Posts tagged Christian
Posts tagged Christian
As per Chris’s suggestion, I would like to say a little bit about the University of Central Florida and its Catholic ministry. I’ve only been here a couple of months, but it’s pretty awesome. I am not an outgoing person, but the members of the Catholic group here accepted me immediately. There is something to do every day, from Rosary to Bible studies to tabling and of course Mass three times a week. There is also a retreat every semester. I just got back from my first one and it was awesome. The community is active and friendly and there are some ridiculously amazing people here (including a couple TC’s who shall remain nameless). People actually seek you out to make friends with you if you show up to an event, for reasons that I cannot fathom.
The school itself seems a bit intimidating because it is so big, but I’ve found that just means there are more options for finding where you fit in. UCF is also generous with the scholarships and offers a lot of services for students, most of them completely free. Almost every program you can think of is offered here (alas, not Theology, but there is Religious Studies, which is supposed to be pretty good). There is all the secular bull you’d expect to see at a public U: free condoms everywhere, a Communist organization, rampant “tolerance” in the worst sense of the word, but since the area is relatively conservative it’s not really that bad. I haven’t been bothered by parties in my dorm, for example. You aren’t supposed to smoke on campus, which for a prospect could be good or bad. Parking is terrible, but Disney World is close by so I guess it’s a trade off.
When I was applying to colleges, UCF was my last choice (I also applied and was accepted by Ave Maria and Stuebie). I got relatively good deals from all three schools, but because UCF’s was far and away the best offer, and they had a music program (at the time I was going to major in Jazz) I chose that school. I ended up changing from Jazz to History and Philosophy, the kinds of things I would have expected to do at a Catholic school. I am taking upper level courses, and so far I have been pleased by the quality and relative lack of anti-Catholicism in those programs. I was very afraid that I would be disconnected from other Catholics, but I have found that I can’t seem to get away from them here at UCF. Part of me still wishes I could have Scott Hahn as a prof, or have Gregorian Chant as a core class, but on the whole I don’t regret coming here one bit.
If you are a high school senior TC, I would encourage you to look into UCF.
Catechist: “And what happens, Bane, if you receive Holy Communion unworthily? Torture?”
Bane: “Yes. But not of your body… Of your soul.”
Found this here.
“From the desire of my blog being read
Deliver me dear Jesus
That other blogs may be loved more than mine
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it
That Google may never list my blog
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it”
For tumblr purposes, it could easily read thus:
“From the desire for reblogs, Deliver me dear Jesus
That other TC’s may have more followers than me, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it
That I never become tumblr famous, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
A common Protestant objection to the Real Presence is that it is “not necessary”.
I fail to see how the necessity of a thing relates to its reality. It seems to me that if someone loves God, then they will not ask if His gifts are “necessary”. I fail to understand how the Protestant mind sees the Eucharist and wants it to be a symbol. If Jesus physically appeared to you, would you not be joyful? I suppose this is simply my Catholic bias talking, but I would think that a Protestant would want nothing more than Christ to be physically present in the Eucharist, and would be sorely disappointed if after much prayer, soul searching, and study concluded that He wasn’t.
The more I consider it, the more I think that the depression and malaise that pervades our culture, manifesting in individuals as eating disorders, drug abuse, etc, is not something that has come about despite our prosperity. I think that it has come about because of it.
The more we have, the less we think we need God. I think that most people realize they need something that they do not have, but because God seems like something that has been tried, instead they turn to the other things. We all realize on some level that we need to be saved, but in our pride we refuse to turn to the Savior. We are not happy, but we are not yet convinced that we are incapable of earning happiness for ourselves.
I sometimes wonder if God sent the plagues to Egypt to convince the Pharoah to free the Hebrews, or to convince the Hebrews to leave.
Portobelo- the beautiful port. Indeed, despite the trash lining the coastline and the sickly grey color of the water due to the silt stirred up by the incessant showers of the Panama rainy season, it is beautiful. The bay is surrounded by steep hills covered in lush vegetation, and the algae painted ruins of ancient Spanish fortifications whisper of the town’s glorious history. It was here that Sir Francis Drake was buried, and it was here that Henry Morgan took the nuns of the local convent hostage and sacked the town. Local legend tells of a plague that was miraculously cured by prayers to a statue of Christ that washed up on the shore sometime during the seventeenth century. The statue, called the “Black Christ” or el Nazareno depending on who you ask, is a popular object of devotion throughout Panama. Every year this impoverished town is flooded with flagellant pilgrims who crawl the final leg of their journey on their hands and knees. And there is appalling poverty here. Dogs run wild in the dirty streets, and the dilapidated waterfront shacks have more holes than walls. The locals have enough money for at least a vicarious glimpse of prosperity; almost every hovel has a satellite dish and through the gaps in the concrete a traveler can sometimes glimpse a flatscreen TV. But on the whole the standard of living is shocking for an American such as myself. Despite the poverty of the locals, the church that houses el Nazareno, the Iglesia de San Felipe, is a cavernous and gorgeous affair with an indescribably beautiful altar.
In America, our streets and homes are beautiful and our churches are bare and empty. In rural Panama, the people lack material possessions, but the churches are packed and every few miles along the winding mountain roads a shrine to Our Lady reminds travelers who rules this land. It makes me wonder if it is us or the Panamanians who are truly poor.
**I didn’t bring my camera with me to Panama. I found these pictures online, and they do not belong to me.