Do What the Devil Don’t Want

In the last few years, I’ve come to see more clearly when the serpent is tempting me. I don’t always know, but it’s been easier to notice, especially when I keep in mind that I want to do what the devil doesn’t want me to do. I think it’s a pretty good motto for a Christian to live by: DO WHAT THE DEVIL DON’T WANT. Some examples:

  1. The last thing the devil wants me to do when I see a beautiful person is to pray for her. Instead, the devil would rather have me lust and abuse the woman. So what do I do?
  2. The last thing the devil wants is for me to start my day by offering it to God’s will. Instead, the devil would much rather have me forget God and go on with my life in my own selfish way.
  3. The last thing the devil wants is for me to forgive my friends when they betray me. The devil would rather me lash out and plot revenge.
  4. The last thing the devil wants is for me to ask God for help and trust in the Lord when chaos and danger happens. The devil really wants me to curse the day and turn my back on Him who is the o
    only person who can truly help me.

I think you get the trend, right?BetterWay

The better way is always the way the devil hates. So always choose the better, not the easier!

And I think you realize also that by doing what the devil doesn’t want, you almost automatically do what Jesus wants.

So do not let the devil win, because if he wins, you will always lose. But if Jesus wins, then you win too. And don’t you want to win?

Select Chants for DHHT

Hello Beloved HT of Miền Trung (and any eavesdroppers)!

This DHHT XI, we get to go a bit old school and do Adoration with some Latin chants. These chants are ancient, and the Latin is a major heritage of Roman Catholicism (stretching back over 1000 years). If you want to know more about Latin, please look here: The Romance Tongue and Why Chant Can’t Speed Up.

But, to help us all prepare, please put these three chants on repeat for the next month, and we’ll get together in mid-July to praise the King in the Church’s mother tongue. We’ve never done this together on such a large scale, so we’re a bit nervous… but let’s do this!

—–1) O Salutaris Hostia (by St. Thomas Aquinas)

Translation, history and full lyrics here.

—–2) Tantum Ergo (the last 2 verses of the Pange Lingua, also by St. Thomas Aquinas)

Translation, history and full lyrics here.

—–3) Salve Regina (anonymous and ancient)

Translation, history and full lyrics here.

Stations of the Cross

Christians around the world will soon be in the holiest time of year: the Triduum. Those few days are known as: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil and Easter.

One way to help us meditate on Jesus Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection is the Via Crucis, aka: the Stations of the Cross. Please let me share with you my favorite set of Stations, by an artist named Sarah Gorss (please visit Gorss’ Flickr page for more information).

I particularly find these Stations beautiful and solemn. Their grittiness, and the fact they are made of rice paper really helps me feel how organic and alive the Lord’s suffering was. I hope you find these icons as inspiring as I do.

GorossStnCross01

[the first station: Jesus is Condemned to Death]

GorossStnCross02

[the second station: Jesus Carries His Cross]

GorossStnCross03

[the third station: Jesus Falls the First Time]

GorossStnCross04

[the fourth station: Jesus Meets His Mother]

GorossStnCross05

[the fifth station: Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross]

GorossStnCross06

[the sixth station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus]

[the seventh station: Jesus Falls the Second Time]

GorossStnCross08

[the eight station: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem]

GorossStnCross09

[the ninth station: Jesus Falls the Third Time]

GorossStnCross10

[the tenth station: Jesus is Stripped of His Clothes]

GorossStnCross11

[the eleventh station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross]

GorossStnCross12

[the twelfth station: Jesus Dies on the Cross]

GorossStnCross13

[the thirteenth station: Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross]

GorossStnCross14

[the fourteenth station: Jesus is Laid in the Tomb]

GorossStnCross15

[the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Lord, on Easter Sunday]

Movies for an Intense Lent

*updated March 22, 2017* Lent is a long season. And to help me get in the mood of reflecting deeply on my faith, and contemplating deeply about Jesus Christ’s Passion, I have five movies I can turn to (or check my list of music for an intense Lent). But be warned. These films are intense and will not slip from your memory any time soon. The struggles, challenges, drama and suspense lingers… lingers…

SisterLuke——First up: The Nun’s Story, starring none other than the exquisite and stunning Audrey Hepburn as Sister Luke. In this film, we see a young and beautiful woman discern the religious life, but all the while, we see something not quite right. Did she enter for love of Jesus? For love of the Church? Or was the sisterhood merely a tool for her? When I first saw this film, I could not believe what I was seeing. As an Audrey Hepburn fan, as someone who was open to discerning the priesthood, and as a fan of film, this movie was a major treat and surprise. Click here for the whole film (while the link remains active).

——Second: The Passion of Joan of Arc. This is a silent film with a haunting score, a haunted past, and a haunting recovery. The real life struggle to get this movie on screen is already harrowing enough to make one think the devil tried to keep this where the sun don’t shine, but today, it is considered one of the top ten films ever. Don’t let its age, its novelty and its daring discourage you from viewing this movie. Search for it at your library, or online. There are at least three versions now. I only recommend the one accompanied by Richard Einhorn’s Voices of Light score (click link to listen!).PassionOfJoan

——Third: Noah. A movie misunderstood by many to be Christian, but it’s actually a Jewish film that stretches the story of the Great Flood in ways that kept me at the edge of my seat. I was stunned to see how riveting the story was, how terrifying such a flood must have been. And since I wrote extensively on this film already, please click here for my review and for the thoughts of others more learned than I.

——Fourth: The Flowers of War. Though the movie is about the 1937 December invasion and Rape of Nanking by the Japanese army, its portrayal of utter human suffering and redemption is perfect for Lent. The movie stars Batman: aka, Christian Bale, and is directed by Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers, 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony). In this epic, Bale finds himself having to play the role of a Catholic priest to protect 12 abandoned school girls trapped and stored in the Cathedral by the Japanese for future use. This film is so intense that I cannot recommend it for family viewing whatsoever. Be advised.

——Fifth: The Prince of Egypt. The origins of Passover are essential to grasping the weight of the Paschal Mystery. Though seen as a children’s film, this movie is definitely for adults, too. Do not miss this [musical] depiction of the Exodus story. Although there are certain creative licenses taken that deviate from the Scriptural telling, the film is a great expression of the desperation of the Hebrews and the overwhelming glory of God’s presence and power. Need more convincing? Have a watch of one of the best scenes: THE PLAGUES

——Finally: The Passion of the Christ. I save this one for Good Friday, and for good reason. And unlike many, I don’t shed a tear at all… until Mary meets her Son on the road to Calvary. I love Jesus. I believe He is God. And God can take care of Himself. But when Mary appears, her broken heart cuts me down. Gets me every time…

——BONUS: this film The Road is also very intense and not to be viewed lightly by families and children. The story is a man trying to care for his son in a post-apocalyptic world that is two-thirds the way to hell. The sacrifices, struggles and sheer terror of what this world is reminds me of what sin did to us, and what sin still does to us when we let it reign. Give this a watch if that sounds like something that will help you stop taking sin lightly, and stop taking life for granted.

——AND A DOCUMENTARY: History Channel produced this detailed and fair research on the mysterious Shroud of Turin (the most studied human artifact, ever). This cloth is believed by many, scientists and faithful alike, to be the original burial linen of Jesus Christ. It is also believed to have been physically affected by the Lord’s  resurrection, affected in a way that science has been unable to explain, to date. Give The Real Face of Jesus a watch (but beware of the heretical and nonsense gnostic material inserted awkwardly (and unnecessarily) in the middle of the documentary). More documentaries researching and studying the Shroud here.

Lesson Resources from ALL TNTT Training Camps

Hello beloved HT of TNTT (and any possible eavesdroppers),

This post refers to the various training camps I’ve visited since 2013. (Lincoln, NE; Stockton, IL; Miami, FL; Epworth, IA; Buffalo, NY). If you were at any of the Sa Mạc lessons that I had the honor of presenting, here are the extra resources and information just for you, as mentioned and promised:

—–1) Marian Devotion Workshop:assumptionweb1

  1. You can find the text of my testimonial about meeting Mary here, and the worksheet here.
  2. Rosary Comic Book: great for all ages. If you haven’t seen it or prayed with it, you must check it out. My favorites are Gene Yang’s depiction of Mary’s Assumption and Coronation. (As of today, the book seems to be hard to stock… so get yours now!)
  3. When I was at my 8-Day Silent Retreat, I picked up The World’s First Love and fell in love with our Lady. You might, too!
  4. The ancient Latin hymn I may have chanted to the Queen is known as the Salve Regina

—–2) Adoration & Benediction Workshops:

  1. In the silence of the heart, You Speak (and when God speaks, we listen!) [and this is my official movements to the song!] Remember to use this only before Jesus is exposed, or before you enter His presence in the monstrance.
  2. The official Holy Hour Guide from the Institute of Priestly Formation! Seriously, I found this very helpful for getting the most out of my Holy Hours with the Lord. I used this multiple times during during multi-day silent retreats.
  3. Detailed rubrics for proper Benediction and Adoration protocol (please follow this in detail to prevent sacrilege).
  4. Handy brochure to print and share with adorers during Adoration (semi-Việt version here). If you want a customizable version for you to tweak, please email me at EvanPham@HolySmack.com
  5. Document on how to prep adoration for Knights of the Eucharist (HS), how to prep for Companions (NS), for Seekers (TN), and for Seedlings (AN).

 


—–3) Living a Eucharistic Day Workshop: Handy brochure to encourage and guide your Eucharistic Day (Sống Ngày Thánh Thể)

  1. Also check out this post: You Are What You Eat (remember my example with strawberries?)

—–4) Sharing Sacred Scripture Workshops:

Handouts to prepare for: Seedlings (AN), Seekers (TN), Companions (NS), and Knights (HS)

  1. The 2nd Edition Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition (RSV-CE). I love this Bible… the leather bound and hardcover versions are bomb.
  2. Study Bible of the 2nd Ed. RSV-CE, aka: the Ignatius Study Bible. For now, only the New Testament is available in one volume. The Old Testament is being put together right now, and so is only available in individual issues (I have the Genesis issue, which is amazing… I used it to create HTDT based on the whole Torah/Pentateuch). Dr. Scott Hahn is one of the faithful minds behind this study Bible.256x256bb
  3. Free app to read the whole Bible with interactive and in-depth commentary from the Church Fathers. Don’t miss out on this neat tool, called Catena.
  4. Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture: this series on the New Testament is indispensable for anyone who wants to know the way the Church reads the Word of God. I highly recommend starting with the Gospels (my seminary’s Scripture classes use this series).mark_small
  5. Pocket Guide to the Bible: great introduction to what the Bible is, its history, how to use and read it, and how it’s organized.
  6. Where We Got the Bible: something I read to learn how the Bible came into existence, and how the Catholic Church assembled it and maintained it throughout the ages. Pretty fascinating, considering the Bible is the Church’s book.
  7. If you really wanna get into more Scripture treasures, then read anything by Dr. Scott Hahn and listen to his talks on YouTube. He’s a great speaker to start with. A Father Who Keeps His Promises is a great treat for us who want to know the main theme of the Bible.
  8. Great Adventure Bible Timeline of Salvation History: we all prefer a slick timeline chart instead of a chunk of words, so this is a great visual aid to exploring how the Jews, Jesus and His Church all fit together.
  9. And most importantly, an online Bible in Greek, Latin and English, if you’re down with exploring the Scriptures in the ancient Biblical languages (I haven’t found one for the Hebrew, yet).
  10. The BibleSmack Game (yep, I finally found a good name for it!). Here are BibleSmack‘s rules and files you need to play this game with others:

 

BibleSmackNewTestament Cards

BibleSmackOldTestament Cards


—–5) Theology of the Body and Christian Morality: see my ToB collection here.


Remember to send me any questions you may have; you’re always welcome!

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