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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Face Value

I've probably mentioned before in my blog, in person, or made references on social media about my rather lengthy commute to work. 62 miles from home to work. That's 124 miles a day. 620 miles a week. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time in my vehicular device getting to and from work.

Thankfully, the majority of my commute is spent on highways going opposite of traffic. It only takes me about 1.25 hours to get to go those 62 miles. That's about ~10 hours a week spent driving just for work. That all sounds totally undesirable by some, but my situation isn't as bad when I'm able to carpool half way. I try not to complain because I'm grateful for my job, and I have coworkers who go 70 or 80 miles, one way, to work. Then I found out about the engineer who lives in Florida and flies home every weekend...

Considering all that, that's a lot of highway time! With a lot of time on the highway comes all the frustrations of driving on the highway. A frequent circumstance I encounter while gracing I-35 with my car's tires is getting stuck behind the slow vehicle.

Usually it's a semi, and for the purpose of this blog post, I shall interchangeably use "semi" or "truck" to refer to the "slow-moving vehicle".

Saturday, January 11, 2014

What Does The Monk Say?


Before continuing, if you do not know what does the fox say, then watch this first:

And we can begin discerning what does the monk say.

Kyrie eleison.
- JD

Sunday, January 5, 2014

First Filipino Astronaut!!!

The other day I saw an article on the Interwebs stating that there will be a FIRST FILIPINO ASTRONAUT!!!



I'm brown for that kind of news!!! 

From the news article (Interaksyon):
Filipinos will have that proud leap into history as a 22-year-old De La Salle graduate has been named as the first Pinoy astronaut to be sent to space in 2015.

Daniel Angelo “Chino” Roque, who has a degree in psychology and a crossfit trainer, will join 22 others who were given the once-in-a-lifetime chance by the Florida-based Axe Apollo Space Academy to travel to space for 30 minutes onboard a Space Expedition Corporation shuttle.

In October this year, Roque was among two other Filipinos—Evan Ray Datuin and Ramil Santos—who were selected as finalists in a rigorous and competitive eight-month local AXE National Challenge. The three flew to Orlando, Florida this month to take a five-day course at the Kennedy Center along with 104 other astronaut aspirants from 60 countries.

This training has been designed to simulate space flight and real astronaut training. In true Hunger Games fashion, the aim of the delegates was to honor the countries they represented, and as they competed for the 23 tickets to space, of which one is reserved for one of the three Filipino candidates.

Roque was selected by the AASA Space Camp judging committee led by its chairman Buzz Aldrin, who is also known as the second person to walk on the moon, following Apollo 11 mission commander Neil Armstrong.

Roque has also always dreamt of being an astronaut, just like his fellow candidates. And even if he entered as a replacement to one of the two original finalists from the AXE Apollo National Challenges, his dream will soon be a reality.

In an interview last October, InterAksyon Lifestyle asked what he would bring to space. Roque said he would bring a Filipino flag and rosary.

Roque said that even if people think of them as heroes, everyone could be one. “I don’t think anything will change, as long as I keep my feet on the ground.”

Even then, he added it’s a privilege and responsibility to represent the Philippines. “I have a story to tell, to inspire others.”

Ok, so maybe he's a finalist for a competition sponsored by AXE. Yes, that AXE. Oh, and also by XCOR, who makes the space vehicles that they'll be using. So he's not part of some Philippine space agency. But either way...that's still pretty cool!

Psychology major, CrossFit trainer, age 22, and from a well-known university in the Philippines? Awesome.

As a bonus, I dig that he's taking a Philippine flag AND Rosary with him.

So as a Catholic, Filipino-American, Aerospace Engineering major...I triply think this is a really cool thing! As an added Catholic bonus, he should take a St. Joseph of Cupertino prayer card with him because gravity couldn't hold St. Joseph down! (speaking of gravity...looks like St. Christopher has had his icon up in space too ;-) )

- JD

Pictures from Interaksyon

Originally read about this on Deacon's Bench, referencing Splendor of the Church, referencing Interaksyon

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Babe's And Billboards

I think it was earlier last year in the spring when I was driving towards Dallas through Denton on I-35E. I noticed a big billboard that simply said "Behold the King of Kings" with a picture of the Nativity. 

I didn't take this Instagram...
"That's pretty cool,'s awkward because it's sooooo not Christmas right now. Maybe this is accidental in leaving the billboard up...", were my thoughts. I didn't think too much about it and went on my merry way (but not merry in a holiday way, because it 'twas not the season). I mean, being up here in north Texas, it's not uncommon to see Christian billboards. (Do you know how many pro-life ones I pass by on the way to work? Lol.)

There was another non-holiday instance of me driving through the Metroplex, and I noticed the same billboard. This time in a completely different location! And I was like, "Dang, whoever is sponsoring this billboard ...they're intense! ...or forgetful-because-it's-still-not-Christmas." But now, I had the opportunity to look at the billboard more closely and such a closer look revealed something that I wasn't expecting.

Babe's?!?! Whaaaa!

I had no idea that one of my favorite restaurants had any sort of Christian affiliation with it!

And so they definitely do, according to their Visions & Values on their website.

Since I'm writing this in the Christmas season (which for Catholics, is celebrated as an entire season and not just a single day...ends January 12th this year), I really do get the opportunity to behold the King of kings! I'm celebrating His arrival! Word made flesh! God humbling Himself as a babe (not a chicken house)!

Y'all, that has so much theological richness to it that I can't hope to even begin to talking more about it! But, I'm appreciative of the fact that Babe's has billboards all over the place reminding me to behold the Him.

===Update 1/5/2014===

I unintentionally seemed to have posted this blog post on the weekend of the Epiphany of the Lord, where the Church celebrates the three "Wise Men" coming to see the babe to worship Him. Seeking the Child in Jerusalem, they asked King Herod where to find Him. After visiting Herod, they went on their way
and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. (RSV-CE Matt 2: 9-11)
At this morning's Mass, our priest highlighted that the Epiphany used to be an even greater celebration than Christmas itself! This is simply because here we have Jesus being revealed to the other eyes besides Mary and Joseph. Quite a big deal! The "Wise Men" have come to behold and worship the King of kings! Upon hearing this stressed importance during the homily, I had a sort of epiphany about Epiphany.

Either is the day which we celebrate beholding the babe as King as the three Orient kings did those ~2000 years ago.

While the Solemnity of the Epiphany is a once-a-year celebration, I think, going forward, these billboards that Babe's (Chicken Dinner House) has placed around town will be good reminders for me to go to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament--where I can really behold the King of kings truly present: body, blood, soul, and divinity.

- JD

Picture of Babe's "Behold the King of Kings" billboard from The New MethoFesto blog
Close up picture from Humor Outcasts
"There's Myrrh" meme from Catholic Memes
Picture of Pope Francis holding monstrance with Eucharist from Catholic Philly

2014 Catholic Bloggers Link-Up Blitz

Thursday, January 2, 2014

"The Beauty Of A Soul Reflects Itself On The Face"

Jason Evert says in his book, Theology of Her Body (pg 31):
"The famous Russian novelist Dostoyevsky once wrote, 'Beauty will save the world.' Perhaps more than ever--at a time when beauty is so often distorted or idolized--his statement rings true. The world needs a renewal of women who understand the power of their beauty, and who will use it to draw the hearts of men towards God, instead of distracting them from Him. The kind of beauty that has the greatest power is not a mere physical attribute. In the words of [Venerable] Archbishop Fulton Sheen, 'The beauty on the outside never gets into the soul. But the beauty of the soul reflects itself on the face.'" 
 - JD

Picture of Fyodor Dostoyevsky from Wikipedia