Now, how to come about it.  After all, “elusive peace” is extremely sought after in society, and rightly so.  In modern times, all of us are constantly busy.  We have to get here by x time, and then from there have to meet up with so and so and this place.  Even when we have time to ourselves it seems that something has to be going on.  So, if you’re going to build something, you have to lay down the foundation first.  In life, your foundation is much like trust.  It keeps you rooted in reality.  Imagine a life where you couldn’t trust anything, not even this blog.  You would always be afraid of everything, and would never let yourself be around others.  The exact opposite of peace.  Since the majority of us don’t live like that, we all trust something.  If you’re around someone you don’t trust, you at least trust the probability of that person not killing you.   If you’re smart, you’ll place your trust somewhere that you can rely on, no matter what, like a family member or a close friend.  If you’re even smarter, you’ll put your trust in God.

I heard a really good story when I was on an Opus Dei retreat.  There was a passenger plane that was going through a storm.  At one point they hit extremely rough turbulence.  Every passenger on the plane was petrified.  They were silent and barely dared to breathe.  Well, almost everyone.  There was a little boy, around 6-ish years old, who continued playing with his action figures.  Still making those cute little noises of battle while his two toys fought each other.  A woman sitting across from him was astonished, not to mentioned annoyed.  She said to him, “Kid, why are you still playing?  Don’t you know the plane could go down?  Aren’t you scared?”.  The boy continued playing and replied, “Nope”.  The woman was even more annoyed and asked him why.  The boy replied, “The pilot is my dad.”

I think we could all use some of that boy’s trust.  Remember how Jesus said that we must become like little children?  I would be willing to bet that includes child-like trust.  If my dad told my 3-year-old brother that we were having pizza for dinner, it would never cross his little toddler mind that my dad was lying.  I’m not saying you need to be naïve, but have a rational trust in a reliable source.  The most reliable of which is of course God.  Did you notice how scared and agitated the people on the plane were compared to the serenity of the boy?  They didn’t trust the plane or the pilot, but guess who did?  That’s right, the little kid.  “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

We can’t put some of our trust in God, and some of it in the world, because you won’t end up with God, but the world.  Remember when Abraham was told to leave his homeland and go somewhere else, leaving everything behind?  But Abe didn’t fully trust God yet, so he brought some insurance, his nephew Lot.  Eventually Lot ended up in a very bad place, and so did Abraham.  It doesn’t make sense.  Here you have a all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good God, Lord and Creator of the Universe, and He wants to protect and guide you, and you only give him  part of your trust.  You definitely should still trust people, but rely solely upon the Lord.  As humans, we will always get messed up, especially when it comes to trust.  But try to do your best, and God will reward you for it.  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).

We have covered peace with God (which will usually get you that good feeling of peacefulness), but peace with man (along the lines of world peace) is a little different.  It still begins with putting your trust in God, but it requires a little more to achieve, since one party isn’t God.  I think the easiest way to explain it is Pope Paul IV’s famous dictum, “If you want peace, work for justice”.

Now, with both kinds of peace, you have enemies that try to stop the process.  Peace with God will be opposed by the devil, who wants you as far away from God as possible.  Don’t be afraid, God only allows temptations into your life that you can overcome.  If you trust God, this shouldn’t be a problem.  Now, peace with man will also be opposed by the devil, but it is more common for your enemy to be other men.  You can’t necessarily make the sign of the cross  with holy water to make them go away usually unlike the devil, but they can be beaten.  First Step, defend the weak and innocent.  To defeat something, you first must protect what they try to destroy.  In The Dark Knight, Batman didn’t relentlessly go after the Joker, his first priority was the safety of the Joker’s hostages and targets.  And eventually, in doing so, he captured the Joker.  He did kind of change his tactics in the next movie, but that doesn’t matter.

The military can have a great impact on peace, for good or bad.  In the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, it says this:

The requirements of legitimate defense justify the existence in States of armed forces, the activity of which should be at the service of peace. Those who defend the security and freedom of a country, in such a spirit, make an authentic contribution to peace . . . The right to use force for purposes of legitimate defense is associated with the duty to protect and help innocent victims who are not able to defend themselves from acts of aggression. (502ff.)

One of the things I love about Captain America is his shield.  For starters, it’s indestructible and is red, white, and blue.  But my favorite is the fact that it is a shield.  A shield is used in defense, which is what the military should be used for.

So, “elusive peace” isn’t so untouchable as we think it is.  It’s hard yes, but with God, all things are possible.  Stay peaceful my friends, just like this chicken:

306028_182982071851543_1452168858_n

The Way

One of the most commonly used analogies for life is a journey.  It makes a lot of sense, really.  We’re traveling from this life to the next, with a bunch of pit stops and flat tires along the way.  Anyone who takes road trips at all knows that there are a few extremely important things you need to bring for the long ride ahead.  Among these items are food, caffeine, entertainment for young passengers, and most importantly, a map.  Without food everyone is going to starve sooner or later.  caffeine will keep you awake, entertainment will keep the kids from screaming, and a map will keep you on the right path.  On the spiritual journey, I like to think of food as prayer.  Without prayer, sooner or later you’re gonna drift away into lukewarmness or even disbelief.  Caffeine is like the Holy Eucharist.  It charges you up for those long days when you feel like you got run over by a truck.

I know personally, books are among my favorite types of entertainment.  I think on the spiritual road trip, it’s the same thing.  Books about spirituality or apologetics will teach you not how to be entertained, but how to be engaged with the faith.  And lastly, a map.  Don’t you hate it when you tell Siri you want to go somewhere, and by the time she says “you have arrived”, you’re like ten miles away from the place you wanted to be?  It’s because she didn’t know the way to get there and acted like she did.  I know I do that a lot.  During my Freshman year I was in Marching Band.  I barely knew how to play my instrument, so sometimes I would move my hands randomly to make it look like I was actually playing the music.  Since no one knew I had a problem, no one helped me fix it, so I needed up as an alternate pushing stuff around instead of actually marching with my saxophone.  The same thing can happen in any other circumstance.  Anyway, you have to know the way to get where you’re going if you ever want to get there.  And if you ever want to get there, you’re gonna have to leave where you’re at.

So, we need to find a way to get there, but here’s the catch.  Our goal is to get to Heaven, right?  To be with God in eternal joy.  Here’s what Jesus said about that.

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

It seems pretty clear to me that all the other roads that have the green signs saying “Heaven, 10 miles” are fake.  So, we know what to bring, we know where we’re going, and we know the way to get there, what else?  Getting on the way and saying on it. If Heaven is a castle, Jesus is the drawbridge, and we need to figure out how to get to Him.  Remember what I said earlier about a map?  I never really explained what that was, did I?  Well, the map is the Church.  Not the Siri map that always messes up, or a conventional map.  It’s like Google Maps, (For me at least) it’s always spot on.  It tells me where the way is and how to get there, and where all the Sonic Drive-Ins are along the way.  It also tells you what exit to take, when not to take one.  You also need to make sure you have the right “Maps” app.  The world will try to give you false maps and fake paths, like Siri.  You need to find the real one.  How do you do that?  Well, in the description of the real map, it has four marks, kind of like a tag on WordPress.  The marks on the actual map are One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.  Sound familiar?

Does anyone own an absolutely perfect car?  Does it have the top speed of a Bugatti, the efficiency of a Mazda and the looks of a Lamborghini?  No?  Okay, so none of our cars are perfect.  Eventually they’re going to run out of gas or get a flat tire.  That’s when we make a pit stop at the gas station.  Same thing with us humans.  Since we’re not perfect, eventually we’re going to sin and we need to go to Confession to fix ourselves up.  God doesn’t care about how many times you run out of gas or even get in a wreck.  He cares about how many times you go to fix it and keep on driving,  Since none of us are perfect, Confession is a must on the road trip to Heaven.

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There is one last thing I haven’t told you yet about they way.  The more people you caravan with along the way, the harder it is to get lost.  Of course they can’t be drunks or kids without a license, they have to want to get to your destination.  If you caravan with someone else who doesn’t want to get to Heaven, it’s going to be much harder for you to arrive at the correct destination.  But, like I already said, the more people you caravan with that have the same goal, the likes are the trip will be much easier.

Now that you know the way, it’s time to get going.  Like J.R.R. Tolkien once said,

“It’s the job that’s never started that takes the longest to finish.”

And here is one last bit of advice:

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That’s it for today.  God Bless!