Robert Diaz, MI: September 2003 Archives

eyes on the prize


The Autobiographical Sketch of Robert Antonio Ramos Diaz

?I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.? (Phil 3:14 RSV)

I realized, half-way through the first draft of this autobiographical sketch, that my paper had no goal. It told certain facts about me, but I did not feel like it conveyed the point I was trying to get across. I had to ask myself, "So what?" A man without a goal is lazy. Some people think they are working toward one goal, when in actuality they're working toward a goal that's totally different than what they intended. Since we are all part of God's plan, we must realize that we are working toward the goal of fulfilling the Father's will. How we get that accomplished, however, is not our goal. It isn't even our concern because God will fulfill His own will. Our goal is to make sure that we are participating in His will. In surrendering ourselves to His will, our goal becomes not only to get to Heaven, but also to take others with us. That is what I want to show through my story. My goal is not to become a priest, but to hopefully bring as many souls to heaven with me. I feel that God is calling me to reach my goal through the priesthood.

It's Finished!


Finally! My autobiographical sketch, which was 'only' four pages, is done after months of trying to figure out how to write it! Now, after I send it to my editors, I can send it off to the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word.

Please keep me in your prayers. I'm pretty sure that these are the guys I want to sign up with. I'll post the edited version of my Autobiographical Sketch as soon as I get it back.

From School


I'm typing this in the computer lab. It's a nice luxury having three hours in between two of your classes. I am of course (ahem) using it to study...

So, the other day, I got in an argument with my history teacher. He tried to say that Martin Luther was a good Catholic. "No he wasn't!" I said. Well, he tried to bargain with me on what to call him. Eventually we settled on "a devout man". I would have preferred scrupulous, anti-semetic heretic, but, I figured I shouldn't push my luck.

Anyway, today he asked to speak to me after class. I was a bit scared as you can imagine. However, when I went to his desk, to my surprise, he apologized to me! He apologized for calling Martin Luther a devout Catholic, and said that he was simply trying to generalize to get the story going faster. Apparently, the guy has gone to Notre Dame and did know better. I thanked him for his apology, and left a very pleased man.

It's funny, a year ago, I would have been too scared to say anything. It must have been a grace of some sort that gave me the bravery to stand up to my history teacher.

It's a good day so far.



My computer is broken. I have two tests next week and I won't have much time to blog.

Please keep me in your prayers.



The other night, I was talking to RC of Catholic Light, whom I have to credit with finally getting my new template to work (Snazzy ain't it?!). He worked many hours on it, and even fixed a humongous goof that I made.

Anyway, I was showing him the Chorus to "Now In This Banquet" by Marty Haugen. It goes like this

Now In This Banquet
Christ Is Our Bread
Here shall all hungers be fed
Bread that is broken
Wine that is poured
Love is the sign of our Lord

RC sent me an email with these new and improved lyrics, which I do plan on singing "in canon" as the song calls for it.

Now in our parish
no one is head.
By our own wisdom we're led.
Laws that are broken,
teachings ignored,
show we are each our own lord.

RC should really consider a job in liturgical music writing, if he's this good at writing parodies, he just might be what the ailing Catholic music ministry in America needs. I should have shown him the refrains that Marty wrote for Advent and Lent

God of Our journeys,
day-break to night
Lead us to justice and light
Grant us compassion
strength for the day
Wisdom to walk in your way

Lord, you can open
hearts that are stone;
Live in our flesh and our bone;
Lead us to wonder,
myst'ry and grace
One in your loving embrace

Anybody want to take a shot at it?

I'm writing this post as I look over the list of songs I sang today at Mass...

Today at Mass all of our hymns were written and composed by Marty Haugen and David Haas. I don't think I ever laughed so hard at mass in my life, nor have I ever more considered NOT taking the cantor training this year. We sang four 'hymns' The first, has been thoroughly torn apart by Victor Lams. I'm of course talking about "All Are Welcome". After I had my first laugh at the entrance 'hymn' we sang through the penitential right and the Gloria, sang the Psalm response and Gospel Acclamation until we get to...

Amazin' Grace for the Preparation of Gifts! Looks like I was wrong. One song isn't written by the tagteam of terror. I admit, I do like Amazing Grace, however, it's not appropriate for mass, it's protestant and it's not directed toward God but to the fellow parishioners. The sheet says that we're supposed to trade off the second and third verses between the men and women and sing the fourth verse "in canon" like "row row row your boat". It didn't help improve anything. I promise you.

Thanks Gospel Minefield!


Kathy the Carmelite of Gospel Minefield has linked to my post on patron saints. I really didn't think it was all that great. It was off the cuff to be sure. I'm flattered that she felt it was good enough to link to.

Speaking of which, did you know that St. Bibiana is the patroness of hangovers because an herb that grew in the garden over her grave cures epilepsy and headaches? She also happens to be the patroness of single lay-women, who are the cause of many headaches to single lay-men.

Not that that's why she's their patron of course...

Understanding Chesterton


Itís always pleasing to get something personally accomplished. Especially when what youíve gotten accomplished is a mental accomplishment. Today, I finally figured out how to read G.K. Chesterton. Iíve been reading his book Saint Francis of Assissi, my first book by Chesterton, for about two months. Slowly plodding through the chapters, I finally figured out that G. K. Chesterton wasnít trying to be difficult when he wrote the book; in fact, he was trying to make it so that the common man could understand it. His sentences are set up in such a way that heíll explain something right in the middle of the sentence heís writing. Itís as if he has a sentence in the middle of a sentence. Once I discovered this, any sentence that I come across, especially the lengthy ones, I simply break down into the main ideas of the sentence. Reading Chesterton for the first time was frustrating for me because I tend to have a very high reading comprehension level. The problem was that Iíd forgotten that itís not important who you read, but more important that you figure out what the author is saying. I could read G.K. Chesterton, and while it is good that I do, I gain nothing from it unless I understand what Chesterton was saying. Now that I know, his book on St. Francis has not only become mentally nourishing, but spiritually nourishing as well. Iím finally beginning to see what so many people saw in him.

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