Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Mercy!

 Hello everyone, it's been a very long time! Lots of changes for me, most notably that I have gotten married as of August! I plan on posting a little more this year for the year of Mercy! Which is big news! The year of mercy, not my posting. 

Anyway, to start off, here are the Spiritual and Corporal works of Mercy which I never fully learned as a wee lad. Or as a not so wee lad. Point is, the size of my corpus did not change my ignorance. If only someone had performed the spiritual work of mercy and instructed me! Ah well, learning it now!  Here's the list


  • feed the hungry; 
  • To give drink to the thirsty; 
  • To clothe the naked; 
  • To harbour the harbourless; 
  • To visit the sick; 
  • To ransom the captive; 
  • To bury the dead. 

The spiritual works of mercy are: 

  • To instruct the ignorant ; 
  • To counsel the doubtful ; 
  • To admonish sinners ; 
  • To bear wrongs patiently; 
  • To forgive offences willingly; 
  • To comfort the afflicted; 
  • To pray for the living and the dead.

I'm going to make an effort to do one of these works each day consciously during this year, may God give us all the grace to expand hearts to be merciful as He is merciful!

God bless! 
~OCG

Monday, July 20, 2015

Blessed are the Salty

I'm a salt guy. I will eat a pretzel just for the salt. And when I'm done? I'll eat all the spare salt. And then eat some cheese, with extra salt on top. 

Aside from leading to future hypertension, salt is a necessary ingredient in our lives. It teaches us the value of hard work as everyone tries to be worth their salt. Salt is also a major part of any recipe, even if it's just a pinch. Sometimes a pinch is enough. 

Jesus tells us that we are the salt of the earth. We are meant to do great things, even if we ourselves sometimes feel less than even a pinch. On those days when you are a dash, or even a smidgen!, you are still a necessary ingredient in whatever God is cooking. 

Our Lord warns us also about salt losing its flavor and becoming useless. What is salt without its saltiness? Small white rocks ? A sugar costume for the youth wrapped in sticky tape on Halloween? Perhaps, but it certainly cannot do what salt is meant to do- make things saltier. 

God also tells us very challenging things in the gospels that sometimes seem impossible- be pure of heart, be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect. Whoa! I'm just a little gradual of salt here man! Not enough to purify any heart, especially not my own. And perfect? I'm not even iodized! 

But that's kind of the point. We aren't perfect; we aren't pure of heart. We are made to be like our Father but fall very much short. Jesus however does not. He is pure of heart, He is like the Father, He retains His flavor. 

Purity demands perfection. You can't have something be mostly pure- it's extreme and demanding by its nature. And purity is demanding because it is something special. Something pure is something set apart. Why does God tell us to be pure and perfect? Because we are special; we are set apart; we are necessary. We are salt, and we must stay salty. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Broken Promises

 I promised my fiancee I'd have abs about 6 years ago. It was one of those, "oh yeah? I'll prove I can do it" statements that so often you never quite live down. Well here we are 6 years later, I'm still a chubby deer and she the agile doe gracefully slowing down until I catch up. 

I'm reflecting on broken promises as I have already failed to keep my streak of Easter promises. I have not written, or exercised every day of the season but luckily have finished the Divine Mercy novena and I pray God forgives my breaking this other promise. 

I suppose there are two kinds of promises: the trivial and the important. Trivial promises are small ones that break easily and are made to be broken. As Mary Poppins calls them, "pie crust promises: easily made, easily broken". This is my abs and my eating healthier and all those stacks of unfinished screenplays and stopped a week into January New Years resolutions. They exist but are fleeting and flawed and never going to be perfect. In a way, they are our most human promises.

The other kind are different. They are inportant and life changing. These are the big ones- vows, trust, love. Promises, spoken or unspoken that are promised out of love for another person- for it is only in loving another person that we truly can change I think. In the promise we give them, we are transformed by the hope of a new future, closer and more intimate to the beloved. 

This is our identity as Christians, a promised people. We are made new in Christ with our baptismal promises. When we sin we decide to turn against our beloved, against our promise, and against ourselves. And in denying that we sin, or explaining that sin away to ourselves, we actually devolve as people in an attempt to slide back to our old  state before the promise. What we fail to realize is that that is not possible. There is no going back once that promise is made, we are already a new being and cannot become the old self for that part of you has died. We live only in this new promise, a betrothal between God and His church. 

All this is to say, while I may never have the abs I promised, the vows I make on my wedding day will infinitely strengthen me more than any crunches or planks. Gof love you ,

 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

A New blog Mission!

Hello everyone,

Well it's been nearly a year since I last posted. Last easter season my promise was to post once a day about joy, a promise I somewhat fulfilled with lots of gaps. It helped make me more holy in that my writing streak was full of holes. 

What this mission did accomplish was helping me see the light in a dark time in my life- a time of consistent unemployment and personal struggles with sinful habits. The focus of joy was a small way to live out the hope that Christ gives us in Easter. 

I now am making a new Easter goal this year. One that I pray I may faithfully execute that combines my faith with my hope of work. So, here it is:

There a great app that I highly recommend, the Fulton Sheen AudioLibrary (link:  Fulton Sheen Audio Library by As Written Productions
https://appsto.re/us/bfQZx.i). Fulton Sheen has been a great resource for my spiritual life since I was in college and I find it enlightening that Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen may one day be the first saint to have won an Emmy, the highest award in the field I aspire to work in television. For a few well worth it dollars, you get access to nearly 100 talks from the most prominent Catholic on TV before Stephen Colbert came along. 

My goal is to listen to "the Sheen Catechism" - 50 episodes in 50 days. With each episode only being a half hour or so,  it's doable and I pray (with the intercession of Fulton Sheen) will be fruitful to me. Along with this spiritual goal I am making two other goals for my health and work lives, to walk for 30 minutes a day (usually in tandem with the episodes of the Catechism) and to write creatively for a half hour each day. My hope is this simple goal will be accomplishable and help me holistically set up positive routines heading into my married life. 

In addition, I hope to occasionally post reflections on this blog again. Though it is often poorly written and I don't intend on anyone reading it (but if you are reading it, thank you!) it may be a helpful tool in getting down thoughts about my Easter journey this year. 

So, thank you for the time and I hope you have an awesome and fruitful Easter season filled with faith, hope, and love in the joy of Christ's resurrection. 

In Christ's name,
~OCG

HE IS RISEN ALLELUJAH! 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Happy Pentecost!/ 50 Day mission complete

Happy Pentecost everyone!

WE MADE IT!  ALLELUIA! 

A little less than 50 posts later ( I missed a few days!) we have arrived at the end of the Easter season.  The mission of this blog was to post about joy for 50 days and celebrate Easter by writing.  I think there have been one or two good reflections and a lot of filler in between but it was a valuable celebration of Easter for me! 

A lot can change in 50 days. And I think I've changed a little.  Doing this blog made me try and find anything that was going on in my life, whether it was painful or stressful or any -ful and find the joy in it.  That's the main thing I've learned: there is joy in everything and God re-makes all things.  Even suffering can lead to joy.  
I pray to the Holy Spirit on this Pentecost that you and I all be filled with the Spirit of God and may use the gifts given us to spread the Gospel.  This blog was part of a daily writing routine that I hoped to establish and, since God has given me an ability to write I hope to nurture it even more in the coming year.  

I will no longer be posting daily but hopefully will do one more reflective and deeper post a week.  But I will be writing daily, hopefully two hours or three pages a day.  I'm making this semi-public on this blog to hold myself accountable.  May the Holy Spirit guide me in writing and in this new teacher position I was just hired for. 

God love you all! Remember to live your life abundantly in Christ this day!  

Be joyful and have a wonderful day! 

~OneCatholicGuy

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Old search items

Today I was on facebook and needed to search for something.  I forget if it was a brand I liked or someone from elementary school or anything important.  It doesn't really matter.  What does matter is the second I typed in a letter a suggestion came up.  It was a suggestion for a questionable page that I had requested be removed from Facebook because someone invited me to it and it was not appropriate for facebook. Because I had visited the page when I requested it be removed, it pops up in my search bar now permenantly.

This is a weird little facebook quirk that many people online have complained about.  Very often in the complaints it is the person saying that they searched for their ex and they don't want their current significant other to see that search as a suggestion.  It seems frequency isn't the main reason for it being suggested but still some old stuff gets dragged up right in front of our eyes next to the little magnifying glass.

This can be a moment of temptation.  Should I look at this page, this person's profile, this thing I looked at once only fleetingly? You cannot change these suggestions or delete them in any way.  You're stuck with what they give you.  Sometimes it may be a past sin that you're looking at, or the profile of someone that you hurt by accident or on purpose.  But there it is, right in front of you.  What do you do with that?

I think that more than a temptation it can be an opportunity of grace and humility- both on and off facebook.  Very often in our lives we are reminded, sometimes daily, of a big mistake we've made or an offense committed or a stupid action done for no reason.  Those reminders should not be a way of beating ourselves up.  If we've sinned and been forgiven, those things are in the past.  But, like all sin, their consequences and effects still can haunt our present.  The ghosts of old search items may plague our minds if we do not give them over to God and say, "these were my mistakes.  This is where I've gone wrong.  Left on my own to search, I will seek things for myself which will lead to my self-destruction.  You are the way, the truth and the Life.  You are what I truly seek God.  Help me to seek you always, and to put the past in the past."

These reminders certainly can test us or even trick us into thinking we are the same person we are now as we were when we searched for them.  But we are not.  We are the person God has made us today.  When you're tempted to look at an ex, remember who you are now, not the person in a faded relationship from the early annals of facebook.  When you are tempted to look at a page that could cause you to stumble down a rabbithole into sin, remember that rabbithole is a tomb that Christ has overcome.  God will give you the grace to avoid the hole but you need to take the opportunity to go around it.

There is no strength to be found in facing your biggest weaknesses head on alone.  We are often weak and will fail and fall into bad habits.  Go at it with God, and avoid the near occasion.  Don't let the old search items take up any more of your thoughts than they deserve. Stick to your guns and walk away, you'll much more surely win the fight.

God bless you all and keep you on the right path!


~OCG

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

French fries

Today I had many happy moments, accepted a new job, got to watch puppies playing, saw family and friends. But the happiest moment for me was the two minutes I got to see my fiancée and share a few French fries. That is the joy that sticks out on an eventful day, because even on the biggest day of my life, my true joy is to be with her. Ketchup or no ketchup. 

~ OCG