Oh Lord, purify me, make me a chalice in which you dwell, offer your sacrifice in me and spread your love through me. Let me shine like gold, adorn me with the jewels of virtue that I may always be open to you. Fill me. Overflow me. Let me be like that most perfect vessel, the Singular Vessel of Devotion, She to whom I cry for protection against the Evil One. I ask this for your glory, for the vessel is nothing without the sustenance inside, the cup nothing unless it is filled. Oh Lord, purify me.

Give me a word, Abba

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Also known as education that a Dominican participates in. This afternoon, one of my professors from last semester and a Dominican priest that I greatly respect defended his Graduate Thesis. I thought it was a doctoral dissertation, but it didn't seem to be that. I mean, what would you call a Dominican with a doctorate? Dr. Fr. Andrew OP? Rev. Dr. Andrew OP? Fr. Andrew OPh.D?

Anyway, it was a great event. The Thesis was on St. Gregory of Nazianzus. (If anyone is wondering why I have St Gregory as one of my favorite authors, Fr. Andrew is the reason)

There were in general two question topics: Concerning Gregory's autobiographical writing and theology which was primarily Christo-centric (which was because of his close union with Christ. If you're that close, then to talk about yourself is to talk about Christ). Second was the question of Gregory's use of Classical literature sources. Like Homer.

St. Gregory is a great poet, and is often referred to as "The Theologian". He and C.S. Lewis have something in common. They both liked Evangelizing pagan culture and showing where it touches the Truth of the Word.

Congratulations, Fr. Andrew!

My current project...

Our freshman architecture class is currently doing perspective drawings (drafted and in watercolor) of La Rotonda, a villa designed by Palladio, a famous renaissance architect. Here is a picture of it. Mine will look nowhere near as realistic....cause it's not going to be a photo. I'll be working off an elevation and plan computer drafted by my professor. That's my desk and drafting board that I'm using. It is currently covered with trace. As in Tracing Paper.

I'll be publishing a Notre Dame Architecture Encyclopaedia soon and might put it in the sidebar.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I like playing guitar...

I do, I really do. There's nothing more satisfying than coming up with a cool chord progression on a guitar.

"Find another like you, write a song...."

That's a quote from one of my songs.

I like playing piano too, and I'm much better at it.

I'm looking for musicians to play with.

A band would be nice.

That is all.

A Loud Checkered Suit...

The title might be a private joke with myself, but I've always been amused about this use of the word "loud". I love the english language.

Anyway, the mains point of this post is to talk about the inordinate amount of noise in the world and a return to "sacred silence".

I approached the question from four standpoints trying to figure out why we depend on so much noise, why we have to be loud, where this came from. The four standpoints are: Theological, Philosophical, Sociological and Anthropological. There's a certain blur between the categories, but I just took some notes from my thoughts and this is what I cam up with:

One of the reasons it's so loud is because many people think that our relationship with God depends on us, what we do, what we say, how we pray. Because of this, we find a need to speak out, show how WE serve God. It seems that we must DO something, ACT, SPEAK OUT, OBJECT. It is our duty to change the world. This is, perhaps, a loss of faith and trust in God’s will. It may come down to a lack of a devotion to Divine Providence.

Compare Hitler to Maximillian Kolbe. Hitler, when addressing the masses, screams out his ideals, Kolbe speaks softly, and people are drawn to him on an individual level, whereas Hitler appeals to a mob mentality. This could have to do with a rejection of a divine power. If there is no divine power or spiritual power of any kind, then any power is human. To control the world, nature etc. is the goal. That is how philosophy has developed in the last 500 years. From rationalism to atheism to fascism, communism, etc. If we believe that we are the only power, then we will fight among ourselves to gain it. We will use polemic, argumentative discussion, talking over people. Showing our knowlege and hence power. Hitler wanted power, he needed to show it. Through noise. Kolbe knew where the true power lay, and was able to show his “less-ness” through his quiet. The more “bustling” a city is, the more “powerful” it is. Noise=power.

Related to philosophical, seeing as our sociology is based much on our beliefs. We live in a relativistic society. Nothing is good objectively. Nothing is true objectively. Because of this, we can say whatever we want, we have the freedom to say whatever we want, and because of our new belief in our right to free from constraint. Therefore, if we are free to speak and we believe we have the right to do what we are free to do, then we will speak about whatever we want. Everyone has a right to an opinion and to voice it. So they do.

Technology in the last century has boomed. Just the advancement from huge computers to laptops in 30 years is amazing. Of course, this is related to the power of humanity. It shows how much in control Man is. In the past, man was dependent on nature. They could not give information over huge spaces because of mountain ranges, rivers and distance in general. Nature was in control. Because of this, Man knew he was limited. Now, with satellites, the internet, telephone lines we can “conquer” the natural barriers. We are now in control, and we want more. Therefore, we try to reach out and conquer nature as much as possible. Noise is an overpowering thing. it shows who’s the boss. Nature can’t shut me up. And because of facebook and similar things, we can reach out and communicate with as many people as possible. While we’re not online, we want to continue doing this. so we make noise to reach as many people as possible.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Choose your battles.

I have said in an earlier post that Notre Dame is a battlefield. Well, really, we are always part of a spiritual warfare against the forces of the devil. Right now that's here. However, we have to choose our battles, and carefully. We can't address every problem. We have to understand our limits. We might not be the best person for the job, and if that's the case, we'd better stay out of the way.

It's a huge temptation to think that since you feel very strongly about something, it qualifies you to lead the fight. It doesn't. I may have problems with bad liturgy, bad music, bad philosophy, Catholic identity, Social ills like abortion and contraception. Just because I know the Truth doesn't mean I should necessarily talk about them all, address them all. In Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh, the character Bridey is said to explain the Catholic Faith in such a way to make people not be interested in it at all. So, his battle wasn't an apologetic one.

A lot of people get upset, and often rightly so, about abuses of the liturgy, the Catholic University, sexuality, etc. However, if we try to focus on all of them, we'll end up focusing on none.

Catholic Minority Report writer Matt Archbold writes about this here. He wants to DO something about injustice that he sees.

We each have our struggles. Some are called to talk the Truth on a personal level...explain the faith to room mates, talk Philosophy among friends etc. Some are called to present truth in a more public forum, like opinion sections of newspapers. Others are called to preach the Gospel, such as missionaries.

No matter where we are called to spread Truth, it must have boundaries. We can't address everything. If I can't make it to the abortion clinic to protest every Friday, that is the way it goes. Perhaps it is not my fight. It's all a discernment. You have to reflect on your choice and act on prayer.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Sunday at Notre Dame, typical and extraordinary

This morning, I once again awoke before my room mate for an early morning rehearsal for the Liturgical Choir here at ND. Only this time, it started 15 minutes earlier because of the longer Palm Sunday Mass. Of course Mass followed with the reading of the Passion, extra music and processions. And then Brunch with friends. I then went to a Militia of the Immaculata meeting (which I haven't been to all semester). Then, I went to Tridentine Mass serving training. In half an hour I will be, God willing, leading a meeting of the New Tractarians, a student group I started. Then Dinner, Rosary around the Lake and study. It's a pretty typical Sunday for here at Notre Dame. At least for me. However, it's not typical in the grand scheme of things. Sundays will probably not include group prayer much in the future, not meeting and discussing Saints. It'll probably be a day where I go to Mass, and relax, pray maybe a bot more than usual and then go to bed.

The question is, what IS Sunday for? It's the day of rest, yes, the Lord's Day, a day for prayer. What does that mean? Are both these approaches fulfilling the Sabbath?

To the Jews, the Sabbath meant strictly no work could be done on it, no cooking, no cleaning, no planting, no harvesting. Nothing. They got it all done in the six other days. For me as a student, study is my work, at least that is one way of looking at it. Does this mean that the only reading I should do on Sunday is spiritual reading and leisure reading? Should I study?

On the one hand, it might be ideal to finish all my studying before Sunday. This would cut down on my social life, but is this necessary? On the other hand, School can be thought of as leisure. A lot of people would disagree. How can physics problems be leisure?

And then there's the question of how much leisure is appropriate to Sunday and how much prayer? Many people don't blog on Sundays. It makes sense to a certain degree. If blogging distracts you from your life in Christ, then it would be inappropriate.

This, I think, is the answer. I think it's ok to blog, to read, to clean, to garden, as long as it's done with reference to Christ's Resurrection. My parents always say that keeping the house neat is the hospitable thing to do. Well, maybe that's it. If you think about it in that way, you can connect it to the story in the gospel about those who did these things to the least ones.

At the same time, I would say that prayer is the most important focus of the day. It is more important to spend ample time in prayer than to do a leisurely activity such as watching football.

Sundays can be busy, all over the place, but no matter how much of a routine it has become, it should never cease to be extraordinary. A Special Day, set aside to remember Christ's Resurrection.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

In the World, not of the World

In a society where marriage is defiled, the priesthood is defamed and the religious life is diluted, it's hard to know where to turn. All three vocations are being abused, and if there's one thing that inspires me to act, it's abuse. If I could only become a religious, I could be a truly holy and orthodox monk/friar/what have you. If only I could be a priest, I could preach holy and orthodox teaching and offer the sacrifice of Christ for the Church. If I could only get married and live a holy marriage and raise my kids to be holy and orthodox. If only...if only...

I can't do them all. In fact, it's not a matter of doing them all. Right now, I can only do what I am called to right now: To be a student. But that means that I am called to be a lay man. A servant of God in the world. At Our Lady's University, it's a battlefield: all vocations attacked. An "of the world" attitude prevails. It's my vocation at this point to be "In the world, not of it."

Because of this, the idea of the Third Order is particularly attractive. If I am called to marriage, then my connection with Monastic spirituality will be through some Third Order. The lay person's order, the secular order, as it is sometimes called.

The word secular means related to the world. We are in the world, and even if we are eventually called to leave the world, we must right now be in the world, not of the world.

The point of this blog will be to give my reflections on the secular calling that I am called to right now, and perhaps called to for life.