Monday, January 28, 2008

Feast of St Thomas Aquinas

Once more the Church celebrates the feastday of St Thomas Aquinas.

Fr Z, in his podcast on the Eucharist, said that St Thomas Aquinas was specifically mentioned in the Code of Canon Law (the 1983 issue) as the one whom theologians should turn to in the study of philosophy. Such is the greatness of this Doctor of the Church and yet listening to any of his works still heard today in Benedictions of the Blessed Sacrament, "Adoro Te Devote" or "Pange Lingua", one cannot miss his unmistakeable humility and love for the Eucharist.

St Thomas is one of my favorite saints precisely because he showed that love for Truth is not, cannot be, against love for God—indeed not only they are inseparable, but love for Truth and love for God is one and the same. It is this love for truth and the great humility of his that probably made Pope St. Leo XIII designate him patron of all Catholic academic institutions throughout the world.

For an excellent introduction to this great saint, read GK Chesterton's "The Dumb Ox". If you haven't, pick it up at a library nearest you. I hope that you will either fall in love with the author, with the saint himself, or if the grace of God is strong, more deeply in love with God Himself.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Are you happy on the Internet?

Does the Internet make you happy? Are there things on the Internet that make you happy? Have you stopped doing something outside the Internet simply because doing them on the Internet is the best way to do it?

HELP my friends and I find out more about how youth (16 - 30 years old) feel about activities that you can do on the Internet. In order to participate in this 7-MINUTE survey, you need to be a STUDENT between the age of 16 to 30. You can be a high school student, college student or graduate student ANYWHERE.

We're participating in a small research project to study behavior and opinion about the Internet in general.

The link to the survey is here.

Since the survey intends to study about the youths in general, please pass this on to your friends who are STUDENTS between 16-30 years of age. Thank You! I'll post the result in a month's time.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Belated Epiphany

To tell the truth, I often prefer Advent over Christmas. Now, I know that Christmas is a great feast and that the magnitude of this mystery is the reason why the faithful prepare ourselves for its celebration for several weeks before the D-Day, known as the Advent period. Yet, Advent mirrors our life of journey and waiting, but Christmas... (I think) no one who is still alive can ever experience the fullest meaning of Christmas. For me it bode eternal salvation, which obviously, we cannot yet experience here.

This Christmas has been one full of struggles personally. The year 2007 has been an intense year, and I struggled to 'sync' my ups and downs with the rhythm of the Church's liturgical calendar, trying to introduce a drop of sensus Ecclesiae into my life. In a way, I imagine it felt very much like what the three Magi must have gone through in their journey to look for the Child.

'Vidimus stellam eius'
The star beckons the three wise men, just like God's call beckons. Along the way, perhaps sometimes they lost sight of the star, perhaps sometimes the terrain was hard-going; such that following a star from a distant land seems, to a rational mind, like a touch of summer madness. But left their palace they did. And so did I.

'et venimus adorare eum'
While the 3 magi did find the Child, I'm still on my journey. At this stage I must say it hasn't been too bad, but there had been moments of wariness and doubt. Doubt that the star wasn't some figment of my imagination. Doubt that what the star signifies is worth leaving my palace for. Doubt that I can find Christ at the end of the journey and not be distracted by curiosity in foreign lands.

I'm currently reading "The Tremendous Lover" by Eugene Boylan. In the first few chapters, he explored the theme of Redemption, and what will be at the end: [one] Christ loving Himself. I found a little 'epiphany' in Boylan's attempt to show the glory of God who is omniscient, of God who knows all things to come, and the outcome of all possibilities. And yet, His preference to let mankind live outside Paradise, suffering the consequence of the original sin, who were later redeemed by the Passion of His Son, must imply that (humanly speaking) amongst all possibilities, He sees that this universe, with its suffering, is the best way to restore the dignity and the glory of His creation. Meditating upon this 'choice' of universe, His choice of allowing us to suffer and become co-operators in our own redemption, I can say safely that I will never comprehend His scheme of things in this lifetime. Wherefore does this lead me?

While reading about classical argument for the existence of God, this question crossed my mind: can earnest employment of reason lead us astray? Just what does a Christian have that an agnostic (for agnosticisim is the best conclusion an erroneous reason could lead to) could not have in life? Hope. Hope that there is more for our souls than what earthly tribulation exacts from our bodies. A skeptic could say, if there is God, He has a funny way of introducing Himself. Why allow evil to exist in the world when He is omnipotent and could have easily got rid of it? But God's folly is greater than our wisdom. His ways are not ours, and God's logic, saves us at the end.