A Reflexion on Psalm 5: Learning Patient Trust & Joyful Hope

The first verse expresses the helplessness of the one praying: Begging the Lord to even listen to his requests, to, as translated in the NABRE, ‘understand [his] sighing.’ His needs and desires are beyond words, and struggling to even put words to his needs, he relies the on the Lord to know his needs before he even expresses them; for He ‘knows what you need before you ask him.’1

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Truth Answers Shame: A Brief Analysis of the Novel ‘A Personal Matter’

‘Pride is not the opposite of shame, but its source—true humility is the only anecdote to shame.’ This quote comes from the Iroh in the TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender, and I think it aptly describes the central theme of shame in Kenzaburo Oe’s novel, A Personal Matter. More accurately, the novel presents the theme of shame as the fruit of selfishness, pride, and self-deception. 

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Dog Sledding and the Soul: Faith, Hope, and Love in the Spiritual Journey

I want to write a little on how the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love elevate the soul’s human nature as she journeys homeward toward Heaven. To do this, I shall use the example of dog sledding. 

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To the Depressed

Dear soul, 

Six years ago today marks the anniversary of the first, and the last, time I self-harmed. Five years ago today marks the time I came closest to killing myself. I’m writing this because I no longer hate myself, I no longer consider life as not worth living, and I want to share some things that may help you or someone you know. This is not an articulated story of my life, but a compilation of a few things I’ve learned that time and suffering have shown to have helped.

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True Rest and the Destiny of Man

Foreword 

Here follows a revision of a talk I gave on the Sabbath rest and the proper understanding of leisure.

Holy Leisure and the Sabbath 

The Sabbath and holy leisure is one of my favourite topics, because it’s one of the most apparent ways God has helped me in my life. The Sabbath is a day of rest, of reflexion, of slowing down and listening to find out how God is going to help you die. While Friday is the traditional day of penance and self-denial, the Sabbath is actually one of the main ways God helps us die to ourselves and to the world, a day that the radical mercy of the Cross can transform you more into who God created you to be. That is what this day is for. And it’s one of God’s greatest gifts to us, because while it is a day of rest, it is by no means a pause in your life. The day of rest is the day that the other six days were made for. 

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And You Will Be Hated

Foreword 

Here follows an academic paper I wrote in answer to the question of why Catholic Polish priests were singled out for persecution in the Holocaust. The vast majority of my research comes from The Priest Barracks, and this is almost a summary of the book, especially since for this blog post I veered somewhat from my original thesis in order to talk about the priests’ experiences more. I recommend everyone read The Priest Barracks instead of this essay, because it’s a short but powerful book. But in case you don’t, or in order to entice you to read it, I’ve made this for you, dear reader. It’s not a very pleasant gift, but in it lies truth and virtue and sorrow, light in a time of darkness, and you deserve to know it. 

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The Anchor of the Soul: Hope and Abiding in God

In St. John’s gospel, Jesus repeats and emphasises that He must abide in us, and we in Him. In John 15, He leads us deep into this mystery of abiding in Him as branches on a vine, so that we may bring forth fruit—that is, love—and that we may be filled with joy. I encourage you to read this chapter (which is part of the great discourse of chapters 13-17), but here I want to contemplate the word ‘abide’ to give us a better understanding of one of the main themes of St. John’s gospel. 

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Finding Happiness in Dystopia: Classical Notions of Freedom & Happiness in Zamyatin’s ‘We’

In his novel We, Zamyatin presents among his key themes the pursuit for happiness two opposing ideas of freedom. I intend to show the linkage between the concepts of happiness and freedom within We, arguing that Zamyatin presents something similar to the classical notions of these two things: That happiness is the personal experience one has upon attaining a good, and that freedom is the ability to choose the good. 

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And Most of All, Love

Once a friend and I were praying together out loud, and after a lengthy prayer on my part, she said a short prayer, and though I don’t remember the exact words, she said something like this: 

‘I pray what I pray every day: God, please give me courage, and please give me strength, and please give me grace, and please give me mercy, and please give me patience, and please give me kindness, and most of all please give me love.’ 

I liked the simplicity. I admired that she didn’t ask for things, but instead for virtues. And I was struck by the end, however simple and obvious it may seem, because ‘the greatest of these is love’. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

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