Category Archives: Other

The End of triathletewithacollar

image

I was blessed to spend the last 5 months with almost no access to the internet or my cellphone. During this time I learned a lot about myself and a lot about my relationship with God. At one point I was reflecting on this blog and came to the realization that the title “triathletewithacollar” is really rather irrelevant at this point in my life. I no longer consider myself a triathlete (I haven’t done a race in over a year and a half and I currently don’t even own a bike), and I don’t plan on wearing a Roman collar but a Carmelite habit for the rest of my life. Perhaps the irrelevance of the name is a sign that it is time to say goodbye to triathletewithacollar.

I started this blog 5 years ago in order to keep my friends and family up to date with my life while I was away at seminary. Quickly triathletewithacollar became something I had not planned (and honestly had not wanted) it to be. I don’t really like writing and I’m not particularly good at it, yet thousands of people were visiting this blog to read my rambling reflections – obviously not interested in me, but interested in truth. I’m glad that God has helped me to occasionally step out of the way enough to allow His light to shine forth to so many of you.

I thank God for all of you, especially for those of you who took time to reach out to me. I’m especially thankful for the friends I’ve made from all over the world through this blog. You’ve made all the little frustrations well worth it!

Alas, I think that this is an appropriate time for me to step away from this blog and focus that energy on praying for all of you. Please continue to pray for me as I move forward with my discernment and know that we are united in the love of Jesus Christ!

Verso l’alto,

triathletewithacollar

Advertisements

Icelandic Robbers

11062790_10153463231389123_344069628999334_n“Hi! Welcome to Iceland!”

The sun was slowly creeping above the horizon as my friends and I walked out of the Reykjavik bus station into the chilly summer air. It was around 3 a.m., and tired as we were, it was nice to hear a friendly voice as we ventured out into this foreign land.

The welcome had come from a lone young man leaning against the wall of the bus station with a cigarette in hand. “Where are you headed?!” he asked excitedly as he took a puff of his cigarette.

“We’re going into town to pick up some things before we leave for our hike,” I answered matter-of-factly.

“Ohhh, you’re going into the city?” he said half amused and half concerned. “Watch out for the drunk people! There are lots of drunk people!” He grinned and staggered as he struggled to hold himself up against the wall. Smiling, we thanked him for his warning.

My friends and I laughed to one another about the encounter as we walked away. We had heard that the Icelandic locals were exceedingly friendly, and our first encounter certainly seemed to confirm this stereotype. We also knew that Reykjavik was famous for its party scene, but by the time we got into town it would be nearly 4 am. How crazy could it be?

No more than two minutes later a small SUV pulls up next to us on the road.

“Hey! What’s in your bags?” There were five young men crammed into the vehicle. The surprisingly friendly voice came from the man in the passenger’s seat while the others looked on in anticipation.

“Camping equipment,” my friend responded as we continued walking.

“Oh,” the man responded before adding, “are you sure you don’t have anything useful in there? Like money or jewelry?”

My pulse quickened and we picked up our pace. “Nope,” I replied trying to sound confident, “just camping equipment and food.” The SUV continued creeping along beside us, and I slowly reached down to my waist pocket to feel for the outline of my knife.

“It would be better for you to tell us now if you have any money in there than for us to find out ourselves,” one of the men in the backseat chimed in. We insisted that our big bags had little of value in them as we clenched our fists around the straps preparing to run or perhaps even to fight.

“Ok then,” the man answered, and then added after a pause, “have a nice day!”

With that the SUV quickly drove off leaving my friends and I completely dumbfounded. After a moment of silence and some nervous laughter we continued our way into the city.

Were these men actually robbing us or did they simply get joy out of scaring tourists after a night of partying? I’ll never know for sure, but one thing is certain, even the robbers in Iceland are polite and friendly.


The One Reason I’m Not Blowing Up Abortion Clinics

flash-fireThis is a question I’ve asked myself
from time to time: if I really believe that abortion is murder why am I not doing more to physically stop it?  If you knew that tomorrow your friend was going to take her 2 year old girl and 5 year old boy into a building to have them killed, would you not do all that you can to stop it, even resulting to physical force?  The lives of over 3,000 young boys and girls are ended each day in the United States, and I just sit back and let it happen.  It’s not like I would hurt anyone; I could set fire to the building after it is closed and save lives through its destruction.  Even if it were only to delay the inevitable, shouldn’t I be fighting for the lives of those who can’t fight for themselves?  So why not?

There is only one reason why I am not blowing up abortion clinics: because the ends do not justify the means.  Saving the lives of hundreds of defenseless human beings sounds like a great good to me, and it could come at the small cost of some property damage.  However, we cannot perform immoral actions in order to bring about a situation, no matter how good the situation may seem.  The good consequences of an action can never make an evil action the right thing to do.  If they did, absolutely any evil action could be justified given the right circumstances – rape, child abuse, or even murder.

Ironically, the reason why I’m not blowing up abortion clinics is the exact same reason why abortion is morally inexcusable: because the ends do not justify the means.  Imagine that there is a single mother who is struggling each day to put enough food on the table for her four young children.  She finds herself pregnant once again, but she feels there is no way she could possibly provide for another child.  It seems like abortion would be the best choice for her, the best choice for her four young children, and the best choice for her baby who would be forced to grow up in such a difficult situation.  However, the ends do not justify the means.  The killing of an innocent and defenseless human being can never be justified, no matter how much better it seems to make a difficult situation.  We cannot blow up abortion clinics in order to save lives, we cannot lie or cheat to get ahead at the workplace, we cannot steal in order to help those in need, and we certainly cannot murder in order to keep our families out of difficult situations.

Verso l’alto,

triathletewithacollar


Why my employer should be required to pay for my speeding tickets: A case against Hobby Lobby

080108NS-SPEEDBUCKS-1_t607I like to drive, and I like to drive fast.  It is such a rush, and it feels so good.  I mean, can you really blame me?  Pretty much everyone drives over the speed limit sometimes.  It’s a natural thing to do.  However, driving over the speed limit certainly includes the risk of getting a speeding ticket.  This is why my employer should be required to pay for my radar detector and my speeding tickets.

You see, speeding tickets are expensive.  An unexpected ticket could really put me in a difficult financial situation.  Plus, getting a speeding ticket can cause significant burdens such as dealing with court dates and even difficulty getting a job.  But more than that, this is a health issue.  Driving without a radar detector creates unhealthy anxiety—causing one to constantly worry about getting a ticket.  Also, I’m much more likely to get in an accident and physically injure myself if I’m looking out for cops rather than keeping my eyes on the road.  Therefore, my employer should be required to buy me a radar detector for my car.

Now, even with a radar detector there is a risk of getting a speeding ticket.  No radar detector works perfectly, and there is no guarantee that everyone will know how to use a radar detector correctly every time.  This is why my employer should not only pay for my radar detector, but also for any speeding tickets that I happen to get while driving.  Again, this is a health issue.  If I were to get a ticket and have to go to court there are psychological and physical health risks.  Courts are certainly stressful places, plus I run the risk of dying in a car accident on my way there.

My employer should be required to pay for my radar detector and speeding tickets.  Don’t try to tell me that I should just drive the speed limit.  It’s my car, and I’m free to do with it what I want.

Verso l’alto,

triathletewithacollar

 

Disclaimer:  This article is satire and is not meant to perfectly equate speeding tickets with unplanned pregnancies.  All children are beautiful gifts from God whether they are “planned” by us or not.


Easter Beer

I recently got into the hobby of brewing beer.  It generally takes about six weeks to brew a batch, so I figured what better way to observe the Lenten season!  You see, when you brew beer you boil a bunch of stuff in a big pot to create this nasty concoction called wort.  Then, over the next several months, the yeast slowly eats away at the disgusting wort and transforms it into something beautiful.  In the same way, Christ eats away at our sinful nature and transforms us into something beautiful through his death and resurrection.  That’s what we celebrate at Easter, and what better way to celebrate than with a beer!

This beer is a honey pecan brown ale that I named Pond Scum.  Here are some pictures and short descriptions of the brewing process:

First we steeped the grains in hot water for about half an hour.

Image

Next we boiled the extract for several hours and added a variety of hops.

Image

At this point we added fresh honey and pecans from the Abbey property.  I decided to name the beer Pond Scum because of the clumpy brown layer that settled on top of the wort.

Image

This is probably the hardest part of the process.  We had to cool the wort down as quickly as possible by putting the pot in a sink full of ice water.  Then we added the yeast and siphoned the wort into a big bucket to ferment.

Image

After several weeks, we added some more roasted pecans and siphoned the fermenting beer into a carboy to begin clarifying.

Image

Next we bottled the beer so it could carbonate for several weeks.

Image

Finally, I made some simple labels with a picture of one of the ponds at school.

20140410_181312Untitled

Pond Scum is definitely the best beer I have brewed so far.  It has a mild, but pleasantly sweet flavor with a nice pecan aftertaste.  I popped open the first one after my Easter dinner yesterday.  What better way to celebrate the resurrection of Christ?!

Verso l’alto,

triathletewithacollar