31 December 2016

2016: Concluding thoughts

Well, this year has been an interesting one, much has been taught, much has been learned, and there is much to go through still, I suppose now would be a good time to reflect on some end of the year thoughts.

a. People are extremely good at projecting intentions and thoughts where they do not exist.

More often times than not, I have observed not just over the election period, but virtually anything (even from Pope Francis) these days, that there's an instantaneous reach for the heart, to be the judge, jury, and executioner, rather than the ear that listens to the various ideas and words that are said, and look to either learn, or in charity, correct those ideas or thoughts.

It's an absolute embarrassment to see things proclaimed to be "insert your favourite buzzword here" without any actual substance behind the words. Not that I had much hope for the future, as I constantly say here, if you're going to say something, be able to back it up with actual evidence instead of emotional reason.

b. The idea of safe spaces is absolutely stupid for those that do not have conditions that warreant such things.

There are serious conditions where people actually do need this type of thing, but just because something doesn't make you feel good, or one disagrees with someone, doesn't automatically imply that one needs a place to feel better. Pretty much everywhere is a so called safe space for those that have any leaning towards the left because virutally everywhere is dominated by those that lean left. I think the world would be quite boring if we all agreed. It's hard enough to get two peole to agree to something let alone a whole population. Maybe I'm strange, but I think the exchange of ideas is a good th ing, but that only works if we listen to one another.

c. Pope Francis really needs to zip his mouth...

There's not a day that goes by that I don't hear something said by His Holiness that makes me go, huh, what? zip it!, where did you get your chemistry degree again? Whether it be the constant insults, training priests to be involved in so-called "man made climate change" TM, seems quite awfully judgemental for someone who said, who am I to judge? TM As I say, not my circus when it comes to things related to him....Can he please just teach clearly and stop being so ambiguous>?

d. At the same, time people do need to realise the following:

1. The Orthodox churches and the Catholic churches (The one Church is a communion of churches) are NOT excommunicated from one another, for that matter, neither are the SSPX. If we want to be one, it requires acting like it....In many of the old countries, inter-Communion happens with the consent of the Bishops'...we just seem to be a bit behind the ball here in the west.

2. When one loses, it's not the time to whine, it's time to re-evaluate what one does, and come up with a new and effective way to approach things. Blowing things up does not accomplish this at all.

3. People should not be surprised that any patience I have is all gone. It's been that way since at least 2002.

4. The culture of individualism needs to stop. We must not forget about our families and everything that makes the circle go around, I often think that this modern culture has something wrong with it, this is it.

e. My New Years Resolutions:

1. I do promise to blog more, It's been kind of hard to schedule stuff, I'll be adding my reflections on Eastern Catholicism, and some other thoughts.

2. To finally leave the country....

3. Perhaps a change in some kind of status will occur this year. :)

I hope that all of you have a blessed New Year, please be safe, and God bless you.

14 December 2016

Things people do not need to apologise for

  • One does not need to apologise for having an opinion. It may be wrong, but one is entitled to have one. Just because one does not conform to someone's opinion doesn't mean that the world is over. 
  • One does not need to apologise for not being attracted to someone, for whatever reason one has. There's no obligation to like everyone one meets. (Yes, Our Lord says to love everyone, but that is a different discussion). Not everyone's attractive. Everyone is made in the image of God without a doubt, but that does not imply that every person will be attractive. (That said; of course, there are respectful ways to reject people and handle those situations, and one should always be respectful in those situations where one isn't attracted to a person)
  • For not upholding the western theological tradition. One can't defend what does not exist. There is a major difference between someone who is a western Christian and not upholding western expressions, versus someone who is an Eastern Christian who has a different theological tradition and perspective. The former would be a cafeteria Catholic, the latter can't be considered so as they do not have that tradition.
  • For giving the best to God, even the poor deserve to be lifted from the ugliness of life. 
  • The following pictures

13 December 2016

The Maternity of St Anna (a few days late)

Sorry that this entry is being uploaded late, tis finals week, and the auto schedule was for the wrong date.

In the Name of The Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

In our Liturgy, we pray in response to the presentation of the Holy Gifts, "One is Holy, One is Lord, Jesus Christ, to the Glory of God the Father, Amen." It is from this point, I wish to talk about the feast of the Maternity of St Anna.

God by his very nature is Holy. The Theotokos is holy by Grace, not anything on her own merit. Or put another way, Mary is by grace, what God is by nature. Traditionally this feast is not celebrated on the 8th of December, but rather the 9th, a day later, because The Theotokos is human, and Christ makes up for what is lacking. (And St John the Forerunner's conception is celebrated on the 23rd of September, one day early in anticipation, for being the greatest of the prophets....(a rather nice note))

The Troparion for the day tells us "Today, the bonds of barrenness are loosed, for God has heard the prayers of Joachim and Ana. He promised beyond hope, the birth of their godly daughter. The Indescribable, himself, born of her as a mortal commanded us through the angel to sing to her: Rejoice, O woman, full of grace, the Lord is with you."

Our Kontakion tells us: "Today the whole world celebrates how Anna becomes a mother by the power of God, She conceived the woman whose conception of the Word is beyond our words."

You'll notice, that in both of these situations, it's neither the Theotokos of Ss Joachim and Anna who are the focus, but rather Our Triune God, all through the power of God. For without God, we are nothing.

This is what we should remember on this day, the power of God can overcome anything, and we too can become by grace, what God is by nature. The Theotokos is the perfect example of this.

Let us the faithful, extol the Theotokos, the ever flowing Fountain of Life, radiant Beacon of Grace, Living Temple, and most pure Tabernacle, more spacious than earth and heaven.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

12 December 2016

Thought of the day

Our trials are for a reason, a greater good will always be brought out of our weakness.

27 November 2016

Sunday evening thoughs

  • If your Faith is based upon the occupant of the chair of Peter, you're doing it wrong. There has been much made about the letter of the 4 Cardinals, and now some more Bishops are coming out in support of the letter. Something that I've made mention of before on this blog is that we have ZERO authority to depose a Pope. For someone in the public office of a Pope a public declaration must be made by the Cardinals of the Church, or in their absence the clergy in the diocese of Rome. My thoughts are as follows: The Church already allows re-married people to receive Communion. Of course there's a proper procedure for this...Oikonomia in the East, Dispensation/Declaration of Nulity in the West. As long as either one of those are followed, it shouldn't be an issue. The Issue with AL is that whether it's referring to couples in this situation I've mentioned above, or allowing this without the proper procedures. The latter, allowing without the proper procedures is heresy and the letter of the 4 Cardinals applies. The former is not as through binding and loosening, the Church while she can't change the teachings of Christ Jesus, she can administrate according to need of each situaton. The real problem is when we take matters into our own hands and not with the guide of the Church. The principle of subsidiarity is wonderful, at the same time it does not mean there must be zero central authority either. I often times feel these problems go back to Vatican I, which set a rather interesting precedent of calling councils when things were not in question (Papal Infalibility wasn't really in question...and one can argue, while what's done is done, hindsight being 6/6 (yes, I use the metric system :p) perhaps the dogma should not have been defined :p)...but that's the professor on his pulpit in me speaking. We must pray and be faithful, and let those ahead of us take care of those things that are out of our control. 

  • I often get asked a few popular questions, so I guess I can answer:
a. How did you become a cat person?

It is said that once one is loved by a cat, one never goes back....This is what happened to me. It also helps that they're very friendly to introverted humans, and if they're good enough for Pope Benedict XVI, they're good enough for me too :p. Of course actually, I've always been a cat person. My favourite animal has always been a panther. 

b. Why is it necessary to laugh at everyone?

I think it's quite important to be able to laugh at ourselves. Things can't always be so serious. One of the best ways to learn things is through humour. However, in order to pull of sarcastic humour, one actually has to be good at it, and know the time and place to do it. Some people in very high places can't pull it off. They ought to try something different. 

c. You don't sound like you're from California, why?

I have a ton of influences, especially of the Russian influence. Hence the partial Russian accent when speaking. I also happen to think color is better with u in it, aka, The British spelling system rocks. 

d. Why do you rarely use the modern buzzwords of the day? 

People are not defined by the stupidity that comes out of their mouths. People are not necessarily the image we project onto them. There's nothing about having a certain amount of melanin in one's skin that makes one better than another person. Everyone has a talent or ability, they should try to cultivate this. We are not defined by our failures, or labels which society tries to place upon us. I do my best to not subject people to these temptations. 

e. How did you become a conservative?

I don't consider myself to be conservative. i consider myself to be correct ;). There's a huge difference. I suppose relatively speaking if we're using scales, I lean much to the right, and tend to strict interpretations of particular concepts. A lot of my viewpoints come from my math and science background and trying to use my skills in these subjects to look at other situations. For example, yes, humans are more than numbers, but socialized care, for the good intention that it is, can't work for very large populations. The government is not superman and can't do everything. 

  • Do you have any advice?
Well, that depends...if you're looking for unsolicited advice. I have plenty. 

17 November 2016

Thought of the day

It is said that if one has nothing to say, one should say nothing....So many problems are caused by people talking way too much.

09 November 2016

Election 2016: The after thoughts

Reading through my facebook posts and seeing people of all circles commenting, I figured I'd contribute to the love of cats, but I suppose it's proper to use my pulpit here at my own blog to express my thoughts, so I'll tell you mine....

a. People are sick of the Bush/Clinton and their extensions and the lack of consistency of law.

If anyone of us had done the things the Clintons/Bushes have done (it's all documented), we'd be sitting behind bars with a healthy jail sentence for a good amount of years. Yet the Clintons/Bushes keep getting away with these things because they have all their people in place. The vote for Trump is a response to these things happening. We often times hear that justice is for the rich and powerful from liberals or from other people of various circles, law for me, but not for thee kind of thing. The Clintons are the prime example of this exact principle happening in public. No one should be supporting this kind of corruption and placing themselves above the law of the land.

The consistency of law; of course, doesn't just apply to politicians, but to those who break the law, in a particular illegal immigration. Yes, our land was built on immigrants, and those seeking a better life, it was also built before the major advent of immigration law. Something that I've mentioned before, the right to move is conditional to following the laws of wherever one is moving. People are sick of watching people breaking the law taking advantage of our country. It's quite interesting at least in my circles that the majority of people who are against illegal immigration came here legally, waited patiently, dealt with the beauracracy of the government, and rightly feel taken advantage of by these people who are breaking the law. The ends don't justify the means, no matter how wonderful and saintly those intentions may be. Evil can't be done to justify a good. Are there exemptions to the law? Of course!, but it's not up to us as individuals to take those exemptions into our hands. In short exemptions need to be taken on a case by case basis, and not via mass amnesty. Everyone's probably all freaked out that illegals are going to get magically deported, and a big giant wall on the southern border is going to get built. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and people can't be searched unless there's justifiable cause (aka with a warrant) according to law. (Now whether people follow that law is completely different). If an illegal immigrant doesn't do anything stupid, they'll more than likely be left alone. As for that wall...do we not have fences at our own houses? Do we not have doors? But if any of you are familiar with CalTrans and the efficiency (or rather the lack thereof) in the way they deal with projects...you can bet that wall will not be built anytime soon. Of course, if Caltrans isn't helping, it might be built a bit faster. Mexico more than likely will not be paying for the wall. Realistically, the only thing that will likely be happening with immigration is the enforcement of the actual laws that are on the books....which are fairly strict, but not as strict as say.....our sourthern neighbours Mexico.

I'm sure that everyone's also worried about the Muslims, that Trump has proposed a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the country until we figure out who is associated with who. Let's start by understanding that this kind of thing has happened before under Carter's administration, so it's not new. Realistically, what is more likely to happen rather than a ban as such is that people will be vetted more closely and let in on a case by case basis rather than a mass entering as we have it now. It's been playing in our heads by the media that everyone's heads that bad things are going to happen, everyone's going to get deported, the government's going to come with an irn fist....STOP THE FEAR....It's not the end of the world, you can still read this, can't you?

I suppose now would be a good time to synthesise what will not be ending.

1. Muslims, Illegal immigrants, LGBTQ people will NOT be shipped out the country in mass planes.
2. The government is not going to suddenly magically end abortion, and walk in and start canceling them.
3. The rights of everyone are not going anywhere, women will be able to vote, so will minorities, it takes a ton of work to overturn a CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT (Good luck getting 2/3rds of state legislatures and 3/4ths of the states to agree). Seriously, relax it's not going to change.
4. The means that people have to defend themselves....also not going anywhere....

What people do need to realise is that politicians are not saviours. From their distant porch, they are not going to make any situation better or worse in of themselves, or even through the passing of laws. The way situations get better is through the principle of subsidiarity, individuals working together, not depending on an external source to get things done. This; of course, isn't to say that there isn't a role for the government to play. But the governemnt being super far away from our daily issues, perhaps should be more like a coach rather than a dictator. They can point things out, but ultimately it is up to us as individuals to better situations. It's how we live out the laws and things that ultimmately make things better. A perfect example I can think of is like in education. When I as the teacher point out an error or a mistake that my students did in a problem, they have options: They can learn from the error and do their best not to make it again...or they can continue making the same mistakes. The same ultimately when it comes to law and government. We can learn, or we can continue to wallow in our mistakes....I'd definitely avoid choosing the latter.

b. What about...comment x, shortcoming y, thing z.

Colour me not surprised when I say that people are stupid. say stupid things, have shortcomings, etc. People are not defined by their shortcomings, comments and various other things in both the positive and negative light...(Yet somehow all of us manage to do this to varying degrees: I know I myself do have some people that are defined by something bad even though their dignity in the image of God is much greater than i could express). Are we not supposed to forgive trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us? It's true that being forgiving doesn't mean being stupid, but do we not allow people to grow from their mistakes, and grow from their commentary? More often than not, I feel that there's a ton of projecting onto those that are conservative, or those who disagree with the typical narrative. The thing is most people don't recognize "insert your buzzword here" when it actually is in front of them. For example, it's not homophobic to disagree with the gay lifestyle...however, to kill them and throw them off of a cliff, yes, that is so. It's not xenophobic to want to protect the boarders from those breaking the law. But to say "insert culture here" are "insert insulting word here" definitely would be so. If one's going to throw around words, the least one can do is be accurate with them.

c. The vast majority of Liberals do NOT want to destroy the country

The vast majority of my friends, or people in my circles have liberal points of view, or sympathise with what one would call liberal positions politically. Do they want to destroy the country? No, they simply have a different idea of what means are best for the country to go. And although more often times than not, I think they're wrong, I don't wish evil upon them or think that they're horrible people just because of their viewpoints. Tolerance is a two-way street, we don't have to agree, but we do have to respect one another's opinions and personhood. This the reason that there wasn't a mass deleting spree during this political season. Everyone's opinion has value (even if they're wrong). While yes, there is objective Truth as a whole, this doesn't mean that there aren't things within that can be considered relative, or with prudential judgment that two people can't disagree on. Often times, people try to paint a uniformity where one doesn't exist...It's hard enough to get two people to agree on something....(though if I put a cat picture here, everyone should go awwww :p). There's often from the conservative side people that think that the country will be destroyed because of liberalism....which in of itself isn't true. Ideas if left unchecked of course can go off the rails, but it's important that we're able to have a free exchange of ideas....especially if we disagree with the people involved.

d. Sooo, who did you vote for?

I voted for the mathematically best candidate that I thought would defeat the one I thought was pure evil. It's interesting to me that the two women I think are the most evil in the country start with the same letter in their name, they get prayed for daily of course, but I find it quite interesting. If people didn't figure out who I was against, after I said she who has already been president...I'll let that go :p

e. The inditement against the media et al.

It's hilarious watching the media report back on what has happened. Pretty much any source of information has a liberal bent or leans left...Academia, entertainment, journalism, you name it, everything has been filtered through this lens. The election of Trump is a big fudge you to the media, basically telling them, be objective, keep your opinions to yourself, and tell the facts of the story/news, etc. Which is all that anyone wants. It's not of course that these people can't have opinions...Opinions do need to be substantiated and formed by actual substance, not by reading into different statements and taking various points out of their context. I don't think it's too much to ask, if someone says a quote to give the quote in full, THEN afterward state this is my opinion on the quote instead of making some giant click bait headline, or just report opinion as fact. I hope the media takes their lesson from this and learns.

f. Now what do we do?

Don't blow anything up!, No fear-mongering!, No stupid things! We work with what is given and try to make things better for our society at a local level. Victory alcohol is available downstairs. Sulking alcohol is available upstairs. This post was scheduled to go up as i am at work at present, pray for our country, we still need it, even if a minor battle has been won.

08 November 2016

Finally, back

I know all 2 readers of this blog have probably been wondering where I have been. Well, when the hard drive crashes, t hat kind of pu t s thing s way behind schedule, but I promise much more regular blogging soon, and I'll be covering some huge topics that I hope all will find interesting...

Keeping all of you in my prayers


26 October 2016

Election 2016, Pope Francis, and other events.

Strictly speaking, we’re not as such stuck with Trump or Hilary, insofar as our votes are individual, and we should vote for the person that best represents our values, person being on a ballot or not. But it it is accurate to say that Trump and Hilary have the best chances to win, as both have the major attention of the media and other outlets of information. So with error of being “stuck” with Hilary or Trump now out of the way, we can get to the substance of what actually needs to be said.
There are enough people out there telling you who to vote for, and I’m certainly not going to add my voice to this choir, you’re probably sick of hearing about this election already…but I am going to analyse both candidates, and see what can be done about it.

a.       a. Hilary Clinton:

If there’s any person that represents the establishment, the status quo, or that things shouldn’t change, it’s this person. Or as I’ve affectionately dubbed, her, she who has already been president. We all know while Bill was having his escapades during his time in the oval office, we know who was calling the shots (or told which buttons to push, however one wishes to spin it)
There are some that will say that because we know who she is, and she’s a known quantity, better to work with what we know, rather than what we don’t know. To this I say, not so much. The thing is this time around she’ll have actual power instead of just being a figure head. I don’t need to explain how corrupt Hilary is: from Watergate, to getting a rapist of Scot free, to her hatred of Catholics, setting up fake Catholic organisations, inciting violence through puppets, not to mention the rather infamous kill list, let alone her dealings as secretary of state, mishandling of classified documents (which legally renders someone ineligible to be president, but we all know laws are for poor people ;), and not for the government to actually hold itself accountable), there’s a litany of reasons why dealing with Hilary in the White House would be bad news for America. (Not to mention her thoughts that the government should solve problems, by proceeding to kill its future tax base and then somehow expect money to appear out of thin air after killing off those that would have been paying taxes, but who am I to judge? TM)
But yes, we should toootally trust someone who has made a career out of politics and corruption, and somehow magically expect that she transform into a model of sanity and totally protect the Church and other religious institutions because she’s so willing to cooperate with the graces God has given her :p (And if you believe that….welll……)…dancing with the devil has worked so well for us after-all, what’s a few more years going to do? :p
Since for all intents and purposes she has bought the election from the time her husband was in office, this election is in a way a formality…(save a Divine Miracle)…so I suppose it might be time for everyone to start learning Russian. (classes I teach by the way :p), Arabic or Chinese to prepare for the takeover that’s totally coming after this ;)..

Those of you that have been paying attention to the e-mail scandal, those of us of a Faith background, even more importantly those who aren’t of a faith background of some type. The anti-Catholicism should down right scare you. In spite of how it’s often practiced, tolerance does not mean I only accept you if you agree with the things that I say. For people that often are supposed to represent tolerance, some people can be quite intolerant, especially if they put up an blockage to giant social experiments. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, they’ve been trying at this for years, and many of us have had suspicions of this behaviour for years, the e-mails only confirm what we already knew. (And before anyone goes there, it wasn’t the Russians. For goodness sake, the Russians have better things to do than actually care what goes on here. They have their own interests and their own problems to deal with. The cold war is over. It doesn’t mean things are perfect over there, no one said they were, but to be wasting time with this country, please….come at me with something better than that)….But of course why should all of the anti-Catholicism matter? The Bishops’ helped themselves in on it anyway….with Bishops like these, who needs enemies like Hilary ;)…we do just fine ourselves.

I know at least I’ll be doing my part to hopefully keep her out of the white house (again), here’s           praying….but don’t worry, I’m not done….

b.      Donald Trump

One could argue that his running is a downgrade from positions (who in the world wants to be president in this kind of climate. If I owned a business and wasn’t responsible to anyone other than my family, I certainly wouldn’t want to run a country and actually have to be responsible for the fellow people, it’s hard enough dealing with one.

By running as a republican, he runs as an outsider, although being a business man, he’s very much outside what most of us wuold consider to be normal America :p. Yes, he’s advocated for very liberal positions in the past, and to some degree, if you listen closely there are some points where he’s not exactly the conservative ideal….But unlike his competitor, he is at least hearing the advice of his counsel. For whatever it’s worth. Some may call it flip flopping, it may well be. Some may question his conversion to pro-Life, it may well not be sincere…But it would be pretty darn stupid to say these things with a populace that is angry and not back them up to some degree. Many people fault him for not doing enough to give in to the pro-Life movement….Well, since when is the president supposed to write law? We decry liberals when they appoint activist judges, or when the president does something that is completely outside of his authority as president, should we not hold Trump or anyone else to the same standard? They’re not supposed to be activists, it’s their job to execute the laws of the United States of America, northing more, nothing less. If anything it’s probably more important that the people that he surrounds himself with are pro-Life (which so far he seems to be doing).  He has to know that he’s going to be held accountable for what he says and for what he does.
Realisti cly, the only chance Trump has at being elected is thorugh the electoral college. McMullin (One of the other people running) had an opportunity to run as a republican to oppose Trump but chose not to. The only logical conclusion for his candidacy is that he’s there to split the vote and insure that Trump does not get elected. There is zero way if this election went to the house that career politicians and establishment types would elect someone from outside of their number for president. 
It would contradict the very principle that they’re trying to do…stay in power, they have to elect one of their own to keep themselves on good footing.

The fact that he wants to build a wall does not make him anti-immigrant or someone who hates Latinos. Yes, everyone has a right to move, but that right to move is conditional. The condition being that when one moves that one must obey the laws of where they are going to. (And lest someone compare to the native Americans, we don’t know of their immigration laws (or lack there of, two totally different things) Being able to accommodate this does not mean that one has to be stupid in the process. Why do we have locks and windows in our homes, it’s for protection. It’s not that people can’t visit or come in, it’s just that people need to be known and trusted. We do all kinds of discrimination as a people, knowingly or unknowingly. We don’t let people in we don’t trust, why would not the same standard be applied at a national level? Making sure we know who is coming in is always a good idea. The government has very few jobs (at least listed in the constitution), one of them is to protect the country. This is of course done through a vetting process. Perhaps though the government has gotten so big, that it can’t do what little jobs it is supposed to do effectively.

And yes, I’ve heard the comments that he has said, and doesn’t that make him a horrible person? Let’s be honest, all of us in our private conversations have said things questionable. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with women, it can be on any subject, we’ve all said things that we’d like to take back, or may have said differently. It of course doesn’t excuse the behaviour, no one said that it did, but before we go casting stones, we better look in the mirror. Everyone needs to be given the chance to convert and change their ways if necessary.

It’s quite interesting to watch people jump to conclusions based upon a faulty premise. It’s one of those things neither side really gets it right, but fortunately, there’s people out there to put an end to the craziness.

It’s not just because one holds to position x, that automatically makes them insert your favourite buzzword of the day here. It’s almost as people didn’t take logic. (And at this rate, I doubt people do anymore), whatever happened to arguing a point based upon substance and actually based upon the point. Ultimately, do I believe that Donald will do the things that he says? Of course not, that’d be crazy to trust humans like that (everyone knows that’s what cats are for), I do know that Hilary will do exactly what she says she’s going to do….and that is a major problem, and something that needs to be dealt with.

c.       Pope Francis:

Oh dear, he’s talking again…..this can’t be good. The three most dangerous words in the Church today are “Pope Francis says…” Something bad is bound to follow. Now does this in of itself present a problem, of course not. For 99.999 999 999 999 % of what Popes say isn’t infallible. But as the old saying goes, just because one has a thought doesn’t always mean that one should express it. How do we deal with this? In short, since we’re not the magisterium, nor are we ordained to be able to deal with this, we can point out the errors, but we have zero authority to convict the Pope of formal heresy. Never has it been in Church history that the Sedevacantist or Orthodox positions look to be more correct. (No I have not left Peter). But I see the wisdom in having a recourse for correction. It’s not the councils are more powerful than the pope as such. Rather, it’s a mechanism to be able to deal with someone that’s in heresy formally. A pope with no recourse to correction can absolutely wreck havoc on the Church. This is the problem with untramontanism, authority gone wrong is an absolute disaster. But that said, our salvation should be relationship with the Trinity, not worried about every ism that comes from the Holy Father’s mouth. Just because it comes from the HF, doesn’t mean it’s gospel, the converse is also true that just because it comes from his mouth that it automatically means that we have to dismiss it. All things in due prudence.
d.      The death penalty and the Bishops need to stop
The opinion of Pope John Paul II should have never made it into the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Our Lord himself died, the death penalty can be justified….but this application needs to be prudential and proportional. One obviously does not use the death penalty on someone who stole a pencil. But someone who is an unjust aggressor, or a child rapist, that’s an entirely different judgement call. So, I’m not sorry, the opinion of the Bishops however good it may be, we’re not bounded to agree to their judgement on this issue.

More often times than not, what screws things up is the appeal process. The appeal process should be streamlined, one gets one opportunity to appeal, a fully impartial DNA test, get it done and make sure they weren’t at the crime, if they’re innocent ,great, let them free. If they’re guilty, get rid of them quickly. People might argue this violates the dignity of life. But I argue, that the right to life was taken away by both the crime and due process. The thing is that the death penalty sometimes kills innocent people. This is absolutely wrong and needs to be minimized. It is not anti pro life to be in favour of the death penalty application on various points. Abortion is an evil that out weighs everything. Why? Simple, it always involves the killing of innocent life without due process. There does not exist a right to kill one’s own child on purpose. (Miscarriages are not abortion, that is down right evil to even compare the two). That said, legislation of morality is not usually that effective (That doesn’t mean that laws shouldn’t exist)….the real change has to come from the cultural level to make abortion not even an option in the first place….Then law can be dealt with. Legislation towards effect is always bad law. (That is to say, just because people were doing coat hanger abortions does not imply that there needs to be laws on the books to now make abortion legal.)…..or put another way, just because someone does something stupid doesn’t mean that there needs to be laws always enacted. It’s best to use the principle of subsidiarity to handle most of these problems. It of course doesn’t mean that we can’t try to solve the problem, but legislation doesn’t always solve problems. Often times it makes problems much worse.
  Please keep me in your prayers.

For reasons I can’t go into detail about yet, please do keep me in your prayers, and do pray for this intention. As always everyone here is in my prayers and thoughts.
The culture of whine and complain

It seems rather interesting to me that people will complain about something behind one’s back and fail to actually try and work out full solutions to their problems instead of just dealing with things as they should. Something’s offensive, so what! There does not exist a right to not be offended by something. How we react is something that we can control and do something about. For whatever good intentions some of these various campaigns for various issues do, I think at the end of the day, the actual issue gets undermined and it actually does much to damage society. Transforming things into a social media circus instead of actually dealing with the problem makes everyone look rather stupid. This of course doesn’t mean we shouldn’t bring issues and abuses to light, but rather before doing so, I believe it to be important to understand where everyone is coming from, and not jumping to conclusion before the facts have been found about the situation.

09 August 2016

Thought of the day

There is too much projectivism. People too often times project their own faults onto others, or read the hearts of people they should not be reading.

31 July 2016

Reflection on the Sunday Gospel Matt 18, 23-35

It often seems to me the hardest thing to do is forgive. Generally as humans, we don't want to forgive those who have wronged us, even for the most minor of offenses.

Something that you've probably heard from me before, forgiveness is a grace. It's not something that is natural to the vast majority of our beings.

It's a lot easier to hold grudges against people than it is to forgive them. Yes, we pray during the Liturgy, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. (from the Our Father) and we do know Our Lord's words of drop anything against one's brother before coming to the altar.

Let us extend the mercy that God shows to us, unto others...so that we might set aside all earthly cares.

30 July 2016

30 questions about church

30 Church questions: 

  1. Favourite Saint? Ss: Therese of Leisiux, St Tatyana of Rome, Cyril and Methodius
  2. Favourite Liturgical Season? Easter Season
  3. Favourite Theologian of the past? St Simeon the New Theologian
  4. Favourite Theologian of today? Pope Benedict XVI
  5. Novus Ordo or Ad Orientem? Liturgy of St John Chrysostom which is already celebrated Ad Orientem
  6. Latin or Vernacular? Neither, Church Slavonic ;)
  7. Favourite book of the Bible? Numbers
  8. Favourite Hymn of Advent? I don’t have one
  9. Favourite Hymn of Christmas? God the Lord Eternal
  10. Favourite Hymn of Lent? I don’t have one
  11. Favourite Hymn of Easter? Christos Voskres
  12. Favourite Pope? Pope Benedict XVI
  13. Favourite Theology book? The Philiokalia
  14. Favourite Hymn to Our Lady? Mary, Look upon us
  15. Favourite Gregorian chant? The introit of Epiphany
  16. Favourite Hymn of Ordinary Time? How’s Sunday after Pentecost? :p O Holy Spirit
  17. Favourite Mysteries of the Rosary? Sorrowful
  18. Do you pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy? On various occasions
  19. Do you pray the chaplet of St Michael? No, I do not.
  20. Favourite Litany? The Litany of Peace
  21. Favourite Feast day? Pascha and St Therese day
  22. Is your church’s Tabernacle behind the altar or off to the side? Neither, it’s on the altar, in most Eastern churches, the Tabernacle is on the altar of sacrifice, we do not separate them.
  23. Favourite Devotion: the chyotki, Jesus prayer
  24. Favourite Title of Our Lady: Theotokos of Kazan
  25. Person I want canonised soon? Bl Theodore
  26. Favourite Psalm? 51
  27. Favourite Bible verse? Ps 68, 1
  28. Date of Baptism: Oct 17
  29. Date of Confirmation: May 22
  30. Name 5 things you would do if you were Pope? a. restore full rights and privileges to all Eastern Catholic churches (aka allowing Eastern synods to name their own bishops and do their own canonisations) b. put eastern rites fully under eastern bishops. c. revoke the communion in the hand and standing for communion in the western churches indult. d. dissolve Bishops’ conferences. e. give official patriarch status to the UGCC Major Archbishop. 

18 July 2016

15 July 2016

Things I find a bit interesting

a. If someone in their regular 9-5 job, were suddenly to start getting political and start endorsing particular issues or view points, rightly, someone would potentially be angry and tell them to stick to their job. In particular in two fields, religion and education, so many times people are told, don't tell us what to think, or who to endorse for a particular issue. Why aren't athletes held to the same standard? Why do so many give them a pass, just because of physical gifts? There are forums for the political process, in the middle of something that's supposed to be a distraction from the every day grind isn't one of them. (Just as my classroom is not the place to teach people what to think either.) Heck, I find the same to be true even if one is a political commentator, one should stick to the issues at play, and attack the ideas, not really be interjecting opinion as sticking to facts. (Obviously if one is hosting an opinion show, this is quite different)

b. Guilt by association seems to be rising much lately. Suddenly, just because one person screws up, EVERYONE by then must be of the same make up or model. Doesn't matter who this applies to, authority, religion. Who knew we were all robots and exactly the same....guess I must have missed the memo that there's zero individuality within situations. But I forgot, this is a world where we are trying to transform people into parroting robots simply repeating the agenda that's given to them instead of actually educating them.

c. Presumption before facts come out. It is always necessary to read between the lines to see things that are not there? Is it really that painful to wait until objective reports have been made from those without an agenda one way or the other? Of course I should know the answer to this question already.I forget, it's guilt until proven innocent now. Because 'Murica....

d. Russian is my favourite language.....this meme is both cute and very accurate as to how I feel most days....

10 July 2016

The Rant to end all rants…or something to that degree, save all questions, comments or concerns for the end of the rant.

I do not often use this as a social media pulpit (my thought being, if one wishes to change society, one should do so in actual society, working through the legislative, and social processes that we do have)….You’ll have to bear with this rant, because I’m covering a lot of material in one post, so if you’re ready, here we go...

a. The ends do not justify the means….

In short, one can’t do evil to achieve a good, or one can’t do something bad to achieve a good. Rioting just because someone disagrees with a policy or the actions of a few within the whole, not only does it make one look extremely reckless, but it confirms any preconceived notions that people who are racist have. (Aka, one is making them look correct). A person with any kind of preconceived notions more often times than not will not be convinced by logic. In order to reach hearts, one must destroy any preconceived notions in short, by showing them not to be true. If someone tends to think a particular group of people are savages, or whine and complain a bit too much when things don’t go their way, and they do this constantly, this confirms what is already believed. However, if one is able to show the opposite of what these notions, over time, perhaps it’s not a fruit that one will live to see, but it will be in another generation, thoughts will be softened as to be open to different ideas about people.

To extend this to events of recent times. Is it entirely possible that the approach some of these movements take undermine the very arguments they are trying to make? I definitely think this is the case. If one has a problem with the local police, why make a media circus out of it? Why not ask questions, and ask, why these policies are done, or why these things are happening? It seems to me, a matter of subisidarity that before reaching for the big hammer that is the media pulpit, one should seek to solve problems on the local level. For the things that happen locally, are not necessarily a reflection of a national trend one way or the other. Do we not as a society believe that people are innocent until proven guilty? Seems to me now, the opposite is true, every time an event comes up, a certain group absolutely has to play victim, whine, complain, and suddlenly, whala, complaining gets transformed into something that punishes the people that are innocent of any wrongdoing, instead of actually going after the source of the problem. 

Does all this mean that problems do not exist within society? Of course not, people would be foolish to think that society and their relations with the various forms of authority is perfect. But these problems aren’t as magnified as they’re made out to be more often times than not. Alas, man has ancestral sin, which leads to tons of problems. But the few bad eggs of movements, religions, authority figures, etc, does not imply that everyone is like that. 

It seems to me people fall into two traps….one that tends to throw out the baby with the bathwater, the other is them ignoring the elephant that’s in the room. 

For example, some people are not a fan of Trump saying, let’s deal with the problem of illegal immigration, and terrorism by deporting illegals, and temporarily banning muslims from the country. The first extreme is that people start painting with a brush as wide as the world, that anyone who supports such concerns is automatically racist (insert your favourite buzzword here), or does not have a heart to care about people. The second extreme is that people sometimes tend to say there’s absolutely no problem at all, and we can just let everyone in, no matter what. Problem is of course both extremes are wrong. The solution is somewhere in the middle, the part that does not punish those that are innocent, and the part that only deals with the extreme element of terrorism (Islam is not all like Christianity, there is no Pope to speak for them, to really identify who is an orthodox muslim and who isn’t….practices can vary from mosque to mosque….imam to imam) (I’m quite thankful to my muslim friends who rightly condemn terrorism acts and this kind of foolishness)…..Of course it’s also true that 10%-20% (the alleged element of extremists) of a billion is 100 000 000 - 200 000 000, it’s not something that can be treated lightly….Yes, it’s true that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, (aka, we don’t need to go around assuming Muslims are terrorists)…but it’s also not horrible to be concerned about activity and seek to find a solution for it. Really, if you want my opinion (you’re getting it anyway) it’s a problem Islam needs to solve for itself on a massive scale. 

b. love is not love….I blame English

Objectively, the love one has for things is not equal or the same, by virtue of the fact that things are different. The love that one has for an animal is different than one has for a human. (Yes, I understand that some people like animals, (in particular cats in my case) more than humans, because the humans often times emit stupidity to levels that one can’t often control. Other languages have more than one expression for love, and can use it to describe different things, depending on the situation. As I’m often known for saying, I love everyone, not necessarily equally, some I love a bit more than others. I know there’s a tendency to equate things that are not equal in the first place. But alas, I’m afraid that’s quite a big misunderstanding of how equality works….both mathematically and within the realm of the physical. As we know, the equal sign does not imply that two sides are physically the same thing, only their mathematical equivalence. (For a physical and mathematical equivalence one would use the defined as symbol instead of the equal sign, for example impulse is defined as the change in momentum. Or Kinetic energy is defined as ½ mass times speed squared.) So no, love is not love, no matter how hard one tries to make it the same….Please quit trying to make them the same….the minute that you do, you’ll be able to solve ln x = e^x using algebra alone in real numbers :p

c. The Just-us system (™)

It’s amazing what would get you and I put in the slammer for life, the government official gets off scot free much of the time. Why is this? Well, absolute power corrupts absolutely. One can’t tell me they trust the “best run criminal enterprise in world history” ™  to be fair, when it won’t even prosecute itself during its own wrongdoing (in this case Hillary i was president when Bill was too busy checking out Monica’s chest Clinton) We have a situation where the government is absolutely accountable to no one except itself. If it isn’t obvious there needs to be a solution to this problem (in the form of both congress and state legislatures to be able to override decisions of the federal government’s other branches, I don’t know what is. I don’t even want to call it corrupt, it’s right in front of us….they’re not being sneaky, I don’t even think words can describe what’s going on. 

d. Sometimes, words can’t express things

Really, it’s true, and for me, often times than not, words do not express what goes on in my head. (Those of you that are victims of the death glare, probably can testify to this point). I will take my dear time when it comes to finding my voice. (just a tad bit of an OCD perfectionist :p)….but once I find it, all hell breaks loose :D…..

04 May 2016

Everyone Calm down, the sky is not falling (yet)

Ah, the internet, both a place of wonderful knowledge, and epic stupidity....and there somehow needs to be a voice of reason in all of this, so I guess I'll use this very small platform to actually speak to some issues.

a. Trump winning the nomination for the Republican Party

The internet is all filled with horror stories about how this nomination is the end of the world as we know it. Of course while there's an element of truth to this point, we need not make it into something way out of proportion as such....let's start by understanding the Constitution....

The President does not write any laws at all. The president's powers are outlined in Section  II of the Constitution..According to his oath he upholds as follows:

 "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Let us notice what it does not say....It does not say: The president shall write laws. It does not say the president shall be a nice guy who we all like....(And we can definitely have a discussion as to whether any of the recent presidents have even followed this oath...but that's besides the point)

It is not the job of the president to impose his personal opinion (regardless of which direction of the political spectrum it is), simply his job is to protect, defend, and preserve the Constitution of the USA.

The people that one needs to look at for their pro-Life credentials are the ones that actually pass and write the laws. (Congress), not so much the president....but of course this post is not about them so much...but rather the end of the world, sky is falling predictions of those that are against Trump.

(I of course as you know, only give official endorsement to Grumpy Cat 2016, the humans have let us down, so why not felines?...that, and if Grumpy Cat does get elected, I will go to DC and pet her :D)

In all seriousness, the battle is not over. It's more important that people that surround the president be supportive of a culture of life, than the president, as such, if he does decide to impose his own opinion, he can be overruled...

 b. Bathroom wars:

For those that are on the left of the spectrum need to realize something, the whole movement against allowing Transgenders in the opposite bathrooms really is for one reason: The safety of children, and for those that might take advantage of the law. Those that are on the right on this issue need to realize, while you've been arguing this point, many Transgender people have already used the bathroom and have left. For an extremely small part of the population, most of them just wish to do their business and leave. The solution to this has long existed....unisex restrooms with exactly one stall. And of course in many places this is the case. One can't have a situation where one is uncomfortable using a public bathroom if one needs to use one. (I'm of the mind, simply completely avoid the public restroom if possible and wait until one reaches home)....Why do we feel the need to point out every exception to what's normal within law, or within our society? Should it not be obvious anyone with a special need, should be able to take care of those needs and move on? There are bigger fish to fry than bathroom wars in my opinion.

c. The dissertation 2.0 (AL) Pope Francis' new document

As a friendly reminder, the Pope has zero, nil, nada, power to change Church teaching. Insert however many documents one wants, the Pope CANNOT change the teaching of the Church, for the teaching is not the Pope's but Christ's and it is the Pope's job to preserve said teaching, and not impose his own thoughts.

Yes, the Pope can undermine said teaching by changing praxis, The Pope can even have opinions that differ from the official Magisterium, but again, it's not his job to impose his personal opinions.

The sky is not falling (yet) and people need to relax. Of course it doesn't mean being indifferent to what's happening in Rome, but your salvation should not depend on the disposition (or lack there of) of the Pope. Our eyes always need to be on maintaining unity with the Holy Trinity.

If a statement ex cathedra is made contrary to what the teaching of the Church is, then it is time to start panicking. The Faith is not such that one needs to be a gnostic and attempt to depose the pope when one has zero authority to do so. We do not even have the authority to declare anyone above us a formal heretic publicly...(Tis the job of the hierarchy)...

d. Well, some people want to leave the country over *candidate x*

Well, I'd hope that one has a reason other that. I've made no secret about when I do go for my doctorate I will do so in Minsk. By. I figure when I leave the country, best in a place that isn't popular, and any chance to use my Russian language skills is a bonus. :p...The fact that this may coincide with the election of the new president....just mere coincidence.

e. Safe spaces/ shut down of dissenting opinions

No, we don't need safe spaces. People need to grow up, and learn how to defend themselves. And more importantly, be able to listen to a different argument for once. Virtually all of academia is filled with those who are on the left on the political spectrum, our special little snowflakes should have zero complaints, they'll hear something that conforms to what they've been taught already. If we could learn to listen instead of other things, that'd be great.

08 April 2016

The Joy of Love

If you have the patience.(as I do not have that kind of patience (well, I do, but I'd rather not exercise it on this)...read it for yourself here

I hope that all are doing well...

10 March 2016

Today would have been my mom's birthday in your charity can you remember myself, my mother, my sister and dad in your prayers. :)

01 March 2016

Some thoughts on Election 2016

This goes regardless of whether someone is in the liberal or conservative camp...and applies to all things really, but for this specific instance I'll use it to apply to politics...

One thing I must say that I'm sick and tired of are people using the reactions, the headlines to form opinions of the candidates, aka letting the media form their opinion.

Instead of going to the actual source, the candidate themselves....they use the reactions to what was said....For example the whole situation about building walls to help curtail illegal immigration. Does building a wall suddenly make one magically anti-Latino, or suddenly not Christian? Certainly not...(Lest anyone get confused, I'm certainly not going to be voting for Trump, but I do think it's a matter of justice to actually listen to what people are saying before forming an opinion)

This of course isn't to say that we can't listen to interpretations....Often times interpretations help us to see things that we may have not originally seen from the words themselves, but the primary source, should be the original texts, transcripts, and not interpretations there of.

I'll use an example from physics, many people wonder why I'm so strict in my interpretations of the laws of physics, it's precisely because going back to the original sources, one can see exactly what was said..Prop 24,  Theorem 19, book 2 states: For the velocity that a given force can generate in a given time, in a given quantity of matter is as the force and time directly, and the matter inversely. (or v/t = F/m...)...hence the law should be written as a = F/m, rather than F = ma....

For any decision that we make this 2016 election season, let us, use the words of the candidates as our base, and not the media interpretations as our base. ...The point, primary, rather than secondary sources should be our point of reference for education and learning....

This whole election cycle has been a complete joke...if these are the people we're stuck with, I officially give my endorsement to the following candidate:

22 February 2016

Thought of the day

Rome does not have a monopoly on the expression of the Faith, Theological schools of the East are valid as well. Sadly, many in traditional circles have yet to learn this lesson.

21 February 2016

Reflection on the Troparia and Kontakia of the 3rd Sunday of Lent

The Troparia for This coming Sunday are:

You have destroyed Death by your cross, you opened paradise to the thief, The sorrow of the myrrh bearers you turned to joy. You commanded your apostles to proclaim: Christ our God, you have risen, granting great mercy to the world.

Save your people O Lord, and bless your inheritance. Grant victory to your Church over evil and protect your people by your Cross

The Kontokian for this coming Sunday is as follows:

No longer does the flaming sword guard over the ages of Eden, for the tree of the cross has come to quench it wondrously. The sting of death and the victory of Hades have been driven out. For you, O my Saviour, stood and called out to those in Hades, Enter again into paradise.

On this the Third Sunday of Lent, we venerate the Holy Cross,

In the 1st Troparia, which is the Troparia of the resurrection, we see Jesus remembering the good thief on the cross.

We recall the words of the good thief in the prayer before Holy Communion, "Remember me, O Lord when you come into your Kingdom." Why do we pray these words? We beg for the mercy of God (as we have been throughout the Liturgy)....These are not just empty words on a page, they are quite significant. We beg for God's mercy to not eat and drink our own condemnation in the reception of Holy Communion. We pray for the forgiveness of all of our sins, God is good and loves us all, and all things are possible through the Holy Trinity.

To proclaim: Christ is Risen, granting great mercy to the world. As St Paul alludes to, the Faith is in in vain if the resurrection did not happen. Great mercy, the latin word misericordiae, literally means o have a place in the heart....

My Bishop Gerald puts it this way "...mercy has a much deeper, more profound meaning. I did not simply mean to feel sorry for a person. The word "mercy" mean to have the ability to get inside the "body" of a person so that you can see things as he/she sees them. It meant to possess the ability o think with their minds and to feel with their feelings."

Our Lord did exactly this by taking flesh, being born of a woman (cf Eph 4, 4-6, Phil 2, 1-12). Taking on human nature in all things but sin. Our God is very personal and not someone that is far or abstract as some would like to say. For some this can be quite a challenge, how could God be so personable? I is definitely a great mystery and something we could dwell upon forever.

It sometimes seems that evil is going to conquer the Church. Whether it's ridiculous statements by *insert clergy member here* or some type of scandal, we know our God who loves us all, keeps His promises, the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church. (Mt 16, 19), we pray the grace of Our Lord guide the Church through the various storms that attack the Church.

After the ancestral sin of our parents Adam and Eve, the tree of Life, the Cross restores what was lost. Death has been trampled by Death, by His grace are we able to enter eternal life.  Those that died before Christ were called on his decent into Hades.

Today in addition to the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, we in the Byzantine church chant "We bow to your Cross, O Lord, and we glorify, your Holy Resurrection. In place of the Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy and Immortal.  3 times of course.

It is through the Cross that we are able to have Life after death, let us focus upon the mystery of the cross, and do our best, so that Our Lord will indeed, remember us when we come into His Kingdom.

17 February 2016

Thoughts on a Weds Evening.....

  • Regardless of who gets elected...We're screwed....It's a matter of pushing the accelerator or pushing the brakes with an inevitable crash into a wall. Many people think I'm being sarcastic with my support of Grumpy Cat for president....I'm actually serious, I'm 100% sure the cat will say no to everything, and not sell us out....So, yes, Grumpy Cat 2016, and for VP, that's still up for debate.
  • Mercy, or having a place in the heart, does not simply mean do as one wishes. We do not deserve anything, but in His love for us, and His mercy for us, gives us everything. It is by no coincidence that we pray in response to our petitions, Lord, have mercy. It is never us, it is the Lord working through us. 
  • The Pre-Sanctified Liturgy is quite a physical workout, multiple prostrations, plenty of kneeling, If you have never been to a pre-sanctified Liturgy, I encourage you to go....you'll not need a gym membership afterwards.....
  • There is nothing quite like receiving love. This weekend I had a very powerful moment in my relationship, and something I'd never trade for the world, I'm so glad, for everything, I hardly deserve such good things happening. From the mouths of babes, no kidding :)
  • I'm notorious for not wanting to re-visit painful situations....Unfortunately, I must revisit something that happened several years ago, I ask for prayers for a smooth process. 
  • The picture is the Jesus prayer in Russian and Greek (my two favourite languages to write in)

25 January 2016

Thought of the day

The God of surprises TM , seems to be rather lawless to me, that doesn't seem like a good thing at all.

22 January 2016

Thought of the day

If the Pope has absolute power without limits, God help us all, seriously, God help us all.

21 January 2016

The good, the bad, the ugly

The Good:

Archbishop Gomez will be offering a Pontifical High Mass, EF for the Tuesday after Pentecost May 31st, info here...I can only say, what a change of times in the archdiocese...

The bad:

Once again, the ends, justify the means, this time, it's liturgical disobedience...I suppose it's nice that HH changed the law so that he's no longer breaking it, but, the arrogance to not do so before the first time probably has me irked more than anything...this has a good explanation as to why this is not a good idea

In the East, the mandatum is done by the Bishop, so this is really not an issue that comes down to the parish level. Fortunately, for the sake of humility...there's always the skip the mandatum option. ;)

The Ugly:

There's still not a good presidential candidate out there...Grumpy cat it shall be.

14 January 2016

Papolatry and Politization

Lately, it's been so overwhelming with all of these reports about the pope doing x, and the pope doing y, it seems to me a perfect time to zip both sides up.

The pope is certainly not God, we love him, we respect him, but not necessarily every word that comes from his mouth is Gospel, or is necessarily a good idea.

It seems to me there's an extremist point of view with the pope:

a. 100% of what he says is orthodox
b. 0% of what he says is orthodox

Where the truth is that there's no set percentage in between...the charism of infalibility only applies when the pope either via ordinary means or extra-ordinary means, re-states what the Church has already taught. (cf. Vatican I). Basically, the pope has zero power to invent dogma (has to already be taught through the centuries, via the Liturgy, Scripture, Tradition)...or in short, yes, a pope can indeed be quite heretical.

Sure, a pope can lose his office, if he does in his official capacity as pope attempt to require us faithful to believe a heresy, but it is NOT up to us as private lay people to be the judge, jury and executioner of this action. (Hence as tiring as it is sometimes to hear this pope is from time to time, no we have zero authority to depose him)

Yes, we can (and should) point out errors when they do occur, but it is our job to inform, not convict anyone. Hence why we can say something such as that is heretical, but we can't say if a person is a heretic (formally) for we are lower than the clergy...At most we can say a person is a material heretic, we can't assume there is knowledge on the end of a person.

Quite frankly, we need to keep our eyes focused towards heaven, and stop stressing over everything that comes out from Rome. Doesn't mean we need to be ignorant of what is happening, but before we go transforming the world, we need to start on the interior.

Some thoughts on sin/confession

In the Divine Liturgy, we pray the following:

"O Lord, I also believe and profess that this, which I am about to receive, is truly your most precious body and your life-giving blood, which I pray, make me worthy to receive for the remission of all my sins and for life everlasting. Amen

O God, be merciful to me a sinner
O God, cleanse me of my sins and have mercy on me
O Lord, forgive me for I have sinned without number."

Something I find a bit fascinating is that we pray for the remission of all of our sins...this may seem rather strange for those on the outside looking in, or those that are not familiar at all...typically more people are familiar with the western terminology and mindset towards sin, which goes a little something like this:

A person must be in the "state of grace" to receive Holy Communion, and one can determine this via:

Mortal sin: sin that leads directly to the cutting off of our relationship with God...(must go directly to confession, or make a perfect act of contrition with the resolve of going to confession asap)
Venial sin: sin of a lesser degree, wounds, but not completely cuts off our relationship with God. (forgiven during the penitential act, and by receiving Communion)

Then for a sin to be mortal there are 3 conditions
a. Grave matter
b. full knowledge
c. the intention to sin to do it.

All wonderful and good mind you, absolutely nothing against what has been presented...however, for those that tend towards scrupulosity, and those that tend to be a bit OCD about their sinful lives, perhaps this approach wouldn't necessarily be quite helpful...and perhaps might make one go crazy over things when perhaps they should not do so...

As the old saying goes, life in the Church is not meant to drive one insane (it really isn't, I know it might be hard to believe at times...especially in these times)

In the Eastern world, confession is more or less seen as move on and strive to do better. Cooperate with the graces given and strive to "sin no more", rather than atonement for what we've done in the past...and perhaps one of these days I'll write a more detailed write up on the Eastern thoughts on sin...but today's not that day.

In the Eastern world, sin is more or less seen as falling short, or not cooperating with those graces that are received. No need to define exactly which is which, simply falling short, and we need to ry and do better.

At least in my own experience for me it's been much easier and freeing to live the Eastern spirituality towards confession and sin. I find it much easier when I do need to go to confession, to say what needs to be said. Perhaps it's because my world is so defined being a mathematician and a physicist, that spiritually, so to speak, a break from what is the normal course of thought should be done.

So yes, sometimes it is better to do an examination once a month, rather than a hurried confession before Divine Liturgy....this is not to say not to go to confession, of course one should. But one should not be scrupulous, or going mad stressing over every little thing either.

10 January 2016

Thought of the day

Yes, it is important to occasionally reach outside of oneself, but it's also true that doing so should not be an exercise in Chinese torture methods either.

07 January 2016

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and every thing else I forgot to say within the realm of this thing called life :p

Hello dear readers, unfortunately it's been quite a while since I have been here. Much has been going on that I haven't really had the time to seriously sit and write here all that much....a few orders of business...we'll get to the serious things first..

a. Prayers for my uncle. He's been in the hospital for the past few weeks, and while things are not necessarily dire, they are quite serious, and he's gone back into serious condition. Do pray for him.

b. Do pray for myself, as there are many responsibilities that I have now taken on, and it's quite hard for one person to do them all, so that would be very appreciative.

Now that the prayer requests are out of the way, we can get onto the more fun topics in this post.

1. Old Year reflections:

  • 2015 at least ended well. Love found its way in apparently, and it's going rather well. (Do pray for the lady, yes, things are serious :))
  • I admit, I've paid absolutely zero attention to the circus in Rome right now. But I'm glad that Mother Teresa is being canonized. She was not perfect, but since when was canonization a process for the perfect?
  • There's been much time for spiritual growth and learning, this has definitely been a good thing.
  • Though a particular event happened this year that will forever haunt this particular person, I suppose the appropriate response wouldn't be go Russian physicist on this event :p.
2. New Year's "Resolutions"

  • To keep this blog much more up to date...unfortunately, life has gotten in the way of updating. :)
  • To continue to not pay attention to circ de Roma...the principle of subsidiarity is really helping here. Our Faith should not be dependent on the occupant in the chair of Peter....things are a little rough right now, but let our hearts not be troubled. (This of course does not mean we should not be praying for our Holy Father, we definitely should be)
  • To be more "social" on social media outlets...but rest assured, I'll still be me...No, I won't be putting up the latest trends, or giving you updates on the world of the talentless, but good things (with my usual commentary)
I'll keep this short, but I hope that all of you have had a joyous (and continuously joyful) Christmas season. Until tomorrow

Pax Vobis