January 3, 2020
As it turns out, when we get the exact thing we want, it doesn’t make us as happy as we think it will. When we are denied our deepest desire, it’s not as disastrous as we assume it will be. You finally get your dream truck, that beautiful F350 Platinum, and a month later when the newness wears off, it’s just a truck with a lot of chrome and a substantial monthly payment. You get your dream promotion, yet you still have all the insecurities you thought would disappear when the announcement was made. Reverse the fortunes: you wreck your new truck or lose your great job. The initial shock wears off, it’s a year later and here you are, your life didn’t implode.
What does this tell us about happiness and who we are as humans?
December 24, 2019
What a role Joseph played! To care for and protect the crowned jewel of the human race- Mary, Queen of heaven, Seat of Wisdom, New Ark of the Covenant- and to foster the Incarnate God himself. My great love for Joseph comes not only from his faithful acts, but his willingness to be faithful in obscurity. To be faithful, then gladly forgotten.
December 23, 2019
Praised be Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe! Our last address to an earthly king was a collection of 27 grievances against his majesty, George III (which were promptly ignored), followed by Declaration of Independence which changed the course of history. Yet here we stand as Catholics declaring ourselves subservient to another king. Not just any king, but the King of the Universe! There is nothing democratic about this feast. We can make no grievances, declare no inalienable rights, nor can we rebel against him who admits he harvests where he has not sown and gathers where he has not scattered seed. So are we taking part in a fundamentally unamerican celebration? Should we rather name Jesus President of the Universe that we can maintain our dignity?
December 7, 2019
Can Christians reconcile the story of creation with evolutionary theory without compromising an authentic reading of scripture or Christian anthropology?
Is it necessary to see evolutionary theory with an openness to God in order if we are to explain the process reasonably?
I assert the answer to both of those questions is: Yes.
Listen in and let me know what you think!
Note: I purposely avoid the phrase Intelligent Design in my talk because of all the baggage it currently carries with it. However, David Galernter puts forth a formidable argument for it in his article Giving up Darwin. He is mostly citing Stephen Meyer’s book Darwin’s Doubt, which i have not had the chance to read yet.
Bibliography (not comprehensive but these were my main sources):
Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind. Yuval Noah Harari
The Human Advantage: A New Understanding of How our Brains Became Remarkable.
Suzana Herculano-Houzel, MIT Press, 2016
What is so Special about the Human Brain? Ted Talk, Suzana Herculano-Houzel
Giving up Darwin, David Galernter
Jordan Peterson, Various Talks and Lectures on brain development as well as his lectures on the creation story.
Did Adam and Eve Exist? Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, OP, this is a lecture series that Fr. Nicanor gives in various contexts,but I have listened to various lectures from him on similar topics.
December 4, 2019
Whenever Jesus talks about the end times, final judgment, heaven, hell, or anything in the field we refer to as eschatological, his advice to the disciples is to be vigilant, to watch, to be ready at all times. We must focus our lives on the Lord in a focused and vigilant way, listening to Paul’s two crucial commands to “pray unceasingly” and “Never grow weary in going good.”
December 2, 2019
Since the dawn of time, humans have yearned for immortality. Even Friedrich Neitzsche, certainly no Christian thinker, said “All joy wills eternity, wills deep, deep, eternity.”
Today’s reading ends with the proclamation, “I choose to die at the hands of men and to cherish the hope that God gives of being raised again. But for you there will be no resurrection to life!”
November 21, 2019
If we pray without growing weary, and do so with an openness to whatever God has in store, we will know Him. That is, in the end, the only thing that matters. If I have Christ as my friend, a cancer diagnosis does not destroy my life, rather it becomes as beautiful opportunity to show those I know and love how to suffer joyfully. We look to Blessed Chiara Badano who, upon hearing her cancer diagnosis as an 18-year-old declared, "It's for you, Jesus; if you want it, I want it, too.”
October 27, 2019
St. Thomas Aquinas writes in his beautiful hymn Adoro Te Devote:
Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived: How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God’s Son has told me, take for truth I do; Truth himself speaks truly or there’s nothing true.
The beautiful Hopkins translation speaks to the beautiful mystery of the mass.
September 20, 2019
This is the 1st of four lectures given to the Catholic Youth Coalition on Fundamental Theology.
This lecture was on the existence of God. Can we discard the idea of God without losing the ability to explain the world as it is? I don't think so, here are the reasons why:
1. We cannot explain the origin of the universe.
2. We cannot explain human consciousness.
3. We cannot claim there is any meaning in the world.
With those questions to guide the conversation, we will explore it all more in depth in the next three lectures.
September 14, 2019
C.S. Lewis says it’s precisely the greatest moments of our life which make it clear that nothing in this world will ever make us happy. Looking back to the image in the gospel, we calculate the cost of the building and realize it’s beyond our means, we look at the battle of 10k v 20k and realize we can’t win. What are we to do? Sue for peace? Settle for mediocrity? That’s not the Christian way.
C.S. Lewis follows his insight with another saying, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”