Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Father Uy FSSP Vocation Video

A Journey of Sacrifice

Father Erik Deprey FSSP

Here are a few photos of Fr.Erik Deprey FSSP. He is a great spiritual director and very Holy priest
Father is leaving Vancouver 
for Ottawa

The boys changed their clothes after Mass for a street hockey game.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Armchair Theology #2

Here is part 2 to go along with post #1 from July 7/2013 on Development of the Doctrine of the Trinity
(footnotes will be included at the end)

Mystery does not mean, “We do not know anything about it”, mystery has to do with something we will never fully understand, even through eternity, we will never be able to grasp the infinite God. You can’t soak up the ocean with a speck of dust.

Nature as a philosophical term has to do with the whatness of a thing, bird nature does bird things, and human nature has a body and soul. A nature determines what something can do. Person when we hear a scream we wonder “who is screaming” not “what is screaming” because we already know it is someone with a human nature. Everyone in this class has a human nature except for the angels and demons that are present, they have angelic natures. We all have the same nature, but we all are different persons. Our nature does not talk, a person talks, when you are reading a research paper of a classmate it is the person reading, not your nature. All of us can laugh, cry, stand or sit, our nature does not do these things, our person does.
Plato philosophized, if there is one God what does He think about? And if there is only one God whom does He love?

We know that God has only one idea, because He can never forget anything and that one idea can never change because He already knows everything. Since God will never learn anything it is an eternal idea. Considering God has an infinite mind, the idea that God has that cannot change is Himself, and the idea God has of Himself is perfect because he already knows everything. So whatever is in God is also in His idea of Himself. Since God can know and love, His idea of Himself can know and love as well. Things can’t know and love, persons can know and love. Therefore His idea is a person. God’s idea has to be the same identical nature as Himself, which is a Person that has the same nature. God conceives within His own infinite nature a perfect infinite idea, which because it is an idea is completely within His nature and because it is a perfect idea of himself, it completely contains His nature. It’s an eternal, unchanging Word. Saint John reveals to us this Word, 

    “A Word who is with God (abiding therefore, not passing in utterance), a Word who is God; by this Word all things were made.

Through scripture and Tradition the early Church clearly taught that God was an appropriate title for Jesus. The old adage that the Doctrine of the Trinity developed over time is not totally true. Those in the early Church from the time of the Apostles all had a basic understanding that God was a Triune God. Just as Jesus’ real presence in the Eucharist had always been believed, but never formally as a Dogma until centuries later. Here are some quotes from the early Christians.
Irenaeus wrote in the 2nd century (185 AD) 
“ The Church has received from the Apostles and their disciples this faith in one God, the Father and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Ghost.” 
The oldest surviving sermon from the early Church opened with these words:
   “ Brethren, we ought so to think of Jesus Christ as of God, as of the judge of the living and dead. And we ought not to belittle our salvation; for when we belittle Him, we expect also to receive little.”
The Dogma of the Trinity was the climax of doctrine in the early Church. This dogma enabled Christianity to be separated from its Jewish roots and that of pagan supernaturalism, but still vindicated monotheism.

One heresy in the early Church was monothelitism (one will in Christ), which came from the Monophysite (one nature in Christ) heresy. However scripture demonstrates that Jesus continually distinguishes His will from that of the Father (John 6:38, Matt 26:39) But Jesus’ obedience to the Father only makes sense if He has a human will. Athanasius was a defender of this in his treatise on the Incarnation he writes,

  "And when Jesus says, "Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from Me; yet, not My will be done, but Yours;" and "the spirit is ready, but the flesh is weak," 

Athanasius gives evidence of the two wills, human, which is of the flesh, and the other divine, which is of God. That which is human, is the weakness of the flesh, shrinks from suffering. But the divine, is ready. 
Later in the council of Chalcedon 

    "Similarly we promulgate, according to the teaching of the Holy Fathers, that in Him are also two natural wills and two natural modes of working, unseparated, untransformed, undivided, unmixed; and these two natural wills are not opposed to each other as the impious heretics maintained." 

Athanasius wanted to make it clear that the Son is eternal and not created. From the Gospel of Saint John we know that the Son was in the beginning. Which is key because it states all things were created through the Word; the Son. Athanasius raised the question: how could the Son have been a creation when all things were created through the Son? Sounds like crazy talk. Also that the Father and Son are not generated from some preexisting origin, they are not brothers. The Father is eternally Father and the Son is eternally the Son. Athanasius also stresses that this begetting does not cause a division in the substance of the Father and Son because they are of the same substance. Applying the Scriptures beautifully, Athanasius also accounted for the begetting of the Son by turning to the titles given to the Son. For example, the Son is the Wisdom and Image of the Father. Again, how can the Father not have had an Image in the beginning? The Arians poorly applied the analogy of earthly fathers to the Father and when it came time when the Son assumed flesh, the Arians further confused Jesus’ anthropology. However the Incarnation was a self-emptying and God exalted Him as a man and as a result exalted us as well. The Arians saw this as God being higher than the Son. The Arians also had a poor grasp on the begetting of the Son believing the Son was created. But if the Son was created then the Father changes as well. This is because the Father cannot be a Father without the Son and so if He had created the Son then He would become the Father.

The eternal nature of the Son was a decisive issue presented by Athanasius in his defense of the “Divinity of the Son”. Just as the sun and its radiance do not have a separate substance or origin, neither do the Father and the Son (they have no origin). Athanasius and the Church fathers were able to address this heresy by proper use of Scriptural truth and sound philosophy.

Coming soon part 3, with Augustine and Triune love.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Papal Visit To Vancouver

1984 was the year Blessed Pope John Paul II toured across Canada. I was 10 years old and went to go see him at BC Place Stadium. Here is the souvenir I took home that day.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Zucchetto of Blessed Pope Pius IX

Wow! What an exciting presentation I was at on July.19th at Saint Cecilia's Church in Stanwood Washington

Treasures of the Church ministry was in town for an exposition of over 150 relics

A full write up and more photos to come, but for now here is a preview.

Blessed Pope Pius IX Zucchetto.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Blog up and running...again

Over the past few weeks there has been issues loading this blog. Thanks to Peter at Google Product forums for helping solve the issues.
Deo Gratias

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Armchair Theology

Here I am playing the part of an armchair theologian. I will post in sections over the summer. Enjoy

Development of the Doctrine of the Trinity : pt.1
(the footnotes will be posted at the conclusion)

In the fourth century the predominant question of the day was
     “ Is the divine that has appeared on earth and reunited man with God identical with the supreme divine, which rules heaven and earth, or is it a demigod?
The question that we need to ask today then is how did the Church formulate the Doctrine of the Trinity? What do we believe about the Trinity? and what does the Church teach about the Most Holy Trinity? Most Christians do not have a full grasp on what the Trinity is. I for one am not going to try and convince you that I understand it completely either. For if I did, well I would be God. To even begin to understand the Trinity we have to investigate the understanding of the Three distinct Persons. It is necessary for Christians to have some insight into this central dogma.
Saint Augustine who we will return to later, wanted to show the importance of having an understanding of the Trinity.
“ But indisputably we must take care, lest the mind believing that which it does not see, feign to itself something which is not, and hope for and love that which is false.”

How can one love their spouse if they do not know who their spouse is? If our view of God does not match the reality of God, (although you may have good intentions), this is a false faith. For Augustine, God is the greatest Love, the greatest Word, and the greatest Knowledge.

The Holy Trinity is a mystery, yet that does not mean that we cannot know or understand certain elements of the Trinity. Having knowledge about the Trinity is not to be confused with our image of the Trinity. Our imagination makes use of material things, things that are changeable, and the Most Holy Trinity is not a material item. Ideas such as love or truth are spiritual and unchangeable and can be found in our intellect. We will never fully understand what the mystery of the Trinity is because the Trinity is spiritual and infinite. Many aspects of our faith are purely spiritual realities, we cannot picture something spiritual, and however we also cannot turn off our imagination when it comes to developing an image of an idea in our mind (Stop thinking about shamrocks and triangles). To begin to understand the Trinity we will look at three terms: Mystery, Nature, and Person.

pt.2 coming soon...( exciting isn't it?)

Film Review

Here is something different that I do not usually do, a film review.

The feature film “Masai: The Rain Warriors” is produced originally in the Masai language. It is about a group of young Masai men who go on a quest to kill a mythical giant lion in order to bring his mane back to their village and appease the Red God to end the drought that their people have been suffering. This film is a story of initiation, friendship and teamwork; these three things along with determination are needed for any dangerous journey to be a success. 
With the vast Savannah of Kenya as the backdrop, the movie was beautifully shot, with stunning scenery and locations. The story captured my imagination both on a personal level and a professional level. The cinematographer, Manuel Teran used mainly natural light to re enforce the harsh African sun, and the sweeping shots of the landscape reinforced the immense environment that the film crew had to deal with. There was one sequence in the film where the lighting seemed to be overexposed. However I feel that it was warranted due to the nature of the scene (a long days journey). Teran was able to capture a warm, earthy color to showcase the actor’s dark features and colorful clothing. The director Pascal Plisson did a wonderful job in directing inexperienced actors (actual Masai people) to get the performance out of them that he wanted. I was really looking forward to some DVD special features about the making of the film, unfortunately there were none.
*Spoilers below*

The film starts off on a somber note when we are told that the bravest warrior in the village, “Tipilit”, has been killed whilst trying to slay the legendary lion, Vitchua. The villagers believe the death of the lion will lead to rain and appease the Red God. The village elders decide that 8 young men will continue with this quest. The leader of this group is “Lomotoon”, he is the brother of Vitchua’s latest victim, and also comes from a wealthy family and is seen as the heir apparent to succeed his fallen brother. The best friend of “Lomotoon” is “Merono”, who ironically is the only son of a poor family. The friendship that the two share is unique but not rare in the realm of story telling. Coming from the same village and yet different status is difficult to maintain even in the West, however the friendships that do endure through economic differences seem to be the most telling. Originally Merono’s father forbids him to go on this quest, but Merono insists that he to can prove his bravery and leaves the village to be with his friend.

This is a film about young men coming of age and bonding together. There is laughter and arguments along the way, and of course heartache. At one point a rival tribe attacks the boys and two of the boys suffer serious injury. Later one of the two dies, the filmmaker made good use of silence at this point in the film, because no words are spoken about the young dead warrior, only when his brother reappears he is by himself and their friend is no longer with him. It is this moment the young warriors realize the dangers that await them outside of village life and the important quest they are on is more important than an individual. The sequence of attack happens very quickly and reminds the viewer of how these boys are in a life and death struggle.
Watching this film was a truly cultural experience. The Masai men come across as first and foremost as warriors and protectors of their tribe and their livestock. There is a very touching scene between Merono and a young female admirer where she gives him a small ceremonial cloth to wear. What is so telling about this is that later when Merono is preparing for battle with Vitchua he takes the cloth out and looks at it like it is a photograph and then touches it to his face and smells it. As if it is a piece of his home to keep himself calm and focused on the goal. Merono dreams of marrying the young girl when he returns from his quest. The women are just as fascinating to look at as the men; they all appear to be tall, slender with beaded necklaces and long braided hair. The headbands and earrings are colorful and intricate. On film the overall look of the Masai comes across as very enhanced and tells a fantastic story that these are not boring people at all, they are as unique as snowflakes.  When the young men go out on their hunt for Vitchua they cover their body and hair in ceremonial paint, which adds an element of seriousness to their efforts. 
Along the trek the warriors would sing or chant while walking, exemplifying the fact that the Masai are a social people, they live in remarkable conditions but are still by human nature attached to being within a community that share activities or interests in communion. The responsibility of every member of the group is paramount to the success in this endeavor.
I was engaged in the film until an unfortunate series of CGI shots towards the end. This was supposed to be the climax of the young men’s journey and instead it played out as a staged computer generated event (the event being the battle with the lion). Needless to say from a film making perspective it was extremely disappointing. Although the ending was predictable where Merono gives his life to slay the lion and bring honor to his family, it showed that the human condition wants to have true charity towards his fellow man weather it is in Vancouver or in Kenya. When the young men return to the village with the mane of the lion they are welcomed as heroes, and Lomotoon rightly directs all the praise to be given towards his fallen friend Merono. This was a great example of true honor, not taking credit for something that he did not do. Lomotoon did what a true friend should do. By telling the truth he was able to honor his friend even in death. There were several instances in the film using the covert message context, no words are needed to convey that Merono is dead, yet it is obvious from his absence that he is.
The young Masai men work within the confines of a very traditional and collaterality relationship with one another. This system spills over into the amicability that the warriors have with nature. The Masai culture is highly masculine and puts a high emphasis on achievement and assertiveness. This was prominently displayed when the two injured warriors were left behind. This was significant for two reasons: one, that the injured felt that they did not want to put the others in danger by slowing them down, and two, the others had to continue their quest for the survival of the tribe. For the Masai men this was about the survival of their village, not about individual accomplishments.

I would definitely recommend this film to anyone who loves films about the human condition. We all have inherent value, the value of life, and the value to sacrifice that life for the betterment of others. Merono is the Christ like figure in this film who lays down his life for his friends. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Catholic Film Press Release

"Letter To A Priest" - Trailer

New Catholic Short Film Completed: Slated for Premiere at World Youth Day 2013

(VANCOUVER, B.C.) — MV Studios and Airace Productions are pleased to announce, after seven months of production, the completion of “Letter to a Priest,” a short film inspired by “Lettre à un Religieux,” a book by the French philosopher Simone Weil.

“Letter to a Priest” will have its world premiere at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during July of 2013.

Motivated by the Catholic Church’s current Year of Faith, and by its recent “Catholics Come Home” campaign, director Clayton Richard Long set out to create a film that would attract souls to communion with Christ. 

“The film is twelve minutes in length. When working with a short running time, it can be a challenge to create an engaging, thought-provoking film. But we did it. And the key to this was keeping our visuals fresh and our action moving at a constant pace,” said Long.

“The film is also packed with ideas,” said C.S. Morrissey, the film’s writer and a philosophy professor at Redeemer Pacific College. “It invites people to think about the Catholic faith. What is the meaning of what the Church teaches about marriage, baptism, and adoration?”

The film centers on Jenny, a university student who, in refusing to be baptized, takes Simone Weil as the model for her life. Jenny comes into conflict with her former boyfriend when she finds out that he, who used to be a lapsed Catholic, is now planning to get married in the Catholic Church. His new fiancée is an Evangelical now converting to Catholicism. Simone Weil’s book, “Letter to a Priest,” plays a key role in the film’s plot.

“The film’s characters are grappling with the most profound questions. People will find the story so rich that it repays multiple viewings. They will want to talk about the film with their friends. To encourage evangelization, we even have a study guide and group discussion questions,” said Long. “The film is about what it means to walk through the door of faith.”

“The ‘door of faith’ (Acts 14: 27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church,” said Pope Benedict XVI in his Apostolic Letter “Porta Fidei” that marked the beginning of the Year of Faith. 

“That’s really good news. We wanted to help share it, by expressing it artistically,” said Long. 

The trailer for the film is on YouTube:

Follow “Letter to a Priest” on Facebook:

Film Study Guide and Group Discussion Questions: