7 Quick Takes (Vol. 4)

— 1 —

Annnd…looks like my grandmother is first to completely move out of the house.  Well, my grandfather did last year, and now my grandmother will follow suit.  They moved in with my parents and me back at the beginning of the 1990’s and have lived with us since recently.  They immigrated from the Philippines!  In recent years, my grandfather desired to move back to his home in Manila, and so my mom and her siblings have been working at getting the old house renovated.  My grandfather moved back last year to oversee the completion and now that it is done, my grandmother moved out today to go be with him.

It’s hard to tell, but we are, in fact, in Canada. 2010.

But! She has a pit stop in Canada for like…a month.  My aunt and her youngest daughter is finally getting married up in Canada so she’ll be there for that before moving to the Philippines.  Yes, I have Canada-pino family members.  Nearly all of my mom’s siblings live up there. Cool, eh?

I don’t know that it’s hit me yet that it’ll be really difficult having both my grandparents on the other side of the world and not being able to see them on a near-daily basis…but…at the very least…I’m truly grateful for having grown up with them so close to home (so close, hey were actually in my home).  Time for me to figure out how to cook Filipino dishes…

— 2 —

One of my Catholic friends invited me to this monthly “night of recollection for men” in the neighboring diocese.  It’s hosted by Opus Dei (the real one…not the one where you have to crack Da Vinci codes) at a Syro-Malabar Catholic parish.  The zhwaa?  The parish intrigued me because it looked like a normal, typical Catholic parish but the hymns/books in the pews were totally a different language and some of the words seen throughout the sanctuary weren’t even English.  I just looked it up and The Order of Syro-Malabar Qurbana is an Eastern Catholic rite that originated in India and is in full communion with Rome.  Intriguing, indeed.  I also noticed how there were absolutely no kneelers in the pews.  Just knees to carpet.  Good thing I’ve been practicing for moments like this.

This “night of recollection” involved a meditation led by the priest, who also heard confessions at points throughout the night.  There was an examination of conscience and classroom time to learn more about a topic, which in this case was the virtue of temperance.  It ended with exposition, adoration, and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.  Apart from microphone issues at the beginning which made it awkward…it was a good night to reflect and pray even though my schedule is busy enough as it is.  This experience reminded me a lot of that silent retreat I went on a while back…but…in the space of a few hours.  Since it’s monthly event, I look forward to going next month.

— 3 —

I’ve mentioned before that we Catholics are spoiled.  We’re able to go to other Catholic parishes to partake in the sacraments if necessary.  Yes, I’m known to go to other parishes for confession because sometimes my own parish’s times for confession don’t work out with my schedule.  I’m beginning to consider to just sticking with my parish or spiritual director for confession because there’s a particular parish in my circuit of backup-parishes-for-sacraments that something weird always happens every time I go.

Last weekend I went to this other parish for Confession.  And I was utterly shocked. And disappointed. But…I have a blog post waiting to be posted regarding that.

— 4 —

I think a good indicator of answering God’s call and will for one’s life is this certain, profound joy expressed that is noticeable and unique.  In a previous Quick Takes…I mentioned that my friend was acknowledged at an event of her answering the call to the religious life.  Well, yesterday my friend shared her story and journey on how she arrived to saying “yes!” to the call to serve as a religious sister with the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, a cloistered community of intense prayer yet with missionary outreach.  What really stood out to me was seeing her joy in finally arriving at this decision to enter into the religious life…not that it was easy to make this decision…but…experiencing the peace and joy in knowing this is what God wants her to do.

Smiling is a good habit. Not to be confused with habits.

Yes, so as long as this blog is entitled, “En Fuego”…and so as long as St. Catherine of Siena said “If you are who God calls you to be, you will set the world ablaze”…then yes, I’m interested in just trying to be who God wants me to be.  How do I figure that out? How do I know? …stuff like that.  Some words of encouragement from a friend.

— 5 —

My Aggie Network seems to be increasing as of late.  No, I don’t mean that I’m getting more sports coverage because the Aggie Network is not the same as the Longhorn Network (#joke…but it would be more like Texas Exes).  It seems as though my company likes to hire Aggies…and I’m okay with that because it makes it easier to talk to coworkers, haha.  I officially met three Aggies in the past few weeks…and two of them were in the aerospace engineering program as well!


— 6 —

Pope Francis canonized 800+ saints this past Sunday.  I mean…in addition to the individuals canonized, there was a collective group canonized as a whole!  Italian martyrs, because the Ottoman Empire apparently beheaded people who weren’t willing to convert to their religion.

I bring this up because there’s a lot of Christian persecution in that part of the world still…and subtlety here in the United States.  Is my Catholic faith worth dying for? Yes.  Is the world going to gun for me because I’m Catholic? Absolutely.  Am I ready to die for my faith? Not sure…will I ever be ready? 800+ Italians in the 15th century apparently were ready.  What a witness to their faith!  #inspiration

— 7 —
I was somehow invited to like…4 weddings this year and 3 of them are Catholic weddings.  I’m legitimately excited! The first of these weddings is next weekend and I think it’ll be the most Catholic wedding I would have ever gone to.  Tune in later for more details!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

– JD