Beauty of Nature

“the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
and all nations will stream to it.” Isaiah 2:2 (NIV)


Epic (John Eldredge) – Book Review

I originally purchased this book, because much like today’s society I wanted to know what else there was to know about this life that I am living. I wanted, as the title of the book says, know “The Story God is Telling”. This book is also a pretty easy read. It is a mere 100 odd pages and can easily be read in one sitting. This book touches on not the stories of our lives, but the stories of this world; the stories of this universe.

I don’t plan on sharing every detail about this book, as I hope this may inspire you to go out and get the book to read (it’s VERY cheap and VERY worth it) but I will give my opinions on a few points.

Eldredge separates the book (and story) into 6 parts; a prologue, Acts 1-4 and an epilogue.

The idea of our lives simply being a story within a greater epic is introduced and Eldredge uses the story of Frodo from the Lord of the Rings (another reason I loved this book), as well as many other modern-day movies/stories to show how we as a human race know and acknowledge this. There is no formula for life. Sure we can predict a life event happening, and sure it may come true, but are we ever 100 percent sure that it will happen? Life unfolds itself as the best drama book ever written. You never know what is going to come next. That is what hints us to the fact that we are only playing a role in a much larger story. The story that God is telling, with each one of us as the characters.

In each of the Acts Eldredge talks about the different parts of a story and ties them to the different parts of our own personal stories. In Act one he talks about Eternal Love, and the beginning before the beginning of our lives. What was before you were. The beginning to God’s story. Act two is about The Entrance of Evil. Instantly we all think to Satan as the serpent in the garden of Eden, but Eldredge reminds us that there was more than just this. There is the story of the battle for heaven between Lucifer, the (ex-captain of the angels, but driven evil by pride) and Micheal (the archangel). This is when evil entered the world. Act three then goes to talk about The Battle For the Heart and this is when we as human finally enter the picture. Eldredge shares his thoughts on our role in God’s great epic and what each of our stories entail for us. This is the Act (chapter) that most closely pertained and related to me (as it probably will for you). The end of our human story is in Act four, the “happily ever after” of our story; The Kingdom Restored. “God has set eternity in our hearts.” Much like the endings to the stories in our culture (Cinderella, Lord of the Rings, Batman, etc.) the good guy always win. And in this situation G

od always wins.

If you are looking for a short, cheap, but very good book to read I would definitely recommend this book. There is a role for everyone in this beautiful epic that God is telling, and I pray that each and everyone finds that role. I am still searching.You’re not alone. But, in reality, are we ever done searching?

God Bless.


Feast Day of St. Jerome

As the title of this post states, today is the feast day for St. Jerome. I wanted to post about this because in my religion class we learned a little bit about St. Jerome. Not much, but enough to know that he is a significant figure in the Churches history. St. Jerome is responsible for writing the Vulgate, which was the version of the Bible that was used by the Catholic church for roughly 1500 years (c. 400 C.E. – 1960 C.E.). In his time St. Jerome was a great scholar, having been educated in many different places in the world (Dalmatia (in the former Yugoslavia), Rome, and Germany). He was a master in the Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Chaldaic (spoken by the people of Babylonia) languages.

Quick Facts about St. Jerome:

Born: c. 340 AD

Died: 30-Sep-420 AD

Remains: Buried, Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, Italy

Patron Saint of: Librarians

I don’t want to go on saying a ton about him as I am not an expert on him or his life, but I do want to bring people’s attention to him and give some links to find more information about him if you want to.

Our Search for Greatness and Descent to Humility

This week I want to just give some of my thoughts on the gospel of Mark. They are my thoughts and so they aren’t all going to be right and if you want to chime in on something I say feel free, just leave a comment.

Glory to you Oh Lord,

They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.

They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” (Mark 9:30-37)

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.

The passage above is the Gospel reading today about Jesus walking with the Twelve (The Apostles) to Capernaum. As the walked Jesus tells the Twelve about his “prediction” of his death for a second time. Yet upon hearing this for a second time they still didn’t seem to understand what Jesus was telling them yet Mark includes the fact that they were afraid to ask Jesus what he meant. I believe that is to show that maybe the Twelve did have at least some understanding of what Jesus was preaching to them and just didn’t want to believe it to be true. The news strikes great fear into the disciples and leads them to argue amongst themselves about who is the “greatest” of them. The “greatest” in my opinion mean who is the best Christian. (Although at this time there was no existence of Christianity. So I guess you could say they were arguing over who was the holiest.) They had turned their faith and religious life into a competition, something we see so much in today’s world with just about everything (work, sports, opinions, fame, popularity, and sometimes even our faith). I constantly find myself thinking “all I have to do is be better than this person,” or “I just need to make my work look better than theirs and I’ll get the better great.” It’s something that I constantly find myself falling into.

Jesus then sits the Twelve down (notice he does this rather than getting angry at them) and tells them, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Mark (9:35). I personally like this phrase from Matthew better, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Matthew 20:16), but they both mean the same thing. This is Jesus’ test to the Twelve to humble themselves and our test as well. The example that Jesus uses for this situation is that of a child. At Mass today the pastor at the parish I attend explained the example this way, a child is fully dependent on their elders (parents), they need parents for food, shelter, love, education (all the basic necessities of life), but most importantly, and the key part to why Jesus used this example, is that children have no way to repay those who care for them and raise them.