The Unrequited Lover

I have always been a slow reader. With apprehension, I opened to the first pages of that formidable brick, Les Miserables a year ago. Yesterday I turned the last page, but that book sure was worth the long haul! Sitting in the chapel afterwards, the last scenes of Jean Valjean ran through my mind… (If you have not read the book, I suggest you read no further in this blog so as not to spoil the end!)

What had shocked me most—because I saw no hint of it in the musical—was Marius’ and Cosette’s coldness to Jean Valjean. After Valjean informs Marius he is an ex-convict, and asks if he should not see Cosette again, Marius coldly replies, “I think it would be better not.” Read the rest of this entry »

Giving His Life for Life

I’ve rarely met a more prolife person than Mike Stack.

When I served years ago as the office manager at Mother and Unborn Baby Care Problem Pregnancy Center in Southfield, Michigan, I got to know Mike through his volunteer work as an ultrasound technician there.

Mike died recently after suffering an aggressive bout with pancreatic cancer. (Click here for his obituary.)

During his life, Mike became a stalwart advocate for the organization Rachel’s Vineyard, which offers help and healing to those traumatized by abortion. He himself went through a healing retreat in that program. I remember asking him why, and he said it was for healing from having experienced the life of unborn babies during those ultrasound procedures, and then having some of those mothers decide to abort their children anyway. Read the rest of this entry »

Pope in Korea

"It's not up to you to choose whether or not you have a vocation. It's God who chooses!" - Pope Francis

The Pope said this to 6,000 Asian youth during his visit to Korea.

Here are some of my own thoughts on the topic:

- A vocation is not a career one chooses. It is a call from God. I heard this call when I was seven. However, for each it is unique, concrete, intimate, and breathtaking.

- One responds in the measure of one's faith. The gold standard is Abraham who left everything to follow God.

- The parents' faith is also tested. Do I hold on to my child excessively or do I realize my child ultimately belongs to God and I am a steward?

- I cannot tell you how happy I am being a priest. Even statistically, the priesthood is the "happiest" profession.

- A friend told my mother after I had left home for the seminary: pity! Simon could have been a doctor! Well, as a priest I am a doctor! A doctor souls! In addition, the training was 13 years!


It’s Not Science Fiction Anymore

I’m going to tell you a scary story.

Imagine a world years in the future. You live in an enclosed society with other survivors of a cataclysmic disaster that contaminated most of the outside world. In your underground shelter, everyone is carefully monitored to maintain an orderly, safe and healthy environment. All must do their assigned work and follow strict rules. Life is monotonous and dull. Read the rest of this entry »

Coming Back to Your Home

My second year in seminary, I was asked to call a few high school students and invite them to a retreat at the seminary. One particular call, which lasted only about 10 seconds, stands out to me still. It was about 8pm in the evening when I called a family in Connecticut asking for Josh. The father of the family picked up the phone. “Good evening. Is Josh home?” The father paused and in a tone of voice that I will never forget, one that was filled with a sadness that cut straight to my heart, replied, “No Josh doesn’t come around his house anymore.” With this, the phone call ended and I was left with my thoughts. I didn’t know what had happened between Josh and his Dad. Maybe it was a fight, a falling out, or something different. What was clear to me, even in that 10 second phone call, was that his Dad missed him and deep in his heart desired that Josh would come back home. Ultimately, this scenario reflects our relationship with God our Father who desires us to come back home and is ready to forget any offense we have committed against him. This song is written from the perspective of a son as he comes home to his father and finds not confrontation, but rather deep forgiveness and reconciliation.




What the ALS Challenge Has Done

I watched a video today from a man named Anthony, shared by some of my Facebook friends.

I am not going to provide a link for it because it contains some things that might be offensive, but the overall message was heart-wrenching.

Anthony took the challenge so many people are taking these days, getting doused with ice water to raise funds for research to cure ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). Anthony goes a bit far in his efforts to make his challenge original (hence the offensive stuff), and then comes the heart-wrenching part. He shares with his viewers that ALS runs in his family, and he is terrified of the future since he is already showing symptoms. He also is apparently the care-giver for one of his female relatives who already has ALS, and in some tender scenes, we see him tending to her needs. Read the rest of this entry »


"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin." Bl. Mother Teresa

I love the GPS in my car. No matter how many times I take a wrong turn, it calmly recalculates and tells me the new best route to my destination.

I think God is the same way. He does not recriminate us when we make mistakes; rather, he gently forgives us and then indicates the new best way to get to our ultimate designation: Heaven.



Build up our Church!

“You must not abandon the ship in a storm because you cannot control the winds….What you cannot turn to good, you must at least make as little bad as you can.” St. Thomas More

The Catholic Church (including my own religious order) has had it's share of difficulties in these past years, but Christ is still at the helm and in spite of the storms, and we continue forward on a sure and straight path. Instead of complaining or pointing fingers, we should try to live radical sanctity to edify and build up our Church. Christ is asking all of us to strive for sanctity and inspire many others to love and follow Christ during these trying times!



Reaping what we sow

News media have been pondering a recent Harvard study that found that young people are, well, not so nice.

The study surveyed 10,000 teens at 33 schools across the United States. When asked about their priorities, 48 percent said “achievement.” Thirty percent picked “happiness.” Only 22 percent picked “caring.”

In other words, kids are more concerned about getting ahead and being happy than being a caring person. Surprise! Kids have picked up the messages our culture gives them. Read the rest of this entry »

Providence and pizza

Praying the rosary in the Grotto at Notre Dame hours before the deep dish pizza experience

“Hey, your car’s on fire!” shouted the man from the car beside me. It was mid-July and I was driving through downtown Chicago with a van full of boys headed for summer camp. And it did look like my car was on fire – smoke was pouring out of the engine.

So I searched around at the next stoplight, hoping to find a place to pull over. It was about dinnertime, and there in front of us it was: Giordano’s Pizza – Chicago Deep Dish. “Boys, I guess we’d better stop for dinner and let the car cool down.” Read the rest of this entry »

  • The articles on this blog are the personal responsibility of each author and are not meant to be the institutional voice of the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ or the Regnum Christi Movement.
  • Photo of the week
  • ordination