Friday, September 21, 2012

Dummy Defense

Yes...I played this game on my phone
Ya know, I'm  interested in exercising my brain, so I found this sweet game on my phone once: Dummy Defense. There's this dummy, kind of like a crash test dummy, who is in danger of being destroyed. The object of the game is to build a structure within a gridded area so as to protect the dummy. You build the structure based on a certain budget; it has to be strong, solid, and cheap! The dummy's name is Melvin and he has an archnemesis...Kelvin. When Kelvin is in the same scenario, you have to protect Melvin and ensure Kelvin gets hurt all the while staying within the budget! Confused? ha! sorry :p

So anyways, this was an interesting game because it had me thinking. Shocking, right? Ya know, sometimes we find ourselves in life just feeling completely defenseless.... right? Everyone has experienced it at some point in life...I mean it's like some metaphorical storm headed our way and we can't help but just find ourselves deer and headlights...hanging around like a bunch of dummies! :p A crazy catastrophe is coming our way and all we can do is stand around not knowing what to do. 

Like what? Well, for some of us, it's as simple as a test or an exam we are about to take and we KNOW we are going to bomb and fail it for lack of studies; for others it may be simply an embarrassing moment; for others it's a scary event that has happened; and for some it may be something as serious as cancer. These events may be happening to us or sometimes to someone we know and or love the most. And for situations like these, there really is no way of preparing for that, is there?

There is no way to ever REALLY prepare for a crazy event. It's not like angels pass out a survey asking you which catastrophe you would like this month. No, catastrophes are just part of life...part of the wounded aspect of this world...but...that doesn't mean we can't fortify ourselves and place certain guards in our life to protect the inner peace we have with God when we grow closer to him. Part of our spiritual walk with God is meant to actually be fortifying. 
When we learn about our own weaknesses, come before God and ask him to strengthen us (regular Confession and going to Mass are ways we are strengthened) then we have those strong foundations and fortresses we can rely on. They protect that inner peace, that relationship with God when crazy events happen. Something else to think about is this: when LIFE happens, the devil sometimes will put his hand in things to target our weaknesses... ultimately... to draw us away from God. If he can draw us away from our Strength and our Life, then he can manipulate us to think less about ourselves. He will lie to us about what can make us happy and good (so basically, he tell us that living a sinful life is okay for us and it will make us happy...when it won't). Crazy thought, right? But it happens...I've seen it happen.

Now, if all God wants from us is to be "all that we can be", to be truly happy in life, to be "the best person" we were created to be (AKA to be "a saint"), then his desire to draw us closer to Himself in love, to make us holier, is really an act of Love. An act of love in trying to protect us...Out of love he is trying to fortify us with his spiritual helps (*grace*) and he is preparing us to know how to stand our ground when LIFE shakes us and tries to throw us off ... 
But understand this: our growth works only if WE make the decision to do something about it...he ain't gonna do all the work for you...uh-UH! So I ask you... "How have you been fortifying yourself? Has your spiritual life allowed you to grow stronger in your faith? or Are you just on 'cruise control' ...standing a dummy?"

Monday, September 10, 2012

My Kind of Life

I know it's been a while since I have written. So a lot has happened since last I wrote. I was able to visit my priest friends that I graduated with a year ago. That was A LOT of fun! We celebrated mass together in the cabin we were in. Afterwards we went out on the lake on a tiny boat and swam, hung out, water skied.... it was a good time. Yes, as priests we can do these kinds of things!! LOL we aren't forbidden to hang out with other priest friends, ya know :D

And this is my friend in the back...
Hilarious expression:
There was a priest conference where 20 other priests from my diocese showed up. The bishop was there too so we had a great time joking and talking, but also listening to Fr Robert Barron. Man, what you hear on his website Word on Fire is what you get. He's great at engaging everyday life and cultural media to deliver the Traditions of the Church. 

And really, ever since I have been back, from the retreat of priests last week, I have just been enjoying my time being a priest. It's been hard though...especially when we are trying to find new accommodations for our mission church...gosh, my heart breaks to see the state of the pews and the classrooms...ugh...
Walls are damaged and pews are broken or have no padding on the kneelers
BUT, what is exciting is that we are starting to get some leads on where we can get a bigger and better trailer for the classrooms. It's like a scavenger hunt...except the reward is far more awesome. 

Meeting with couples, hearing Confessions, talking to the young people about the saints and the Eucharist...talking to the youth group, trying help my pastor meet the needs of the people....Man!! Can life get any better than this?! I SUBMIT THAT IT CANNOT! No one told me the priesthood would be so much fun...I mean, I would never have thought that ME, a kid from L.A. would be working the way I have been... I guess it really does make a difference when you are following the Lord's will. He'll take you where you need to be, where He wants you to be...and life will never be the same! 

The most difficult days will become the most rewarding....

One of the office ladies gave Danbo
some priest clothes!! LOL