Monday, September 19, 2005

Inside Us All

Last Friday I had the priviledge to serve, for the first time at a local soup kitchen that serves a free hot meal to anyone who shows up, 365 days a year. My family has been volunteering there for one evening a month for the past year or so, but various circumstances have prevented me from going with them previously.

What I did to help out (bus tables) is insignificant in comparison to what I observed: people from all classes and all walks of life, whether volunteers or guests, all interacting with one another. A specific moment further highlighted this fact. Across the street from the diner is our diocese cathedral, where an evening wedding was taking place. Through the large windows at the south end of the dining area, the front doors of the cathedral are visible. Exit the newlyweds and their guests, and all the women in the diner run to the window or turn their heads to see the bride, her dress, the bridesmaids, the flowers, and reflect, for just a moment, on their own weddings or on such a day not too far in the future.

Just to see the common reaction of this most diverse group of women--women from every level of the social scale, both rich and poor, young and old, married, widowed, separated, single--was worth the entire evening. Just to be reminded of our common desires and the equal dignity deserved by all. Just to realize that what ultimately unites us is not our possessions or social status, but the longings of our hearts and the feelings we share when we see something as simple as a bride and her beloved. Why is it so hard to see that we are all equal?

"Life can hold you down,
When you're not looking up,
Can't you hear the sound?
Hearts beating out loud,
Although the names change,
Inside we're all the same."

(-Creed "Inside Us All")

God Bless

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

So Far Away...

A recent experience motivated me to write a short post about something we all probably deal with: Long-distance relationships.

Since returning from a summer program at a previously mentioned college where I met many people from all over the country, I've been spending ample time on the internet and such keeping up with a lot of them. Now, I don't have to tell you that it's hard to maintain friendships where you primarily write and talk on the phone--in other words, you never see each other face-to-face, much less visit in person--but I'd like to give you my reasons for why we should make that effort.

There's nothing more important than keeping in touch with people with whom you share common interests, namely, a common faith and beliefs, and similar interests in--and views on--education and life. These are the people in whom we see Christ present on earth, and hopefully who see the same in us. We bring each other closer to our Common Goal, and sharing with them our experiences is vital in not only our social or academic lives, but our spiritual ones as well.

So I declare today, September 14, to be "Contact a Far-Away Friend Day!"

"Can you take me higher,
To a place where blind men see?
Can you take me higher,
To a place with golden streets?"

(Creed, "Higher")

God Bless

The Modern Curia

You may have noticed the links to my favorite blogs (on the right), but I cannot recommend one of them enough. It's called "Exhortations from the Rostra," located at

This blog is run by a group of guys (one of them being my older brother) at a Catholic liberal arts college in Southern California. They discuss and comment on just about anything concerning culture, the world, and ideas. It's truly a thought-provoking site, and I hope you'll stop in and check it out.

For a more complete explanation of the names chosen for the blog (e.g. "Rostra" and "Curia"), look back in the July archives for a post titled "in apology."

And no, they didn't pay me to write this.

God Bless

Friday, September 09, 2005


Sorry for the long delay in posting...senior year has been very busy, but it's been wonderful so far.

This past Labor Day weekend our family (minus John) went on the CL (Communion and Liberation-see link on the right) Vacation in Cleburne, Texas. It was a great experience to say the least.

One of the best things that happened wasn't even during the actual vacation, but on the drive down. We had been travelling about 4 hours and were trying to find a rest area to have our picnic lunch. It seemed like there wouldn't be a place for about another hour, so we (well, Dad) pulled off onto this sleepy country road, and parked in some farmer's field. We spread out a blanket and our sandwiches, and had lunch somewhere between Norman and the Oklahoma/Texas border.

Anyway, the punchline is that once we got back on the road, we passed a picnic area only a few miles later. However, I was glad that we had lunch where we did; it was almost like a real road trip.

This experience reminded me of a story my Dad told us a couple of weeks ago about one of his Hospice patients. It was the 1930's and this couple had just gotten married with less than $10 to their name. For their honeymoon, they went, with their parents, on a road trip to different cities along the west coast, working jobs in each one until they had enough money to go on to the next city. One's first reaction might be, "Whoa, I'd never do that!" but once you think about it, that would be one of the best ways to start off your married life. Really working hard and knowing that even though you don't have much and that this job isn't getting you very far, you'll be coming home to the one person who makes you feel rich. I mean, what more could you ask for?

Getting back to our vacation, I should probably explain just what a "CL Vacation" is. Lots of families involved in the movement get together (in this case at a camp-type facility) and do all sorts of things together. My favorite things were meeting new people, singing, and hiking. Although our family (of 11 in this case) shared a cabin with 4 other families, I really enjoyed the weekend, and was reluctant to say goodbye to everyone.

But coming home meant school and college and my new tutoring job! I'm really having a great year, and it's going to be the best 'last year at home.'

A quote to end this monumental post...

"Love conquers all: distance, separation, fear. It is the font of every action."