Thursday, July 18, 2013

Take Time to Realize (a cover song)

In his encyclical Lumen Fidei, our Holy Father Pope Francis writes that "faith by its very nature demands renouncing the immediate possession which sight would appear to offer; it is an invitation to turn to the source of the light, while respecting the mystery of a countenance which will unveil itself personally in its own good time" (13). In other words, when God gives us the gift of faith, he gives it to us in its entirety, and yet He does not want to simply flood us with it against our will. He wants us to engage in a dialogue, in an ever-continuing expansion and contraction through which we realize that faith, while totally given to us, needs to be nurtured, cultivated, and cared for. Faith will coax out of us all of our strengths and help them to grow; we need to be drawn out of ourselves in order to realize what was already in us, simultaneously giving our consent to be transformed. Grace builds on nature.

It's easy to apply a lot of that to the realm of human love. Sometimes, a great romantic relationship can be there in a nutshell, but it just takes the two people to draw it out of the other person; to help them "realize." It's the age-old drama: guy/girl likes girl/guy, and girl/guy doesn't notice guy/girl.

Anyways. Back in April, my friend Cristina and I wanted to sing a duet at a coffeehouse event, but in the end we couldn't make the event. So we decided to record the song instead. Tis a barebones cover of Colbie Caillat's "Realize." Originally, I wanted to add some piano and strings, but just couldn't figure out exactly how to blend it all together and make it work. Perhaps I'll record a second version later if I feel inspired, or maybe this vocals and guitar rendition is good enough. You can listen to it below, and download it as well if you so desire (and if for some reason the download button doesn't work, you can click "share" and copy and paste the link into your browser).

And to everyone out there praying that the special relationship with that special someone will "unveil itself personally," remember to have faith in God - because he has a great plan for our Vocation, plans for welfare, and not for woe.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Men of Steel

I recently saw the new Superman movie, Man of Steel. First of all, let me (regrettably) say that the movie was just...not that good. I read one review that said that "Man of Steel represents everything that a great Catholic film ought to accomplish," my response to which was something like this:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Mama Mary

A friend of mine, Eunice Hii, co-runs a blog called Faith and Peanut Butter. In honour of Mary, Eunice asked me to be one of the guest writers for a series of entries entitled "Brosary Boys," the purpose of which was to show guys who had a "die-hard love for Mary," since "there's nothing more attractive than a man who loves his mum" (although I promise you, none of the guys who guest-blogged did it in order to pick up a date).

So take a read through mine, and check out the other entries in the blog series!

Friday, May 31, 2013

A Mother's Work is Never Done

My school, the JP II Institute, runs the Center for Cultural & Pastoral Research. One thing that the Center does is publish a quarterly online book review journal titled Humanum, and as the name suggests, it is about "'the human': what makes us human, what keeps us human, and how to rescue our humanity when this is endangered. [The aim of the journal] is to pick [its] way with discernment through the flood of publications...that claim to tell us about ourselves, about family, marriage, love, children, health, and human life."

In honour of the Month of Mary, the journal's latest quarterly review is about the meaning, challenges, and joys of motherhood, and includes an article by one of my professors, Dr. Margaret McCarthy. The article is a bit lengthy, but it's packed full of stuff about the "work-home balance" and the "un-domestication of the home," and is definitely worth the time. Check it out (and actually, the entire issue is fantastic).

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Asking And Seeing (A Testimony)

*phew* Okay, let's keep 'em coming. I was asked to give a short testimony/talk at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, my alma mater. The Gospel reading for today was from Mark 10:46-52, which depicts Bartimaeus, the blind beggar. And here we go:

There’s the old saying that goes, “Love is blind.” Ah. But here’s the truth about that saying: it’s a bunch of garbage. I know that because I know God.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Trinity and the Family (A Testimony)

I'm baaaaack. It's been a while since I've blogged about anything - studying at the JP II Institute has filled up a lot of my time. And there's something about reading a bazillion pages of Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and John Paul II that makes you not want to read or write anything else once you're done. I've been le tired. I blame the Fall.

But I've finished the semester and I'm back in Vancouver, resting up until August. Hopefully the blogging will pick up. As part of the Year of Faith, my pastor (of Christ the Redeemer parish in West Vancouver) has asked people to share short testimonies during Mass every so often. I lucked out and got Trinity Sunday. Here goes:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI: We'll Miss You

He's announced that he's going to abdicate on Feb. 28th, at 8pm Rome time. Well, won't that be a birthday to remember (I'll try not to take it personally, Holy Father). I woke up today, my alarm ringing, and I was tempted to hit snooze. But the text from my friend saying that Pope Benedict XVI had decided to abdicate woke me up. Questions flooded my mind. When was the last time a pope abdicated? Was there any lead up to this announcement? How bizarre is it going to be for Conclave to be held while the previous pope is still alive? How bad is his health - what's going to happen to him once he ceases to be Pope Benedict XVI? Who could possibly succeed him? Initially, I was just stunned. Then, actually a bit upset. Then came a bit of a "well, it happened" attitude. And then sadness.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Baby Don't Hurt Me

A few weeks ago, in the midst of a little chit-chat with a friend, self-deprecating humour (I'm pretty sure this is one of the reasons we're friends, for I do the same) reared its head.

Friend: "It's a good thing nobody ends up liking me - except for my boyfriend!"
Me: "You've never been in a situation where a guy liked you but you didn't like him back?"
Friend: "Well, no, I have. But I've just been too mean to lead them on."
Me: "Wait...what? Not leading them on?...that's not being mean. That's being loving."

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

An Unexpected Kindness (*Minor Spoilers*)

Two weekends ago, I watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey for a second time. After my second go-round, I give it *drumroll*...3.75 out of 5. I had a lot of fun, at times it was epic, but tone and pacing were just shy of greatness. Also, try as I might, that rock 'em sock 'em rock giant scene still just seems completely superfluous, redundant, and adds nothing to the characters or the story of The Hobbit qua film. It was just big and bombastic for no reason.

But that rock giant scene proceeds a scene with some of my favourite lines in the movie: Gandalf telling Galadriel why he chose Bilbo Baggins to round out Thorin's Company:
"Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is in the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps because I am afraid, and he gives me courage."