Monday, October 30, 2006


I didn't get much sleep last night. I spent the night thinking over a lot of things. And today was not much different. It's been a roller coaster of a day, and surprisingly I've felt much better this evening. Daily Mass is one of the best therapies for me. It is such a stress reliever. I am so incredibly thankful for my faith and my friends. I am blessed.

This afternoon was spent largely thinking of the words for the poem that preceded this post, The Window. It took me all of about 4 hours, from the beginning words to the finishing touches, to formulate the poem. The whole poem is an allegory, one of my sole attempts at such, and I am largely content with the attempt. However, I do not want the credit. This poem was a work of love. It was an attempt, how ever much in vain, at capturing the thoughts that have traveled through me this past day of others dear to me. I continue to dwell in the same thoughts.

The past month and a half has been a new experience to me, the thoughts, the emotions. It is the context which defines my current experiences. The purpose of the past couple of weeks of blog posts have been an attempt to sort through the many thoughts I have had to make sense of it all. This may be a rather public forum to such a thing within, but I find it a necessary step. I am sure these words are not a waste, that I have not written these words in vain, and that in due time, these words can be revealed to whom I have thought so much about.

I have felt, much like I had so many years ago, that I should have to journal my thoughts and, to a lesser extent, my feelings that I have come across in important segments of my life. I feel this is an extremely important (if only for the learning experience) period and without doing this, I feel I will have lost a part of me. I have lost enough as it is, and I am not ready to surrender a set of memories.

The Window

Among the most beautiful tapestries,
Venerable and holy relics,
And gilded works of supreme faith,
There is a window of unmatched beauty.

Its shape is complicated, its pattern broken.
Its rough glass casts a multitude of dimmed hues
That showers the darkened Sanctuary
With a rainbow of light from above.

Yet this window is not without flaw.
Amid the muted colors of the stained glass,
It has, at its center, a most grievous chip.

Some might say of the glass
That its formation was all wrong,
That its creator worked on it for far too long.

But this was indeed no flaw,
For it was the intent of the Maker
To allow this "defect" to happen at all.

For at the very spot of the flaw,
Through the darkness of it all,
The Light illuminates the Blessed Altar
And Christ the Lord who has saved us all.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

My Selfishness

My heart is heavy this evening. How could I be, how can I be so selfish. I have been so selfish so many times before, each time wishing my heart not to be broken. It is my fault among faults. I have sit here thinking only inward when there are so many problems in this world that need my prayers more than my own.

Why, Lord, must there be this pain of my friends, when I am here wishing to rid my own? If it is best to have the happiness of my friend, without the happiness of my own, then grant them my joy, my prayers, and my hopes. Give the Grace you have bestowed to me instead to them as their own.

My heart is heavy this evening, but the day of tomorrow seems so bright. Rid me of my selfishness, O Lord. Grant me your strength, O Lord.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Stepping into the Unknown

It certainly appears, to me at least, that I am just a little bit better with relationships than I am with Salsa dancing. It should have been a good time this evening...the Salsa dancing and the conversation. Yet, there was an air in the room, much thicker than the smoke that filled the restaurant. It was a haze that I could not cross. It was supposed to be a better day, and wasn't.

How do I wish this haze would be removed. I long for the day of a clear sky and an open heart. Until then, I must make out of lemons lemonade and do the best with gifts the Lord has given me. I must always remember to be thankful for the gifts I already had before looking to greener pastures.

If it only was not so hard. If only...

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Comforter

Sing out, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth, break forth into song, you mountains. For the LORD comforts his people and shows mercy to his afflicted. But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me." Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you. See, upon the palms of my hands I have written your name; your walls are ever before me.
--Isaiah 49:13-16
It is through the Lord that we gain all our strength. With His Grace, I ask for the strength to accept His will. My heart wanders, but His Love remains. He has not forgotten me, nor my brother or sister in need. I pray that I may be an instrument of His will to others so that they may see His love in their lives, no matter how deep it may be buried.

Let Your love be the Pearl of Great Price, Lord. Let us fail in our weak attempts at perfection. However, I thank you, Lord, for You comfort me in my times of need. I must always remember the comfort of Your love, the only true comfort one may find in this world...or the next.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Hearing the Call

The past weekend has been a blessing amid blessings. It was a fortunate quick vacation to visit family rarely seen and surprisingly to find myself among the chaos of a semester.

My inadequacies seem ever present in self-reflection, but it is my human nature to focus on them. My emotions should be more clear-cut. I falter to the wind, trying to establish a firm footing. If only my emotions were as firm as my faith, such is my prayer.

Again, this weekend resonated in my mind after returning to College Station. All the visiting, the family--all the younger cousins present amid the older generation of my father with his cousins and siblings and of the eldest generation of my grandmother and her sisters. The family reunion was the representation of three family generations amid the farm fields of Miles, TX.

Especially since the summer, which was started by the wedding of two good friends and the ordination of a local deacon (now priest), I have searched for what I am called to be. It certainly gets no more basic than that, and for me it has become a maze of sorts.

Am I called to a vocation in the priesthood, or am I called to married life? This past weekend, the Mass celebrated in Miles during the reunion, was celebrated by Father Bhaskar, who is the parish priest for three parishes out in rural West Texas. I know there are more desperate parishes throughout the world, but these parishes have little priestly representation, after so many years of giving so much to the Church through vocations, are being laid to the wayside.

Much is the case in rural east-central Texas, between Austin and Houston, in the Diocese of Austin and Diocese of Victoria. There are many rural parishes that if there were more priests, more active participation and likely priestly vocations would follow. What has today's culture done to the priesthood, or better yet, what has the "spirit" of Vatican II done to the Catholic Church in the United States? It is as though the changes in the '70's muddied something that was so pure. So much is there to be upheld, yet human error dashes the proverbial foot of the Church Faithful against the stone. Surely, this diluted group of noble men and women--the religious of the Catholic Church--is not destined to be a lamp hidden beneath a basket. Surely the Lord does not provide less than is needed for the Faithful, so I must remain optimistic for the future of the Church.

And so I am unsure of my calling. I see my younger cousins--their mother expecting again in four months--and yet I see the noble parish priest, with what seems an overwhelming load, a "Sign of Contradiction" of sorts. My heart tells me of desire for family and yet my mind sees the needs of the Church. Things are best heard in silence, and I am sitting in the silence trying to hear the Lord's voice amid the deafening silence. I pray for an answer.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

When Love Is Love and When It Isn't

Attraction is a fickle thing, but that is the "love" poets and storytellers often focus on and speak of—the emotion of the moment. It is beyond that fleeting emotion that we must look to find the true Love, something that truly remains. Yet, in all things human, emotion is always behind it. With emotion I composed the following verses, which reflected a hardened heart:

Soliloquy for the Heart
Oh, how does my heart speak,
As a worn rug that is trodden upon.
No rest or comfort given to it
In it's long journey for a companion,
A companion that is but a mere mirage,
Far off in the distance but never far enough.

Love plays cruel tricks, tricks of deception.
Love's vicious cycle of attachment and detachment continues still,
Resolving itself to tormenting hearts such as mine.
Now the pangs of my heart have returned again,
Calling desperately out for affection,
For Love made anew.

It is making love anew that I am called to do, as I reassess my past thoughts. In the closing of my thoughts above, the Love I mean is agape love, which is the kind of love that is for all men--even our enemies. This is the love that should be made anew. The "love" I spoke before this is a heart-filled emotion that, as an emotion, comes and is not the true love. We crave and must have this agape love to truly be in full communion with Christ.

Love is sacrifice. This is self-evident in Christ's love. And so we, too, must be selfless in our love as Christ was in His.

It is humbly through Christ's sacrificial love that I look for the forgiveness for my past transgressions and the Grace to continue in the Lord's blessing of friends who know the difference and still forgive.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

When the Lights Go Out in Aggieland...

...Business picks up at Northgate!
...Classes are canceled!
...People actually say HOWDY!

Why the hell don't the lights go out more often?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Propensity to Linger...and Other Things

While there is such a tiring strain caused by my drive to succeed this semester, it is truly amazing how the Lord presents a calming path before me. There is both struggle and success and yes, both can coexist in the same time and space, albeit almost in a miraculous manner.

I have been busy, of which I have no doubt about, but I have also had the propensity to linger these past few weeks. I have conferred with friends about this, and I have pinned it down to an excess amount of inertia. You may ask why in the world I am talking about inertia in these circumstances. Simply put: much to the chagrin of physicists everywhere the inertia I'm feeling is of the quantitative form. Being around this campus after these few years has almost forced me to linger wherever I go. It is a bit of remember history for me, at least personal history.

Just last week I was in Blocker in the evening trying to get some Stat homework completed, and I happened to overhear a big review in one of the classroom auditorium. It was one of my old calculus instructors, Amy Austin, giving one of her nearly-world-famous exam reviews the night before the first big common exam of the semester. The room must have had only 252 seats or so, but I guarantee you the room was packed to the rafters. People all over the place--from the side aisles to the very back of the room...that even stretched to a strategically-placed bench in either entranceway to the room. Simply put, it was packed. Needless to say, I stood in the far back, just listening to the review and the frantic shuffling of review materials of the students preparing for the next night's exam. Oh, the frantic memories.

It goes without saying, I feel blessed. Blessed to have gotten through calculus in some form or fashion, blessed to be getting through this semester thus far, blessed to have family here to visit with, and blessed to have friends to just hang out with.

The game last Monday night, with the Saints playing at THE Dome...was magic. A few friends and I had a party, watched the game, and had some jambalaya that I had made. It was such a great reminder of home and of what I have found here. I can only hope to throw another party again this season. I can always use reminders of home, even if it means lingering in the past.