The Sun, the Sanctuary Lamp, and You

posted Mar 12, 11:40 pm (435 days ago), 0 comments, permalink

"Get off your high horse. The world doesn’t revolve around you.”

That’s true unless you’re a certain G-type main-sequence star: the Sun.

The Sun

Holding about 99.86% mass of the solar system, the Sun is a giant mammoth that could easily fit in more than 1,000,000 Earths. It has got enough nuclear fuel to keep it running at least for the next 5,000,000,000 years. Whew! And, needless to mention, without the heat and light from the Sun, life would vanish on Earth.

Now, let’s talk about the lamp.

The insignificant lamp.

If the Sun’s grandeur would occupy the whole of Burj Khalifa, the lamp’s grandeur would fit on the top of a pinhead. How irrelevant and puny is the lamp in front of the Sun’s immensity, glory, and energy!

You can almost dismiss it as if it were a 0.1 in front of 1,000,000. With its tiny mass and petty size, the heat and light given off by the lamp seem unimpressive when compared to the brilliance of the Sun.

But hold on.

Because there’s something the lilliputian lamp can do that the supercolossal Sun cannot.

The little lamp can dispel the darkness of the night.

The Lamp

When the glorious Sun walks away giving way to night, the lamp stands still and burns bright.

It was the little lamp that illumined the path of the shepherds who went in search of the newborn king at night. It was the little lamp that helped the woman find her lost silver coin. And it is the little lamp by the tabernacle that tirelessly burns round the clock signifying the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

The Sanctuary Lamp

What an honor it is to be a sanctuary lamp, close to Christ day and night!

The Sun and the lamp, both are marvelous. And they shine best when they realize their unique purposes.

Woof too has his own big mission. A divine calling. He is small like the sanctuary lamp, but his calling to spread the Good News makes him special. He may not have the immensity and grandeur of the Sun, but he is here to dispel the darkness of the night in his own little, impactful way.

You too have your own beautiful purpose in life.

And you too can dazzle in your own unique way.

Woof says:

"Should the daisy hang its head in shame because the rose looks breathtakingly beautiful?

Should the violet stop giving off its scent because the rose is the queen of all flowers?

And what about the white lily?

Should it bathe itself in carotenoids and anthocyanins so it could turn as red as the rose?"

Reflect.

Join him as he prays:

Master, I thank you for having wonderfully made each of us.

As St. Thérèse of Lisieux says, ‘The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.’

As I contemplate her words, I thank you for blessing us all abundantly with wonderful gifts. By your grace, may we employ these gifts to serve you and the common good.

Amen.

Woof is right.

Maybe we’re not that G-type main-sequence star around which the world revolves. But we’ve got our own distinct place and purpose in God’s grand scheme of things.

“Arise! Shine, for your light has come, the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you.
The least one shall become a clan, the smallest, a mighty nation.
I, the Lord, will swiftly accomplish these things when the time comes.”
Isaiah 60:1, 22

Trust God.

And let your light shine!

The Simple Charm of a Daisy

The One Where Woof Preps for LA Congress

posted Feb 21, 3:47 am (455 days ago), 0 comments, permalink

29 October 1969

True story, a blast from the past! It was yet another mundane Wednesday for most folks. But at the University of California, Los Angeles, things were a bit different.

The air was brimming with excitement.
The satisfying nervousness of trying out something new.
Something that would change the scene forever.

The first successful host-to-host connection on the ARPANET (for the nerds: Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) was made. A host computer at UCLA would send the first ever internet message to a host computer at Stanford Research Institute.

In addition to the data network connection, the programmers at Los Angeles and Stanford were also connected by telephone. They intended to transmit the word LOGIN. The UCLA programmer began typing on his computer.

Simultaneously, over the telephone:

UCLA: “Did you get the L?”
Stanford: “Yes.”
UCLA: “Did you get the O?”
Stanford: “Yes.”

And now the UCLA team attempted to send the letter G... Bam! The system crashed.

History now has it that the first ever internet message was prophetic indeed: LO.

February 2023

A dog (a poodle? a golden retriever?) now travels to the same city that sent the first ever internet message: LOS ANGELES.

Hola! This is Woof, a unique breed! Wanna be pals with me? Come say hi at booth 364, LA Religious Education Congress, Anaheim Convention Center, LA.

Woof sitting

For the next few days, I’m gonna be wagging my tail a lot. It’s all exciting. Excitement shared is excitement quadrupled. So, here I share some no-fluff notes from my diary:

Log #1
All my bags are packed. It was a tad bit tiring. But chewing bones every hour helped.

Log #2
I’m excited about getting to LA. But I also wonder if the jet lag is gonna be a temporary dampener... Anyway, I packed my special woofie jet lag pills. LAX, here I come!

Log #3
I still remember the first time I had eggs for my evening snack. The eggs were sliced in half and looked like shining suns with thick, white borders. Firsts are unforgettable. LA Congress is gonna be a new space for me. A whole new world of catechesis. I can’t wait to meet all the wonderful peeps and woofs out there!

Log #4
I’m told we’ll first have an opening liturgy. What a beautiful way to start the event! Speaking of the liturgy, I’m reminded of the Emmaus story: my favorite passage in the Bible. I guess even my to-and-fro journey between home and LA is going to be life-changing... Just like the Jerusalem-Emmaus-Jerusalem journey! Can’t wait!

Log #5
I checked the tagline for LA Congress. It’s Renew. Experience. Celebrate. It reminds me of my world. In Woof’s world, the Catholic heritage—the wonders of our faith— is passed on to today’s young digital natives through gamified catechesis. Isn’t my game plan a renewal in the world of catechesis? Don’t I offer a first-of-its-kind experience? Isn’t all this a reason to celebrate? Ah. The excitement snowballs. Whewf! I can’t stop daydreaming about meeting all my kindred spirits there in LA. All woofing under the same woof, I mean, roof!

Log #6
The daydreams are getting brighter. From apricot yellows to marigold oranges. I’m seeing myself making new connections and exchanging QR codes. I see many lives getting intersected in LA. I’m thinking... would we be living in the digital world today if not for those UCLA and Stanford programmers who laid the foundation of the internet with that first internet message in 1969? LO and behold! What a miraculous coincidence that I’m going to that same city! All for the greater glory of God.

Log #7
My eyes are always on my Master. And my eyes are as wide as the brilliant blue Pacific ocean. But now, they’re getting wider. I’m wide open to this new experience I’m gonna have in LA. And I’m super pumped up that, finally, the world is gonna get to know me! I also know that this beautiful event must come to an end. But the memories and connections will last forever.

I hope these logs gave you a window into my present state of mind.

This might be yet another mundane week for most folks. But in my world, things are a bit different.

The air is brimming with excitement.
The satisfying nervousness of trying out something new.
Something that would change the scene forever.