Life after Epiphany

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Sonnet of Self-Dedication

Otherwise entitled: “Prayer of a Postulant.” This was written during my Postulant year – but the themes hold true even out here in lay life. Perhaps even more than at the time of writing.

– – – – –

King of the deep, Lord of the storm
Command mine raging heart be still
To ponder Your Incarnate form
To contemplate Your holy will.

Now stir me up with zeal for souls
and send me out to push the plough
To run t’ward the Eternal Goal
Then live the Everlasting Now.

Yet in my weakness, Lord, I fall
Please help me humbly stand again
Would that for love of You, my all
Be in Your service wholly spent.

Saviour, King, Beloved, Friend:
Totus Tuus, till my life’s end.

– – – – –

(A dusty sketch from October 2011)


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on knowledge: babel-onian captivity

it’s a strange world in which i live,
the fruits of a cultural rebellion.

the perpetrators would no doubt cringe
at this choice of words –
“Revolution,” they would attempt to correct.
“we liberated the human mind.”

but i can see past their self-important claim.

i was not alive to watch
as the wise and dignified flag of academia was violently divorced
from its proud, long-fought

and trampled underfoot
by those who would hoist the new
cloth of childish insolence.

this new flag is naught but the symbol
of a misguided collective of individual clones,
hell-bent on drowning out the battle-hardened, even voice of experience
with the clamour of their unified disparity.
no, this occurred before my time,
but it is i and my brethren that suffer the consequences.
the arrogant son wins academic recognition
through the cruel subversion of his father’s work.
we fail to grow, we – a tired humanity.
we exhaust ourselves trying not to be dumped
by the wave we are riding
as the next big one rolls in behind to supplant it.
with each generation
we tear down that which our elders have built
foundations and all
and we fool ourselves into thinking we are the great achievers
as we watch, with misplaced pride,
our own building grow taller.
what fools we are!
our children will tear it down when we are done,
to callously make room for their own toy tower.
gone are the days when knowledge persisted
from generation to generation.
persisted – expanding on that which existed
and grew – building on that which we knew
representing so much more than could be achieved
in one, short lifetime.
for as long as this world continues to believe
they are faster
and stronger
and more intelligent than their predecessors,
reinventing the wheel thrice as often as the passing of Halley:
so shall human minds stagnate in chains.
the legacy of the 20th century.

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Benedict XVI: For the record

This post, on a blog I stumbled across this morning for the first time, is a wonderful tribute to the Pope Emeritus. None of this detracts from Pope Francis, whom I believe may just prove to be as saintly a Pope as his more recent predecessors. But the media ought to be ashamed of themselves for failing to report the real story. The real story here is the CONTINUITY of humility, the CONTINUITY of holiness in the Papacy. Slightly different styles, slightly different emphases… but CONTINUITY where it counts. Fidelity to Truth. Fidelity to Love. Fidelity to God.

I believe that all of the media circus about Pope Francis is an attempt by the media to gain some kind of leverage in shaping the direction of the messages that come out from Rome. I kind of almost get the feel that, due to Pope Francis’ country of origin being in Latin America, they are trying put an insidiously subtle liberation theology spin on everything he does…

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Aussie representation at Pope Francis’ Inaugural Mass


Credit: Marta Jiménez Ibáñez/Catholic News Agency

Among the 200,000 pilgrims that attended the Inaugural Mass of Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square on the Feast of St. Joseph were a small group of Australians who attended as representatives of the young adult community. One of them was my brother, a recent law graduate from the University of Notre Dame, Sydney. lawGrad had the distinguished privilege of carrying the Australian flag at the Mass, and it turns out that this flag was the biggest flag from any nation to appear in St. Peter’s Square that day! This was not a deliberate thing, but it turned out to be a fortunate thing for me, for it obviously attracted a great deal of media attention and as such I was able to watch my brother on news broadcasts even though he was half a world away!

Australian Catholics had more representation at the Mass than was perhaps widely known. The Deacon who retrieved the Fisherman’s ring from the tomb of St. Peter and presented it to the Holy Father is a seminarian of the Archdiocese of Sydney. In fine voice, the Deacon also sang the liturgical instructions and the general intercessions. Striking in his humility, the Deacon later insisted on social media that the highlight of the Mass was receiving the Eucharist from the hands of the Vicar of Christ.

Proud to be Aussie, proud to be Catholic… yet humble in Christ. This is the picture that our Australian representatives in Rome have painted.


Demonstrates comparative size of the Australian flag with those others surrounding it. Credit: ABC News 24


A similarly strong sense of identity, side by side with humility, shines forth from the Holy Father’s papal motto, “Lowly, yet chosen.” Building upon this theme in the homily of his Inaugural Mass, Pope Francis called upon those who hold positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life to exercise an authentic leadership that is tempered with the humility, the goodness and the tenderness so crucial to the vocation of ‘Protector’ as exemplified by St. Joseph.

The words of Pope Francis should give great hope to Catholics in Australia. We are not wrong in looking to our bishops and priests to be protectors. Further, we are called to join them in protecting the elderly, children and the weak in our community, along with the environment in which we live.