A poem for you all
Happy Valentines Day to all lovers ‘round
May your roses be red and your true loves be found
But before we celebrate February fourteen
There is a story that is more, more than it seems.
A long time ago in a far away land
Lived a priest named valentine who had a rebellious plan.
Emperor Claudius was at war and his idea was scary.
He thought his soldiers would be stronger if they did not marry.
He made marriage illegal and all who defied
Found themselves in trouble, many of them died.
But Valentine found this wrong and mustered his might
He married couples in secret, it was their God-given right
Couples flocked to Valentine, who acted as God’s hand
Until the emperor found out and imprisoned this man
How could a priest defy me? The emperor thought
He must be punished and furthermore stopped
Because Valentine believed in love and had couples wed
The emperor gave an order to chop off his head
We celebrate today, due to Saint Valentine’s plight,
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY TO ALL AND TO ALL A SAFE NIGHT!
- John Paul Rabago
A bigger threat to Catholic Marriage
A recent conversation I had sparked some thoughts on the subject of Catholic Marriage and the “threats” that may or may not be an actual detriment to the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Of course the conservative media is perpetuating same-sex marriage as a threat to traditional families and traditional marriages while the liberal media is seeing state level gay marriages as the extension of freedom to gay americans. However, this post will look at a smaller sample- Catholics. In my opinion, gay marriage is not as big of a threat to the Catholic Sacrament of Holy Matrimony as many would claim. In the 2,000 year history of the Catholic Church, there have been no gay marriages within Catholic Church walls. The Catholic Church does not and will never support the Holy Sacrament to be administered to same-sex couples. This sentiment can be seen on a secular level as well by Archbishop Cordileone’s active involvement in the “Yes on 8” campaign. The reason for this is because the Catholic Church teaches that one of the main reasons for marriage within the church is to make babies. Catholics are called to abstain from sexual activity outside of marriage and are prohibited to use contraceptives while married. For obvious reasons, same sex couples cannot create a baby by traditional means of sexual intercourse and therefore cannot fulfill the fullness of marriage AS EXPLAINED BY CHURCH TEACHING. So if same-sex couples cannot get married in the Catholic Church, then it doesn’t really affect Catholic Marriage rates. SO, THERE HAS TO BE A BIGGER THREAT HERE. Well what about Catholic DIVORCE? A recent Georgetown University study revealed that “divorce among Catholics represents more that 11 MILLION individuals” So far the scoreboard between Catholic Gay Marriage and Catholic Divorce is 0 to 11,000,000. So there are some numbers, but lets look into this a little deeper. The number Catholic Annulments is also staggering. According to the same research group, there is 1 annulment for every 6.5 Catholic Marriages. Also they found that less that 8% of marriages are occurring in the Catholic Church. Also, according to Church teaching, if you have not finished your annulment process and decide to live with another man or woman as if you are married to them, you are breaking your Sacramental Promises to God and therefore you cannot participate in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Annulments are not only a threat to Catholic Marriages, but also keep those from having them away from other sacraments. So this brings up the question, why are less people receiving the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony? And of those few who do, why are so many of them requesting annulments? We could come up with an endless list of factors that may be causing this predicament, but gay people trying to get married in the Church wouldn’t be one of them.
When my absence doesn’t alter your life, then my presence has no meaning in it.
The Tragedy of The Commute
I was always amazed by people on public transportation. I myself used to be a regular commuter who like many others was bored beyond saving. Like many others, I resorted in trying to find solace in my phone. From checking Instagram endlessly to reading Facebook posts over and over, it seemed like there was never enough media to get me through my commute. I read posts after posts, looked at pictures, reflected on my own pictures even. None of it was enough to keep my mind off the fact that I was going to be on this train for the next hour. Even the music could not sustain me. My playlists became old and predictable. Even pandora became boring. Although I tried to find solace in mere things, so do many people everyday. We try to look for something meaningful, something that will capture our attention behind the glass of our iPhones. What we fail to realize is each other. Sitting next to me on this train is a person. This person is also engrossed in their electronic device. We fail to acknowledge each other. I failed to see that this person sitting next to me has a mind filled with stories, thoughts, dreams, aspirations, inspirations, and more. These are unique to this person. And although our electronic devices contain media that can be accessed by anyone all over the world by the miracle of the Internet, the thoughts of the person sitting next to me is and will only be known by a fraction of a fraction of humanity. This person sitting next to me has the capacity to change my life by the mere muttering of words that may manifest itself into a conversation that may inspire or destroy me. This person sitting next to me is another human soul, a soul that is as endless as the universe. This soul is a miracle in itself and contains more emotion, feeling, and thoughts than any sort or social media can provide. Behind their eyes lies memories of the past. Of loved ones. Of experiences. Of triumphs. Of losses. Of failures. Of laughter and joy. This infinite amount of knowledge and sharing could be unleashed and wash over my brain like a flood with a simple “hello how are you?” Yet, none of us say it. None of us take that chance. We don’t acknowledge the divine life we share. Our souls, although willing to intermingle, are held back by mere selfish isolation. Then, this person gets up and leaves the train at their stop. They leave next to me an empty seat. They leave me a missed opportunity to connect with another human being. Sede vacante. Only to be filled by another passenger. Only to repeat all over again.