Wednesday, August 1, 2012

New blog!!

So I've decided to start over with a new, less constrained blog!

Here's the link:

Check it out!

 In case your wondering, this isn't because I've lost my "vocation". Its still very much there. I just needed a blog that was more open ended. With this old one I feel constrained to talk about my vocation, but thats hard to constantly do. I think I will be able to have a lot more fun with this new one.

 So come on by!

Pax Christi.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Veni, Creator Spiritus

     Today we had our first main snowfall of the year. It has inspired me to reflect on the beauty of God's creation. I chose this title, "Veni, Creator Spritus" because it embodies the immense beauty of creation. And because it is Latin, which is awesome; Latin for "the Creator Spirit".

Scripture and Tradition never cease to teach and celebrate this fundamental truth: "The world was made for the glory of God." St. Bonaventure explains that God created all things "not to increase his glory, but to show it forth and to communicate it", for God has no other reason for creating than his love and goodness: "Creatures came into existence when the key of love opened his hand." -- From the Catechism of The Catholic Church, article 293

     I have always wondered why people can be so capitulated by the beauty of nature. Why is it, that a simple mountain landscape or a "winter wonderland" is enough to inspire goose bumps and awe? Because that's what the Holy Spirit does. He gives us chills, to tell us that He is there. He awes us with beauty. He is "Veni Creator Spiritus" and He is God. This sense of beauty is fundamental proof of the existence of an Omnipotent Creator of the universe.

     All art is a reflection of the artist who created it. It says something about who the artist is. Nature is beautiful, and therefore, our God is beautiful.

     I also think that it is important to realize that unlike a human artist, God created everything out of nothing.
"If God had drawn the world from pre-existent matter, what would be so extraordinary in that? A human artisan makes from a given material whatever he wants, while God shows His power by starting from nothing to make all He wants." -- St. Theophilus of Antioch

If God can create something from nothing, than He can turn a sinners heart into a saint's. The power of God's mercy is endless, as is the beauty of His creations. For it is by Him that we are created, and it is by His Son on the cross, that our life is endless and eternal, so long as we follow Him.

Pax Christi.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ave Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis.

     I know that I haven't posted anything new in a long time, so bear with me as I try to make up for it in this one super awesome blog post. Hahahahahaha

      The Devil has been working overtime in an attempt to lead me away from God. I've been getting a lot of doubts recently. For some reason, I have been getting the idea lately that my I have been wrong about being called to the priesthood, and that I am called to become a politician so that I may "change the world for the sake of Christ." Like I said, bear with me….

     I have also realized this: It is very hard to discern weather a thought is from God or Satan, and that if we get to scrupulous about this, it can also begin to drive us away from God. We have all heard the saying "to Jesus through Mary" right? Well, I realized the other night, whilst praying the rosary, that if I begin all of my scriptural reflections and all of my prayers for discernment with a special prayer to Mary, then she will do her best to make sure the Devil shuts up.

     Take note of where Mary's "staff" is. The Devil cant lie if he's too busy being defeated by Mary. I still feel deeply called to the Priesthood, regardless, of what Satan tries to say. Now that the devil is out of the way, I can concentrate more on what God is trying to say.

Friday, September 30, 2011

My letter to Congress and to my local reprisenatives and senators concerning the Protection of Conscience Rights in Health Care.

My name is Jonathan Pirillo. I am a junior in High school. I am a Roman Catholic. I am Pro-Life.

I do not think that it is right to mandate that a medical institution with a religious foundation should be forced to offer "Pro-Choice" services. It is an obvious and blatant violation of our rights stated in the First Amendment of the Constitution on the United States of America. 300 years ago, when freedom of religion was only extended to protestants and puritans, this type of action might have been excused. But we live in the year 2011. I have a phone that does 2000 things all at once, yet our country cannot seem to wake up to the brutality and barbarianism of abortion. We've already been torn apart once over civil rights, and I hate to see it happening over the right to life.

I have heard it said that this law does not matter to religious facilities with a predominant population of faculty members and patients who are all of the same religious morals and beliefs. This makes absolutely no sense. As Christians we are all called to reach out to those in need, especially those who are not of the same beliefs as us. What do you expect us to say? "Mr. Jenkins, since you are an atheist we can no longer treat you for you chronic and highly lethal disease."? That isn't right, and we wont stand for it.

I thank you for your time in considering this matter. Know of my prayers for you, and know of God's love for you. May he bless you abundantly in all that you do.

Jonathan Pirillo

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"The Morals of Our Youth"

This is a recent essay that I was assigned for my Sociology class. It was to be a reflection of the topics that we have been discussing in class. Here is is:

The Morals of Our Youth

    In a recent study, the renowned sociologist, Christian Smith, interviewed a large number of young adults about how they feel about certain moral issues. Along with his colleagues, Smith was surprised that most had no idea on how they would deal with certain moral issues. Honestly, this doesn’t surprise me one bit. Most of today’s youth probably don’t even know what the word “moral” means, let alone know how to feel about them.

     They may have morals, but I feel that they can sometimes be misguided because of where they originate from. Most youth, that I know, have morals based off of “how they feel”, because they have no “moral framework” from which to base their morals. The article states “Many were quick to talk about their moral feelings but hesitant to link to a shared moral framework. As one put it, “I mean, I guess what makes something right is how I feel about it. But different people feel different ways.” I very much disagree with the ideas behind this statement; the ideas of moral relativism. These ideas would work, in a perfect world; alas one in which we do not live.

     If we do not have a moral framework, than how could our morals be very “moral”? What ensures that these morals are what is right? I would argue that there is absolutely nothing that insures the morality of these “self-felt” morals. Joseph Ratzinger, or later known as Pope Benedict XVI once stated that “We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires.” I feel that if we fall into this “dictatorship” then we will become selfish, and when has selfishness ever benefited any society? If we all only cared about ourselves, then we would cease to exist. If the Founding Fathers only cared about their own selves, would they have put themselves through the struggle to establish this nation?    

     “Nothing is as it seems.” People might try and think that the world is perfect, but it isn’t. On the outside, the U.S. has looked like paradise to those living in third world countries. But when one looks deeper into our society and sees all the moral dilemmas that we face, then, they would put up with poverty and drought for the sake of not being associated with a nation that thinks its right to kill babies. And so here comes the topic of abortion. (Didn’t you see it coming?). Some feel that women have the right to decide whether or not they should keep their unborn child. They ‘assume’ that because a baby is still in the womb, then it is not ‘life’ yet. But on the other hand, science has proven that life does, in fact, begin at conception. It might be the woman’s right to have an abortion, but does that make it ‘right’? If the government handed out guns to everyone and said “it’s your right to go and kill five people for no reason” does that make it ‘right’? Murder is murder, and without a moral framework to define for us what is truly right, then, morals cannot exist.

     Right now, our country is in a period of immense moral crisis. Although, I am only human and I could be very wrong. You never can truly know, because “things are not what they seem”.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A vocation is love. Love is patient. This is the first thing I learned in my own discernment. To be patient.

"Seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened to you." This is second thing I have learned in my discernment.

And the third thing....well that's just it, I don't know yet. I don't know. Perhaps that is the third thing? Learning to be okay with not knowing? Well perhaps I'll never know. And oddly, I'm okay with that.

I do know that I have grown a lot since my first "re-conversion", though at first it didn’t seem like it. I realize now that there is actually no such thing as having only one conversion. Sure, there is the initial one, but then there are more, deeper conversions that happen later on. Each one is a new milestone in our walk with Christ. Each one brings us closer and closer to becoming the person that God made us to be.

Each one is a new step in our discernment. After all, isn't that what we are discerning in the first place? Not just where He wants us to be, but who He wants us to be. How are we supposed to fit in the "square slot" that He has pre-destined for us, if we are still in the shape of a triangle?

"Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect" Romans 12:2

The world tells us that we must be a triangle. It tells us that its no good to be a square. But if we are not a square, then what good is knowing where the slot is, if we wont fit in it? God wouldn’t torture us with that predicament.

In this short verse  from St Paul's letter to the Romans, he tells us that, in order to discern the will of God, what is "good and pleasing and perfect", we must first become transformed. Transformed by the renewal of our minds, the renewal of our hearts. But if we conform ourselves to "this world", if we do what the world tells us to do, then we cannot discern. God won't let us. He doesn’t want us to feel the rejection of not fitting into the slot that He has made for us.

But if we listen to Him, if we transform ourselves into who He made us to be, that "square", then is when we can fully carry out His holy and true will.

In the name of the Father + and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit +. Amen.

Pax Christi.

Monday, August 29, 2011

From an article I read this morning. Courtesy:Catholic News Sevice.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Cradle Catholics haven't done enough to show people that God exists and can bring true fulfillment to everyone, Pope Benedict XVI told a group of his former students.

"We, who have been able to know (Christ) since our youth, may we ask forgiveness because we bring so little of the light of his face to people; so little certainty comes from us that he exists, he's present and he is the greatness that everyone is waiting for," the pope said.

The pope presided at a Mass Aug. 28 in Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome, during his annual meeting with students who did their doctorates with him when he was a professor in Germany.

Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna, a regular participant in the Ratzinger Schulerkreis (Ratzinger student circle), gave the homily at the Mass, but the pope made remarks at the beginning of the liturgy.

The Vatican released the text of the pope's remarks Aug. 29.

Pope Benedict highlighted the day's reading in Psalm 63 in which the soul thirsts for God "in a land parched, lifeless and without water.

He asked God to show himself to today's world, which is marked by God's absence and where "the land of souls is arid and dry, and people still don't know where the living water comes from."

May God let people who are searching for water elsewhere know that the only thing that will quench their thirst is God himself and that he would never let "people's lives, their thirst for that which is great, for fulfillment, drown and suffocate in the ephemeral," the pope told his former students.

However, it also is up to Christians to make God known to the world, the pope said, and older generations may not have done their best.

"We want to ask (God) to forgive us, that he renew us with the living water of his spirit and that he helps us to celebrate properly the sacred mysteries," he said.

The formal discussions of the "schulerkreis" this year focused on the new evangelization.

The closed-door seminar was held Aug. 25-28 in the papal residence of Castel Gandolfo and was attended by 40 people, reported L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.

The pope chose two speakers to give lectures: Hanna-Barbara Gerl-Falkovitz, a female German theologian and professor, and Otto Neubauer, director of the Emmanuel Community's academy for evangelization in Vienna.

The lectures were followed by discussion among the participants, including the pope.

Summarizing the discussions for L'Osservatore Romano Aug. 27, Cardinal Schonborn said participants felt that recent World Youth Day events in Madrid represented a fresh "boost of renewed hope" for the church.

He said older generations have suffered by first living their faith at a time when church life was thriving, and today they are watching parishes lose so many parishioners.

But, today's young Catholics seem to realize they are a minority in a secular, relativistic world and have shown their "undaunted willingness to give witness to their peers in such an environment," he said.

Seminar participants saw the so-called "John Paul II and Benedict XVI generations" as a whole new phase for the church. No one thought young Catholics would be so open to being in "the courtyard of the Gentiles" to evangelize, said the cardinal.

He said the meeting also reflected on how to spread the Gospel in a secular world that nonetheless "shows that it is waiting to receive anew the Gospel message."