Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fait Accomplit or Just the Beginning! :)

So today is Wednesday, October 18th, 2017.  I am stuck at home, sick with a cold, haven’t trained in four days, frustrated, trying to pull myself together to teach Jiu Jitsu tonight,.. and oh yeah I am officially a ‘Theologian.’  That sounds kinda nice,.. I think…

In 2011, beginning the process of discernement, I couldn’t have imagined myself struck with a nervous breakdown, and instead was intent to continue along.  Perhaps God has other plans?  Nonetheless,. I stuck and completed the academic formation and thus last night was rewarded.  So now with a little academic weight I can answer some ill founded rumours!

Alpha:  I am not for or against ‘Alpha.’  I participated once in an encounter from a protestant perspective and was told to just concentrate on basic ideas of Jesus we all share,.. This perplexed me, because well, ‘basic’ Christianity is the Catholic Church.  The root word in Protestantism, remains ‘protest,’ and what they protest, is the Church.  The issue that I bring up and am more convinced of more than ever is a crisis in thinking.  Proper philosophy has been removed from the schools, and in its place ‘modernism’ has become the norm.  Thus its red headed step child ‘relativism’ is given carte blanche in today’s secular world.  Thus the Catechetical component of Alpha,. (Is there one? ) is replaced with an emotional approach stressing ‘feelings’… I feel that for me, Jesus is a good man.  (Just as legitimate as saying ‘For me, its discriminatory that human beings can’t fly by natural means.’)  In the end, the new Evangelization, I believe must address a crisis in anthropology and until that gets resolved, we will attempt to ‘protestantize’ our language not taking into account that the terminology is different in Catholic circles.  Thus this can and has led to a ‘universalism’ of sorts.  (The belief that whatever denomination you are, just be a ‘good’ person and you’ll be okay, because everyone goes to Heaven.)

Traditionalist:  I will never identify myself as such.   I prefer Catholic.  To paraphrase a priest friend of mine, the ‘ist’ represents ideology, something that I firmly believe is poisoning many in our Church.  While I have my preferences, I will not take away the right to prayer for a community that prays as such.  I will however exercise common sense with regard to sensibilities.  An African choir helping an African community complete with their own rites and customs,.. Amen.  Liturgical Nazis imposing an African choir to a community of Native Americans because its entertaining, that is the problem.  Doctrinally speaking, the Church follows the Council of Trent for Her doctrines.  Vatican II is a pastoral council, not a doctrinal one, and while there is doctrine in Vatican II, it is simply a reiteration of a doctrine already established.  Issues such as Ecumenism, Interfaith dialogue and Religious freedom are not doctrines.  They are pastoral applications for today’s world.  (Religious Freedom was drafted during the Cuban missile crisis.)

Modernist:  To the ‘Traditionalist’ crowd, I get leveled ‘modernist.’  Well, I do enjoy speaking with people, I try to smile and enjoy ‘praise and worship’ (albeit outside of Mass) from time to time.  I take time to listen to the other side and will vigorously defend their right to free speech in order to foster authentic debate.  This is how we learn.  The Fr James Martin stuff?.. He has a right to his opinion, however when he functions as a priest, his opinions must surrender to the Church’s.  Too often the ‘Left’ throws around words such as ‘tolerant’ and ‘openness’ yet they are the first to squelch any debate defending the authentic teaching of the Magisterium.  Again, true Thomistic thought must be the standard for any Catholic education.  As far as the pastoral practise, that requires common sense. 

Pastoral ‘Theology:’  Ahhh yes, the ‘Megatron’ to my Optimus Prime!  Modernism, giving way to subjectivism and relativism brings with it an entire truck’s worth of new ‘subjects.’  While I am not against ‘pastoral’ theology, I’m against it being considered an academic endeavour worthy of 3 credits.  Pastoral means forming the heart,  and yes learning new techniques, but unlike something clear, like logic or math, the Quebecois pastoral ideal in my opinion means castrating oneself!  Speaking in soft feminine overtones, and fluttering about using child like Jesus is my buddy approach.  The Church’s idea of pastoral is different, forming the heart and accompanying like a Spiritual Father, not an androgynous creampuff.  Alas, sorry for the sarcasm, but as a child coming home with a report card, my dad checked out math, science and language.  Art, music and gym didn’t quite make the ‘cut.’ (Despite my fondness for gym class!)  The approach that I used in Parish was simple,. Prayer, followed by common sense (that term again).   A month before my nervous breakdown, I did the blasphemous,.. I questioned the ‘pastoral theology’ being shown, and by doing so questioned the Quebecois model thereby causing French canadiens nightmares and seizures! (Btw, as an aside, my tutor in the parish I was assigned was French Canadien and pretty much agreed with my assessment)   Oh well,.. Have I mentioned that I signed up for Sasquatology?  Just as legit as Quebecois pastoral theology, because well, neither of the two are quantifiable. What would I replace it with?  Anything with Don Bosco's name attached to it!  I would hold seminar style workshops, but never an academic class for the pastoral approach.  People and needs are different, and if you ask anyone who is being honest, they find it very demeaning and childlike.  As always I invite anyone to disagree with anything I say!  Together we may be able to agree on something! :)

To conclude, I enjoy debate and will continue to furnish posts that invite people the think.  Am I right, wrong or somewhere in the middle, a society is never more alive and healthy than when we can honestly debate and truly search for Truth.   I pray everyday for the grace of humility, as now more than ever, I’m gonna need it!  

St Ignatius of Antioch…………………………………………………… Ora pro nobis!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

To Progress, Sometimes we Need to Regress

There are times when you need to go to that place.  The place, where only God can judge you and you remain free,. Free to be who God created you to be,.. You, Yourself, The ‘I’ that God intended for your identity.  At death, it will be you before God in judgement, no one else and despite certain sinfulness, failings and perhaps unachieved goals, you will always remain,.. well,. YOU.

Clearly the ‘You’ I speak of is ‘Me.’  It is 2017, and I remain still on the ‘outside’ looking in with regards to a potential vocation.  As I have previously mentioned, God reminds me constantly, that I remain a ‘work in progress’ so to speak.  (I guess we are all a ‘work’ in progress?)  The cemetery, Notre Dame de la Rue, and Jiu Jitsu, all keeping me somewhat sane.  I do, however have some strengths, in that I believe it is easier for me to relate to regular folks in general.  These strengths can also become weaknesses, perhaps leading me to be too narcissistic, arrogant and ‘worldly,’ and not grafted unto Our Lord.   I’ve been told I come off as ‘paternal’ as to some that is a good thing, while for others, it can expose their own lack of discipline /drive.  I have said this before, I remain a heterosexual man battling temptation on a daily basis.  I tend to ‘think’ deductively, and am not known for my appreciation of museums or the theatre.  While I remain open to these cultural expressions, I must admit that I can feel loneliness as the ‘oddball’ among others.  The cure is to increase my dopamine levels through working out(physical training) which presents an excellent compliment to my prayer life.  I remain a man, and yes,.. an Alpha Male.  I was raised that way, I can’t change my personality, all I can do is continuously ask Our Lord to purify it instead.

What do I mean?  Well,.. Here goes.  Too often, the people of God notice that some of the clergy are a little effeminate.  To elaborate, that an unusually high number of priests seem to be ‘out there’ when it comes to decorating, flowers, and vestments.  The Pope alluded to it as well.  I not singling out men who celebrate the Extraordinary Form, (In fact I would argue that they come off as more masculine) but I am singling out priests who seem preoccupied by certain Liturgical ‘fashions’ while forgetting that this stuff is an extension of an interior Faith and must not be simply for show. 

Firstly, I do believe that a Roman collar or a soutane(cassock) should be worn by a priest when he is in public exercising a ministry.  Whether its on a hospital visit or teaching a class, depending the situation.  I don’t believe he needs the collar when at the gym weight lifting.  I do believe that it is a beautiful ‘visible’ sign.  Clothing and signs should not be used to acquire respect, and while yes, in Quebec, there was a time when the soutane elicited a negative reaction, there is now a certain courage for those priests who wear the collar or soutane in public.  Some are scorned, but most are respected.  As long as the outward sign reflects an interior reality, there is nothing wrong with it. 

Secondly,. (This one is a humdinger!) I will speak plainly and pastorally.  While yes, there are a disproportionate number of homosexual priests, we shouldn’t categorize all to be like that.  Myself, I grew up with a gay friend.  I have never persecuted gay people.  While I fully support the teachings of the Church, I have never once been a bully or mean to anyone different.  In fact those who know me, know this about me.  I have always been able to separate the person from whatever he or she is going through.  The Church’s teaching is clear along with it being anchored in Natural Law.  The worst kept secret, is that the priesthood in some circles became a ‘haven’ for gay men ashamed to come out to their families and friends.  Well, society has changed.  The clergy however should not persecute or isolate those men discerning priesthood who are ‘alpha’ males, especially if we are to be open to everybody! 

To conclude, I don’t pretend to know any answers to these issues,. However I will work with people authentically trying to search for some.  Life is complex,.. To further my point, the John Paul II video ‘Fishers of Men’ was what my idea of the priesthood was before going to seminary,.. Now that I’ve graduated, let’s just say that I understand why most men who practise ultimately end up with FSSP run parishes,.. It isn’t the lace, it’s the challenge and the attitude.  Until next time,.. I remain a sinner, a work in progress. 

Sacred Heart of Jesus,..  Have Mercy on us!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Not Optimusmastro, musings of Marco Ep5

A lenten pep talk,.. I'm preachin' to myself as well!  Too often all of us 'social media' Catholics forget that the essential remains Jesus!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

My Own Man.

Perhaps a controversial post regarding the last US election.  We have all and are all getting a little tired of it.  It seems that so many armchair political analysts are coming out of the woodwork to give an opinion.  To be clear, I am not a political ‘expert’ nor do I aspire to be one. 

Let’s be clear.  I don’t know Donald Trump.  I have never met him, I really don’t wish to meet him, nor do I wish to have a beer with him.  I don’t nor do I enjoy his twitter feed or his persistent outburst which are crude, and classless.  That being said, I do not subscribe to the constant media bashing, Hollywood ‘holier than though’ approach of left of centre millionaire social justice warriors crying at full blown crazy level.  My question for all out there remains this.  Like most people, I  thought Trumps’ candidature was a reflection of the state of politics in the US, but then came the Wikileaks dumps.  My opinion on who was worse changed.  Who is worse, Donald Trump, the sociopath and most probable ‘character’ that he plays on TV, or George Soros, the billionaire communist funding the Hillary Clinton/Obama machine?

All this talk about Russia, takes our eyes off the ball.   Whether or not Russia interfered in US elections does not change the fact that the content was clear.  As a Catholic, there was overwhelming evidence with regard to an infiltration orchestrated by the Clinton camp to subvert the Catholic Church at Her highest levels, initiate a Catholic ‘spring’ and finally topple Her, leaving a socialist/communist machine in its wake.  That is not to say that I’m a conspiracy theorist/’truther’ who denies 911, I am though a person who like any other human being is naturally curious and hard wired for Truth. 

The whole fake news issue has been around since the beginning of time.  We as human beings, through technology have gotten better at it.  Mafia leaders, politicians to philanthropists and special interest groups have constantly tipped the ‘media’ and balance of power in order to ensure that their preferred candidate or option comes out looking good.  Sooo,.. As much as Trump and the mainstream media are screaming Trump’s links to Russia, what about alternative right media’s discovery of an elite pedophile ring with ties to heavy duty politicians advancing a globalist agenda?  We can’t deny this, and the fact that social media is discovery this, the people who run the social media sites are also trying to curtail these stories.  Think about it this way,.. Milo Yiannopoulis had to resign from Breitbart because of controversial comments regarding pedophilia.  I agree 100% with firing him or forcing him to resign.  What he said was utterly disgusting and should be punished.  My question is why did not the same mainstream media come down on George Takai, who basically advanced the same opinion?  Couldn’t be that Milo who is nationalist must be punished while Takai, who is globalist gets a free pass?  This should make us all think…

The world is changing and gone is the traditional ‘right’ vs ‘left’ dichotomy, leaving in its wake, Nationalism vs Globalism.  The example of Britain’s exit from the European Union comes to mind (Brexit.)  Perhaps all is not what it seems to be and perhaps we have been granted a time of Grace? Who knows?

What am I saying?  To paraphrase the song from the California Raisins,. ‘Heard it through the grapevine,.. ‘believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see!’ – I’ve always been an independent thinker, neither ‘right’ nor ‘left’ but instead celebrating my independent ‘thinking’ self.  I don’t know all the answers, but I will never be a sheep to ideology one way or another!  I watch CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, CBC, CTV, and Global.  Still I will supplement my information by watching online sources such as Rebel Media, Lifesite News, Mark Dice, Alex Jones Infowars, Church Militant TV, Next News Network  Joe Rogan podcast, and Steven Crowder.  After gathering all my ‘sources’ I will form an intelligent ‘opinion’ taking into account the sourced material being referenced.  I still will never call it Truth, simply because I will never know all the facts essentially because I am still receiving them 3rd party.  In this light,.. Pontius Pilate’s quote to Jesus comes to mind,.. ‘Quid est veritas?’ 

I won’t post links, but instead invite all those who can critically ‘think’ to do just that.  If you find yourself on the ‘left,’ you find out that although the Christian refusing to bake a cake for a gay couple is a contrived media plot, considering that Steven Crowder proved that it is much harder to get a Muslim baker to bake such a cake!  (  If your on the right, you may find out that Iraq had no weapons of ‘mass destruction.’ (I believe history has already proved this point,..).  What is the desired result is that you develop an independent thinking brain.  Devoid of all influence and instead is to be informed(So that you may form) by all these news stories, sites and opinions!  (Yes I posted one link, because well,.. its funny! :P )

God bless!