Wednesday, March 08, 2017

I am the rich young man - thoughts from my a recent holy hour

I try to be a good person but know I am so far from perfect and so I sit here and ask my Lord what is keeping me from being a saint. Jesus looks at me, loves me and says, "Matthew, you lack one important thing. You must give every last part of you to your family, your neighbors and all those I place in your life who need to be loved. Then let go of every worry, every ambition, every prideful thought and instead follow me in every breath you take."

Like the rich man Jesus spoke to in Mark 10:17-22, there are so many things that I possess that I don't want to let go of. In fact salvation seems to be a ludicrously impossible notion. But for God, all things are possible... even me. He will lift and carry me when I fall and give me the grace I need to grow. Like a fire that purifies imperfections, my God can turn my ugliness into something beautiful. 

These were some thoughts from a recent Holy Hour I made on Feb 27. A verse from the days readings (Mark 10:21) especially stood out to me which reads “Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him…” There is a lot in that short statement. First Jesus looked at the young man. He gave him his time and saw where he was at. Then it makes a point to say He “loved him.”  He didn’t just say "I am God and here’s the deal." He loved the man first and foremost. It was only after loving him and through His loving him that Jesus tells the rich young man what he must do to be perfect. This is a reminder to me first that Jesus does see me and loves me as I am which is a beautiful thing. And going beyond that it’s also a blueprint of how I need to be present to others. If I’m going to be a follower of Christ, I need to look closely at the people around me and love them like Jesus does or my words little.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

He comes - thoughts from my holy hour last night

I sometimes think that I am the one coming to you here in adoration but in reality you come to me. You are always coming to me. You never are content to just wait for my heart to find you but instead you seek me out. I approach you like the centurion did when you came to his town of Capernaum when his servant was sick. Even at this point you tell him, "I will COME and cure him." Oh Lord I am not worthy to have you come to me the way you do. To care for me and love me the way you do. To come and dwell within me the way you do. Say the word and make me clean. I am not worthy that you should come to me. I should be the one coming to you. I should be the one giving my entire life and love to you. Still you come to me again and again. You always come closer even though I will never deserve your goodness. And you just ask that I approach you honestly and wholeheartedly in humble faith. Increase my faith Lord. Increase my love. Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you to coming to me. 

Monday, November 07, 2016

The advice I give my kids

I tell my kids to do the right thing, even when no one else is doing it. To do the right thing, even if they don't think anyone cares or will notice. To do the right thing, even if doing something else might be easier. And that's a big part of why I'm voting for Mike Maturen and the American Solidarity Party for President of the United States. Many people feel this is a 'wasted vote' but I've never felt like my vote meant more nor felt so good about who I am voting for.

I know many good people who are voting for one of the two final major party candidates and I respect them for following their conscience. However if I was to vote for either one of them, I would not consider myself a good person. Especially when there is another candidate and party that so closely align with my views. A party that is centered around a 'pro-life for the whole life' ethic at it's core and is inspired by Catholic social teachings. In my opinion it represents the best of the two major parties at a time when both of these parties have their worst on display.  If I don't support this new party that stands for what I believe when given the opportunity, then I have sold out and can't complain when the two major parties continue offering options I strongly oppose. Voting for the American Solidarity Party IS the right thing to do and my conscience knows it.

"But Mr. Maturen has no chance of winning," I often hear. This of course isn't technically true as he has secured write in approval from enough states to theoretically win the presidency. The only reason he has no chance is because people have bought into the lie that a write in could never win. What I find paradoxical is that so many people would love to vote for ANYONE else besides the two major party candidates, but refuse to do so because they feel they are helping the worst of the two evils. All it would take is for these very people to take a stand together and Maturen or another third party candidate could definitely win. I strongly believe that if Maturen had an 'R' or a 'D' by his name, people would love to embrace him.

And yet I am a realist and know that there is a better chance of that the Vikings will finally win a Superbowl then there is that Maturen will win the presidency. This disappoints me but it also brings me to where voting for him has it's greatest value. You see in voting for Mike Maturen, I'm not just voting for an individual in our current election. I'm giving a vote of confidence to party that can make a difference in the future. Everything no matter how large or successful, started as something small. Voting for the American Solidarity Party is building something good that I hope can one days soon become big enough to influence politics in our country in a major way.  It's building a party of Common Good, Common Ground and Common Sense. It's not just saying that I reject the major party options put forward, but also offering a solution. It's offering hope at a time our country and world desperately need it.

I'm not throwing my vote away when I vote for Mike Maturen and the American Solidarity Party. Especially here in my home state where the Democratic candidate will easily win, my vote for either of the two major party candidates would truly be the 'wasted vote'. No, my vote will actually stand for something that I believe in and can be proud of. I'm not simply voting against someone. I'll be one of the rare individuals who is actually voting FOR someone. Time will tell what will become of Mike Maturen and the American Solidarity, but in the words of St Mother Teresa,  “God has not called me to be successful; He has called me to be faithful.” There's certainly never been a better time to take the advise I give my kids.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

bApple release iSilverware ... removes spoon

bApple has just released the all new iSilverware. The creators of the worlds most successful smartphone promises that iSilverware improves on the design and function of the eating utensils that people have used for thousands of years and that the utensils will interlock together making them portable so you can take them with you everywhere.

“We’ve looked at how we can make the eating experience simpler and more refined with our goal being to revolutionizing the way people eat,” a bApple spokesperson excitedly declared.

At first glance the new iSilverware looks very similar to the utensils you just ate your lunch with. The most notable difference is the fact that the iSilverware set only comes with two utensils compared to the traditional three. You have a fork and a knife but notably missing is the spoon.

“Where did the spoon go? I’m afraid the dish ran away it,” the bApple spokesperson said with a chuckle. “It took a lot of courage for us as a company to remove the spoon. Truthfully it’s not used as much as the fork however and simplifying the utensils down to two will make the eating experience less confusing for the end user. We must push toward the future and that’s what we’ve done.”

Also being showcased was the iFeedYouDrone. This will be sold separately and is what the company sees replacing our beloved spoons. The device is wireless and has a four hour charge which should get you through 3 meals a day as long as none of them are too long and you don’t eat many snacks. The drone simply scoops up your food and flies it to your mouth feeding you like a baby and even has a feature that makes an airplane noise. Speculation is that it will retail for $159.

Some immediately expressed concern about such a high cost for a device when we all have literally dozens of traditional spoons laying around our homes. bApple understands this could be a difficult transition for some so they are including a converter dongle free of charge with every set of iSilverware. It simply locks into the proprietary grooves of the fork and allow you to attach one of your old spoons to the end.

Thoughts on the lack of spoon with the new silverware have been mixed but some common concerns have surfaced. The biggest worry about the converter is that you will not be able to use your fork as a fork while you have the converter attached to a spoon, basically meaning there will be no way one can use a fork and spoon at the same time. Additionally the aesthetic appeal of the new product is greatly diminished with the dongle attached or sitting nearby on the table and one will have to ensure they have this bulky adapter with their iSilverware when they go to work or a friend’s house. Of course the solution is to pay bApple more money to get your spoon back in the form of the iFeedYouDrone, but the drone is so small that many worry the device could easily be lost or run out of power at inopportune times.

These fears have many questioning the logic of decision to remove the spoon and some see it as a way to force people to buy more stuff they don’t need. But if history is any indicator, the new device will quickly penetrate the market and become the new dinner table standard. Speculation has already surfaced that the next generation of iSilverware may eliminate the dinner knife as well. Critics speculate that such a move would make the product less cutting edge.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Don't 'mind' me ... just a few deep thoughts

As my 5 year old daughter's soccer coach, I've found that trying to get 9 preschool aged kids to form two straight lines has to be one of the most difficult things I've ever done. The thought has crossed my mind that if I as an intelligent being cannot direct a handful of other intelligent beings to do such a simple task, the odds of it happening by mere chance are almost nonexistent. That got me thinking about how amazing our world is. The way it functions and even we function, is infinitely more complex then what I was trying to achieve on the soccer field. My experience with these kids may just be the best evidence I can point to showing that our world has a master designer behind it all.

The evidence is all around us from large complex things to the small smallest details. Take for instance our brain. Our parish priest recently shared this article on how our brains work and how misguided our understanding is on how they function. It's a fascinating read and I highly recommend taking a few minutes with it. There are so many points that I found interesting but it all basically boils down to the fact that "your brain is not a computer," and in fact it isn't like anything that we can explain. Despite what we've been told and it is infinitely more complex than anyone could imagine. The author may suggest that that an intelligent god infusing us with its spirit is an outdated metaphor to explain human intelligence, but such complexity in my mind only further supports intelligent design just as the kids on my soccer team do.

I'll wrap up these 'mind' blowing thoughts with a little thought I had the other day. God could have made a perfect world with perfect people (that would be logical and the way I would have done it), but amazingly He accomplishes perfection with and through our imperfectness. That may be the greatest wonder of all.