feels good to be back. no other words are necessary for this post. just let these prophetic words sink in.
“The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning.
She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes … she will lose many of her social privileges…. As a small society, [the Church] will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members….
It will be hard-going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek…. The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism on the eve of the French Revolution — when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain…. But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.
And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already, but the Church of faith. She may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but she will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.”
— Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI), from his book Faith and the Future
The reality is this: The teachings of the Church have always been the Truth from which leftism and rightism are equally false heresies. She demands that we give to the poor, and refrain from sterilizing them. She opposes abortion and euthanasia — thus annoying the Left — while opposing unjust war, death penalty and nuclear weapons — thus annoying the Right. She stands in contradiction to materialism in all its forms, from the capitalist degradation of man into a working unit, to the socialist degradation of man to into a merely social unit. She unites the Klan member and the Communist in common hatred — the WBC preacher and the New Atheist hold hands over a common enemy. She is the rock plunged into the pool — all else is ripple. —
SHE = THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.
renovation complete. welcome to our new home!
big props to ikea, sleep country & your wedding donations. =)
it’s almost that time of the year again.
disclaimer: this is long… & this is what happens when the wife is tired and falls asleep early. hahaha.
CFC Youth USA’s conference was this past weekend, and for the first time since 2007 in New Jersey… I wasn’t there. As a Mission Volunteer and then Full Time Worker, I’ve been really blessed the last 4 years to witness how powerful the Holy Spirit can work in the lives of the young. And as this weekend passed by, my thoughts and prayers were heavily directed to everyone in Santa Clara. I can honestly say that for the first time since I moved to Vancouver, I had my first legit “it feels weird not being there” moment.
It felt weird not being there because CFC Youth or YFC as it was known when I was a member, has always taken up a significant portion of my life. I’ve ridden the highest of emotional highs to the lowest of the lows with this group. I experienced Praisefests where you feel like you’re walking in the clouds and are absolutely untouchable, yet I’ve nailed my deepest darkest sins to some wooden cross that logistics built only to fall back into it a month later. I’ve been that guy who’s given talks, and who’s done the complete opposite of what the talk says when no one was looking. And countless times, I’ve seen people who I look up to and think that they’re spiritually invincible prove that they’re in fact, just as human as we all are. If it makes any sense, I loved & hated everything about the community all at the same time.
Somewhere along this path of awesome highs, hypocrisy and sadness, I took the blessings along with accepting the flaws, and made some concrete decisions along the way. One of these decisions was making a humble attempt to understand what it means to be a Catholic, & why we do what we do as Catholics. Another decision was, to not keep this to myself, but to do the best that I could to pass on whatever I learned. Through God’s grace, understanding our faith (which I have PLENTY more to do by the way) led to really falling in love with it, and in turn the drive to pass it on came pretty darn joyfully. God was gracious enough to hook that up through the avenue of being a FTW in this community for 2 amazing years.
When I saw all the #fullofgrace hashtags throughout the weekend and into this week, I then started to read about the conference experiences of some random 13 and 14 yr olds that I don’t even know. Aside from the usual cc stuff that always finds its way in the discussion, i read MUCH MORE about how much they learned about and love Mama Mary, the importance of developing Cardinal Virtues, experiencing God’s infinite love through the Blessed Sacrament & Eucharist, and realizing how valuable and important our vocation is. When I read all of this, I had the biggest smile on my face and those thoughts of feeling weird not being there suddenly disappeared. Everything made perfect sense.
Was it because I didn’t wanna be there? Of course not. My source of joy came simply from the fact that the same concrete decisions I made at a much later stage in life are already being planted for them NOW, in their early youth. Everything these youth are being introduced to now are exactly what they’re gonna need whenever the emotions run dry, reality starts to hurt and comfort zones get uncomfortable. When I was around, we sang “New Generation” (jeez i’m old). Today, they sing an even more powerful song that they wrote themselves called “Rise O Generation” . The tools that are being given to them NOW give this generation such an amazing chance to RISE.
On a personal level, all the blessings that have come into my life I know have 100% to do with the concrete decisions I decided to make. Those decisions led to falling in love with our faith and our Church, and as a result, it led to falling in love with the CFC community and everything it stands for all over again. Tying both of those things together brought me to serving in the community full-time, and that decision ultimately resulted in God leading me into my vocation. What makes this even more beautiful is that a good majority of my friends who made it to our wedding were serving the youth this weekend, and if they weren’t there, they were most definitely praying for all of you. Everything made perfect sense.
and to conclude…..from a community perspective, I realized that while I missed serving my first CFC Youth & SFC conference in years, the same exact weekend me and the wife went to our first ever Couples for Christ Household. once again, EVERYTHING MADE PERFECT SENSE.
#FULLCIRCLE, #FULLOFBLESSINGS, #FULLOFGRACE.
as good as GOLD.
The fruits of all of your love and support -
The wedding pictures YOU ALL helped us win are now up! Thank you so much again. =)