Showing posts from 2019

On Blindness

I believe in a God of love. I believe in the Catholic Church. But I also believe that Jesus is bigger than any box we try to put Him in. I believe when He makes His Second Coming, He will challenge the beliefs of the devout most of all, who have such a particular idea of who He is. This article has been a struggle to write. I’ve been reflecting a great deal on what I have been blind to, what I can learn from others’ blindness, and whether certainty of anything is truly achievable this side of Heaven. But mostly, I’ve come to the conclusion that there can be no conclusions. I guess that’s where faith comes into play, though I’ve always resented when people would make such an assertion. “If you know for sure, then it’s not faith,” they would say. “So? Maybe it’s not faith,” I would respond, “Mary, for example, would have to know the truth about Christianity one way or another.” While this is true, one of the paradoxes of Mary’s unique role in salvation history is that even in

Through the Eyes of a Child

As I’ve grown as a parent, I’ve also grown as a child. A child of the one Holy Father. By giving us the opportunity to be parents, He offers us a glimpse of His own infinite love that He has for each of us. On the morning of April 5, 2015, Easter Sunday, my first child was born. My sacrifice for lent had new meaning that year. Everyone can acknowledge that pregnancy is far from easy. A pregnant woman can be nauseated, irritable, or barely able to sleep. She can seldom focus. She doesn’t necessarily feel as beautiful as others may tell her. But in the midst of all that discomfort and suffering, she’s glowing. We all see it. Even while she’s in pain, there is joy because she knows that it will all be worth it to hold the baby in her arms.

Finding Truth, Part 2

In Part 1 , I briefly discussed different ways that human beings can be misled into believing a lie. Human beings are biased. They are suggestible and easily persuaded by “experts” and sophisticated language. They are loyal to political and religious ideologies, even to their own detriment. And here’s where I will expand on my last post, as it is one of the more disturbing and damaging things I’ve encountered as an adult and requires attention.

Finding Truth, Part 1

I’ve been thinking for some time now about how easily fooled some people are, believing one thing as opposed to another. As an attorney I can tell you, there are at least two sides to every story, if not, more. Most people can acknowledge as much, but do they really give each side a fair chance without compromising common sense?

Consent: Yes Model vs. No Model

There are many who misunderstand the true definition of rape and consent. If you are under the impression that a person needs to say the word ‘no’ in order for a sexual act to be considered rape, you are greatly mistaken. Consent is not the absence of the word ‘no.’ In fact, the very opposite is true. Consent is only present if there is a ‘yes.’ New Jersey defines consent as “affirmative and freely-given permission.” Further, that “permission may be inferred either from acts or statements reasonably viewed in light of the surrounding circumstances.” Here I will aim to unpack those two statements. The Yes Model Each jurisdiction throughout the United States uses either the Yes Model or the No Model for defining consent. As of 1992, New Jersey has used the Yes Model, which has been employed by a growing number of states. I have no doubt this will be the predominant model within time. The Yes Model simply states that consent must be communicated in some way before the couple engag

All You Need is Love

There is one important lesson that humanity has learned in the past, but time and time again needs to relearn. Love wins. Love heals. Love revolutionizes. Even when others hate you, love is the answer. Even when others curse you and slander you, love is the answer. Even when others harm you or your family, love is the answer. Even when others kill you, love is the answer. "You say you want a revolution?" the Beatles song asks. "Hell yes!" the enthusiastic protester responds. People want a better world, free from racism, oppression, injustice. But how do we get from here to there? How do we make that better world a reality? The answer is love. There is a woman named Immaculee Ilibagiza. In her memoir, Left to Tell , she explains how she survived the Rwandan genocide and learned to forgive the people who killed her family. When she spoke at my University years ago, someone told a story about Immaculee wrapping her arm around a man as they posed for a

The Kind and the Rotten

This is something different from what I usually write. I'm definitely an amateur when it comes to poetry. I can never quite get the rhythm right, but when I create something, I have to give it some sort of life outside of my own mind. The imperfect poem that I post is better than the perfect poem that never gets written. I started out writing this as a children's story about consent. Of course, the subject matter is more appropriate for older kids, but the setting is geared towards younger kids. So this is really not suitable for any audience. Enjoy! In a faraway place, In a time long forgotten, A kingdom was home to the kind and the rotten. In the middle of the land, Sat a castle quite grand, Where a royal family ruled. There were knights and steads, Servants to meet every need, And a young lord who had everyone fooled. Lord Sterling was his name, He had wealth, power, and fame, Winning the affection of every damsel. But the woman he most sought, Returned

Being Catholic in an Age of Exodus

"You are my beloved." Those were the words a benevolent Irish priest told me to meditate on before giving me absolution. After revealing myself as a fraud and all too Pharisaical, this priest chose to remind me of my status before God. I am His beloved. Where else could I expect to receive such gentleness after reciting my hideous sins? Rather than face the admonition I truly deserved, I was met with tender encouragement. Tears welled up in my eyes as I prayed before the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Love and mercy overcame me. I was no longer relying on myself. I was back to being a humble child, reliant on my Father for everything. I've had to confess the same sins multiple times, but our Lord never tires of forgiving me. I love my Catholic faith. I love the sacraments, the saints, the incense. I love the reverence the altar commands. Sometimes, I sit in an empty chapel, just to feel His presence, thinking of nothing but the sweetest love I have ever known. My fai

Should I Testify?

While the decision to take the stand and testify in court may be something a number of people are grappling with, for purposes of this post, I will focus on criminal defendants. I will note that if you are a victim of a crime, it is incumbent upon you to state the truth in court so that fewer people will be victimized by your assailant. ***If you are a victim of a crime and are afraid of repercussions, contact the DA's office handling the case and express your concern. They will point you to resources that can help you. If they don't or you feel unsatisfied after talking with them, please contact me through my website. I will help you.*** As a criminal defendant, you always reserve the right to testify. You may feel pressure from your attorney to testify or not testify, but ultimately the decision is yours. As a prefatory note, you generally can trust your lawyer to know what the best decision will be. Your lawyer knows the case, the judges, the local court syst

One Star Among Millions

As I've said previously, creating this blog was a practice in humility. Revealing my weaknesses to all those who care to read is truly humbling. Though some may receive certain grace from reading these posts, I wanted to explain a bit more about what inspired all of this. A song called "Star of Bethlehem" by Danielle Rose describes the humility required in answering the call to lead others to Jesus. I first heard this song when I was in high school, but I had rediscovered it last year. It never ceases to comfort me in reminding me that I do not have to do anything big in order to have a big impact. I can lead a simple life, and through that simplicity, I can move mountains.  I am only one among the millions. Look at all the different stars up in the sky. What can I do for my Lord Jesus? He was born in Bethlehem this starry night. Then the Lord said unto me, "O little star of Bethlehem, I want you to be the one

Across the Universe

“Jai Guru Deva, Om Nothing’s gonna change my world.” Listening to this song for the first time in a long time, I grasped how somber the lyrics are. I once thought it was just a silly song like so many other Beatles songs, but “Across the Universe” is quite profound, pondering the futility of innovation. “Words are flowing out Like endless rain into a paper cup They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe” Every noble idea does us no good if it is not carried out. This unwillingness to act, or rather this unbelief in our own greatness and our own ideas disables us. We stymy progress. And rather than follow through with our noble ideas, we become complicit in and complacent with evil. “Pools of sorrow, waves of joy Are drifting through my opened mind Possessing and caressing me” Across the nation today, children are being placed in detention centers well beyond capacity, being stripped of family, comfort, hope. Across the nation today, migrant

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