Building Fortitude in the face of adversity

I want to share a quick story about my son and the tremendous courage he found last month during the Naga Grappling tournament - 

During his No-Gi competition he lost to a young boy who was very intense, strong, quick, and determined. He was dominated by the well trained young boy. . . . . 

When his Gi competition came around D3 (His nickname) ended up, in his final match, having to fight for 2nd place against the same boy. . . D3 was not happy. He was scared of the boy and came to me in tears asking me to pull him out of the competition. He begged me to call it quits so that he didn't have to fight against the boy who dominated him so badly the first time around. . .

I felt horrible for him but I knew it was an amazing opportunity in his young life to find courage. I challenged him to be strong and to be brave. He asked for the intercession of his favorite saint, St. Michael the Archangel. . . And he went out to the mat and fought! 3 minutes later not only had he overcome his fear but he also won by 10 points!

I am proud of him and I am blessed to have been there the moment he found great courage to take on his fear 

Mahalo to coach Eric Goo and all the other coaches at Mad Tiger Academy for not only teaching him the techniques to win but helping instill in him the fortitude to get up when he is knocked down, to overcome adversity, and to fight on!

This pic above is of D3 after his competition with his medals with his godfather. The big smile on D3's face for his hard fought effort is well deserved! 

Here is a video montage of tournament. It has clips of matches of both my children and myself

My daughter won her match, D3 lost BUT he defeated the same opponent later in his Gi competition. My opponent and I were tied on points but I lost that one by ref's decision. All in all they were great matches!

Sunset on Oahu's North Shore

This was my 1st attempt at recording a time-lapsed sunset. I messed up on getting a straight horizon BUT it still came out nicely. Mahalo e Ke Akua for our beautiful island home!

'Donʻt be a HERETIC!' - Ebionism

Ebionism is an  an odd mixture of Christianity and Judaism which was one of the earliest of the Christological heresies that taught that Jesus was NOT divine but was just a 'good' man

The Ebionites also "accepted only the “Gospel of the Hebrews,” adhered to the Mosaic law, and condemned the Apostle St. Paul as an apostate from the Law. . . .Concerning the birth of Christ they were divided. Some admitted His supernatural birth of a virgin; others held that Christ was only man and the son of Joseph and Mary." (Thein, J., 1900. Ecclesiastical Dictionary)

Ebionism is alive and well in modern times. Sometimes it is taught unintentionally and sometimes it is taught with malicious intent. It can be heard in catechism classes, in seminaries, and even from the pulpit sometimes :( Be firm in knowing that Jesus Christ IS the DIVINE 2nd person of the Blessed Trinity. Any teaching to the contrary is heresy!

Two of my favorite Bible verses to combat Ebionism are:

John 1:1,14 - "In the beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God: and the Word was God. . .And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us"

Colossians 2:9 - "For in him the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily"

image from the 'Public domain' via wikimedia commons.  Sermon on the Mount

Also see other 'Don't be a Heretic' posts here: Gallicanism / Ebionism

St. Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

St. Robert Bellarmine is the Patron Saint of Catechists and has inspired my desire to continually deepen my knowledge of the Faith and to share the Faith with all those who will hear it.  Here is a short reflection on the life of this great saint from ʻSaints and Feasts of the Liturgical Year' (Tylenda, J.N., 2003)

"St. Robert Bellarmine was the greatest theologian of his age and an intrepid defender of the Church. He was born on October 4, 1542, in Montepulciano, in central Italy. On his mother’s side, he was the nephew of Pope Marcellus II (1555). Robert entered the Society of Jesus in 1560 and did his ecclesiastical studies in Rome (1560–63), Padua (1567–69), and Louvain (1569–70). In this last city, though he was not yet a priest, he delivered Latin sermons every Sunday to the university community. After ordination, he was appointed (1570) professor of theology at the Jesuit school in Louvain, and because this was the time when the Reformation doctrines of Luther and Calvin were fast spreading through Europe, he taught his classes with a view to answering the objections the Reformers brought against the Church. In 1577, he was transferred to Rome, where he was given the chair of “controversial theology.” His lectures, which treated the theological disputes that were then dividing the Church, were eventually published under the title Controversies. In 1597, Pope Clement VIII made him his theological adviser; and two years later (1599), a cardinal and appointed him to serve on several congregations. In 1602, he became Archbishop of Capua, but upon the election of Pope Paul V in 1605, he was asked to remain in Rome and again be a papal adviser. He fulfilled the same office under Pope Gregory XV (1621–23). Due to failing health, he received papal permission to retire to the Jesuit novitiate in Rome, and there he died on September 17, 1621. He was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1930. In recognition of his theological writings, Pope Pius XI also declared (1931) him a doctor of the Church. The prayer in today’s Mass refers to St. Robert’s God-given wisdom, which he used in defending the faith."

image from the 'Public domain' via wikimedia commons. St. Robert Bellarmine. 16th Century

The Biblical Basis of the parts of the Holy Mass (7 of 7)

Our Father Who art in Heaven. Mt 6:9
1. Hallowed be Thy Name. Mt 6:9
2. Thy Kingdom come. Mt 6:10
3. Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Mt 6:10
4. Give us this day our daily bread. Lu 11:3
5. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive others that trespass against us. Mt 6:12
6. And lead us not into temptation. Mt 6:13
7. But deliver us from evil. Amen. Mt 6:13
P. The peace of God be with you.Ro 15:33
R. And with thy spirit. 2 Ti 4:22

While putting the Particle into the Chalice. Jn 6:56

Lamb of God Who taketh away the sins of the world, Jn 1:29
Have mercy on us. Is 33:2
Strike your breast three times Lu 18:13
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you. Jn 15:27.

Mt 8:8; Ps 115:12–13; Ps 17:4

To 12:6
P. The Lord be with you. 2 Ti 3:16
R. And with thy spirit. 2 Ti 4:22.

Jn 1:1–5; Jn 1:6–8; Jn 1:9–13; Jn 1:14
R. Thanks be to God.2 C 9:15.

(Post 7 of 7)

See all 7 posts here: Part 1 Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 7

image via wikimedia commons Public Domain. Holy Mass

Is ʻwithholding obedienceʻ ever acceptable?

Being obedient to Authority IS , after all, a VERY Catholic thing! However, there are situations wherein obedience can be and sometimes ʻoughtʻ to be withheld. . .

St. Thomas defines Law as "an ordinance of reason for the common good, made by him who has care of the community, and promulgated" (STh., I-II q.90 a.4 resp) From that definition we can clearly see that a truly BINDING law must be

1) reasonable
2) for the common good
3) come from a legitimate superior
4) must be properly promulgated

He also addresses the question of  "Whether Subjects are Bound to Obey Their Superiors in All Things?" (STh., II-II q.104 a.5) In that article St. Thomas clearly points out that we have the right to withhold obedience if the lawful authority is

1) acting outside his sphere of authority
2) acting contrary to the will of a legitimate higher authority (God included)
3) if his command is unjust

From those two articles we can summarize that we are allowed to withhold obedience in the following circumstances

1) If the command is contrary to the eternal law of God
2) If it is contrary to the will of some higher human authority
3) If the superior is acting outside his sphere of authority
4) If the command is unjust, that is: not conducive to the common good, unreasonable or not properly promulgated

image from the 'Public domain' via wikimedia commons. St. Thomas Aquinas. 1476 
(My summary post was masterfully presented by the late Mr. Michael Davies in 1983 in a lecture)
(His lecture and other lectures can be found at