Saturday, July 9, 2016

Catholic Athletes for Christ

Here are some Catholic athletes standing up for Christ and showing virtue that other Catholic personalities should do too.  It is inspiring to see the fame has NOT stopped these men from witnessing to true Catholicism.

Kobe Bryant, Formed and Saved by His Catholic Faith -
See more at:

"The one thing that really helped me during that process — I’m Catholic, I grew up Catholic, my kids are Catholic — was talking to a priest. It was actually kind of funny: He looks at me and says, ‘Did you do it?’ And I say, ‘Of course not.’ Then he asks, ‘Do you have a good lawyer?’ And I’m like, ‘Uh, yeah, he’s phenomenal.’ So then he just said, ‘Let it go. Move on. God’s not going to give you anything you can’t handle, and it’s in his hands now. This is something you can’t control. So let it go.’ And that was the turning point."

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

THE PRESENCE OF GOD-- prayer and virtue

The quest for virtue must begin with prayer. Prayer is the most necessary virtue to acquire.

Why should we pray?

If God knows our needs before even we know them, why do we need to pray?
 "Your Father knows that you have need of all these things." (Matthew 6:32)

Since God was rejected by Adam in the Garden. To a certain extent, Adam shut God out of relationship with humanity; he chose it. The devil thought he had now won.

But there are other avenues God could still use, so that  His relationship with Man would not die, chief among these is prayer.

"For we pray not that we may change the Divine disposition, but that we may impetrate that which God has disposed to be fulfilled by our prayers in other words

"that by asking, men may deserve to receive what Almighty God from eternity has disposed to give," as [St. Gregory the Great ] says (Dial. i, 8) "

(Summa Theologica, II-ii: Question 83--art. 2)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Fatherhood Prudence and Leadership

[editor: I hoped to have this up for Father's Day. But it took longer than I thought.]

There are three styles of fathering:


2. Permissive

3. Leadership

1.) Authoritarian fathering uses lots of commands, yelling and threats but little reasoning--draconian in nature.

"Fathers, provoke not your children to indignation, lest they be discouraged." (Colossians 3:21)

“My sons, in my long experience very often I had to be convinced of this great truth. It is easier to become angry than to restrain oneself, and to threaten a boy than to persuade him." (St. John Bosco; Office of Readings, Jan. 31.)

2.) Permissive fathering is high on affection but low on authority. Subconsciously children can feel un-loved because they feel not worth the effort to set boundaries. Children raised by permissive parents do not learn age-appropriate behaviors and the consequences for performance or non-performance.

"What  will  become  of  boys  when  from  earliest  youth  they  are  without  teachers?...  to  exercise  this  child’s  soul  in  virtue,  to  that  no  man  any  longer  pays  heed." (St. John Chrysostum VAINGLORY and THE RIGHT WAY FOR PARENTS TO BRING UP THEIR CHILDREN #18)

3.) Leadership  fathering combines confidence  with reasoning, love, and encouragement. Yelling is avoided.

Thursday, June 16, 2016


Fellowship means service, self-restraint and respect for the rights of others.

 Whenever you are alone you are master of your dispositions. You may do as you please, and may release whatever disposition you wish to express; provided you keep within the bounds of law, morals and ethics.  This is called sovereignty

Sovereignty  allows you to rest or lie down on the couch or the bed; if you desire to sing, to whistle, to eat or read, you can do as you please.

Once you are among others: family, groups, or any public event. Your Sovereignty is and must be curtailed. One is required to conform to regulations, customs and traditions--even if no legal, moral or ethical issues are involved.

The reason is, once you are among people, you are a member of a group, and in a group, you are  bound by charity and lose your sovereignty, at least, part of it.

In a group others have equal rights of human dignity. Their rights must be respected as you would expect them to respect you.

This is called fellowship and is opposed to sovereignty. Fellowship means service, self-restraint and respect for the rights of others.

Sovereignty, when among others, means the reverse: domination, unrestricted power, and disregard for the needs, rights, and desires of others. Fellowship is the principle of group mindedness and charity; sovereignty is that of individualism. Each have their place and proper conditions.

To the extent that a sovereign recognizes others he loses the prerogatives of sovereignty. To the extent that a group grants to any of its members the status of sovereignty, it weakens the principle of fellowship.

Thursday, June 9, 2016


Scrupulosity can be a problem. Most people have scrupulous moments. Depending on the time, the place, or frame of mind. We all have moments, when we fear we have broken a rule, or social norm, when in fact we haven't.

But scrupulosity is a perversion of doing little things for God. It also distorts the virtue of magnanimity. They look at all things, especially small things, as an obligation; they FEEL like they have failed, or even sinned, when no sin was in reality committed.

Individuals with a serious problem of scruples should seek professional psychological help, for it may be a sign of other serious problems.

But lets speak of the average person.

Saturday, June 4, 2016


No one ever ascends all at once to the highest point of vice or virtue; it is by the small habits we form.

“A magnificent building will never rise if we reject the insignificant bricks.” (St. Faustina)

The simplest way is to just have good manners, in the western tradition. Good manners is based on the scripture: "All things therefore whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you also to them. For this is the law and the prophets." ( Mt. 7:12). He didn't say 'do NOT do unto others what you do NOT want done to you' While this is included, Jesus is making us pro-active-- "DO it"--
Do for others what you would like done for you.  Good manners is just thinking of the other person. How do they feel?

Hold that door; say thank you and please; keep calm, when a co-worker, a manager, a customer, or companion is angry with you. Are we not offended, when some one is unkind or unjust to us? We might think : 'They  didn't even say thank you !!' and we are offended.

Don't do it for a thank you, because you will often be disappointed, BUT do it because God has given you the opportunity to do it, for the love of God, and salvation of souls, that is reward enough.

Controlling the tongue is just controlling a muscle. Your thoughts might be angry or vulgar, but that word not said is an act of kindness. The perfect man has not the evil thought, but let us attack at the weakest link--our actions. If you have lost control of your thoughts, don't lose control of your muscles-- do not put the the anger into action.

Thursday, June 2, 2016


We have spoken a lot of the desire for virtue, but what is virtue?

First we must define a few topics to give us the viewpoint for the actions we must take.

Fr. Hardon writes in his Catholic Dictionary :
A good habit that enables a person to act according to right reason enlightened by faith. Also called an operative good habit, it makes its possessor a good person and his or her actions also good. (Etym. Latin virtus, virility, strength of character, manliness.) "

There are two types of virtues:

1. Theological-- given by the infusion of Sanctifying Grace at Baptism: Faith, Hope, and Charity.

2. Moral-- the Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance.

The theological virtues furnish a basis for all other virtues.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


"When people begin to praise us, let us hurry to remember the multitude of ours transgressions, and we will see that we are truly unworthy of that which they say and do in our honor."(St. John of the Ladder, Ladder, 22.42) But don't make a big deal in denying or affirming. Just says 'I hope God sees it so.'

Forget your good deeds as soon as possible ... Do not record them or speak of them, unless to instruct, for if you forget them, they will be known for all eternity.
"If you want the Lord to hide your sins, then don't talk to people about what kind of virtues you have. For as we relate to our virtues, so God relates to our sins." (St. Mark the Ascetic, Homilies, 2.135)

"Do not claim to have acquired virtue, unless you have suffered affliction, for without affliction, virtue has not been tested." (St. Mark the Ascetic, On the Spiritual Law)

"Let all involuntary suffering teach you to remember God, and you will not lack occasion for repentance."(St. Mark the Ascetic, “On the Spiritual Law) This is the wisest of sayings. Often we can fool ourselves, by penances we choose. But the penance that is most beneficial is the one we don't choose. We should deny ourselves to practice for involuntary tests.

Sunday, May 29, 2016


"Whosoever puts his hand to the plough and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of heaven" (Luke 9:62)

St. Augustine says that we cannot possibly prevent ourselves from descending, but by always striving to ascend; for as soon as we begin to stop, we descend, and not to advance, is to go back; so that if we wish not to go back, we must always run forward without
stopping.  [cf. Ep. 113 to Dem. Vir.]

Life is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back.

If we want to get to the source, we must swim against the current; not to push forward is to go back. There is no resting place in this life. We seek union with our source Jesus Christ himself.

Jesus carried his cross never turning back. Knowing the suffering that awaited him. Let us pray for the strength.

Have you done enough?
Are you feeling tired?
Do you think you're entitled to repose?
Do you imagine that your present  virtue is sufficient?

Reflect well, that we still have a long way to go. There are many occasions for us, to have more humility, more courage, more patience, more love of God and man...

We will be surprised at the time of our greatest distress, the virtue we thought we had is weaker than we could imagine. This is guaranteed.

"Pride goeth before destruction: and the spirit is lifted up before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18)

"Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise!...they labor hard all summer,gathering food for the winter." (Proverbs 6:6,8)

"Repetition" is the mother of learning, so is she the mother of virtue. Does the athlete tire of practicing? Certainly ! But preparing for the contest is always before his eyes. This drives him on. Likewise should we practice good acts, spiritual and corporal.

Like the ants, let us gather for time of winter, when virtue is not easy.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Signs of Friendship with God

St. Bernard says, that there is
no more certain mark of God being present in a man's heart, than the desire of still increasing in grace, and he proves it by the saying - with the Wise Man:
"Those that eat me shall still hunger, and those that drink me shall still thirst." (Sirach, 24:21)
If, then, you hunger and thirst for heavenly things, rejoice, since it is an evident sign that God dwells in your soul.

Like the Bloodhound, finding the scent, pursues eagerly, and never tires of the pursuit; whoever
smells the sweetness of the divine scent runs after it without ceasing, and cries out with the spouse in the Canticles,

"Draw me after Thee, we will run in the odor of thy divine perfumes." (Cant 1. 8)

St Bernard said he trembled, and his hair stood of an end, as often as he reflected on these words of the Holy Spirit:

" Man knows not whether he deserves love or hatred" (Eccles 9:1) This passage is terrible, says this great saint, "and I shook with horror as often as I thought on it, never without trembling repeating that sentence, Who knows whether he deserves love or hatred?" (Serm. 23 on the Cant.)

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is prudence." (Proverbs 9:10)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

First Step: Desire God and Virtue

St. Paul,says that if we gain Jesus Christ it is enough; for all the rest is nothing but dirt and manure. (cf. Phil 3:8) This is the best means we have of attaining Christian virtue. For the degree to which this esteem ascends in our hearts will be the measure of our own spiritual advancement

The Prophet Jeremy says:  "Let not the wise man, glory in his wisdom, nor the strong man in his strength, nor the rich man in the
abundance of his wealth; but let him that does glory, glory in his knowledge of me." (Jer. 9: 23.)

What counts the most in Christians is not depth of learning, or great talents, or any other
human endowment; but it is humility and obedience, a spirit of recollection and prayer-- simply loving God with all your heart.

When it will be known that virtue is the only thing esteemed in a Catholic; we will be more convincing to the non believer. A virtuous soul is a more fitting instrument of Grace, for the salvation souls. Recall the honor of participating with the Creator.

For every one coming to the knowledge of the true way, will devote himself without reserve to virtue — he will apply himself solely to spiritual advancement, and will believe every thing else. is vanity and folly.
How dangerous it is, without humility, and posses talents and learning:

"Rejoice not, that you work miracles, and that the devils are subject to you; but rejoice in this, that your names are written in heaven." (Luke17:20)
We ought to place all our joy in acquiring the kingdom of heaven, for without that all the rest are nothing.

"What will it avail a man to gain the whole world, if he loseth his soul? " (Matt 16: 26)