Thought Into Existence – The 100th

Here’s the second of previously started writings that I never got around to posting. This, I believe, came from early September of last year.  Why did I choose this one?  It’s a fair question.  I think it’s rather significant, and there’s a lot that goes into thoughts.  This of course becomes personal, and possibly egotistical, but ah, perhaps it’s time you met more of who I am.  As I’ve reached this kind of milestone, I think it’s due time for some memories and that oh so fun and lovely thing known as nostalgia.  With that, I begin.

~

“We’ve stumbled upon something.  Because God is unceasingly thinking about us, we continue to exist.”  Approximately what my best friend said, though with less of her finesse or characteristic speech patterns.  It’s highly likely that I just did both an injustice.

A while back, we were discussing superpowers, of all things, and the idea of being able to think someone to you.  However long you’re focused and thinking about them, they remain present, and it’s only when they leave your mind that they return to wherever they were.  Naturally, this power is something that should have a number of caveats, like some amount of control as to when it works, otherwise you might have dozens or even hundreds of people popping into existence next to you for the briefest of instances.
Though of course, my mind would definitely turn its attention to such individuals, and well, there goes my peace and quiet.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about… people… a lot.  I guess it’s just in our human nature, to have others on our minds.  My time at work is devoted to focus on people.  There’s that connection that every interaction needs to have, and it’s truly a life skill to have, being able to touch people with the most basic of things.

Well, what more basic and heartfelt way is there than a prayer for them? That’s often what happens at work. Whenever there’s a lull in the number of incoming guests and while I’m maybe cleaning or restocking something, I might ask that my mind be focused on who it needs to.

An odd feeling, instinctual in nature, was what struck me.  It was at 5pm today, and I had no idea what caused it.  There I was, having an immensely enjoyable time at work, when suddenly I felt it internally, like a shiver that lacked the icy surroundings.  It’s hard to be sure, but I knew in that moment that something wrong had happened somewhere.
I couldn’t be sure if someone I knew had been affected, and so I did the only thing I could: asked God to help… someone out there.

*The physicality of my power is of course, limited – but by the universality of the Church, I can go quite far indeed. This is perhaps part of the beauty of faith, that we can believe and hope in goodness, even if we might never see the results of that which we hold to.

It’s like… Legacy. You don’t get to see what remains in the aftermath of your leaving, in your wake. Lots of people are concerned with what sort of mark they’re leaving, what lives on beyond them.  I can only hope that I make a good impact, whether physical or spiritual.  I want to bring my loved ones home with me.  I don’t want to lose them.  That’s the mark I wish for, the mark of those I surround myself with, living evermore.

~

When I started writing this blog roughly four years ago, I never thought that I would end up where I am today.  If I try to think back and remember what I was concerned about at the time, it was probably the next fun Scouting activity I would attend, or perhaps the upcoming youth group meeting with 1×1 at Saint Maximilian Kolbe, or maybe not looking dumb in front of some girl I was trying to impress.

Back then, I was more girl crazy than in recent times – shocker, I know – and I do apologize to anyone who has seen me in such a state, at any stage of my young life.  In conjunction with that, I was a more violent, more boisterous, and more brash character, things which I must again apologize for, as they are traits not yet vanished from who I am.
Still, there were positives.  I was a more avid reader, a person who was keen on drawing and making art in various media forms; someone who was not easily distracted or dissuaded from any goal, no matter how preposterous.  I loved really getting outside and breathing life in; not taking the heavens down to me in my confinement, but instead shooting upward to place myself among them like the many skyward sparks from the fire that I built with my own two hands.

Over the years, with each piece of media absorbed, I began to take on different characteristics of the people I saw, both fictional and not.  I believe I’m a very “feely” person, a very empathetic fellow, and oftentimes, being that sort of character can get me into good and bad mindsets.  In time, I took on the fun childishness of the Doctor, the witty cynicism of Fish, the imagination of Rose, the determination of Will, the rage and guilt of Batman and Daredevil, the force of Kestin and Edict, and the foolish hope of… oh, that might actually be mine.

The point is, I’ve changed, and more than I could have expected.  When I began, all those years ago, I never expected that leaving Scouting would push me onward to new adventures in Trail Life and Saint Gertrude.  The funny thing is, when I worked at Camp Friedlander, during staff week, we took a trip to St. Gertrude’s for an early Sunday Mass, which was one of my first experiences with the church.  And again, St. Gertrude’s returned when my older sister was leading me and my peers through the Ad Altare Dei religious emblem program, when we went there for vespers with the brothers.  Again, a third time, when my family was exploring different parishes, it almost became our home parish.  Almost.  And I think there was a very good reason for it not being so.

The reason?  If we had taken to Saint Gertrude, everything that is now, College Kenosis, my membership in the UC Society of Saint Paul, my role as an Altar Server at Annunciation, all of that would be nonexistent.  Perhaps even Eagle Eye would have been lost.  I can look back on those moments now and understand why things went a certain way, I see where the Spirit led me on this long road.
Thus, with the present hardships I’m facing, I can hope for the day that I get to look back on those and say: “Yes, this led me to the great here and now, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

I’ve been fortunate in my life to have been a part of many great communities:  Tang Soo Do, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Sacred Heart of Jesus Homeschool Group, Kali, St. Max, The RPG Group, Trail Life, St. Gertrude, my year’s P&G Resident Scholar Program family, Chick-Fil-A, The SSP, Eagle Eye and my fellow Eaglets, the CState Crew, and others that I’ve forgotten.

They all had or currently have their turn in forming me, and the people I have met have been guides, friends, and companions all.  I’ve lost a lot of them over the years.  Some faded from memory, some through my own fault, some with a heartfelt farewell, and some with a promise of renewal in some future day.

My legacy, my very heart, has been in my friends and family.  That’s why I think of them often, why they still exist to me in all the greatness that I knew them as.  They have been and always will be my spirit, and my strength is in them, no matter how much they change and vanish into their own futures, their own separate paths, and no matter how weak I myself become.

The weight of life is heavy, and it is painful to carry alone, we all know this.  As I’ve changed, feeling a strange vulnerability that I hardly experienced in younger years, as my eyes were opened to this world I live in, others were my guardians, and they saw me through the most desperate of times.

That’s who I am.  I am many, yet one.  I am the amalgamation of my experiences, I am the countless lives I have dreamed, but most importantly, I am the son of the Most High.
I am… Migi.

To everyone in my life, thanks for being part of my journey.

A Step Closer, My Friend – Eagle Eye Teen Summer Institute Pt. 10

Long overdue, I apologize, but in-cars, long days, and semi-sickness took place first!

It’s usually the calmest moments that follow the storm.

I awoke with the awareness that I was running out of time there, Friday already planting itself like a lightning bolt to my head.

I dressed rather hurriedly, and headed downstairs with what had come to be the usual aching in my legs. I made it to the church in time for silent prayer (well, actually earlier than I should have, but…), passing through the front doors as was now my tradition.

Have you ever felt it, walking through the doors of a church or cathedral or basilica? There’s that moment right before you’re over the threshold that you feel normal sized, and the next thing you know, you’re dwarfed by the enormity of it all.

The high sanctuary walls and dome over the tabernacle, with artwork and beautifully intricate patterns running along the sides. The Latin inscriptions, the eyes of the figures, the paneled windows with their own unique symbols, and the gold of the cross.  All of which shout the glory and praise of God. All unto Him, for truly it is His after all, and we must not forget it.  That’s not to say that every Church has a multitude of such pieces, but each has its own significant magnificence.
Yet I digress.

Lauds, rather solemn because of Friday, the Angelus, and silent breakfast, followed by Lectio.

We, the Knights or Sons of Mercy (with a passable French accent?) reconvened at the classroom table, our newly claimed spot. We spoke of temptations coming our way, how we will inevitably have to face them, how there is no avoiding such things forever. How should one act?  The physical removal of oneself is one battle, and a turning of the thoughts another. There must be a training of our minds in those moments. Perhaps it’s some word that clicks internally, or an action that snaps us out before we can dwell on it.

Now, with a sudden shift of gears: Justice as it relates to Philosophy:

Firstly, it is bigger than culture/laws, for an unjust law cannot justify itself: Justice is objective, and it is grounded in what is real.  Friendship is one such force. With any good and true friend that is had, there must be a level of respect between the two individuals for there to be any trust.  What is told to that friend is kept in confidence, held in trust. Entrusted, because with a friend, that shared secret never leaves him or herself, for that friend is another them, to put it interestingly.  Friends share a point or several points of commonality over which to bond, often recognizing parts of themselves in others, whether consciously or unconsciously.
So between true friends, there isn’t a need for the subject of justice to be broached, because both already treat each other justly, with respect. And it is here in this gift of friendship that we see justice once more, naturally occurring in the interior laws of the heart, distinctly not man-made.

Now, that’s not to say that civil laws can’t indicate justice, but to do so, they must be in accord with proper human development.  This is why the death penalty may go against what is just. If there is a chance of rehabilitation for men who have done evil things, without endangering the lives of others, then it would be just to seek that route for these fellow humans. This is our way of respecting and aiding in their growth, which is due to them by their nature.

And back again to where justice comes from:  The nature of things and the laws of the heart.

Not the smoothest transitions, but I did pore over it for a bit before finally deciding to leave it as it is.  Oh… only about five more.
I have to say, since I haven’t said it before, thank you for bearing with me through my experience.

It’s an ongoing thing.

TBC – M

Grounded

It is a fun exercise to count the numbers, an interesting task to analyze the possibilities, and an impossibility to perfectly plan the future.

So why bother?  With the knowledge that all our best laid plans could go up in flames… why do we set so much store by them?
A man with a plan knows not to die before he has figured out where he shall lie.  A man with a plan has a counterattack to every move his enemy makes.  He is prepared for eventualities; both what could pass and what might – in reality – never happen.

This ability to plan is in itself tied to man’s ability to imagine.  One could say that the most imaginative man is too set in his ways, and the firmly grounded and practical man a free-floater.  Imagination analyzes what might be and what has been.  It creates connections between the two and it leads to the determination of the way.
However, the practical man knows his course.  He has set the past in the past, and the future in his sights, as the latter becomes the present.  This man will do what he will to make it through everything, day after day, unceasing in his plans for survival.

One might say the imaginative man has his head in the clouds, but it is from this view above that one can see the length and breadth of his own reality, however distant.  Things will be unclear, but they are at the very least, visible.
The practical man sees what he sees of the earth.  His part is to live in the moment, and deal with things as they come within his field of vision.  They are sharper, more tangible, yet closer than one might expect.

I will not say that one worldview is better than the other, but I will say that I have found myself on both sides on more than one occasion.
College decisions are a perfect example of the intermingling that exists between the two perspectives.  Possibilities will be imagined, and though they are distant, they are also much closer than one would think.  One can only be elevated for so long, looking over the array of paths to choose.  However, at some point, we must descend earthward so as to complete the first step in this journey.  Flying can only give one an overview, and in all honesty, most tangibility is lost by the skyward ascent.

Therefore, both heaven and earth must meet in such a manner as to ensure the greatest opportunities for both parties.  There is a strength in both viewpoints, seeing what is and what could be.  The future will always stand as an unknown, whether 5 seconds or 5 years from now, and so one must be ready, stand vigilant, and mark what shall never be constant for long.
For even if the stars fall – and certainly, they shall one day – there will always be those of both minds who meet as the end comes for all.

– M