Thursday, March 21, 2013
Our brain is probably the most complex part of our bodies, that many people including scientist are barely discovering many aspects of the brain. Our brain let's us remember things, including the people we love, special days, and lets us hold information that could not be possible without the brain. Our brain is also the head of communications that helps the body connect with all the other members. However fascinating the brain is, there are also things that we don't seem to like very much about it.
One of these things is distraction. As many of us pray, attend Mass, or even work, we seem to get distracted almost every time. This seems to be something that we all struggle with, and something that most if not all want to work on. It happens almost every time, specifically when praying prayers such as the rosary, that we let ourselves get distracted. Because of this we don't fully appreciate these prayers, or even come to grasp the profound beauty in it.
The same thing is true for things such as the theme of intrusive thoughts. I am pretty sure most of us have intrusive thoughts almost daily. They can be sexual, violent, or just plainly unwanted. These thoughts seem to come out of nowhere, which most of the time they do.
Because of distractions and intrusive thoughts, many of us try to control our thoughts. This usually proves to no avail, and the reason is that it is IMPOSSIBLE. There is just too much going on in our inner faculties that it is too hard to do, never less too stressful and time consuming. Rather although we can't control our thoughts completely, there are techniques and things that we can do to at least try to tame our wondering mind.
Lectio Divina is something that I have found not too long about. Yet it is something I have been doing to some extent. It is about meditating on scriptural reading. This technique is very helpful, specifically when praying prayers like the rosary. The rosary is much more than just repetitious prayers, it is about meditating on the lives of Jesus and Mary. Because of this we can see the scriptural roots it has. A great tip is to read a scriptural passage that goes with the mystery that we are about to meditate on.
Lectio Divina can be used with other things as well. I use it specifically when reading the daily reading for that particular day. It brings great meaning to our lives and to our Catholic faith.
You can learn more about Lectio Divina from
As for intrusive thoughts it is quite different. As stated before there is only so much that we can do to control our thoughts. As someone who suffers from OCD and Scrupulosity I know from experience that I cannot control all my thoughts. An example is a husband who is laying in bed with his wife. If he has an intrusive thought about staving his wife, he might panic and try to reason why he had the thought in the first place. Does it mean that he wants to hurt his wife? Does it mean that he doesn't love his wife enough? The answer is none of the above. The reality is that it is just a thought that seems to come out of the bloom. It could actually mean that the husband had this thought BECAUSE HE LOVES HIS WIFE A LOT.
When it comes to intrusive thoughts, all we can do is simply acknowledge that we had the thought and not think anything of it. Stressing about it will only make these thoughts happen worse. I know from experience. It is just about putting your faith in God knowing that he understands that we get thoughts that we would never want to have.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/darwinbell/5827849044/">Darwin Bell</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">cc</a>
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Stained Glass Window courtesy of www.StainedGlassInc.com
The Catholic church has survived for the 2000 years since its foundation. The reason is that it holds the truth given to us by Jesus the son of God and passed down through the tradition of the apostles. It has survived through the good and the bad, through the truth and through heresy and error, through peace and war, and through saints and sinners.
The Church has the Holy Spirit as its guide, and as Jesus said " You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will never prevail against it" ( Mt 16:18) and later in the end of the Gospel according to Saint Mathew Jesus says " Behold I am with you always, even to the end of the world." (Mt: 28:20)
For this reason is that the church has and will always survive until the second coming of Jesus Christ. As Catholics we are blessed to have a revealed religion to us, that no other religion has. One that is founded by God himself through his son Jesus Christ.
The Good The Bad and The Ugly
As Catholics we are to stay firm in the faith through all generations and through all the trials that face us today. It is about showing the truth of God despise what the world is doing.
The Catholic church has had the privilege of celebrating during the good times. This good times have included the development of Western civilization through the Catholic church, and other times when converts have found the truth in the church. This are the good times, the times of celebration. It is the times of the triumph of the Catholic church, where God's good news is seen in the fullness of truth found within the church.
Then there are the bad times, these are the times where heresy and error have entered the church. This include the rise of Arianism, Gnosticism, albigensianism, Protestantism, and the heresies and errors that face our world today. Most common of them are atheism, agnosticism, New Age philosophies and relativism. What faces our world today is more of irreligion and a lack of faith in God himself. Regardless Jesus reminds the faithful that the church will never be alone even in the darkest of times. It is through the Holy Spirit that truth remains.
Finally there are the ugly times in the church. These are the times of persecution and when blood is shed. This includes the crucifixion of Jesus Christ himself. It includes the start of the Church during the persecutions of Rome and the Jewish revolts against the early Christians. These are the times that saints are born out of martyrdom and faith. Although this is not so much a problem in the western part of the world, it is still a growing problem in the East, specifically under Islamic and radical atheistic regimes and dictatorships, that this still occurs.
Yet the good, the bad, and the ugly is what makes up our Catholic faith and heritage. It is what gives history and truth to the truthfulness of the Catholic church. It is about celebrating the good, working through the bad, and persevering through the ugly.