- I decided to bust out the scarves that my mom has bought for me through the years. Pretty sweet, not gonna lie.
- One of the blessings of ministry is getting to welcome home youth group kids from college, especially around Christmas time.
- Getting body work done on the car this week, so I'm cruising around in a Pontiac G6. Not a bad ride.
- The Utah snowboarding trip is this week. Oh Lord, please let my body survive.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Yesterday, as I drove up the I-5 through San Clemente, I noticed a sign that I’ve driven by during those many many journeys: Avendia Magdalena, 1/4 mile.
Normally, I would not think twice about this sign, as it looks the same as every other sign on the freeway.
But, Magdalena is the name of my beloved grandmother, who died on Nov. 30.
And I drove by the sign on my way to the airport, to get on a plane to attend her funeral in her home, Cebu.
This moment of awareness of this sign was both sad and joyful.
Sad because it was a reminder of the purpose of this journey. And joyful because it was a reminder of the final destination of this journey.
There is that cliche, “Home is where the heart is”. I think of home whenever I think of my grandmother, whether it was at her house in the Philippines or going to church or a fast-food restaurant or a beach resort or a shopping center.
Throughout my entire life, she taught me to value something greater than myself: God and family. And family, with all it’s imperfections, is a place where two of God’s gifts reside: love and mercy. She gave both generously. I’m sure she made sacrifices for my good that I will never know about. She expected that God and family were first in my heart, even to the point of demanding it.
I am who I am today because she defined home in all it’s beauty and all it’s responsibility.
I will be arriving at her house shortly. I will see pictures of her. I will feel her presence. I will remember her in the family and friends that are gathering to celebrate her life. But she won’t be there to greet me, as she did every time I came to visit her. And, while there is sadness in this realization, there is also hope.
While it might seem like my idea of home should be different without her, there is something strangely familiar and comforting. And that’s probably because now, she’s directing me to a different home, heaven, waiting to greet me there.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
- To my father, Vicente Jr., who models for me courage and faithfulness to the truth of Jesus Christ and His Church, and the on-going search for that truth. I would not be the man of God I am today without his example.
- To my mother, Maria, who is to me the definition of love: the self-donation, without counting the cost, always willing the good of the other (whoever the other is).
- My sister, Sister Jennifer, who has endured much and sacrificed much to be in the joyful vocation that Christ has called her to live.
- To my brother Steve, who has always embraced and lived the freedom that is ours when we trust the divine plan, not the human plan.
- To my brother Andrew, who is a man in every sense of the word, and growing beautifully in to his vocation of husband and father.
- To my sister-in-law Grace, who has been a blessing to our family from the very moment she entered our lives. My brother is lucky, but I think we're equally as lucky.
- To my cousins, my greatest regret in my life is that there are too many miles that separate us and calendar years between our visits. Yet your presence in my heart and my prayer is always strong.
- To all of my grandparents, Vicente Sr. and Magdalena and Simeon and Eugenia, the best I can do to repay your love is to keep you in prayer and live by the example you set for me.
- To all the priests that have nurtured my faith. My ministry and my desire to do God's Will would not be possible without your wisdom.
- To my Groupies, I never thought the brotherhood of faith that we share would be so necessary for my sanity and my trust and my hope. I need your presence in my life more than you will know.
- For music, especially the Coldplay and John Mayer albums that kept me company during my drive home to LA yesterday.
- For people who don't answer an incoming call on their cell phones in front of other people, particularly when that other person happens to be the God of the Universe.
- To old friends who I lost contact with, please know that I pray everyday for our paths to cross again.
- To Rob, Tony, Trish, Michelle, Patti, Franc, Tina, Debbie, Pete, Susan, Roberta, Del, Cheryl, Tim Liz, Melani, Chris, John, I'm in awe of your dedication and desire to serve. Thank you does not seem like enough of an expression of gratitude.
- To my roommate Nick for how he lives out the Beatitudes.
- To youth workers of every denomination, you are my people! Thanks for sharing this journey with me.
- To the St. James community, who continue to amaze me by their generosity and love.
- To teens past, present and future of St. James Youth Ministry, I cannot name all of you for fear of forgetting someone. But know you have touched my heart and brought me closer to God. My life is most certainly better off for your presence in my life.
- For musicians and speakers who have devoted their talent to serve the people of God, you give me reason to pray hard and worship more from the depths of my heart.
- For the Sacraments, the source of my life.
- For my many crosses, God's gift to me that I may glorify Him and allow him to love me.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
I'll be blogging all day, so check back for more updates later...
Monday, November 3, 2008
The greater good and THE Truth is bigger than the candidates that will be elected tomorrow and the laws that will be passed or defeated. And what is good and true always and in every case prefers giving life and sanctifying the family unit.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
He just talked about one flesh union between man and woman, AND between us and God (can you say Eucharist?).
He referenced marriage as life giving...which JPII called the 'fruitful' quality of the sexual union.
The other thing he said was cool was calling out people who are 'church-goers' and those who are Christians.
Church-goers hear the Word. Christians live the Word.
Church-goers desire courage. Christians live in courage.
Church-goers want to trust in God's love and faithfulness. Christians live in that trust.
We humans are wired for life. When we live in the Word, when we live in trust, when we live in courage, we are free, total, faithful, fruitful.
Thank you John Paul the Great!
I had no idea this would be such a big deal: the huge crowd (the sanctuary seats 5,000 people...it will be close to capacity for sure), the news trucks, the protestors.
So, what's a good Catholic boy like me doing at a mega-church event like this?
I want to get more info. I want to see what people's reactions are to this whole issue. I want to see the presentation (which you can see from the pic above...that's Miles McPhearson talking).
I'll write more later (I love mobile blogging)....
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Youth workers (and everyone involved in ministry) almost has to have this feeling of inadequacy to keep us humble. I don’t know about you, but it is certainly a huge challenge to stay humble when doing the Lord’s work.
I wrote in another post that the thing that keeps us out of trouble is humility…recognizing who we are, who we are not, and why God loves us so abundantly because of that!
Monday, September 22, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Solidarity is action on behalf of the one human family, calling us to help overcome the divisions in our world. Solidarity binds the rich to the poor. It makes the free zealous for the cause of the oppressed. It drives the comfortable and secure to take risks for the victims of tyranny and war. It calls those who are strong to care for those who are weak and vulnerable across the spectrum of human life. It opens homes and hearts to those in flight from terror and to migrants whose daily toil supports affluent lifestyles. Peacemaking, as Pope John Paul II has told us, is the work of solidarity. (from Called to Global Solidarity: International Challenges for U.S. Parishes)
Monday, September 15, 2008
- I'm currently listening to two very powerful albums: Revelation by Third Day and Hello Love by Chris Tomlin. Both albums are not just wonderful musical experiences, but are also powerful expressions of how God works in the tangible to draw us close to Him.
- The iPhone is still a pretty amazing machine. My friend told me today that the word on the street is that it will be available through multiple cellular carriers within a year.
- I love to eat. Picking up breakfast at Pipes Cafe in Cardiff always brings a smile to my face.
- Is it just me, but are there ALOT of people (men AND women) who are fanatical about football?
- If you haven't done so already, you need to see the video on catholicvote.com.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
- submission to God and legitimate authority;
- recognition of the virtues and talents that others possess, particularly those which surpass one's own, and giving due honor and, when required, obeisance;
- recognition of the limits of one's talents, ability, or authority; and, not reaching for that which is beyond one's grasp.
"To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek Him; the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement."
"Humility can keep you out of trouble."
Monday, September 8, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
But we need to see that God's true and real presence comes before us at every Mass, and we can miss Him because we're distracted because of our mis-understanding of the real purpose of music.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Well now that I am older and maturer, and because gas is so expensive, and because Friday rush hour traffic is ridiculous, I have selected the old people transportation to go home this weekend.
What a great decision I made!
I get to enjoy the view of the beach, work on my Mission trip video and not stress. Sounds like a good gig to me.
My family and I will be celebrating, well, family this weekend. That's reason enough to have a party, huh?
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
This makes me very happy!
We pray for the healthy development of the baby and that our family will prepare our hearts to love unconditionally.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
- Gymnastics is ridiculous. Like X Games ridiculous. Some of the tricks the dudes do now are unreal.
- Michael Phelps is a beast. Hopefully he'll be as good as a sober driver as he is in the pool.
- Team USA Men's Basketball looks good.
- Volleyball in all it's forms is my favorite sport. Maybe because I used to play. Maybe because all the US teams will contend for medals.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
And the funny thing is that I haven't missed it.
For the last twelve days I have been part missionary, part retreatant, part student of true joy.
Thanks to the Maloys, Blake Wagner and the people at the Crossroads ministry, we worked among the poor Haitian refugees of the Dominican Republic.
I'll be posting more about our adventures in ministry this week.
But you should know this. I understand now why God prefers the poor. Because in poverty, God's mercy can flow.
My life will not be the same after this trip. The Haitians may have wanted material things from me. But I want something from them: joy in poverty.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
I'm praying for lots of humility this week so that all 24 people in our group, especially me, can encounter the face of God in the other. And that we will all be changed. For the better.
That we may rejoice in knowing our spiritual poverty, and how blessed indeed that we may be.
Blessed Mother Teresa, pray for us.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
I don't know what kite boarding is. But apparently I am in the kite boarding capital of the world! So here I am learning how to fly a kite that would be used for this kite boarding stuff.
Don't think that I'll be getting out in the water to do that, but there will be more pics and videos to come from this adventure.
Tomorrow morning, I'm headed out with Blake to some Haitian worship service. Should be interesting.
Last night we had dinner at El Bosque Cafe here in the Sea Horse Ranch where we're hanging out. The cafe is this tiny little hut that overlooks the ocean. It was cool hanging out Steve and Janis Maloy, who are sponsoring my trip, and Blake Wagner, the man responsible for organizing this mission trip.
Steve and Janis have such amazing hearts and will give the shirts off their backs to someone in need. And while I get to see that on a regular basis at St. James, it is very apparent here. And Blake has a boldness that is very inspiring to me. His motivation for starting this trip came while he was visiting the Dominican and mourning the loss of his 5 year old daughter. His ability to recognize the needs of others and to do something about it is very divinely inspired.
The beauty of suffering. Life from death. The paschal mystery.
So there will be more resting for me...much needed resting, I might add. I hope to get through Reasons to Believe by Scott Hahn. It's hot here, but not as bad as I thought. Guess that means I'll have to jump in the pool...
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Funny thing as we were driving in. The lushness and simplicity of the DR reminds of rural Philippines. Makes me wish I could be there soon.
The rest of the day will be spent resting. We don't move to Crossroads, the home base of our missionary trip, till Saturday. So the main objective until then is chillin'.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
But the fact that the CPK Express serves breakfast pizza?
Now that I have that off my chest, this other thought has smacked me upside the head: I will be without my laptop and cell phone coverage for 12 days as I head off to the Dominican Republic for my mission trip. This makes me feel incredibly vulnerable. Vulnerable usually means an open heart, and an open heart is one of the most important things to pack on a trip like this.
(By the way, a mom just walked by me with her young son - 2 or 3 years old ish - walking in front of her tied to a leash. Now he's either a world class athlete in training or she thinks he's a pet. Talk about weird...)
I'm about to board. The craziness and stress of last week is starting to catch up to me. I hope I sleep all the way.
I'll post when I arrive in Newark at 6:00 am EDT (that's 9 am in the DR and 3 am here in SoCal).
Monday, July 28, 2008
Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one. Dream that the more you struggle, the more you prove the love that you bear your God, and the more you will rejoice one day with your Beloved, in a happiness and rapture that can never end.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
I have been filled with hope, not just for these young people, but for me
I can't wait to see how the big (and small) conversions from this weekend at Steubenville will change your world and mine.