It's dead, Jim.
Approaching two years of no posting, I formally declare this blog to be dead: nothing but a memorial to some good days as a freshman and sophomore. My days are now spent in prayer at the current moment, trying to find God's will for me in my life, yet keeping myself from going insane trying to find it. Until I start posting on this site again (whenever that may be), I highly suggest, nay, urge you to go to Fr. Philip's site: Domini, da mini hanc aquam.

May your journeys on the 'net be safe and blessed!

Jimmy G.

Well, allow me to re-introduce myself! I haven't really changed, but some of the higher goods demanded a bit more from me than I would have liked, but all for the Highest Good!!

I really have no idea how busy I will be, but I have a good idea for the next couple of posts, which I hope to publish sometime before Christmas. ^^; (I sincerely hope that I don't have to give such a dry spell again...)

Lately, I have actually been a bit social with friends. On Sleeping...rather, on Reading Day, the one day we get off in the semester other than Thanksgiving, my friends and I took up pumpkin carving, even though the autumn weather didn't start for another two weeks. So, what did I carve? Inspired by the then-recently-checked-out The Dominicans by Fr. Benedict Ashley (highly suggested by the newly ordained Fr. Philip Neri Powell), I attempted to make a gift to the nearby Dominican priory:

(Hint: look here.)

I was so proud! About five days later it started to show its state outside the vineyard...

...and some are moving
Well, contrasting with my previous post regarding a new 'blog on the block, it seems that two more wonderful 'blogs are moving away: Quodlibeta (previously at http://jerabek.blogspot.com/ ) and Cor ad Cor Loquens (previously at http://www.geoffhorton.com/hoc-illud-aliud ). Bryan at Quodlibeta was swift to welcome me to 'blogging and kept an absolutely superb (I would even argue "ideal") 'blog for almost two years, and Geoff at Cor ad Cor Loqens was off to a good start with 'blogging and was wonderful to post about his Confirmation, his letter from the Vatican, and a bit about the life at Mount St. Mary's Seminary.

I pray that the remainder of their seminary formation will be particularly fruitful and powerful. While losing two 'blogs is mildly unfortunate, I still follow the Pope in both praying for "your superiors, professors and educators...[and asking] the Lord to help them carry out as well as possible the important task entrusted to them" so a truly unfortunate event will be avoided.

Thank you, Bryan and Geoff, for your excellent service thus far!

P.S. Sometime I will post about the Benedictines in Norcia...really!!!

New 'blog on the block
As many 'blogs have already posted, a very promising 'blog, The New Liturgical Movement, has made a wonderful beginning with many impressive authors. This looks to be a very promising and intellectual campaign and approach implementing the ideas understood from the "Oxford Declaration on the Liturgy" (as reproduced in their second post).

Blogger.com and dialup have been fighting like it's war!  (...at least on this computer.)  And poor Internet Explorer is in the middle of it all, but refuses to take sides by displaying "Page not found".   Little do we know, while the modem is threatening by eating Blogger's Megabits for breakfast, Blogger pretends to be in confusion.  Lucky for me, I can enlist Gmail as the messenger between the two services:  Blogger.com is willing to take messages through its post-by-email feature and dialup likes Gmail enough to send messages.  Now we have harmony!!  (While inter-process communication within a single CPU is important, inter-interface communication between servers is also important!)

So, please excuse my formatting issues for the remainder of the month or until I can get a DSL connection.  My original post was supposed to look like:

Enjoying the dial-up modem of my aunt's house in Connecticut, I feel like I should apologize for the lack of updates in this 'blog  Traveling kinda does that...and I have been thinking that I like this very occasional posting.  (For daily postings, I point you to some of my favorite 'blogs  Anyway, I owe to my readers (whatever number that may be) 2(.5) posts, which will be posted in August, after the so many trips  (At least this gives me time to exercise my pencil muscles before school!)

Enjoying the dial-up modem of my "aunt"s house in Connecticut, I feel like I should apologize for the lack of updates in this 'blog.  Traveling kinda does that...and I have been thinking that I like this very occasional posting.  (For daily postings, I point you to some of my <a href=" http://catbin.blogspot.com/2005/03/a-team.html">favorite 'blogs</a>.)  Anyway, I owe to my readers (whatever number that may be) 2(.5) posts, which will be posted in August, after the so many trips.  (At least this gives me time to exercise my pencil muscles before school!)

The Patron of the Youth
  The pillars of heaven have fallen and been broken in pieces: who can promise me perseverance?
  The world is now in the depths of malice. Who shall appease the anger of God Almighty?
  The greater number of religious and ecclesiastics forget their vocation: How will God continue to bear so great a loss to His Kingdom?
  The faithful all their lives by the negligence deprive God of His glory: who shall restore it?
  Woe to seculars, who defer penance until death is near: woe too to religious who have slumbered till the last hour.
  By these thoughts sluggishness is to be shaken off, and our resolution to do penance, to serve God faithfully and constantly, renewed....
  True repentance is awakened by deep grief for the contempt of so loving a God, who has been outraged by me.
  This sorrow makes me grieve so deeply for mortal sins, that it excites great sorrow even for all venial sins.
  It goes so far, that not only does it acknowledge and adore God's mercy in pardoning sins, but for the honour of the divine justice it most earnestly desires to suffer all the punishment due to our sins.
  God infuses into the hearts of the well-disposed this great hatred of self by which the resolution of severely punishing ourselves by exterior penances is aroused and strengthened.

~St. Aloysius Gonzaga while on a retreat

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Aloysius Gonzaga (Aloysius being the Latinized form of Aluigi), the patron of youth in the Catholic Church. Born in Castiglione, Italy on 9 March 1568 under the prestigious Ganzaga name, young Aloysius was always thought to become some great general, soldier, or statesman and was in formation to be such by his father (who was in service to Philip II), but focused on more spiritual matters at the age of seven and was already talking to his mother about joining a religious order. During his early teenage years, he undertook many devotions. On the feast of the Assumption, August 15th, 1583, he knelt during his thanksgiving before a picture of Our Blessed Lady, to whom he was very devoted, and "he heard in his heart that voice...giving him the absolute certainty that he needed": to join the Society of Jesus. His father didn't take this news too lightly. Because Aloysius was an heir to a princely family, he prepared for the transition by writing letters to the Superior General and Emperor Rudolph II. After more than two years of conflict with his son, his father Ferrante could not stall his son's vocation any longer and allowed Aloysius to join the Society.

After formally renouncing his right to his younger brother Rudolph, Aloysius headed to Rome, was tested by Pope Sixtus to ensure that Aloysius knew what he was actually embarking on, and entered the novitiate. Meanwhile, his father, approaching death, changed from being a notorious gambler to a humble man following his son's pious footsteps. After Aloysius took vows and received the Minor Orders, an angel appeared to Aloysius and told him of his approaching death, news which Aloysius was overjoyed to learn. After the Plague hit, he devoutly comforted the ill in hospitals, particularly those cases for whom no one else would care, and eventually contracted the disease himself. He recovered from the disease, but had again a low fever which he had for three months. He learned that he would die on the octave of Corpus Christi and died at the age of 23 between ten and eleven in the night between Thursday the 20th and Friday the 21st of June, 1591, at the close of the Octave of Corpus Christi.

To learn more about St. Aloysius, I would suggest either this personal page or this Index entry for online material, but the best resource must be The Vocation of Aloysius Gonzaga (C. C. Martindale, S.J. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1945) which I am about halfway through (which you can probably tell from my summary above).

Now, assuming that you are still with me and haven't/won't disregard him because his is a Jesuit (Like A wonderfUl fRiENd (^_-)d), I will highlight a couple of his wonderful and inspiring devotions. Unfortunately, I have only read half of his life in the above-recommended book, but will nevertheless highlight those devotions.
Throughout his life, he has been described to have a few, but pious devotions: nightly, always at midnight (I think), he would pray the seven penitential psalms and the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary always on his knees and without support or cushion, regardless if it were winter on a stone floor. Also, he always tried to make an hour's meditation without distraction, a goal which took several hours to achieve at times. This highlights just how idealistic he was: he always took things literally, regardless of how insignificant it seemed. This became especially evident during his novitiate where he always asked for permission from others.

He clearly had the virtue of obedience to Jesuit fathers. Among the first orders he received as a novice was to (a) get more sleep for he wasn't, (b) eat as much in a day as he had in a week for he fasted constantly, (c) participate in official recreations while he was very silent. He even begged permission to do penances, which were often refused. I think he was very humble and followed those Jesuit fathers in ever instruction to better fulfill his becoming a Jesuit. Likewise, he was respected his father greatly: toward the conclusion of the struggle between Aloysius and his father, Aloysius went to his father and said:  'Father, I place myself entirely in your hands.  Do as you please with me.  But I assure you that I have been called to the Society of Jesus by God, and in resisting this vocation, you are resisting God.'

Martindale lists many of Aloysius' devotions after returning to Castiglione from Spain:
Like St. Ignatius in the early days of his fervour, he piled up his penances and tried to surpass himself. He ate next to nothing, and fasted on Wednesdays, on Saturdays in honour of Our Lady, and on Fridays on bread and water--three slices of bread in the morning, and toast and water for supper: nothing else--in honour of the Passion. He decided what was sufficient to maintain life, and that anything else would be superfluous, and ordered his food to be served to him by weight. His special footman and his special carver had much to say, later on, upon this subject. He began to flog himself, using his dog's leashes; he tied his spurs around his waist: he put pieces of wood in his bed: his sheets used to be found all blood-stained. As for his prayer, it was constant: he meditated now regularly for an hour on rising; he heard, and when possible served, more than one Mass daily; he used to rise in the middle of the night and pray, kneeling unsupported on the tiles of his floor, wearing only his night-shirt. This, in the bitter cold of a Lombard winter, was perhaps his most dangerous penance, unless it were his habit of perserving, so far as possible, some scene, such as that of the Passion before his imagination all day long, so that his occupations should not really interfere with prayer.
From all of his devotions, my favorite of his follows:  He first received Holy Communion at the age of twelve from the hands of St. Charles Borromeo which initiated, without a doubt, a special devotion to the Sacrament. Martindale explains that "he looked forward to it, and back to it, and sought to receive it every Sunday and feast day; and even at those week-day Masses, where he assisted without receiving Communion sacramentally, tears began now to run down his cheeks when the Body and the Blood of Christ were lifted before him." Another source further explains that he "divide the week into two parts, the first of which he devoted in thanksgiving for his last Holy Communion, and the second in preparation for the next Holy Communion."

And, to close, I shall provide the closing of Fr. John Hardon's article on St. Aloysius:
As we look at the short life of Aloysius, depending on the person's view point, it may seem oppressive, it shouldn't be, but, in modern jargon, it has so much (pardon the expression) so much of the negative, you know, penance, mortification, sin--and a world that has gone mad, drunk with sin, doesn't realize that already this side of eternity, we are to be an Aloysius was literally; we are to be, if it is God's will, ecstatically happy of that. We are not to be sad. We are not, God forbid, to be unhappy. The secret, and what an open secret it is in the life of Aloysius, the secret is to find the happiness in the right place. That's all, yes, but that's everything. In other words, as a closing observation, Aloysius showed that's why the Church canonized him, that when Christ gave us the eight Beatitudes, which are eight promises of happiness, He meant it. The condition for being happy, well, that's part of the Covenant, that's what we do, but if we do our part, God comes through.

Saint Aloysius, pray for us. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Note that all dates are in either the "DD MM月, YYYY" or the "YYYY-MM-DD" formats, and times are logged using Centeral Time in the "HH:mm" format.