Friday, 30 March 2012

How to make organizers using an entire box in 10 steps

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to turn a box into a desktop organizer.

1. Make sure you have a box that can fit the size paper you usually use at work (legal, letter, etc...)

2. Remove the flaps and save them for later

3. Cut the long side of the box in half

4. Cut out a slot on both sides of the box

5. Stick the long flap in the slots as shown

6. Tape the bottom flap so it does not catch paper

7. Admire your organizer!
8. Tape the short flaps together to create the support for the other organizer

9. Place the support on top of one of the organizers

10. Place the other organizer (the other half of the box) on top of the support

You can use post-it notes to label the contents of each compartment.
It saves space, uses up old boxes, is recyclable, is recyclING, and is environmentally friendly!

There you have it: 10 easy steps to making an organizer out of an entire box, with no leftovers!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

What does leadership literature have to do with being Catholic?

What does leadership literature have to do with being Catholic?

Leadership is learned
Leadership literature exists so that people can learn how to be leaders. Management philosopher Peter F. Drucker concludes, in his landmark work The Effective Executive, that leadership is learned. We also believe this.

Masters of our bodies
Catholics are not all called to be leaders in terms of the world: worldly leadership often comes alongside considerable luck--the right place at the right time.

Catholics are called to be leaders of our own selves. We are called to master our bodies and desires, instead of our bodies mastering us--for we are not only our bodies and its appetites, but we are also our souls: we are persons. Chastity is one such example of self-mastery, focused on the sexual realm.

Mastering our bodies entails developing good habits of action and good habits of thought & intention. Leadership entails enabling other people to produce their best. The most effective leadership is based on a rock-solid character which has excellent habits. Therefore, a solid character only exists to the extent that someone has mastered the impulses of his/her own body.

Excellent leadership always points others toward an excellent common goal and keeps everyone's focus on that goal. The leader makes sure the goal is the reason for others' actions and reactions.

Levels of leadership for Catholics

1. Business leaders who are Catholic
Some Catholics are in positions of leadership in business, sports, education or another sector. In this sense, leadership literature plays an important professional development role. This applies to the work of the clergy.

2. Catholics who work under a leadership
Some Catholics work under a leadership team. Even here, leadership skills are invaluable because every worker must be able to at least lead themselves for the sake of the organization. If workers are always waiting for management to make every little decision, nothing would ever get done. In many cases, that's exactly what happens. Leadership literature develops leadership skills. This also applies to the work of the clergy.

3. Catholic parents as leaders
Most Catholics are married and are leaders at home. Virtuous leadership serves more than a professional role here: it serves a developmental role. Our children will really buy into virtue and be inspired to become leaders when they see it successfully in action in you, their parents. You are the ultimate educators and you can make or break the time-sensitive project of the moral development of your children or of others' children. Leadership literature can help us in this project.

4. All Catholics must be lead in order to lead
All Catholics are to be obedient to Christ and His Church. Paradoxically, leadership is most important in relation to obedience. We are obedient to Christ and His Church because they are the source of the virtue, the right action, we seek to have shine through our actions. How are we supposed to be such good and solid people without having been shown how first? How are Catholics supposed to lead the world to Christ's love if we are not lead by the same love? How are we supposed to effectively love unless we know what true love is?

Christ gives us grace through the Holy Sacraments, through His Church, in particular Reconciliation and Eucharist, and this grace gives us incomparable strength of will and spirit to continue pursuing this most difficult goal of virtue.

Leadership literature
In summary, leadership literature can play an important role in the spiritual, professional and personal development of Catholics, provided the leadership is based in virtue and character. Some leadership only goes for the "appearance" of leadership, teaching about the effects good leaders produce. They fail to mention that good leaders produce good effects because they have more powerful causes! Leadership based on character will always look for the good in others because character-based leadership is based on what is in the heart of the leader. The Catholic leader will have faith, hope, and self-sacrificing charity in his/her heart, and right judgment, constancy, cheerfulness, magnanimity, self-control, and justice in his/her action.

Do not "appear" as a leader--"be" a leader through and through. Be a leader to yourself, to your loved ones, and--most importantly--be an exceptional leader when no one is looking and find opportunity to be an exceptional leader when no one will ever find out. Your Father in heaven will see you and reward you in secret.

Monday, 19 March 2012

The Breastplate of St. Patrick

I arise today through
God's strength to pilot me,
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me,
God's host to secure me—
against the snares of devils,
against temptation of vices,
against inclinations of nature,
against everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near,
alone and in a crowd .. .
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ where I lie,
Christ where I sit,
Christ where I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me,
Salvation is of the Lord, Salvation is of the Lord,
Salvation is of Christ,
May thy salvation, O Lord, be ever with us

Friday, 16 March 2012

5 Steps to Managing Workflow - David Allen

David Allen, author of "Getting Things Done", has a 5-step method of managing workflow in any area of life.

1. Collect - Put everything that pops into your head (ideas, requests, etc...) into a "bucket" to come back to later. Empty the collecting buckets regularly. This avoids wasting emotional excitement time.

2. Process - Of your collection, if it takes less than two minutes to do, do it now!

3. Organize - Put every item in a category; Useful future references versus Someday/Maybe

4. Review - Make sure the categories are up-to-date!

5. Do - Do the item considering time, priority and energy available.

Monday, 12 March 2012

The 7 Last words of Christ

Here are the seven last words of Christ from the Cross. Archbishop Fulton Sheen has written a book about these words.

1. Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do - Pater, dimitte illis, quia nesciunt, quid faciunt
2. Today, you will be with me in paradise - Hodie mecum eris in Paradiso
3. Mother, here is your son - Mulier, ecce filius tuus
4. My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? - Deus meus, Deus meus, utquid dereliquisti me
5. I thirst - Sitio
6. It is finished - Consummatum est
7. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit - In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum

Sunday, 11 March 2012

St. Alphonsus Liguori - 12 Steps to Holiness and Salvation

12 Steps to Holiness and Salvation according to St. Alphonsus Liguori

1. Faith
2. Hope
3. Love of God
4. Love for our neighbour
5. Poverty
6. Chastity
7. Obedience
8. Meekness and humility
9. Mortification
10. Recollection
11. Prayer
12. Self-denial and love of the Cross

St. Bernard of Clairvaux - Steps of Pride & Steps of Humility

Since pride is the opposite of humility, the steps toward full pride are the opposite of the steps toward full humility. The steps to humility are the antidote to the steps to pride. One step leads to the next.

12 Steps of Pride

1. Curiosity about what is not one's proper concern
2. Light mindedness: chatter and exclamation about things which do not matter
3. Laughing about nothing; foolish merriment
4. Boasting and talking too much
5. Trying to be different: claiming special rights
6. Thinking oneself holier than others
7. Interfering presumptuously with the affairs of others
8. Self-justification: defending one's sinful actions
9. Insincere confession
10. Rebelling against superiors
11. Feeling free to sin
12. Habitual sinning

12 Steps of Humility

12. Containment of one's interests, which shows itself in a humble bearing and lowered eyes
11. Quiet and restrained speech
10. Reluctance to laugh
9. Keeping silent unless asked to speak
8. Regarding oneself as having no special rights in the community
7. Thinking oneself less holy than the others
6. Thinking oneself unworthy to take initiative
5. Confessing one's sins
4. Patience in the face of accusation
3. Submission to superiors
2. Desiring no freedom to exercise one's will
1. Constant watchfulness against sin

From: Bernard of Clairvaux - Selected Works, Gillian R. Evans, 1987.

Difficult Teachings of Jesus - part 2

Difficult Teachings of Jesus Part 2 - from Matthew 6

Take heed that you do not your justice before men, to be seen by them: otherwise you shall not have a reward of your Father who is in heaven.

THEREFORE: Therefore when thou dost an almsdeed, sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be honoured by men. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. But when thou dost alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth. That thy alms may be in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee.

And when ye pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, that love to stand and pray in the synagogues and corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men: Amen I say to you, they have received their reward.
But thou when thou shalt pray, enter into thy chamber, and having shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee. And when you are praying, speak not much, as the heathens. For they think that in their much speaking they may be heard. Be not you therefore like to them, for your Father knoweth what is needful for you, before you ask him.

THEREFORE: Thus therefore shall you pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our supersubstantial bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen.

COROLLARY: For if you will forgive men their offences, your heavenly Father will forgive you also your offences. But if you will not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive you your offences.

And when you fast, be not as the hypocrites, sad. For they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. But thou, when thou fastest anoint thy head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not to men to fast, but to thy Father who is in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret, will repay thee.

THEREFORE: Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth: where the rust, and moth consume, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven: where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal. For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also.

The light of thy body is thy eye. If thy eye be single, thy whole body shall be lightsome. But if thy eye be evil thy whole body shall be darksome. If then the light that is in thee, be darkness: the darkness itself how great shall it be! No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

THEREFORE: Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat: and the body more than the raiment?

Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they? And which of you by taking thought, can add to his stature by one cubit? And for raiment why are you solicitous? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin. But I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. And if the grass of the field, which is today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, God doth so clothe: how much more you, O ye of little faith?

THEREFORE (A): Be not solicitous therefore, saying, What shall we eat: or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things.

THEREFORE (A1): Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.

THEREFORE (A1a): Be not therefore solicitous for tomorrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.

Difficult Teachings of Jesus - Part 1

"Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these Commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:19

OT--> You have heard that it was said to them of old: "Thou shalt not kill. And whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment".

NT--> But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment.

THEREFORE: If therefore thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath any thing against thee; Leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother: and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift.

OT--> You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not commit adultery.

NT--> But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart.

THEREFORE: And if thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee. For it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell.

OT--> And it hath been said, whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a bill of divorce.

NT--> But I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, excepting for the cause of fornication, maketh her to commit adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.

OT--> Again you have heard that it was said to them of old, Thou shalt not forswear thyself: but thou shalt perform thy oaths to the Lord.

NT--> But I say to you not to swear at all, neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God: Nor by the earth, for it is his footstool: nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great king: Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

THEREFORE: But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil.

OT--> You have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.

NT--> But I say to you not to resist evil:

THEREFORE: but if one strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other: And if a man will contend with thee in judgment, and take away thy coat, let go thy cloak also unto him. And whosoever will force thee one mile, go with him other two, Give to him that asketh of thee and from him that would borrow of thee turn not away.

OT--> You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thy enemy.

NT--> But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: [.........] For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have? do not even the publicans this? And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? do not also the heathens this?

THEREFORE: Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.


Please visit

It is the web address for the St. Paul's Institute of Biblical Theology. Click the "STUDIES" tab and go to "Online Bible Studies"

There are 5 extensive lessons:

1. Covenant Love - Introducing the Biblical Worldview
2. Genesis to Jesus
3. The Lamb's Supper: The Bible and the Mass
4. 'He Must Reign': The Kingdom of God in Scripture
5. Holy Queen: The mother of God and the Word of God
6. Reading the Old Testament in the New: The Gospel of Matthew

Friday, 9 March 2012


It seems that there are four kinds of persons who can help us:

1. God can help us
2. Saints and Angels can help us
3. Human persons (alive) can help us
4. We can help ourselves (self-help)

The help we get from each of these is different.

It seems that we can help only one kind of person in three ways:

1. We can help other human persons alive now
2. We can help human souls in purgatory
3. We can help ourselves (human person)

It seems that we can only help human souls.

Finally, from this, we can see that a variety of persons help us in different ways, while we can only help each other, since God does not need help, angels are already in heaven, and Saints are already in heaven. The only people who need our help are people who are not yet in heaven.

The only people who are not yet in heaven are you, me, and the souls in purgatory--and anyone else God chooses to raise in the end (perhaps a larger number than we know).

Any help that we are given from anyone ultimately comes from God's love. God helps us through other persons and sometimes directly.

Therefore, are you and I the only people who do not give help, but only receive it?

God wants to give His help to others through YOUR helpful actions and MY helpful actions.

What helpful actions will you perform today so that others will receive goodness from you? What helpful actions will you perform today that will allow YOURSELF to receive goodness?

HELP ITSELF - Help of persons versus Help of things

There is a difference between the help we receive from people and the help we receive from things.

Sometimes we remark, "That thing helped me a lot." Sometimes, things which are not people help us. The difference here is that the only reason a thing can help us is if we are given it by someone and if we use it in the proper way to our advantage. We call these things "tools".

When people help us, we do not use them, we cooperate with them because we respect the fact that they are also people who deserve dignity and respect. We will only cooperate with people who have a good intention and are helping us achieve something good. People are not tools to use; people are people to be respected and loved.

This extra dimension exists with people because we are the ones both giving and receiving help.

When we help ourselves, we are giving and receiving help. In so, we are empowering ourselves to help others.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Christian Self-help, Catholic self-help

Covey would call it “effectiveness”. Siebold would call it “world-class” or “champion”. We call it “sanctity”—the complete version of effectiveness; it is heaven-class, elevating the world-class to heaven-class. It is beyond excellence--it is blessedness. It is what we really want.

The saints are exceptionally tough people. Even though many of them had physical ailments and spiritual struggles, one thing we know is that they battled through them all—with joy.
This blog is a two-fold response to the thousands of excellent self-help books out there:

  1. Most Christians mistakenly believe that self-help books are only for people who do not believe in God.
  2. Most self-help books do not approach life as “life in Christ”, but only approach life as “life”.

These misunderstandings and lacks are really masks behind which people hide their true selves.
Most Christians mistakenly believe that self-help books are only for people “who don’t need God” because they themselves do not wish to take practical steps to become better people. Somewhere down the line, they believe that God will “fix” them, irrespective of what they do. This is a tragic attitude in life! This is also the reason why religion is used to justify destructive behaviour and attitudes. The saints did not have this attitude. Instead, the saints used whatever means necessary which God had already given them in order to realize His divine will for them. They were the opposite of selfish—they were selfless.

Secondly, most self-help books only approach life as “life”—common to all people in joys and struggles. I would insist, however, that life in Christ is a whole other ballgame! Life in Christ is more demanding, more painful, and more joyful—it is glorious!

Our goal is not only to be effective or world-class, our goal is sanctity! We do not only desire to be successful in the life we live in the world, but more importantly successful in the spiritual life, which we also live amidst the world. The two are not incompatible, as many mistakenly think.

There is a very obvious congruence between self-help books and Christian self-help: self-help books are to help you be successful in your life and its various roles, while Christian self-help is to help you be successful in your life and its various roles in order to become holy and to help others become holy. Where self-help books end, the Christian life, the sacramental life, begins.

Remember, Christians and non-Christians alike can and should be successful in life in all the same ways. The difference is that the Christian has the obligation to do all things with extraordinary love—with the love of Jesus Christ.

For any good self-help book you read, remember this: do it all out of pure love for God first, and for others. That way, you will bring honour to God.

Matthew S. MacLennan
August 17, 2012

Monday, 5 March 2012

St. Benedict - 12 Degrees of Humility - SHORTER VERSION

IN SHORT, the 12 degrees of humility are these:

1. Always have the fear of God before your eyes & never forget it

2. Love God's will, not your own.

3. Be obedient to God and your superiors

4. Accept hardships with patience and endurance

5. Humbly confess all your sins to the priest

6. Be happy with having the worst of everything

7. Be happy not only saying but sincerely believing that you are the lowliest of all people

8. Do nothing except what is in the rule of the monks and in the example of elders

9. Do not speak unless asked to speak

10. Be not easily moved or brought to laughter

11. Speak gently, without laughter and with few words.

12. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, believe that you are a sinner and do not lift your eyes from the ground or from your work

St. Benedict - 12 Degrees of Humility

Brethren, the Holy Scripture cries to us saying: "Every one that excaptions himself shall be humbled; and he that humbles himself shall be excaptioned."

"The first degree of humility, then, is that a man always have the fear of God before his eyes shunning all forgetfulness and that he be ever mindful of all that God hath commanded… .

"The second degree of humility is, when a man loveth not his own will, nor is pleased to fulfill his own desires but by his deeds carrieth out that word of the Lord which saith: 'I came not to do My own will but the will of Him that sent Me.'

"The third degree of humility is, that for the love of God a man subject himself to a Superior in all obedience, imitating the Lord, of whom the Apostle saith: 'He became obedient unto death.'

"The fourth degree of humility is, that, if hard and distasteful things are commanded, nay, even though injuries are inflicted, he accept them with patience and even temper, and not grow weary or give up… .

"The fifth degree of humility is, when one hideth from his Abbot none of the evil thoughts which rise in his heart or the evils committed by him in secret, but humbly confesseth them.

"The sixth degree of humility is, when a monk is content with the meanest and worst of everything, and in all that is enjoined him holdeth himself as a bad and worthless workman, saying with the Prophet: 'I am brought to nothing and I knew it not; I am become as a beast before Thee, and I am always with Thee.'

"The seventh degree of humility is, when, not only with his tongue he declareth, but also in his inmost soul believeth, that he is the lowest and vilest of men, humbling himself and saying with the Prophet: 'But I am a worm and no man, the reproach of men and the outcast of the people.'

"The eighth degree of humility is, when a monk doeth nothing but what is sanctioned by the common rule of the monastery and the example of his elders.

"The ninth degree of humility is, when a monk withholdeth his tongue from speaking, and keeping silence doth not speak until he is asked; for the Scripture showeth that 'in a multitude of words there shall not want sin.'

"The tenth degree of humility is, when a monk is not easily moved and quick for laughter, for it is written: 'The fool excaptioneth his voice in laughter.'

"The eleventh degree of humility is, that, when a monk speaketh, he speak gently and without laughter, humbly and with gravity, with few and sensible words, and that he be not loud of voice, as it is written: 'The wise man is known by the fewness of his words.'

"The twelfth degree of humility is, when a monk is not only humble of heart, but always letteth it appear also in his whole exterior to all that see him; namely, at the Work of God, in the garden, on a journey, in the field, or wherever he may be, sitting, walking, or standing, let him always have his head bowed down, his eyes fixed on the ground, ever holding himself guilty of his sins, thinking that he is already standing before the dread judgment seat of God, and always saying to himself in his heart what the publican in the Gospel said, with his eyes fixed on the ground: 'Lord, I am a sinner and not worthy to lift up mine eyes to heaven'; and again with the Prophet: 'I am bowed down and humbled exceedingly.'

IN SHORT, the 12 degrees of humility are these:

1. Always have the fear of God before your eyes & never forget it

2. Love God's will, not your own.

3. Be obedient to God and your superiors

4. Accept hardships with patience and endurance

5. Humbly confess all your sins to the priest

6. Be happy with having the worst of everything

7. Be happy not only saying but sincerely believing that you are the lowliest of all people

8. Do nothing except what is in the rule of the monks and in the example of elders

9. Do not speak unless asked to speak

10. Be not easily moved or brought to laughter

11. Speak gently, without laughter and with few words.

12. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, believe that you are a sinner and do not lift your eyes from the ground or from your work