31 August 2014

Thought of the day

Just because one has the power to do something does not mean that one should exercise it. Conversely, just because one exercises power does not mean they have the authority to do so.

28 August 2014

27 August 2014

Thought of the day

It's rather amazing the things that we're desensitized to...whether on purpose or by accident.

26 August 2014

Thought of the day

Love of money is the root of all evil. If we were serious about stopping terrorism, we'd cut the money supply. No money, no network, yes, it really is that simple

25 August 2014

Some thoughts on Israel-Palestine

**Warning, this will rub you the wrong way...no apologies will be made**

To be rather honest, I think both sides are wrong and here's how I got there. My thoughts are at the end..

a. Theological Perspective

Firstly, we need to understand the Church's theology. The Church is the new Israel...For the new covanent in Christ's Blood fulfills the old one. So strictly speaking "Israel" are those that are members of the Church under the headship of Peter...From a theological perspective the Church and Israel are the SAME...this blog has some good detail which should prayerfully be taken into consideration.

There's another question as to whether modern Judaism is the same as OT Judaism...This post here gives a good explanation as to why it's not. And that is something VERY important to consider...which we'll talk more about later. 

b. The political perspective

Palestine was never a sovergin country, so to say never ruled themselves, whether it was via the Ottoman empire, or the British fact of the matter is there was never a country called Palestine (although it was labeled as such on maps)...So as such, as it's know "Israel" did not exist as such prior to 1947...There are various debates as to what happened, and the legality of the founding of Israel, but that's not the point of this really, it's been quite volatile for quite a while. Those that defend Israel look to WWII and the Holocaust to justify Israel, look at how they were treated, Israel is an act of justice for them...

While not discrediting what happened, do people think to ask questions such as how did this come to be? Were there practices that allowed this situation to happen? While we don't blame victims most certainly, is it possible that a behavior could have had something to do with what happened? (Again, I'm NOT justifying anything, it's as simple as proposing the question...

If we look throughout history, there were times that the Jews most certainly were being discriminated against BECAUSE of their religion. There were also situations where their religion had NOTHING to do with why they weren't allowed to do somethings. The former is never justified (While error does not have rights, every person does have an inalienable right to dignified treatment)...The latter is something entirely different. Let's say for example that a Jewish bank practices usury. Someone not wanting to practice usury does not allow these banks to exist...this is NOT persecution against a religion...it's a persecution against a particular behaviour (which this was happening before the Bolshivek revolution...this was the practice of Tsar Alexander)...it was not the Jewish religion that was being outlawed....usury however was. As I have stated before, the fact that many in Congress, and many of the bankers are such, I don't think the practice of religion is important to these people. I'd say it's more of a cultural item and as such condemning people for being Jewish is absolutely wrong and holding anti-semitic views (hating people because of their Jewish roots) is wrong. There is a major difference between those that practice Zionism and those that don't. Those that have read the Talmud in full know of the different blasphemies of Our Lord. The varying degrees to which this is practiced is an entirely different thing.

I must say there's something rather creepy about the almost absolute dogmatic treatment conservatives give Israel. Why this attitude? What is it that makes the state of Israel an unquestioned dogma?

What I want to know is what do our Christian brethren in the Middle East think of the state of Israel? I don't care what people in "the west" think, I want to know those that are right in the middle of the ground think. If they do NOT support Israel, why not? What are the reasons? Is there a reason why they might stand by Hamas? (The same ones we fund by the way)...those are the only opinions that really matter in the case of Israel vs Palestine. Not yours, not mine (which you'll find out at the end of this rant piece), not anyone else's.

There has been this graphic going around facebook showing that Hamas has rejected peace deals...does anyone ask the question...why? does anyone ask, what was in the peace deal? We're there terms that could not be accepted? What exact language was used? (Again, not justifying terrorist acts...but things need to be considered in their totality) Of course I feel this way about anything, what exactly I'm agreeing to? I'd want to know the exact terms of what I'm agreeing to, just to make sure there aren't tricks that are being played.

c. What each side has done wrong

There was an agreed to boundary in 1947 after WWII ended. This boundary should have been respected, and there should not have been settlements into the territories that belonged to the Palestinians. This effectively was theft (even if not called such). That said of course siding with  a US funded terrorist organization doesn't exactly show the best of character...Nor does using civilians as human shields during bombing attacks to increase the number of casualties. It's rather one side, but do we ask why this is the case? Is it really as simple as Hamas using human shields vs strict targeting? I tend to think that we're being lied to about the whole situation.

d. My actual opinion

I'm of course of the opinion that both sides have a right to exist...I'm not of the opinion though that granting land because of loss of a war is a good justification for such a right to exist. It is perhaps better to consider a different situation where we have two different people living in this area and for the sake politics, it's best to give each their own place. (The two state solution as Pope Benedict advocated for)...It certainly has draw backs. Now I don't have knowledge of the Arabic language....(oddly, I have a friend who wishes to teach me)...but I do know that statement to wipe Israel off the face of the map was NOT said by the former president Ackmuhoweveryouspellhisname.

Given the fact that the media is all owned by the same people and there's an agenda out, I don't know if it can be trusted in this whole situation. In the link that I mentioned earlier, you can see the clear theological basis as to why we must condemn Zionism as practiced. But that said, that doesn't mean I don't believe that a state should not exist. Now, I don't agree with founding a state on a false religion, nor for that matter do I agree with a secular state (as we've seen the disasterous consequences of such)...The governments should be ordered towards the True Faith (Catholicism) with false religions being treated with dignity, but distinction. I would also say that Israel should be re-named to Judah, because the Church is the New Israel and as such it makes no sense to have a political state with the name of Israel.

The funny thing about this whole situation, there are Israeli Christians and Palestinian Christians in this whole debate, and no one speaks about them, no one speaks up for them. There is a presumption that everyone there is of the same opinion. I liken it similar to how the black community is assumed to be liberal, left wing, de facto reverse racists, when it's absolutely not true that all think alike in this situation.

We need to stop with the collective dogma that to question the political situation of Israel equates to being anti-Semitic, just as opposing gay marriage does not mean that one is "anti-gay"…Again, it is important to have the free exchange of ideas, even if they end up being wrong, or if people get labeled one way or another.

I love all of my friends regardless of the positions that one takes in this whole situation…but let there be open debate and discussion for both sides of the issue.

But now that I've come out and question (but not oppose) the status quo, trouble will probably brew.

Pax Vobis

Thought of the day

The ends do not justify the means to get there. So, yes, that means if you're looting just to make a point, you're wrong. Yes, that also means if you're stupid enough to put ice water, or boiling water on you to AVOID works of charity, you're just as guilty.

23 August 2014

Thought of the day

If light bends through a particular medium and has no mass, ultimately energy and momentum have more to do with gravity rather than the mass of a body. So while it is true that the gravitational force is the measure of attraction between two different bodies, it is not implied that mass is the cause of this, further leading to the orthodox understanding that force is not defined by a mathematical equation, rather than the unorthodox understanding that we can define forces mathematically.

Some thoughts on Furgeson, Police, and such matters

There's a saying that the person who cries wolf one too many times, is ignored when the actual wolf shows up.

Crying victim, when one is not a victim leaves absolutely no sympathy when one ends up truly being a victim of whatever it happens to be. I'm afraid this is something that happens far too much in the African American community. Are their situations of race relations that happen? Absolutely! Are their situations where police abuse their power? Absolutely! But just because something happens does not automatically mean that one is victim of racism or a form of abuse.

Rioting and looting makes you (and everyone else) look horrible, what change does that cause? Other than giving the police and authorities more reason to use power, I can't think of any justice that happens.

Look, it's a tragedy when anyone dies...regardless of whether they were guilty or innocent...it's not within our nature to rejoice at the death of an innocent person. (Unless by some way there's a type of mental problem)...in particular if the person is young....we imagine that person to be our kids, or someone that we know, and we wonder, what if it was them.

Just like in the Trayvon situation, there's a media that puts agenda over substance. Nobody waits for the facts and reports on speculation...(which this isn't to say that speculation isn't a good thing)...but the speculation needs to be corrected when the facts come out for the case. And I blame BOTH the conservative and liberal media sources.

I can't say it's justified to shoot a person 6 times to stop an aggressor...but the need for a person to be able to defend themselves is always justified. Did the officer act in disproportion to what was necessary? I'd say so...(the two shots in the head were probably too much)...Did the officer have a right to defend himself from being attacked? Absolutely!

People are showing somethings about Michael with distasteful things...what that has to do with the particular date of interest, we don't know...and it should NOT be assumed that these issues had anything to do with the events of that day. What was known is that he was involved with a robbery...he was illegally walking on the street for which he was stopped.

The man broke the law....I can most certainly agree that he didn't deserve to die, but I'm not out to absolve anyone from anything in this situation. Both sides could have acted differently and this would not have happened.

The rioting is flat out ridiculous. Since when does destroying your own community make things better? It would not surprise me if the rioters were planted as to create a situation of unrest. It seems there were peaceful protesters until a few nutjobs showed up. But it's interesting that at the conservative rallies you don't see this type of unrest....why is it that unrest happens at those places of liberal persuasion more often than not?

But I must say there is something that does concern me big time....the militarization of our police....It's not that I don't believe that there should be access for extreme situations (I do) or even that the police need to be armed (most certainly they do)...the issue is that police do not need to be handling things like military operations. Recall, didn't we have a separation for this and many other reasons, when military were openly going into homes. (Fortunately it's against the law without proper warrants (but hey, since when did THAT stop the government?))

As I've said, there are situations that very well require the police to have this kind o gear, but those in general are few and far between with respect to the whole. Just like any other people or organization there are temptations for corruption and abuse of power, and these should be minimized.

If someone is unarmed, there should not be a need to shoot them a ton of times to get them to stop doing what they are doing...(key word should) now, someone being 6'4 290...obviously it is going to take a greater deal of force to stop the massive object. (a = F/m), so while I do not justify the death of a person, or even the measure taken to stop him, I see why a ton of effort was made. Now I don't know the height and weight of the officer in question either...so it makes for interesting situatio.

Julie at her blog Connecticut Catholic Corner has some good thoughts on why we should keep our police well armed, and I tend to agree, but I also believe that it's important that power not be used corruptly.

Pax Vobis

18 August 2014

Thought of the day

The ability to remember is directly proportional to one's ability to stop the bleeding. If one seeks to heal the damages that one causes, it is less likely that one will be remembered for the pain that they caused.

15 August 2014

Thought of the day

Through the Dormition of Our Lady, our Resurrection is foreshadowed. It is through the Power of God that we will be raised from the dead, not through our own.

13 August 2014

Let's talk about some sensitive topics...

a. Choices versus the capacity to make these choices.

Ultimately the actions that we make are a result of free will. We're not puppets or minions, we have the ability to choose. Now, that said it's an entirely different situation our capacity to make these choices. There are various traumas that happen which result in the lessening of free will. (Hence why it is possible to become addicted to something)....this can be applied to any situation and does not require one to be "mentally ill" for this to happen. 

We can use this in the positive sense...For example, if I post a picture of a kitten here, it is likely your heart will be warmed and you'll seek to actually read this post in full...

In this rather cute example, using the image of baby animals is totally intended to get the "awwwws" out. If I repeatedly give pictures of cute animals, our minds may very well start to go, awww, I need one of these cute animals....(they do say that Cat stands for: Cute Adorable Thing)...some might call this positive brainwashing. ;)...Now obviously this example isn't perfect because there are those that hate animals. (Which I'd argue there's something wrong with them, but this is not the point)

In the negative we can take for example when someone gets hurt by another person. Those that have a certain temperament will more than likely hold on to this pain much longer and more than likely make their own lives with a much bigger cross by being the perpetual reminder of a particular pain towards a person, and likely shut out people who seek to heal that pain...

One may ask, why do I bring this topic up? I know all of us have recently heard about the death of Robin Williams (May his memory be eternal)...and there are many people approaching the problem of suicide....One such a post is here, I suggest that everyone actually read the post before jumping to conclusions based upon the title of the post.

There are some that say that all people who commit suicide are in hell and there is no hope for them at all. We most certainly know from our theology that a mortal sin has to have 3 conditions: 1. grave matter 2. sufficient knowledge and 3. full consent of the will and ALL three must be met to be a mortal sin. We can speak of something being objectively sinful most certainly, but we do not know the state of the person's mind or soul when making certain decisions, so as an act of mercy we should indeed pray for them.

The act of killing oneself is most certainly a choice...One can choose to do it, or one can choose to not do it. Now that said, the capacity to make that choice is an entirely different issue. Now I didn't major in psychology (despite physics sounding similar) but I'm pretty sure something has to be off mentally, for someone to make that decision to kill oneself. I imagine it'd be rare for a person to have full conscious access to their faculties to do that. One can argue there were different things that got to Mr. Williams to lead him towards this state, while a choice, it was made under duress or stress so it can't be said to have full consent of the will so to speak. So to condemn Mr. Williams I think would be the wrong thing to do. 

Mental illness is indeed a real thing, and something that people shouldn't joke about at all. And while I don't think all things are mental illnesses, I do think it's something that needs to be explored more to really understand what's going on. 

I can speak to a bit of a personal experience. I lost an aunt to suicide many years ago. I was a wee young person at the time. (The first of many deaths that I'd experience in my teenage years). I don't wish to go into much detail, but I'll say I really don't believe that if my aunt had full capacities that she would have done something like that. So really, I do believe that people that commit suicide, while objectively can be treated...their individual situations can't be treated as such. 

May God have mercy on Robin Williams, and may perpetual light shine upon him. 

b. Holding Grudges

By no means am I perfect and do I ever wish for y'all to think that I am. I'm but a sinner doing my best to cooperate with graces given to me, unfortunately, I fail a ton. A problem I'm rather known for is being the one person you can't cross or hurt. Whether it comes across as the look of death, or my quite fire like temper, it is rather well known if you do something to hurt me, or cross me, t won't be forgotten and justice will be given "in due time"...Unfortunately, it's one of the faults for the melancholic-choleric personality temperaments. 

As I've stated before, I'm no where near ready to re-consider applying.....quite frankly, I felt very wrong and treated unjustly in the last situation, and to me, the wounds are still rather fresh. (And no, I will not go into specific aspects of what the injustices were) (No, that does not mean I'm absolving myself from my own faults)...I find it extremely difficult to let things go. Letting God fine, forgiving, fine, letting the incident go? Absolutely not, not until retribution has been done for the actions done...puts a whole new meaning to restless soul doesn't it? 

The above basically means absolutely no compromising whatsoever. It might get me in a lot of trouble, but I'd much rather stand up or what is right, defend it until the end, explain myself, versus bow down and be a pushover. Hey, if I can get a professor fired for calling me stupid, I'm pretty sure messing with me is probably the wrong thing to do....As I say, I don't like to fight per se, but don't expect me to bow down (except before God)....

I've spent the past couple of days on a personal prayer reflection time, and I realize I have a lot to go and a lot of growing to do. I don't kid when I say pray for me, it's difficult for me...more difficult than I could ever express in words. 

Pax Vobis

Simply Pray

Pray for me....just pray for me

11 August 2014

10 August 2014

Thought of the day

Praise should not be the motivation for our work, but it's nice to receive once in a while

08 August 2014

Thought of the day

A melancholic-choleric who is not attentive to his spiritual life, and does not keep his eye assiduously on the truly important things of life can become a cross to those around him, through his nit-picking, perfectionism, disdain, bitterness, resentfulness, spitefulness when crossed, and even haughtiness.--Oh how true the bolded words are for me, LOL! ...I really do not like to be crossed in any way shape or form...So the lesson of the day, don't cross me, even the personality test says so :p

06 August 2014

Thought of the day

Apparently, there's a missing waffle iron, it's amazing what happens when one needs something, one can never find it.

05 August 2014

Thought of the day

We can't be hopeless, the Cross is our hope...surely the subjective feelings of things not always going right can be overcome by the hope of the Cross.

04 August 2014

Thought of the day

Despite the gloom and the darkness of my sinful deeds, and with your radiance fills our souls with joy, O bride of God who gave birth to the eternal Light. (Ode 5 of the Paraclisis)

Some words still ring in my head

I must say, I rather hate compliments...it's not about me personally...maybe it's just me being ridiculously shy and attention not being my main motive for the things that I do...

Yesterday after serving Divine Liturgy for the first time (from behind the iconostasis (though we don't have one at Annunciation....yet)...during the social time, a lady approached me and said "you belong on the altar"...I don't know if it's something about me personally (I'm not trying to be noticed)...or something about a presence...(I get plenty of compliments after serving Liturgy regardless of form)

Today in the OF it is the feast of St John Vianney...he struggled with Latin, but somehow he got ordained and was the instrument God used to convert the town of Ars. Of course since we're in the middle of the Dormition fast in the Paraclisis we pray "O Favored Virgin, you drive away the temptations and the sudden attacks of my passions, so I sing your praises forever and ever."

So as often it seems there's quite temptations to think that maybe there something isn't there. Unless we wish to be ridiculously stubborn, I do not think God takes away a vocation once the seeds are planted....

The words of my former SD are ringing in my head..."you will be ordained, this is just a roadblock" I often say that working with me can be like working with diamond. I don't break easily....Do pray for me, pray hard for me....Thank you!

Pax Vobis

03 August 2014

Thought of the day

After serving Divine Liturgy today an old lady approached me and said "you belong on the altar" more of this nudging thing I guess...

02 August 2014

Sunday Troparion and Kontokion (Tone 7)

You have destroyed Death by your Cross, you opened paradise to the thief. The sorrow of the myrr-bearers you turned to joy. You command your apostles to proclaim, Christ Our God is risen, granting great mercy to the world.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever Amen

No longer can the might of death rule over us. Christ descended destroying and crushing its power. Hades remains enchained the prophets rejoice together. The Savior has appeared saying to those in darkness come forth Faithful to the Resurrection.

01 August 2014

Today begins the Dormition fast

Also today there's a movement to fast and do a Holy Hour for the Christians in the Middle East, let us pray and fast for them, for their deliverance and for their salvation