Monday, March 26, 2012

Why I Want to Study At The John Paul II Institute

I just found out that I've been accepted to the (*takes big breath*) Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., for a 2 year program to obtain a Masters in Theological Studies (M.T.S.). Last night, I told my friends that I was darn sure I would receive mail from the institute today, since Mar. 26th is the Solemnity of the Annunciation. Mary got an announcement, and so would I. I didn't take myself too seriously when I said that to my friends - but I prayed a rosary for it anyways. And ka-ching! Thanks Mama Mary.

One of the things I had to do as part of the painstaking application process was an essay, describing why I want to study at the institute. It actually covers a lot of ground, and delves a bit into what I think is missing from today's culture. Here it is:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fear Is Better Than Nothing

The sad truth is that lots of people stop practicing their faith. Fervor, gusto, and warm emotions indicating God’s presence disappear, and so people call it quits (ironically, these are the same people who keep saying that they desperately want to find the perfect person to marry, forgetting that at some point in the marriage, they will inevitably wake up one morning and instead of feeling butterflies in their stomach, will feel a tinge of weariness because their spouse has been being annoying – do they call it quits then? But I digress). When these sentimental feelings disappear, the worst thing that a person could do would be to do away with religious feelings and actions altogether, and become apathetic. This is the real danger zone. Christ said that if we are “…lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, [He will] spit [us] out of [his] mouth” (Revelation 3:16). The “who cares?” attitude does absolutely nothing to help us in our lives here on earth. It is better to have a strong opinion about the faith, either way – it shows passion and a hunger for truth. People who lack a conviction show that they aren’t applying themselves. So don’t think that I rejoice when I find out that someone has left the Church because of anger, or confusion, or resentment. It is truly sad. But I do thank God that this person is still trying to interact with the world. And one of the ways I’ve seen people interact with the world after turning their back on Christ is through fear.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

To Be Or Not To Be

You know what's amazing? The fact that so much of what we seem to know of God can look like blatant contradiction, only because we are so limited as human beings. Take, for instance, the very nature of God - Who and What He Is. Jesus tells us that "whoever has seen [Him] has seen the Father" (John 14:9). And so through Christ, we have seen the love, the peace, the justice, the mercy, and all good things that flow from the heart of the Father. Christ is the visible manifestation of an invisible God. But at the same time, God is so entirely unknowable, so utterly inconceivable to the human mind, that it's a wonder in and of itself that Jesus was able to get the message through our thick skulls.