Always the Best and Nothing Less

[Daniel Mitsui’s “Wedding at Cana” in the Traditional Japanese style.]

The Wedding at Cana has been special to me ever since my silent retreat experience with Mary in 2011. Only, I didn’t realize how special it was to me until the past year. More and more it appeared in my life. More and more… but here are a few treats from the wedding feast, just in time as America feasts this Thanksgiving week:

—–1) After telling her Son there is no wine left, Mary turns to the servants of the wedding feast and tells them, “Do whatever He tells you.” These are Mary’s last words in the Gospels. No more of her words are recorded, and so these have a weight to them. But, while I prayed the Rosary and contemplated on this mystery, I heard Our Lady say to me: “Do whatever He tells you… when He tells you.”

I immediately realized that just as important as the “what He tells you” is the “when He tells you”!

So often we think we know what we need to do, so we rush, we hurry and end up doing not as well as we could have. I can think of many examples where if I had only slowed down, prepared, planned and waited to the Holy Spirit to send me, I would have succeeded. Learning to follow Divine Timing has been difficult, but I have seen things happen that are nothing short of miraculous. Coincidence just can’t explain away enough these experiences (one of which I may share in more depth later).

CremeBrulee—–2) For the longest time I wondered how strange it was for Jesus to make/serve the best wine after wedding guests were already too drunk to know the difference and appreciate anything. Like, why would anyone give a thousand dollars to an intoxicated person? Or why give a crème brûlée to someone who has a miserable cold and can’t even taste anything? Or why serve the finest sashimi to guests who don’t know their shoes from their sushi?

Well, I asked Jesus this point blank, in front of a group of friends (His beloveds), while He was in the Blessed Sacrament. And I stared Him down. And He sent the Holy Spirit gushing into me. Once I asked, the answer just swelled up from out of nowhere, effortlessly:

Jesus saves the best for us, makes the best for us… always the best and never less… because He is God and because He loves us. Even when we are too drunk to see the greatness of the gifts He has given us, too wasted to understand and use the talents He gave us, too stupid to care for the loved ones He brought us to, too sinful to love Him, even despite all our inadequacy… He still gives us all of Himself and everything good for us.

And if we don’t see the goodness, the greatness, the loveliness and treasure… it’s because we need to get sober. Otherwise, we will miss out on all that Heavenly glory (as Bruce Lee used to say):

“Mary, I have no wine. Please ask your Son to turn my blood into love. Mary, tell Him, ask Him.”

-Evan Pham, as inspired by St. Francis de Sales

Winter 2014 Seminary Classified Notes!

Today, my first year as a Catholic seminarian has finished! A good bunch of my brother sems here graduated and are moving on, while some have found that Jesus is calling them specifically elsewhere. I’m still finding the time to reflect with the Lord on my discernment experience, but for now… enjoy the top secret notes I’ve taken during my academic missions here:

 

[above is the 1st page of notes from my Theology 249 class: Introduction to Sacred Scripture.]

[above is the 1st page of notes from my Theology 249 class: Introduction to Sacred Scripture.]

[above is my 4th page of notes from my Latin 122 class: Introduction to Ecclesiastical Latin]

[above is my 4th page of notes from my Latin 122 class: Introduction to Ecclesiastical Latin]

[above is my 4th page of notes from my Philosophy 300 class: Epistemology]

[above is my 4th page of notes from my Philosophy 300 class: Epistemology]

[above is the 3rd page of notes from my Philosophy 235 class: Medieval Philosophy]

[above is the 3rd page of notes from my Philosophy 235 class: Medieval Philosophy]

*not pictured is a sample of notes from my Philosophy 365 class: Philosophical Anthropology, but believe me, it was a great class.

** click here for my notes from the Fall 2013 Semester!