Updated: Aug 16
August 1, 2023
St. Alphonsus Liguori
This is a great saint to begin the month of the transfiguration. He was the patron saint of moral theology. I thought that after Veritatis Splendor, moral theology was in a pretty good state of affairs. Now though, it seems like there is again a great decline. We need good theologians to help show how the moral life can lead to a true transformation of the human spirit. We are more human and better aligned with God's plan for our lives when we live morally correct.
I did a 43-mile bike ride on my own today. On the way back from Seal Beach, one of the pelotons almost crashed into me. The first riders were fine coming through a tunnel, but the later riders were way over in my lane, and I had to dodge a shopping cart and thread the needle to get through unscathed.
I had to hustle to get to my midday appointments after celebrating mass. There were two very good meetings. Fr. Stephen Cho had stopped by the house on his way to Korea from Monterrey. I was able to visit with him for a while before going over to St. Philip's for spiritual directions and then dinner with a great couple.
August 2, 2023
St. Peter Julian Eymard
The saint for today was a little more obscure. I wanted to read a little bit about him. It ends up that he is a Eucharistic saint, so I wanted to celebrate his feast. I mentioned that he recommended daily mass.
I got out for a little workout early in the morning which was good. Then I spent several hours of my life taking Fr. Donal to the airport. I listened to more of the podcast of Fr. Andrew on Pints with Aquinas. I wonder why he has so many circumlocutions to avoid saying "Regina Apostolorum" Athenaeum in Rome.
I made it back to St. Philip's and was able to have an online spiritual direction before the midday mass. I had to scrounge around the sacristy a little bit.
Confessions in the afternoon was a bit overhelming. There were some people that were very off-topic and slow. It was nice to come home to dinner with Fr. Kevin and Fr. Lorenzo.
August 3, 2023
Cast your nets
Yesterday, Pope Francis recommended to the religious to cast our nets. He mentioned that it is easy for many of us to become discouraged. Nevertheless, we have to learn to cast our nets again and again. It reminds me of some familiar themes in Legionary spirituality. It is important to be able to encourage others, but it is also important to learn to encourage ourselves.
I had the early mass at St. Philip's and was able to share some of the Pope's message. I was not feeling in great shape, so I went in earlier to the office rather than having a bike ride. I worked on various details and then spoke with Fr. Benjamin about young adult work and Regnum Christi and the National Eucharistic Congress.
I rushed back to the house for lunch, then had another spiritual direction at the Clinic. A good friend told me he had been diagnosed with ALS and has a short life expectancy. He is responding with a lot of faith, which is a special grace.
We had our meeting for the Dodgeball Tournament and Family Movie Night. I made another video to send out to families so that hopefully we can grow the event. We finally decided to have a test run of the pizzas on Tuesday.
At home, we had a nice time at dinner. Fr. John got back and received the news that Fr. Donal is visiting family on the other side of the pond.
August 4, 2023
St. John Vianney, Cure of Ars
This is one of my favorite saints of all time. The Cure of Ars has always been a great inspiration for me. He had to fight through his studies, but he was always a man deeply in love with God. He was my confirmation saint and I have always felt a special connection. When Pope Benedict XVI opened the Year of the Priest, he entrusted the priests of the world in a special way to the Cure of Ars. St. John Vianney, pray for us!
It was nice celebrating Mass of First Friday and being able to speak about the cure of Ars. Afterwards, a few of the massgoers were kidding me about looking too young to celebrate mass with my new haircut.
It was good to finally have Fr. John at the meeting at the Clinic this morning. We also met and then I went home for a few phone spiritual directions.
We had Adoration for First Friday and there were more young people than I would have expected. I finally spoke a little with Lorraine, Jerome's fiancé.
August 5, 2023
Our Lady of the Snows
I went with Fr. John for a bike ride. We had a lot of climbs and I did pretty well. Afterwards, I made myself a big breakfast at home. I was at the house for the morning.
I drove up to Big Bear. The ascent from San Bernardino is significant. It made me think of driving up to Miramundo, although obviously it is not the same. This is more gradual and a lot safer.
The area is beautiful. It must be wonderful with snow. The parish church is very nice. It is pretty good, and the rectory is very large. I guess Fr. Paul lives here with his mom. The people at the parish have been very nice. I had a good hour and a bit hearing confessions, then the evening mass. The permanent deacon, Jim, invited me out to dinner at a diner in town.
August 6, 2023
I really loved this feast today. I slept in a little but still had finished my prayers in plenty of time for mass. People in Big Bear seemed to really enjoy my homily. After the first mass, I went over to the rectory to have some breakfast.
After the second mass, I had a few confessions, before beginning the drive back down the mountain. At home, I had a simple lunch and then rested up a bit before visiting some friends for dinner.
August 7, 2023
A deserted place
Today, I had to help with the Air Conditioning repair. I was able to work some at the house. I finished up a few key things for house administration.
I took one of the big boxes to get shipped and opened a Craigslist account to sell the other things in the garage.
I went over to Guadalupe Radio and sat down with Diego to talk about an interim radio show that starts next week, Tuesdays and Thursdays for the rest of August. He wanted me to talk about relationship with Christ. I want to talk about making the relationship concrete through our moral living.
For our community meeting, it started a little slow since somebody was late. I was able to advance some in my Shroud studies today. I think this could develop into something pretty interesting.
August 8, 2023
Today, we celebrate a great saint, a zealous defender of the faith. It is interesting how this founder was overshadowed by one of his earliest followers: St. Thomas Aquinas. Neverless, his tireless work against the Albigensian heresy and his establishing an order of studying and preaching friars has earned him a place in the history books.
I did a 43-mile bike ride today. We met up with Mark again. He is a Mormon bishop and we spent many miles discussing religion. He seemed appreciative for the opportunity.
I started to move the chairs to the Clinic. I am going to need some help to put the other things on Craigslist.
I have a nice spiritual direction tomorrow, that I am looking forward to. I also may stop by the Men's Night that Incorrupto is planning.
August 9, 2023
St. Teresa Benedicta a Cruce
Today, we celebrate Edith Stein, great woman, philosopher, convert, religious, and martyr. When I looked at the calendar, I did not see her as an option, so I celebrated the mass of the day. But I was definitely praying to St. Teresa.
I remember the first time we celebrated Edith Stein. In Germany, we were able to celebrate her still as a blessed. And I was on a road team and we were in a small town where the church bell could call all to Mass.
I also remember visiting the monument to her in Cologne.
I went to the Clinic during the morning. I brought over another one of the chairs. We are going to have to get rid of the old ones from there.
I am getting into the study of the Shroud of Turin. I am learning a lot. I had a spiritual direction in the afternoon and then helped with confessions. We picked up another man for Spiritual Exercises today and I spoke with the new sister in charge: Sister Meredith.
This is a great saint. He is deacon and martyr. I had fun with my homily, although I resisted the joke to say that he is the patron of American football since he died on a gridiron.
I kept working on my Shroud of Turin studies. I wanted to make it to my Spiritual Exercises, but that never happened. I made it back to the house for a late lunch. I wanted to work out, but that never happened either. My tailbone is bothering me. I am not sure about riding on Saturday.
I felt a real need for some time in front of Jesus and was able to spend almost a Eucharistic Hour before the meeting about the Dodgeball Tournament on Saturday, along with the Family Movie Night.
I began to read through the Gospel of John. I really liked the explanation of the Book of Signs that my introduction gave.
We start off with the miracle of the water turning into wine symbolizing the end of old Jewish washing ceremonies. The cure of the royal official's son shows that the Word is effective, even from a distance. The cure of the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda shows the power of water once again showing newness of life. The multiplication of the loaves and walking on water evokes the Passover and the crossing of the Red Sea, showing the mission of Jesus to be a new Exodus. The healing of the man born blind shows the power of light over darkness. Finally, the raising of Lazarus prefigures the final Resurrection of Jesus and the promise of life everlasting.
As well, I went through the prologue of John and identified some themes that I want to be relating to the first 12 chapters: Word, Light, Baptism, Incarnation, Grace, and Law.
The meeting went well. I think we are in pretty good shape. I stayed a while longer with Brendan and Emily. They are great people.
At home, we celebrated St. Lawrence, in honor of Fr. Lorenzo. He found out that I am starting with a few short shows on the radio and seemed very excited and encouraging about that.
St. Clare of Assisi
What a beautiful saint! I enjoyed preaching about her life at Mass today. She shows the power of authentic Christian witness. She was overpowered by the example of St. Francis and she proceeded to influence the Church world around her through her own prayer and authenticity.
After our meeting at the Clinic, I spent four hours trying to figure out putting up a page for registration and payment of our retreats and other courses. It was frustrating.
In the late afternoon, I was getting ready for a nice visit to the Eucharist and some spiritual reading when Fr. Lorenzo called, asking me to bring his spare key. I rushed out and as I was about to arrive, he called to announce that Triple A had come and opened his car.
So I ended up taking a long afternoon drive. When I got to St. Philip's, I joined in the preparations for tomorrow's events: Dodgeball for Young Adults and then a Family Movie Night. I am looking forward to it and proud of the team. I think we have done a great job.
I finished my script for my first radio episode. Fr. Lorenzo reviewed it and invited me to make sure that I let my personality shine through. I am glad he saw it. Bibiana saw it as well and mentioned that she likes that I give examples from the Bible, but also from Batman and pop culture. I am definitely a little nervous about producing good work on Tuesday.
I started off the day with a thirty-mile bike ride with Fr. John. We went over to Flintridge and there was an impressive ascent. Then I had to get thing together and head over to Saint Philip's. The dodgeball tournament came out very well. I took some pictures with the drone. Tomorrow, I have to look at all the images and see if I can make a nice little video. Incorrupto did a great job as DJ's. Then I moved to the kitchen to prepare the pizzas. Some of Ana's nephew and nieces were helping me. They were a little rambunctious and a little foul-mouthed, but it was fun. I think it got under Brendan's skin a little bit. It brought me back to working with adolescents.
Fr. Lorenzo was a big hit with his popcorn. He had several people hopping to help him. It was pretty funny.
The work was pretty grueling on my back. By the end of the night, I was beat. We spent a lot of time cleaning up.Our team was great. Thursday, we will have an evaluation meeting.
Casually, I found out that I am not saying the 12:30 mass tomorrow. It is a little annoying to schedule my appointments around these commitments and then to have them canceled lsat minute.
I got back to the house and went into the spa. I am hoping that my back does not totally lock up tomorrow.
Jesus walks on water
Personally, I was more interested in the fact of Jesus praying on the mountain. It worked out this year since last week was the Transfiguration that we had two Sundays of Jesus praying on the mountain. I am fascinated with the imagery. It is such a special grace to follow Christ who gives himself totally through prayer even though he has already put in a full day.
I slept pretty poorly, putting in a lot of work during the night to help my back tomorrow. I am still pretty sore from the work yesterday. Maybe I should really invest the time into strengthening my back regularly.
I spent three hours confessing at Guadalupe Radio. There were two cases in particular that tugged at my heartstrings. These people get themselves into difficult situations and have the hardest time finding the way out.
I was able to take the afternoon mostly for recovery. I went outside and read for a while. That was nice. I am praying my retreat tomorrow. I want it to be a powerful encounter with the power of God.
St. Maximilian Kolbe
I finally finished the book Forged again, accompanying someone doing the exercises. It was good, but I am glad to be finished. It is tough to have a daily commitment like that.
I had my monthly retreat this morning. I was a little distracted, but I liked the sources I took for the retreat. I had number 13 from the Constitutions and Galatians 2:20 as my principal sources. Then, I took the scene of the Transfiguration and used several paragraphs from the last three popes to reflect on my religious consecration.
I was able to wash my car and power-washed one of the trash cans. I took care of some Administration things and presented my experience of the Catholic Psychotherapy Association Congress to the fathers in the community.
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
I had fun with the mass today. We were in the hall, and just around 50 people for the Spanish mass at the end of the day. I did not use the microphone and joked with them that if they wanted to hear better, they could move closer.
I preached about the stars on the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. They are not original. So, what was the artist thinking, painting on an image not made by human hands? But maybe they mean that each one of us is to accompany Mary in her mission of evangelization.
Fr. John and I had a long bike ride today. I was very tired by the end of it, which I guess means we were pushing well.
I had some good meetings and had to rush to do everything.