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 (www.romancatholicman.com).  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..

-ehw

    

In the magic of a moment…

John Paul looks into his DjaDja's eyes

John Paul looks into his DjaDja’s eyes

    In the magic of a moment we can see glimpses of heaven on earth.  On this day when John Paul sat with his DjaDja (his Grandfather), I enjoyed watching this scene play out over 45 minutes.  John Paul was content to sit right on his DjaDja’s lap and listen to the rhythm of tapping hands, the touch of a hand on his head, or to reach for his grandfather’s face and feel the texture of his elder.  

    When their eyes met, it was magic to see the connection grow between them.  It appeared John Paul could tell innately DjaDja was family without the need of an adult logical thought process.  Maybe evolutionary smell, facial similarities, or voice recognition causes this.  I think there is also somewhere in here a gift of the spirit letting us enjoy the gift of multi-generational family.

    I hope one day to hold my grandchildren, and watch my children bring them to know the Glory of God.  These would be gifts worth more than the finest gold and food.  It is a shame so many people today across the world think so little of a gift like this.  Or worse, succumb to despair and think bringing children into this world is hopeless in making it a City of God.

    In the magic of this captured moment, I hope and pray grace will flow to help others receive a gift of the spirit calling them to join in the act of creation built into our nature by God himself.  Then we can all help build a City of God one loving glance at a time.

-ehw

Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse

The evening food adventure

The evening food adventure

    We went on a nice food adventure this evening to Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse this evening.   This is the Inwood Road location in Dallas, Texas.  The manager even helped me to get a few behind the scenes shots in real quick.  Food was good, and the company nice.  Nice Americana feel to the restaurant, and the warm dry evening made it a wonderful night to sit and eat in the open air.  Again the people of Texas keep being pretty nice to me!  That is a huge blessing in today’s day and age where meeting people can be a business full of bruises.

The Knife selection....

The Knife selection….

The Tea Selection

The Tea Selection

Old School Seating section...

Old School Seating section…

Open and fun....nice combo for an evening with friends.

Open and fun….nice combo for an evening with friends.

-ehw

Horse Sense

Horse outside a retirement home down the street...

Horse outside a retirement home down the street…

    In bright sunny midday light some subjects just don’t work well with normal color.  The color actually becomes a distraction.  Some subjects also really don’t lend themselves to color photos either.  This was one of those days where a good black and white image was able to much more effective at conveying a message from an image.  In this case I just wanted to show off the power of the horse, and I think it worked.

    I’m liking the people I’ve meet here in Dallas so far…nice town and people.

-ehw