Wednesday, October 26, 2005

An awesome quote from Tolkien

In The Lord of the Rings there is a quote that I think is really cool. Gandalf is explaining to Frodo the perilous nature of the ring he has inherited. When he hears about how dangerous the ring is Frodo laments,
"I wish the ring had never come to me, I wish none of this had happened." This is the part I like, Gandalf replies, "So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide, all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."

I can't even begin to say how many times I have wished I lived in a different age. Wouldn't it have been easier to concentrate on God if you lived Medieval times when there wasn't so much to distract you from Him? Wouldn't it have been simply incredible to have actually met Jesus face to face? Then of course I think of how wonderful it would be to have seen the seven wonders of the ancient world, to have seen the now ruined castles as they once were. How spectacular the pyramids, the coliseum, all those ruins which still look incredible today, just think of how magnificent they must have looked long ago when they were first being built. But no matter how much I dream I can't change what time I live in. That isn't my choice. What I can decide is what to do with the time that God has put me in. I may think that I would have been more useful to him if I had lived in some other time, but somehow, even if I can't see how yet, I can be more useful to God now in the 21st century or else he would have put me in the Middle Ages or in ancient Rome. That is what I should be dreaming about, what I can to for God in this age that he has seen as the time I can be the most effective at whatever He wants me to do. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Advent and Ivory soap

For my spelling today one of my assignments is to write a paragraph about some smell (whiff was the word they want me to practice) and what memeories it brings back. The following is the paragraph I came up with.

Strange as it may sound, a whiff of Ivory soap makes me think of the cozy and peaceful days of Advent last year. It makes me think of those wonderful days of Christmas music, carving soap into Christmas decorations and spending a few days at the KALAHARI with cousins. One Christmas song in particular (Mary Did You Know) is brought to my mind by the plain smell of Ivory soap. It is amazing what commonplace and uninteresting smells can bring back such delightful memories.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Telemachus still Triumphant.

Telemachus was a hermit. God wanted him to stop the martyrdoms in the Coliseum. So Telemachus set out for Rome. He went to the games in the amphitheatre. When the first gladiator fight began Telemachus jumped into the arena and seperated to the two slaves. The people were furious, they began to throw parts of the marble benches at him. They killed him that day, but his sacrifice was not in vain. Since that day there have been no martyrdoms in the Coliseum. Several times pagan emporers tried to start up the games again but were unsuccessful.
Now for the main story. The Goths were pressing in on Rome, for a long time they laid siege to it. Famine and diseases spread. Finally for a brief time the Goths left. But they were soon back. They sneaked into the city and began their terrible work. They were setting many buildings on fire and hundreds of Romans were killed that night, but in the midst of this carnage and destruction is one of the most amazing stories of the Christians in Rome. Although hundreds of citizens died that day, God gave the Goths a respect for the servants of Christ and the Goths did not kill any of them. Their leader told them to save all buildings used for the worship of Christ.
There was a convent in Rome and the Goths had come to take the treasure from there. However a brave old nun told them that this was Gods treasure and they should not take it. Not only did they not steal it but they formed a gaurd around it and the old nun to bring it to the basilica where all the Christians were being taken to keep them safe. The Goths walked through the streets, in the midst of destruction, and joined their voices with those of the Christians singing Hymns to God. As they made their way through Rome many of the Christians heard the familiar Hymns and joined the procession. As far as I know, not one Christian was killed that night.

I thought that was an awesome story and I simply had to blog on it. But it is one of the last stories in the book and so there will be other entries in future about things that happened before this.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Ides of April by Mary Ray

When Senator Caius Pomponius is found murdered, most likely by one of his slaves, the penalty for all the rest of them is death. However not all of the slaves were arrested that day. The steward was missing and also the young Greek secratary, Hylas, managed to escape. He is helped by a Christian, Varro, and by the son-in-law of the murdered man, a young tribune named Camillus. Hylas is desperate to save the other slaves, particularly his mother, and together they begin to solve the mystery but then Hylas, after finally being missed, is captured and Camilllus has to continue without his help. However he enlists the aid of the former consul and with his help he manages to solve the rest of the mystery and free the innocent slaves.

Monday, October 10, 2005

John Bosco Youth Day 3

After lunch there was about an hour of rock music. During which the group I was with went to confession and did just about everything except be in the large tent where the music was. After that there was more stuff with NET. One guy told us a story about his life. When he was four his father died and he and his mother moved to Las Vegas. As he was getting older he was starting to hang out with the popular group, trying to be popular and not being very respectful to his mother. The night before he was going to go to collage he had a really big fight with his mom. She was crying alot. When she finally stopped crying she told him this story.
Before he was born she had had three miscarraiges. When she found out she was pregnant with him she prayed to God that this would be the child who survived and that if he did, she would give him to God. Now this is the cool part. When she was four months pregnant, she was in Japan, she slipped on some ice and fell, belly first. Seven months pregnant she fell down some steps. And he was alive to tell us about it. That night he prayed to the Holy Spirit and well, seeing as how he is on the NET team everything is rather self-explanitory.

I can't remeber if it was before or after the NET thing a teenage girl came up on the stage, a girl with an amazing story.
One day she had been bitten by a bat. Soon it was discovered that Gina had human rabies. Her parents told her to pray and they also prayed. Gina became one of the five people in the world to have survived human rabies. Out of the thousands of people who get that sickness only FIVE have ever survived. Although it seemed rather difficult for her to talk, it was a miracle that she was even alive today.

At about three o'clock came one of my favorite speakers. His name was Chris (I can't remeber what his last name was.) He began with saying that his friend was getting married in about ten minutes and he asked each of us to say one Hail Mary. He said that if we each said one Hail Mary it would equal a ton of rosaries. So he dialed his friends number and heldup his cell phone and everyone of the 1700 people there said the Hail Mary. That has got to be a very cool message to find on your phone. So anyways his topic was the Mass. He said that for most people Mass is really boring. Then he told us three stories about three very special people who loved the Mass. The first one was Blessed Miguel Pro. He was martyred for bringing the Mass to people. When he was about to be shot he streched out his arms and said "Viva Christo Re". His comment, "Man, that's how I want to die." He then told us how, for the martyr's funeral, thousands of people came out on the streets of mexico, a country where at that time it was illegal to be Catholic, all shouting "Viva Christo Re!" Which means in spanish, Long Live Christ the King.
His next story was about Venerable Solanus Casey. He worked a ton of miracles. He told us the story of his favorite one.
One day a man asked Father Casey to pray for him so that his toothace would stop. Father did and it did. The man said thank you very much, And he gave him two ice cream cones. Father put them in the drawer of some thing he carried around with him. (Not like a freezer drawer, just a plain ordinary drawer!!!!!) A few hours later he was walking down the street, a street lined with people who wanted to see him, when he saw a boy in his mothers arms. The boy could not walk and he cried out to Father to heal him. Father told him to "come over here." The lame boy jumped out of his mothers arms and ran to Father. Father took him on his lap, opened the drawer and took out two unmelted ice cream cones, gave one to the boy and ate the other one. The speaker's comment, "Mr. Incredible has nothing on this guy."
His next story was about Mother Theresa, who really loved the Mass. He told about how she set up a home where she would bring people who were dying in the streets, so that they could die with dignity. His comment, "Spider Man has nothing on this lady."
He then told us about several Eucharistic Miracles. Once when a priest was saying Mass, he started to doubt that the host was really the body of Christ. The host started to bleed on the altar. That priest now has no doubt that it is really the body and blood of Christ.
Then he told us about a host that was examined by an athiest scientist. He found it to be a piece of human flesh, from the heart, blood type AB positive(the same type found on the shroud of Turin), old, but healthy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! His comment "That athiest is now a Catholic, duh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Everyone clapped!!!!!!!!!
I thought his talk was AWESOME. I absolutely LOVED it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
His and Bishop Morlino's were the best.(Archbishop Dolan's sermon was Awesome too.)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Matyrs of the Coliseum: The Roman General

Placidus was a roman general who, although he was not a Christian, was a good man. One day when he was hunting in the Sabine hills, they found a bunch of stags. Of course they gave chase and Placidus followed the biggest one. While he was following he was excited that he didn't pay attenition to where he was going. After many hours the stag stopped in a valley. From between his antlers a blinding light suddenly shone.
God spoke to Placidus there and he was converted. The next morning he came back to his home and told his wife about the one true God. That night they took their two young sons, ages three and five, to the catacombs to be baptized. These were their new names: Placidus was Eustachius, his wife was now Theopista, and his two sons were Agapius and Theopistan. Their love for God was soon tried. All the servants and animals of their houshold died in a disease and while they were away robbers came and stole all of their belongings. They went on a ship to start a new life in a new land. When they landed Placidus and his children were allowed to go but the evil captain kidnapped Theopista and sailed away with her immediatly. Placidus traveled on with his two sons until he came to a rapid river. There was no way he could take both of the chlidren over at once so, he left the elder one on the bank and began to carry the younger across the stream. When he was very near the opposite bank, he saw with horror a lion come to the boy on the bank and take him away in his mouth. He left the younger on the bank and went to follow the lion.
When he was across he looked back and saw a wolf taking the younger child away in his mouth. Placidus could not move. He knelt down and prayed to God. After kneeling there for a long time he got up and went away.
Fifteen years passed. Placidus was working in some small village. But back in rome Caesar was troubled. In Persia, men were starting to rebel. He needed troops but there were very few experienced soldiers. He remembered his general Placidus and decided to look for him. At last some of his men found him. They persuaded him to come and fight for Rome once more.
Now we must go back to the fate Theopista. God had changed the heart of the evil captain and he had let Theopista off at the next available port. He gave her some money and she bought a small cottage. She had to work very hard to keep it nice, and of course she missed her family terribly.
Ok, back to Placidus. He fought in the wars and gained a wonderful victory for Rome. But he was not the only brave soldier. Two young men in particular, who had met in the wars, worked together wonderfully. Placidus met them and they became friends. Indeed he treated them as he would have treated his lost sons.
On the way back to Rome they stopped in a small village. The three men stayed at the cottage of an old widow.
One day when the two young men were walking in the garden, the elder told the younger the story of his life. When the story was over the younger exclaimed, "Agapius, I believe I am thy brother!!!!!!!!!!" So it was discovered and they went to Placidus and they soon found out that the kind old general was actually their long lost father. Later that day the widow who owned the house came to Placidus and asked him to help her in the search for her family. Then she looked at him and recognized her husband. What a happy day for the reunited family.
In Rome they were expected to sacrafice to the Gods. When they refused it was discovered that they were Christians.
The next day they were brought to the Coliseum. Many wild animals were loosed on them but not one would harm the family. One lion put his head under the foot of the old, unarmed Placidus. Finally after many animals, who once were wild, even ferocious, but now were strangely tame, had been tried loosed on them, they were put in something like a large roasting pan and a fire was lit under them. Although they did die there, their bodies looked as if they were only asleep. That night the Christians stole their remains and buried them.

This is an incredible story, as you can see for yourself. I thought the way the family was reunited sounded sort of like a fairy tale.
Anyways it is a really cool story, and obviously I really liked it.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

John Bosco Youth Day 2

Hi, Adriana here. I'm on Ramiel's computer.
Before Righteous B's talk, he had us play a game called 'Consequences'.
We passed an object up and down the row we were in while a guy played music.
When the music stopped whoever had the object would have to stand up and recieve a consequence. Whenever they got the object while playing they had to stand up and perform the consequence.
The first time I, Ramiel, had to stand up and turn around and do the chicken dance. (Actually it should have been Adriana's but she insited that I do it.)The next time our friend got it and she had to go up to a boy in a different row, grab his head and say,"Does my breath stink?"
She got it again the next time and she had to go up to the front of the tent and do the YMCA. She got all the ones after that. They were: Give three unknown people a noogie and give the announcer a hug. She finally passed it on to me and the game was over.
Immediatly following the Righteous B's talk, the National Evangelization Team (NET) gave a pep talk. It included lots of jiving, cheering, singing and laughing. Then there was a short impromptu speech given by a Dominican Sister on finding your Vocation. After about six minutes of invigorrating one-way conversation with the audience, she dismissed us for lunch (subs, cookies, chips, donuts, fruit, YUM).

Just a quick note: Adriana's compositions are posted in purple and Ramiel's are in blue

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

John Bosco Youth Day 1

I went to John Bosco Youth Day at Holy Hill on Saturday. I went with some of my friends. It was incredible. The person who was introducing all the speakers told us a story about his family.
He and his wife have one child. Before they had that one his wife had eight miscarraiges. When the relics of Saint Therese were traveling around the country they stopped at Holy Hill. His wife went to pray there for a baby. A few months later they found out she was pregnant. The due date was October 1st, the feast day of St. Therese.
The first speaker was the bishop of Madison. His talk was about beauty and truth and that sort of stuff. He was talking about the music that you hear in church and how he didn't like it. He said that it sounded like the music you hear on the radio. He said "You can hear that stuff on the radio anytime, do you have to hear it in Mass?" A few minutes later he said that someone had told him that young people were starting to like Gregorian Chant. Someone in the crowd asked "What is Gregorian Chant?" The Bishop sang the Pater Noster!!!!!!!!!!! Everyone clapped.
He said that he had three points to make. His last one was that Beauty is in the Eye of the beholder (sometimes). An example of when it is, is in the crucifix. To us Catholics it does look beautiful. But to someone who does not know about Christ it looks ugly. Another example was about music. He said that some people love the bad music now days. That is definitely a case where beauty is in the eye (actually in that case, the ear) of the beholder.

After him was a Christian rap/rock guy (whatever that stuff is). His name was Bob______ ( I can't remember what his last name was) but he was called 'Rightous B'.
His music wasn't that great but his talk was pretty cool.
He talked about how he was born a Catholic but didn't really understand what that meant.
They had alot of Catholic pictures around their house and when he had friends over they would ask him who those pictures were of.
He, being slightly embaressed, said that they were 'relatives'.
At last, when he was in highschool, he had everything he wanted, he was homecoming king, he had a really nice car, all this stuff but he still felt incomplete. He finally realized that to fill that gap he needed Jesus. He also told us about another guy, an athlete with a name I can not remember, who had fulfilled all of his goals. He had just won a really important game and he too had everything he thought he wanted but he felt incomplete. He too realized that he needed Jesus. Righteuos B said that that is what everyone needs. If you feel incomplete, that is what you need.