Some 54 Day Spiritual Boot Camp Thoughts

    For the previous 54 days I participated in two 27 day novenas of petition and thanksgiving centered around the concept of a spiritual boot camp for a recruit to the Church Militant.  A good friend of mine joined me on this journey, so I had a combat buddy the whole way.  The format came from the website called the Roman Catholic Man (  Each day we received a meditation thought, lesson, wisdom from saints and the church fathers.  You also dedicated yourself to a rosary each night with petitions of your choosing.  

    One of my petitions was for discernment on how I was to serve the Lord and my family better in the years to come.  Saturday was my final day in this journey, and as we attended the baptism of a wonderful baby boy this photo came together before me.  It symbolized many of the lessons the Lord brought to my attention int he last 54 days.

    Here you see parents humbly presenting their child to the Lord, and pledging obedience to the church’s teaching as they raise their child to trust the Lord.  The Child’s grandfather is the Deacon conducting the baptism.  He calls all of his children to a life embracing the supernatural grace of God though example and deed.  He does this as a patriarch of his family, and as an ordained clergy for the Body of Christ.

    In this photo you see many members of our Regina Caeli Academy family, and other families joyfully embracing a culture of life and sacrifice.  As my altar serving son said later, it was the nosiest mass he ever served at.  As a result of the noise, the presiding priest only got a bigger smile because it was a sign of parents continuing to present their children to the Lord as they grew. He knows this pleases God greatly.

    The joyful presence of children lining the isles reminded me I am to be like a child in my faith.  I must be inquisitive and seeking truth with all my heart.  The presence of my child reminded me I also have a calling as a younger patriarch to follow the lead of wiser Catholic men around me.  If you want be the best you can be, you must associate and learn from the best on the field of battle yourself.  It is the only way to care for your wife and children properly.

    Finally, I realized even if I cannot do anything physically to help people I must continue to pray.  In this photo are many who’s names line my prayerbook.  I do not know them well, and some did not know I was praying for resolutions to problems they mentioned when we met.  I pray because right now, for most of them, it is all the charity I can provide.

    The day and setting for the sacrament were beautiful beyond my ability to describe it in words.  I knew by the high stratocumulus clouds change was just over the horizon.   By the next morning the temperature would drop forty degrees to a low of 36 degrees.  This symbolized how the Church Militant needs more recruits to prepare for the long campaigns of spiritual warfare to come.  So the final part of my discernment was the knowledge I am to help sound the call for new warriors to join our cause.  For men are meant to be courageous, not cowering from fear and despair.

  The journey to these discernments was long and productive…but only the beginning of a new a more challenging chapter as I seek again to capture a glimpse of his glory and share it with you..



And so it begins…the Triduum

    The commisioning of priests and institution of the Eucharist...two great gifts

    The commisioning of priests and institution of the Eucharist…two great gifts

    The beauty of Holy Thursday never escapes me  Last night as even more beautiful because of the lessons taught to me by so many God seeking people over the last year. Lessons from people who past over 1800 years ago, and lessons from those living amongst us now filled my mind, heart and warmed my soul as we heard the liturgy of the word and celebrated the liturgy of the Eucharist

   Father Tri, of St Brigid Catholic Church, reminded us the story of each life is what makes the church breathe the world. The story each life brings to the church helps pass on its’s lessons and beauty from generation to generation  These stories allow the priesthood of the family to connect with the priesthood of the Church.  To make this occur we all must listen, observe and react to the wisdom of God as it works its way into our lives throug everyone around us. 

   The Holy Eurcharist is the foretaste of heaven, the perfect mana, needed to nourish our souls with the grace to navigate e challenges of a fallen world.  When taken in concert with reconciliation it enables us to stay on the path to heaven.  It keeps Christ within our very blood…commingling a bit of heaven with our life here on we go about our day.  So when we say take Christ with you wherever you go, if we partake of this holy nurishment we can do exactly that.  No other God before or since offered such a gift to mortals.  In fact no other God offered to make lowly man part of himself, and join in perfect communion in heaven, for all eternity if we choose to do so.

   Pray for our priests that they may lead all souls to heaven.  Pray for our priesthood in the family, that each man will be willing to lead their family to the best of their ability to the altar of God.  Pray each mother makes their home a place where the stories of old, new and the future will enable The word of God to reach fertile ears and move those souls to Christ.  Pray for the religious, that by their concerted life they make offerings the rest of us cannot for the salvation of the world.

   So let us begin our Triduum journey, and honor the sacrifices made to bring us all the way to heaven.




Kalen helping bring the gifts forward with our Decon in formation Randy Ortiz

Kalen helping bring the gifts forward with our Decon in formation Randy Ortiz

The Harvest of Salvation

    Many modern Catholic theologians, and clergy, assert the world’s population has a reasonable assumption of reaching heaven.  This theological viewpoint by nature runs over quite quickly into how they interact with the world through preaching, parish life and politics.  Although I am just a novice in understanding grand theological ideas; the assumption cannot be true due to conflicts with sacred scripture, Church Fathers teaching, and natural law.

    We are created in the image of God and built to share in knowledge and the life of God (CCC356).  Our capacity to do so however depends on each of us freely choosing to offer back to God all of the creation he provided to us (CCC358).  The stain of original sin on our nature makes it impossible to do be completely intimate with God without constant reliance on our Lord’s sacraments and teaching (CCC 402-406).  This results in the “hard battle…” of life in the real world where one who lives in ignorance of man’s wounded nature “gives rise to serious error in the areas of education, politics, social action and morals.”(CCC407)

    Our Lord also clearly repeats this theme in scripture through his parables.  In the parable of the sower we find all the seed is good.  The seed just lands on different ground.  The seed only thrives when it can find enriching soil and few external dangers.  Some ground is easily fertile, some is fertile but full of thorns, and some falls on rocky infertile soil.  The end result is two thirds of the seed yields very little healthy wheat.  Meanwhile the fertile soil thrives with the fewest plant failures.  The moral of the story becomes the minority of people grow into wheat the Father takes into heaven.

    Now the great philosopher would reply, any man can have their own faith in God which generates hope.  The same person could then use their intellect, and observations of nature to do good works of charity for others.   So therefore the scripture, tradition and sacraments are not required for assumption into heaven for eternal life.  So therefore reasonably people can assume God has a wide entrance to everyone to obtain heaven.

    The philosopher would err however in his final assessment.  By relying solely on our own intellect for decisions, we in fact prevent ourself from submitting our intellect to the will of God.    This fact, in and of itself, means the person living alone is not ready to become one with God.   No being ready to form complete union with almighty God prevents us from obtaining the gifts of heaven.  Giving back everything to God includes submitting all of our intellect to the words and commands of Jesus for introspection.  

    The lone person also becomes one against the fallen world, with all of its physical and spiritual dangers. With no community in which to find refuge from hostile forces, the lone person must fight alone and will be unaided by the wisdom of others on their quest for heaven.  So at the end of the lone journeyman’s life, it will not be a final chance to beg for God’s mercy (which those who submitted our lives before hand may possibly receive).  It would be a complete act of mercy from God to grant mercy to someone who did not submit completely to his rule, and is still defiantly saying they are their own judge on matters of faith and morals.

    We have scriptural evidence for this when Jesus himself tells Saul his work of persecuting christians hurt his body, and he needed to change.  Saul becomes the Apostle Paul, and every day begged for mercy he did not deserve.  Paul submitted his teachings, and service to the guidance of the other apostles in Jerusalem to insure their continuity with those of the remainder of Christ’s body.  Paul celebrated the eucharist with the rest of the church as daily nourishment for his journey.  Paul did this because the Body of Christ on earth was the church, and its sacraments is God’s life blood poured forth to the nourishment of the individuals in that body.

    If men as great as St Paul and other church fathers realized how thin the path to heaven was, then the historical and theological evidence clearly comes down against a “reasonable assumption” for each person to reach heaven.  It is time to recognize how this carefree attitude hurts moral decision making in our daily lives and the governance of our church.  If we recognize the real rocky path towards heaven, maybe we’ll re-acquire the missionary zeal of those first christians once again.


Wonderful Time of Loving Labors

    When you see the photo of an adorable, 100% cute child you think of the wonders the child brings to the world.  When he is your child, and you meet him at 1AM for a quick diaper change and handoff to Mom a few other thoughts run through your tired mind about the same child.

    Nothing good in life comes free.  Nothing great comes without great cost and sacrifice. This is not only true of life, but of the path we need to take to heaven.

   Jesus lived a hard life, and so did his disciples.  He even had friends he loved suffer and die!  He was our king, and died a painful death on a cross he carried on his shoulders after a brutal set of beatings.  Yet despite these facts, I think most people imagine Christ in his gloriously transformed body by default.  A transfigured body he only obtained by passing through the painful death on a tree.

    So the next time you see 100% cuteness, don’t forget the work it takes to get there.  Also know the moment of glory is worth every sacrifice it took to make a glimpse of heaven on earth.