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Showing posts from April, 2014

Z is for...

ZEE END

     Well today concludes the end of this challenge. This theme was challenging-I really didn't think It would be because It really defines me. I have always enjoyed the challenge, but It was the end of March and I was asking what day it was, " March 30" was the reply. So a decision was made to do this theme and to accept the challenge. 
It is always at the end of the challenge I miss a day-especially because it's the third year in a row I remember about the challenge at the last moment. (Yes this is only my third year doing this challenge) I like it because It forces me to write something everyday. I was usually good-but someways I just couldn't get the post out ( I felt terrible going to sleep and not having the post posted.) 
     Thank you to all my New followers I gained during this challenge, All the readers and all the people who signed up to received the posts emailed. Thank you to everyone who ran this event at The April A- Z Challenge website. A…

Y is for..

YES
I love the story of when Mary was called to be a the mother of God. She answers with a full hearted yes-without fully knowing what that meant. Then from the moment she treasured everything she heard in her heart. She knew something special was taking place-but didn't understand how special it was. Now Mary started off by saying, "How can this be, I am a virgin" She is putting a limitation on God. We cannot put human limitations on God.
      We have to let God work. We put these limitations on God, and when we do that, we find it hard to believe and find it hard to accept. So we have to remember that God isn't just entirely human-he is also fully divine. 
     I like to think that my answer as been a yes. I will say 95% of the time it is. (Yes to the Priesthood) But like it is said in the bible, " Even Gold is tested in Fire" So I and you are tested in fire- and sad to say, but I haven't always been able to withstand the fire. "(again, this is a…

X is for...

Xavier, Saint Francis
     I have the same question as you, " Does this really count as a word?" I will say yes, just because there is absolutely no word starting with X that is meant for vocation. (And Francis is kinda cool) So, I am breaking my theme again, and I will havemy Y and Z posts later today! 
FRANCIS XAVIER, ST. (1506-1552). Born in the family castle of Xavier, near Pamplona in the Basque area of Spanish Navarre on Apr. 7, he was sent to the University of Paris 1525, secured his licentiate in 1528, met Ignatius Loyola and became one of the seven who in 1534, at Montmartre founded the Society of Jesus. In 1536 he left Paris to join Ignatius in Venice, from whence they all in tended to go as missionaries to Palestine (a trip which never materialized), was ordained there in 1537, went to Rome in 1538, and in 1540, when the pope formally recognized the Society, was ordered, with Fr. Simon Rodriguez, to the Far East as the first Jesuit missionaries. King John III kept…

Did Spring actually Sprung?

Thanks be to God, that all the snow in my backyard has disappeared. Spring has sprung. The snow, had actually gone away pretty fast. Spring wanted to sprung- but the snow was stopping it. But the snow had no fight against the warm temperatures this past week. Besides fall, Spring is one of my favorite seasons. It's full of new life-which we have been waiting for all lent.

     Jesus resurrection and new life was not delayed. He promised a resurrection and we got a life saving resurrection. He promised us, that by resurrecting, a new life will always happen. A new and better life is waiting for us. He promised that winter would not last forever, but that we will finally enjoy the warm sun of spring and summer. Every weekend in Mass, we profess that we believe in the resurrection of the body. Not only the body of Christ, but our body also. WE will rise again. Not just on the last day, but everyday-we are called to rise from sin. To leave sin upon the cross. 
     Isn't it a…

W is for...

Word of God
     Another source of inspiration for me, as most Christians, is no other than the word of God. Whenever, I am having struggles or just need inspiration the Holy Bible is the first place I turn.

    There are multiple spots that are directly meant towards the Priesthood. I will share them below.


"The word of the Lord came to me, saying,  “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
 “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”  But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord." Jeremiah 1: 4-10

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee... “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”  At once they left their nets and followed him. Matthew 4:18-22
"The …

V is for...

Vision
If it's planning an event or building a house we all form a vision of how it will look and work out in our heads. Then we try to match ours with others. But we create a visual in our head to show our vision. Why? Because visions motivate. They help push the work to get done. They help us through the tough times. Visions are a guiding tool. Not another stepping block that is needed, but rather it is an essential tool that is the foundation.

     A good leader is someone who has a vision and leads others to fulfill that vision.  They know the steps, and the motivation needed to help the team throughout those steps. A leader should know the people they are leading. To use their strengths and weakness to build up the group. The leader helps others reach that vision.

    I have a vision of becoming a priest. Without a doubt, this vision is a motivation, and a guider. It helps me through the tougher times and it helps me through the boring days of school.  It is not only motivatio…

U is for...

United
This will be a short post, but I hope you understand. I am also breaking away from my theme for this post. 
     We all need to be united. United to pray for vocation to the priesthood.  The Priesthood has become counter-cultural. It is a job that isn't widely accepted in our secular society. I have been questioned by people saying, " Why would you want to become a priest? It's against society!!" They make it sound like it's terrible to go against the grain.But thats our challenge. It's easy to be lead down the wrong path when going with the grain. We must go against it. We must pray for young men, to hear the call to become a priest. 
     I know, from being in a diocese with this situation, that their simply aren't enough priests. We need more priests. I have, to this day, never met anyone my age, (at any age  I have been) that wants to become a priest. I have met and made friends with seminarians, and older people who are thinking of it-but none …

Thursday Think About

T is for...

Thankful, Timing
Today, I had two 'T' words come to mind, and I like them both, so I am going to talk about both of them, and by the end of the post, unit the two together. 
     Firstly though I am going to talk about Timing. God has good timing. (Thank God for that!) In many times of my life, I asked God to help me with this, or to show me that or to help me through this. Although, at some moments, God doesn't answer right away- his timing is perfect. Not the timing I want but what he wants. Looking back, God has helped me. Given me a taste of a different route in life and has saved me from traveling away from my main mission (But thats a different story.) God has good timing. Saved me in time, and helped me along my journey. 
     God has given me time with priests. Time I thank him for everyday. Time for them to train me, to teach me, and to help me on my spiritual journey. The time I spend with priests, and serving, I treasure in my heart. Like Mary did with the angels…

S is for...

Spot
I'm sure every Catholic has heard the line, " Typical catholic sits in the back." I guess this makes me a non--typical catholic. I always and continue to have a love-hate relationship with the back pews of the church.
     As a child, and now, I hated the back. Absolutely hated it. I have always been captivated by the priest during the mass. I would want to see what he does, and when and how. I always wanted to watch. But for some reason, no one in my family liked to sit near the front. So  from the 3 row and back we always sat.  (My church is an inclusive seating, not the traditional one way seating.)

    I always wanted to be in the front pew, to be able to watch what was going on. Before I got to old, and when we sat in the back, I always asked my mom to lift me up so I could see what was going on. It always interested me.

    Know, I am no sheldon cooper when it comes to my spot, I am happy anywhere thats not in the back. I must be able to see whats going on. Why…

R is for

Reassure
     There are countless events and things that reassure me that becoming a priest is the right thing. Like anything else in life, a vocation is a journey. And the journey begins from the very day the though enters your heart.

     Every time I participate in Mass, I am reassured. Either during the Eucharistic Prayer or the homily, While I look upon the priest, I always smile. I smile because I not only find great happiness, but I also have the same joy I did as a kid-the refreshing of the call to the priesthood. The thoughts are poured into my head that,  yes this is what I really want to do. It is God reassuring me through the priest that this is what I am called to.

     God sends certain people into your life to make you stronger- spiritually, or physically or both. And I know that out pure love God has blessed me with so many great people in my life. From my wonderful family to the wonderful priests that I have gotten to know very well.  But with every good their is a st…

Easter Memes

Here are some pictures I hope that will maybe brighten your day! Happy Easter!









Happy Easter

On this most perfect of mornings, we run to find the tomb empty. Let us not be overcome with saddness, but be filled with unendless happiness. For on this morning, it is empty. By Faith and Truth, we know that Jesus broke the chains of Death, and freed us from the fires of hell.

      All we find, when we look into the tomb, are his burial garments. The garments of death. But Christ, took those off, and left them behind-for he came out of it alive! (pun intended) He, gave us new life. He gave us a new way of living while on earth, and he completed it off by teaching us Service to others, sacrificing your own needs for others, and to rise from any situation.

     This is our challenge, like Christ did, to rise with him. We cannot let the garments of death( of sin) continuously be born. We must arise from our sin. We must take those garments off, because Jesus offers us an new life. A life free from sin and a place guaranteed happiness.

      My favorite part about the Easter Vigil,…

Q is for...

Quiet
Look at a flower, or nature for the matter. They don't grow loudly and draw attention to themselves. They take a while to grow, in silence, and bloom into a beautiful creation. This is the same with a vocation. Besides, the 7-8 years of intellectual formations, human formation and pastoral formation, one, in my opinion, must also have a quiet prayerful formation. One must grow in silence, with God. To pray and to grow in the Love of God. 


P is for... and Good Friday

Passion
     I am going to do a two in one post. 
     I think/hope it is evident, by now,  that I have a passion for my faith and the dream to become a priest. I have never thought of doing anything else, and I don't want to. I want to become a priest. It is the job that interests me- not only do I get to serve people, I can meet new people and grow new relationships with people. I will enjoy the path that the priesthood takes me down- Well I hope I do. 

    Someone much greater than I traveled down a road this very day- and he definitely didn't enjoy it.He went through suffering today-even to the point of death. He was a very good friend of mine, and because of me, he had died. I am sad to announce that earlier today, Jesus Christ at 3:00 pm died because of my sin. 
 His death isn't a death that took place over 2000 years ago. It is a death that happens today again. Yes Christ did die once and for all 2000 years ago. But his death isn't meant to be read like a histor…

Holy Thursday

Today, more specifically, tonight, we remember the Lords Supper. We remember the final hours that Christ existed on this earth before going back to his father in heaven. As much as this night is about receiving it is also about service and what Christ has initiated. 

O is for...

Obsession (Thursday) 
     Besides the topic of Biology and a little chemistry, my favorite class in school is religion. Through my years of school, I am always most concentrated on doing well in religion- it's my obsession. Its something I want to do good in because I enjoy it so much, and spend much of my free time researching new things to learn. If it's reading the GIRM or the Catechism or even the Canon Law ( the librarian was shocked when I took that book out.)  or if it's reading books recommended by a priest, I always enjoy learning new things about Catholicism. 
     In my younger years, (and still partly today) I felt trapped. I wanted school to be over with to start my seminary training. I felt trapped having to sit through subjects like Math, instead of learning more and more about God. I hated sitting through those classes- specially when I didn't understand what the teacher was talking about. But now I am starting to realize, that I shouldn't focus to …

N is for...

Name 
     I want to take this post, just to quickly share some interesting coincedences that I have run into in my life that I think fit perfectly into my vocation. 
     I was born with two crowns on my head. So as one might imagine, there has been some days when my hair just doesn't want to cooperate. My Grandmother, as told me, that in the Portuguese tradition (I am part Portuguese) That someone who is born with two crowns means that they are special, and will do something great to help other people. 
     Then their is my name. I think most people are interested in looking up there patron saint. And of course I am/ was to and found out that 'Michael" Means 'who is like God' I can assure you however, I am nothing like God. 
     I just find it funny, how these things have taken place and that I want to become a priest. Hope this post was some what musing to you! 

M is for...

Magnificent 
There are so many things in my life that are just Magnificent. It is a great, and beautiful thing to be able to serve the Lord. It brings me delight, and my calling to the priesthood just makes my experiences serving all the worth more. I altar serve every weekend, and when I am called upon to do it. It is such a magnificent experience, that I thank the Lord, in prayer, every time I serve. 
     One definition of Magnificent, according to google is, impressively beautiful. A vocation to the priesthood is beautiful. It shows someones Faith journey to become closer to the Lord-in prayer and how they live their life.  The call to the priesthood isn't one persons choice-it's Gods. Every beautiful vocation comes from God- and I love hearing that. 


L is for...

Listening
     Over the course of teaching, I can tell how good of listeners kids are-not very good. Well, maybe it's the kids I have taught. At random times, I will stop what I am teaching, and ask the kids to explain to me what I just said-most of them in the past have failed. So I added in random sentences like, Jesus ate chocolate. And then ask them, and what do they respond to what I just finished teaching? Jesus ate chocolate. But then, when I have their attention, I use to it to explain the material. 
     I also notice that they will only listen to parts they want to. I remember teaching one time, telling a  kid causing trouble to behave, or else I will call the person in charge to deal with them. Of course, I didn't get upset, I said it nicely but sincerely.  The next possible second the kid is ripping up his page in the middle of my class-lets just say, he hated my class from the rest of the time he had. 
     Not comparing to that kid, but in kids in general, we can…

Palm Sunday!

Instead of a big fancy horse chariot Jesus rode into death on a donkey. Instead of sitting on a royal throne, Jesus crucified-the worst of the worst. Instead of coming down from the cross Jesus endured his passion. Instead of death conquering light, light conquered death.


     Today we welcome Jesus into the great city of Jerusalem. We begin our celebration shouting in joy, "Hosanna, Hosanna"  which translates into "Save us" or "Rescue Us" We, every Sunday (and especially today)  sing along with the angels of heaven, the song of praise. The Sanctus  which exclaims our faith and praise for the Holy One-Christ!

      Many things are hidden in a piece of art work. If it is a message, another person or item fit into it, or a random phrase secretly hidden within the art work. We always look at the big picture and then the smaller parts. But for this most Holy of Weeks, we must begin at looking at the parts that make up the big picture.

     Today we celeb…

K is for...

Kept
     One of the most surprising things, to new people that I meet, is the fact of how long I have wanted to become a priest. Everyone becomes shocked and then congratulate me on that. I am proud that I have kept this calling, and held tight on to it-some moments tighter than others. 
     Two days ago I was questioned by someone in an older grade asking me, " Why would you want to become a priest? It's so counter cultural! You could make money, have a wife if you were a lawyer or dentist!" My response was, " Well, it wasn't me, it was God that called me... Being counter cultural is exactly why there needs to be more people becoming priests- it needs to become cultural. You are right when you say I won't have a wife or kids, but think of this no one will every call me daddy, but many will call be father"  This was actually a series of questions and responses. This, for lack of better words, is the highlight of the conversation. 
      Why share that…

J is for...

Joy
     I always find it fun asking the kids I teach where they find joy in their life. Some say video games, others say family, and others say in friends. What is even more fun is their reaction to what I find the most joy in. It isn't in my favorite pc game Starcraft, or school. I find my greatest joy in serving at Mass. I am the most happy during that time. 
     All the kids are usually shocked, and flabbergasted by that statement. I am the most happy during Mass. I am surrounded by my church community and family. I am surrounded by people that gather for the same reason-to worship God. To praise God.  Being able to serve God in the Mass for me, is one of the greatest Joys in my life. 
     I hope you have been enjoying the posts. Please feel free to leave a comment below, and/or to click to the follow button to the left! Thanks! 









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Thursday Think About

I is for...

Inspired
     I remember from the time I was in kindergarten, I had always been interested in the life of a priest and things a priest does. I would be so excited every Sunday to hold the book for the priest- I loved it. I sat in the front pew closest to the priest, (we have an inclusive seating at my parish) and I would wait eagerly to hold the book.  As I continuously got older, I got the amazing opportunity to continue to do more. 
     I still remember from kindergarten when my priest came into our class for a day, did a pretzel craft (Which I still have) and then took us a tour of the church. He showed us his vestments, the sacristy, the stations of the cross. I still remember it, because it really inspired me to become someone like him. He was (and will continue to be) my role-model for the priesthood.


H is for...

Home
     Multiple websites agree that,  what makes a house a home is that we must be comfortable, we must feel safe, and that the house holds memories-good and bad- and a home is where you heart is at- you enjoy being there and you feel the most comfort. 
     In a similar way to how a house becomes a home, church has become a second home to me. It is an area of space that I feel very comfortable, and natural-it feels like I belong. The church is also a safe place surrounded by people willing, (and some not so willing) to support me on my vocation to the priesthood.  For all of us, we have good memories at a church- confirmations, first Eucharist, wedding or ordination- and at other times not so good - funerals ect... But for me, there are more good than bad. At my parish is where I have grown and been taught about the mass from my priest. 
     The church is a home. 
      It is a space that is a living space, not only for Jesus but for us also. It is a place that we can rely on to …

G is for...

Gift


     Yes, it's nice to get things at Christmas or for my birthday, but nothing compares to the greatest gifts God has given me.  The gift of life and Family. The gift of my home city. The gift of the people in my life-especially the priests! The gift of serving and so much more. 
     But most of all, the best gift, is the call to the priesthood. One does not chose to become a priest, one answers the call to become a priest. Through discernment and prayer one listens to God, to hear if he is truly calling them to the priesthood. 
      All my life, as mentioned in earlier posts, I have been guided and brought up in the Church. Serving in the church and wanting to become a priest has always been a part of me and my life. I cannot imagine my self doing anything but being a priest. God willing of course that I do become a priest. 
     It is all a gift. The Priests in my life, my family, my calling, is all a gift from God. I do suppose it would be extremely difficult for someone …

F is for...

Following
Following Jesus, and staying focused on the priesthood is challenging. It has it's ups and downs- it's lows and highs. Surrounded by two different groups of people, at times it feels like i'm getting stretched out, and I know which side I like better-the high points.

      My high points are the times when I am surrounded by the people that matter the most to me. They are the times where I am surrounded by priests, and family who support me in my vocation.They make it easy for me to stay focused.

      My 'low points' is that when I am surrounded by those who couldn't care about my vocation. (usually at school- my classmates.... most of them) These kids I never hang out with (there are a lot) I ignore them and would, quite frankly, rather be by my self. Every morning at school, I go into the chapel to pray to receive strength-I feel Christ most there. I start my day off to free my mind from worries, and place them down at the altar.  I ask the Lord for…

Death to Life

Spring has finally come and this means that the barren trees will get buds, the flowers will start to bloom, the snow will finally melt and the temperature will finally get warmer. Death will turn into life. It will happen. Winter will turn into spring. Our seasons will begin to start a new identity. The record breaking winter, won't be the top story any more, it will be the record breaking warm temperatures that will take it's place. Winnipeg, will no longer be known, for a couple of months, as the igloo living people, but rather the slurpee capital of the world (for 14 years in a row!)

     In todays second reading, Paul starts off his letter with a negative note. "Those who are in flesh cannot please God." But St Paul is quick to make clear that, "you are of the spirit" We to, have been given this new identity in Christ. We once lived in flesh-of the world- but now we live in the spirit-in Jesus. Through baptism, we are given a new identity in Christ…

E is for...

Eagerness
     All of my life I have wanted school to be over so  I can start my seminary training for the priesthood. Many events have shaped this eagerness within me: 1) the shortage of priests in my archdiocese and 2) Admiring those whom are already priests and 3) Researching and watching videos of Vocations to the Priesthood
     This year it stuck me even more to slow down and enjoy the never ending process of high school. My parish priest a while ago, ( I believe for the first Sunday of lent) focused his homily about enduring the journey. (This is paraphrasing what he said) 'Like Jesus` third temptation was to acquire all the wonders and kingdoms of the world- to skip the journey of the world and get the earthly things. But Jesus rejected it, and endured the temptations, he endured his life on earth to be able to have full glory in the heavenly kingdom.` His homily struck and I put it into my life situation-to endure the journey, to enjoy the road that I am experiencing now.…

D is for...

Difficult
 We live in such a secularized world where everyone wants to be free-have no limitations, no work just get, where human interactions aren't as important as a text. Growing up in a society like this, surrounded by classmates that think this way, it becomes difficult to stay focused on the ultimate goal. 
     Then we have people who just plainly think it's a horrible idea-I have run into these people. I have been criticized by people that the priesthood doesn't make a lot of money, and that I should become a lawyer or doctor and make more money. Well firstly, I don't like either of these jobs.  Secondly, advice I was given once by a priest was, "Regardless what people do for a living you must enjoy it, have fun doing it" When I serve at Mass and help the  priests, I don't only see it has an opportunity to serve the Lord-but I have fun and interest in it! 
    Again, there are other people, like classmates, in the past and present, who tease me abo…

Thursday Think About

C Is for...

Catechism     For about 6-7 years now I have in cooperated with teaching catechism. I started out has a kindergarten helper for 4 years and then in that fourth year I was backup teacher. So I only taught kindergarten twice. I remember the one time I taught It was the week for baptism, so I showed the kids what baptism is by baptizing a doll. Not for real though. Real enough for the kids.
     This is my second year having the pleasure to teach the sacramental preparation for First Eucharist and first penance. This is a great and happy opprotuity for me, because I love being able to plant the seeds of Catholic knowledge. It gives me the challenge of putting what I know, and the book and transform it into an easier way to understand.
     So how does this fit into my theme? Well, Catechism gives me a chance to practice my Faith and to share it to others. It gives me joy to be able to help children on their journey of Faith to finding Jesus. That is the essential Job of a priest, is to …