Mercy Quote

Get ready guys, because this is quite possibly my favorite quote of all time.

“I glorify You in making known how good you are towards sinners, and that your mercy prevails over all malice, that nothing can destroy it, that no matter how many times or how shamefully we fall, or how criminally, a sinner need not be driven to despair of Your pardon…It is in vain that your enemy and mine sets new traps for me every day. He will make me lose everything else before the hope that I have in your mercy.”  – St. Claude de la Colombiere

Special thanks to SR for helping me find out the author.

Come to Me

Last night I went to Totus Tuus at my parish.  They have one in the day for the younger kids, but they also have one for the high schoolers at night.  It started out normally enough, but one of the missionaries made the announcement that we would be having a holy hour with the blessed sacrament followed by benediction.  Me and one of my friends got to serve adoration and benediction, so we had to leave the talk a couple minutes early.

I remember when I made my first holy hour a couple years ago.  When my Fraternus group said we would be doing one, there was really only one thought running through my mind: “Is it really a whole hour?  Why not just fifteen minutes?”.  Yes, it is a whole hour.  And the reason why it is an hour, is because of a question Jesus asked in the garden of Gethsemane: Could you not watch with me one hour?  Over the years I’ve learned how to do them.  Like ACTS: Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.

Anyway, last night I made a holy hour after going to confession.  I went through ACTS, which took me about 20 minutes or so.  then I read Mother Teresa’s I Thirst For You, and finished off with some Mental Prayer.  It was so amazing I can’t put it into words.  The grace was overwhelming.  I told Jesus that I wish I could do this forever.  You CAN!  I didn’t have to look around to see who said those words.  He was right in front of me.  In the monstrance.  You CAN do this forever.  Come to me!  Now, I bet most people probably would not believe that I heard God last night.  The reason why they can’t hear them, is that they won’t stop talking.  Have you ever met someone who asks you a question, but then won’t give you a chance to answer.  That is what we’re like most of the time.  Most of the time last night, I couldn’t get a song out of my head.  But I did eventually, and I gave Jesus a chance to answer.

I woke up this morning, and after some breakfast, I read the readings for today.  The Gospel shocked me.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

It’s what God spoke in my heart last night.  All of us are laden with burdens of many different kinds: worries at school, troubles with work, not to mention sins and imperfections.  Jesus wants to take them from you.  Give them to Him, and He will give you rest.  Now, its not some long journey you have to make to get to Him.  You don’t have to climb Mt. Everest to reach God.  All you need to do to find Jesus is to open your door.  He stands at the door and knocks.  Even when you don’t see Him, even when you don’t hear Him, He is there.

“Come to Me with your misery and your sins, with your troubles and needs, and with all your longing to be loved. I stand at the door of your heart and knock. Open to Me, for I THIRST FOR YOU…”  – Mother Teresa

In Christ, Catholic2theMax

The Lord of the Rings: The Ring of Liberalism and Sin

I’ve just gotten home from my long road trip to South Bend, Indiana for my youngest brother’s baptism.  My siblings and I have all been baptized at the same church, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame University, and by the same priest.  The road trip was about 8 hours, so I needed some serious entertainment.  I brought my laptop, but it died within 2 hours of Minecraft.  After about an hour or so of boredom, my dad put the Fellowship of the Rings audiobook on.  I’ve read the book many times, but my brother sadly had not, and I am always ready to read, or hear it again.

Like I’ve already said, I have read the Lord of the Rings trilogy at least 15 times, but I’ve never noticed something which caught my ear on Saturday.  Gandalf was talking to Bilbo before the hobbit left for the mountains right after the party.  Bilbo was getting angry, and he told Gandalf, “I’ll do as I choose and go as I please”.  Ever heard that before?  Probably not in those exact words, but perhaps something like “Don’t tell me what to do”.

Nowadays, that’s what most people define as liberalism.  But, with the secularized culture, our liberty has morphed into license (doing whatever the heck you want to do).  Now, that is pretty much what Bilbo in his anger just confessed.  He believes that he can do whatever he wants.  That what true.  With his Ring of Power, Bilbo can get away with whatever he wants because of the invisibility it bestows on its wearer.  He can do as he chooses and go as he pleases, and no one can stop him.  The ring symbolizes liberalism.

Many people want to live like that.  No rules, no bonds, nothing that could get in the way of you and your desires.  Look at America today, somehow the Supreme Court has decided that people have a right to do something just because they want to do it.  Look where that got Bilbo.  He lived an extremely long life, had a tremendous amount of wealth, and not to mention the power of invisibility.  But then we start to see the side affects.  He says that he felt like “butter, scraped across too much bread”.  He has begun the transformation into a terrible creature, a slave to sin.  He shows this in his flashes of anger in his conversation with the wizard.  The reader sees the similarities between him and the creature Gollum, as Gandalf outlines in great detail.   The biggest similarity that I see, is their obsession with their “right” to the ring.  Gollum claims that it was his birthday present, and Bilbo claims that he won it, both lies.

So many people today claim to have a “right” to have an abortion, or to marry someone of the same gender, or to get a divorce.  A right is given from authority.  A mayor has authority given to him from a higher authority, and eventually goes on up to the Federal Government.  And there the chain stops, or does it?  Jesus says that all authority comes from God, and that government has authority in things that only God gives authority.  The Supreme Court may profess to have the authority to redefine marriage, but no such authority lies in any human establishment.  That would be like a monkey trying to redefine the banana given to him by his master.  His master gave it to him out of love as a gift, and the monkey doesn’t want it to be a banana, he wants it to be a pistol.  Eventually, when that monkey tries to start a Rise of the Planet of the Apes, his so called gun will fail to function and he will be in a very bad spot.

I used to have a CD that I would listen to in the car by Joseph Pierce about the Catholicism that can be found in the Lord of the Rings.  He mentioned how the Ring is sin.  It seems appealing and harmless, altogether precious as Tolkien put it.  It seems to exist only for your happiness.  But it will trap you and change you.  Look what it did to the Nine human kings.  They were probably okay guys to start off with.  Some were probably tyrants, but nothing compared to what sin turns them into.

At the beginning of the Return of the King movie, it shows Smeagol fishing with his friend Deagol.  They are very happy, just hanging out enjoying the good weather.  Then they spot the ring, and a peaceful day turn into a murder scene.  A perfectly happy hobbit-like thing was changed into the monstrosity of Gollum.  He both hates and loves the ring, as he hates and loves himself.  He is a hideous animal, a monster from nightmares.  Sin has the capacity to do that, no matter how alluring or harmless it may seem.

This is what will happen if we do not drop sin as Bilbo did.  Leave it and never even look at it again.  The same thing with liberalism, or should I say, license.  License puts you in the place of God as judge of all.  Something is right if you say it is.  That would be living on a lie, like the lie of Gollum.

Frodo just wore it around his neck and he almost turned evil.  But he had a friend, Sam (my favorite character by the way) who helped him on his journey.  Like I’ve said like 10 times already.  A journey is a lot easier if you have good friends to keep you going.

In Christ, Catholic2theMax