Monday, February 21, 2011


Truth: It exists objectively.

Most people -- for some reason -- don't get this.

First let's put into perspective what we're talking about here.

RELATIVISM is a philosophical view that says that NOTHING is absolutely true and EVERYTHING is merely a varied form of some perception that actually corresponds to nothing at all. This implies that everything we think or say or feel or interact with is actually just an empty experience that leads ultimately to a void. The computer you're on right now doesn't actually exist -- you just think it does!

NOW, this, what is written above, is the broadest sense of the philosophy of relativism and is not generally accepted in society...but relativism makes its mark in another way in the world today in the moral realm.

MORAL RELATIVISM is a philosophical view that holds that whether or not a moral claim is true is relative to a particular culture or individual. You experience this (most likely) every day. Every time people say, "Well Coady, _____ is fine for you, and I'm happy if that makes you happy, but I don't believe in ______. So for me _______ is true, and you have to be ok with that because it's what I believe." Moral Relativism has made itself prevalent in big issues like abortion, homosexual unions, etc. It's popular. Pope Benedict XVI said, "We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one's own ego and desires."

What most people don't realize is that they only adopt this attitude to cater to themselves and avoid hard truths. I do it! I know! But that doesn't make it right. Here are some implications consistent with moral relativism.
-- If moral relativism is true than it was morally permissible to exterminate Jews in Germany in the early 1940s.
-- If moral relativism is true than it was morally permissible to hold slaves in Georgia in the 1700s.
-- If moral relativism is true than it was morally permissible for the Unabomber to set off bombs in computer stores to further his anti-technological social agenda.

You see in each of these situations the people who were committing these acts were doing it because of reasons that they held to be true. Whether it was an individual or a culture, we can now look back on those things and say that they are morally WRONG.

To make a claim like this means that there has to be a right and a wrong. It means that there must be not "subjective" but "objective" truth! There has to be some authority of truth. Something absolute.

I guess the reason that I'm writing this is because I'm tired of seeing people being fooled. Happiness doesn't come from catering to ourselves, it comes when we have an understanding of truth that helps us to grow in union with the same TRUTH! I feel like everyday I hear something along the lines of "...well in so and so situation a person HAS to get an abortion so for her it was alright." or "...well I personally believe gay marriage is wrong, but if its what they believe then they should be allowed to do it."

So I guess in closing -- think about the reality of your own life. It's so real and so grounded in a truth that has existed long before humanity. I pray that Truth might become better known in society, and we all might prudently discern the how to make our lives worth living in the absolute reality we live in!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

And So It Is

...just like You said it would be.

As my life progresses I'm really overwhelmed with thoughts and prayers, etc. But I guess here's the bottom line of this post: I am a changed/changing man. I've changed. Intentionally. I'm made different. New. And -- I like it.

There's this wonderful thing about seminary -- daily, and I do mean each and every day, Christ is made the priority. He is the Captor of my mind, my heart, my priorities, and everything that makes up Coady Owens. Now this comes at a price: No girlfriend, no facebook, being at a school 10 hours away from home, and a certain sacrifice of some freedoms, but does it ever seem worth it! Given, I'm not perfect at this whole thing yet. There are still some kinks to work out, but I'm moving, and that's a good feeling.

Recently my kick has been intentionality. It seems that throughout my life I've had this idea that if I just do what's right and stay away from what's wrong then all will be well. I'm learning, though, that sometimes you gotta play "no slop." Call your shots, and back up your actions with sincere intention. Don't be virtuous on accident. This is easy to do when in a setting that promotes this kind of living, but in the fast-paced, cut-throat society we've so much!

And how easy it is for seminarians to slip into old habits of laziness and carelessness when we return to everything we knew before seminary! I was re-convicted over Thanksgiving break (as it was my first time home since August) with a desire to bring to my family and friends the same Coady that I bring to God in prayer, lest I forget all that I've gained and return to mediocrity. I can't do that by only praying Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer. I can't do it even with the addition of daily mass. The only way I can do that is to live my life virtuously, on purpose, encompassing MP, EP, the Sacraments, etc. as a part of the character of a man on a mission to be with God.

Now, as you by now know, seminary is the first step in a vocation that looks towards the priesthood. I love the priesthood. I love priests. There is a video out online that highlights the Archdiocese of New York's Priestly Ordination for 2009. In it, Archbishop Dolan says, "You will have the very CHARACTER of Christ -- the High Priest, the Good Shepherd -- branded on your your very IDENTITY." To me this was a very powerful statement. I was awestruck by the magnitude of what the Archbishop was claiming, but he's right! Then I began to think of these priests, these men, before their ordination. While there was, without a dobut, an ontological change in them, that change upon ordination was the sealing of a life of progression. These men were not taken of the streets and made to be priests, but rather God called them and they were formed to Christ. They lived intentionally a goal of accepting and growing so close to Christ that now people may occasionally mistake them for Jesus, Himself. You see, we are all called to holiness. While all our vocations may not be in the priesthood, we have to realize that there is no moment that does not matter for any of us. My position as a seminarian, a student, etc. should reflect that Jesus is changing me, and if it doesn't, then my coming to seminary was useless and I've wasted my time here.

So again, bottom line: I've changed/I'm changing because I've realized that my life before was pretty ok...and that is -- plain and simple -- not good enough. The Good Lord calls us to more, and it's about time we answered Him.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Partway through the 1st semester of seminary and all is awesome. The fraternity, the discipline, the prayer. It's not all easy. I don't always enjoy everything. But it's awesome. I'm so happy and truly swimming in God's graces.

I was gonna write some huge post about something or other, but I'm kinda short on time right now, so this one will have to do. Just a thought...maybe more an opinion...a it what you will!

Facebook: What's the deal with that? We're always allowed to get back on during our open weekends, and while I have gotten on both weekends...I almost wish I hadn't. Sure it has the positive qualities that are becoming cliché. "Oh I get to stay in touch with so many of my old friends!" or "This way I get to know people so much easier." or "It's a great way to network." My opinion: Facebook...not worth it. I don't say this as a declaration, but maybe some of you have an opinion about this. My friend over the summer was talking to me about facebook, and I think he hit the nail on the head. He said, "Facebook is for people who can't let go, and who want to live in the past." Everytime I get on I'm brought back and it's almost like all the work God has done in me this year vanishes for a few moments. Pictures, statuses, etc...just sort of brings back potentially painful memories of times gone by. I think the new "Social Network" Movie kind of captures this too. It's a sad movie all around and I won't ruin it for you, but for those of you who have seen it -- Remember the scene when he friend requested his ex-girlfriend and just kept refreshing the page over and over to see if she would accept it? I think that embodies facebook to an extent. Just sad and defeated. Trying to make things happen that are already long gone. Tell me what you think, but I think a world without facebook would be a better, more present, more sincere world.

Until Thanksgiving -- This is Coady Owens, signing off.

Lord, To Whom Shall We Go?

Since the last time I've posted a lot has happened, the most important being that I've been officially initiated into the seminary. It's not as dark or mysterious as it sounds -- basically I just had to profess that I would live the year as a seminarian of my diocese and of SJV with the help of God, and then picked a few saints and a bible verse to live my life by for the year.

My verse was John 6:67-69 which reads,

Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to leave?" Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God."

Now -- In my opinion this could be the most relevant bit of dialogue in the entire bible. There are a few sure contenders, but let me explain why I think it is important.

This happens right after Jesus teaches on the Eucharist. I can get into the Eucharist in another post, but right now, suffice to say, Christ joyfully offered Himself as a means for Eternal Life, and people bailed. He was left alone, and dejectedly He turned to His best friends and said, "Do you wanna leave me, too?" Peter's answer was captured perfectly by the Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan. To quote Archbishop Dolan's book, To Whom Shall We Go, titled after the verse,

"'You know, Lord...Most of the time, we don't understand what You're teaching either. Most of the time, it goes over our heads. Most of the time, we can't make much sense out of it. Most of the time, we find Your teachings difficult and demanding. Yes, there have been times that we've been tempted to walk away because You just don't seem to make any sense. But Lord, we don't care. You're all we've got. We have come to love You, believe in You, hope in You; and we have come to know that even though we don't always understand You, and even though You at times confuse, frustrate, and exasperate us, we know that You have the words of everlasting life. There is nowhere else to go. We are in it for the long haul.'"

Think about our world today. It seems almost every other day you hear a story about "so-and-so who's leaving the Church"...or someone will say, "well, I GREW UP Catholic..." People are hearing Christ's message, seeing the life of the Cross and saying, "No Way! That's a ton of superstition. This heaven and hell stuff is a load of crap and I can get by just by living a moral life that I define."

While there are a ton of philosophical questions that could be asked about the above statement, let's stick with the one Jesus asked. He's asking us the same question today: "Do you also want to leave?" As I sit in the seminary and contemplate my life with God, I see myself more and more in Peter. "Jesus, where else am I gonna go? I've invested everything I have in You. You are GOD. There is absolutely no way I could have any sort of life worth living apart from You. I've believed before...and now I KNOW that You are the Holy One of God."

Call it a little reflection I guess, it's just something that's been on my mind. Prayers and Blessings.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

And So It Goes

Well I have a free weekend here, so I thought that I'd use the opportunity to give a little update:

God has blessed me infinitely in sending me here to seminary. Here at SJV I found everything that I was looking for and then some. It's funny that the things I admire and appreciate the most are things that, in our culture today, have a lot of negative connotations. I love the structure, the disicipline, the early rising, the studying -- it all is just so purifying. To kind of outline it for you, here is a pretty basic day at the seminary.

5:30ish am: Get up and shower
6:15 am: Morning Prayer, Exposition, and Holy Hour
7:15 am: Daily Mass
8:15 am - 1:30 pm classes, studying, personal prayer and maybe a little nap
2:00 pm: Hit the Gym
3:00 pm - 4:45 pm: Studying and Reading
5:00 pm: Evening Prayer
5:30 pm: Community Dinner
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm: Study Hours
8:30 pm: Meeting with Diocesan Brothers or Small Fraternal Groups
9:30 pm: Night Prayer
10:00 pm: Sleep

It's a remarkable thing. No facebook to distract me, no wasting time with computer games...Everything here is directed towards holiness. I'm surrounded by other holy men who are on the same journey towards discovering their vocations, and its a very supportive community. No down-talk. Very little Sarcasm. Everyone is always building each other up and helping each other grow.

I won't say that life is perfect. It's not. I still have a lot of obstacles in prayer. I still have things to grow in and work on, but what I will say is that there is no place I'd rather be than here at SJV. Perhaps over Thanksgiving Break, or Fall Break, I will write about something specific that God has taught me since being here, but for now I'm content with this explanation, and I hope that it demonstrates a little bit of what the seminary life is like to you! Please pray for me that my experience will only make me grow MORE in holiness. Thank you!

Peace in Christ,
Coady Patrick Paul Owens

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

As I spend my final week at home in preparation for seminary, this hymn haunts me in a terrifyingly beautiful way. The music that's been adapted to fit the words that aided in the St. James liturgy sets the perfect mood of God's terrible and awesome power as something to be feared and revered. It captures, too, God's love and mercy that we see in the Incarnation of Christ.

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
and with fear and trembling stand.
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
for with blessing in His hand,
Christ, our God, to earth descendeth
our full homage to demand.

We are to be humbled. The same God that proclaimed to Moses "no man sees Me and still lives." has come to dwell among us. In our hearts and in our souls -- in His creation. Most bluntly, God appears to us in the Eucharist. He remains the same all powerful God within the Sacrament as He was to David, Jacob, and Abraham. When I visited the Basilica in St. Louis this summer I was hit with fear and trembling. Everything about that building gave me specific direction to the Trinity and the Holy Kingdom of Heaven. I was rendered speechless and was left to fast from noise. Beyond sounds, an interior silence was maintained, leaving an imprint in my soul that I can still feel. The first and third lines in this stanza relate in that way.

King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old, on earth He stood.
Lord of lords, in human vesture
In the Body and the Blood.
He will give to all the faithful
His own Self for Heavenly Food.

Again reference to the consistency of God. His covenant with Abraham and to all of mankind is made complete in Christ the King. Christ who shares in the same power so artfully described in the first verse, humbly obliges to take the form of man in the Incarnation. What's more -- Jesus, though fully God, casts aside His pride and allows Himself to become our "Bread come down from Heaven," in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Thus defining the Eucharist as a physical form of Holy God and absolute Truth. All this for the sake of our salvation.

Rank on rank the Host of Heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth
From the realms of Endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.

While the first two verses give me hope for eternity and an eye that looks towards the end, this verse gives me hope for NOW. The forefront of Heaven's army -- rank on rank -- follows Jesus Christ to earth. Spiritual warfare is constant in our world and while our culture drips with Satan's influence, the Truth exists for our embrace! Angels fight for us! They are our guardians in a time of cynicism, carelessness, and pride. For all our faults and failings Angels fight to take the blindfold off our eyes to see Truth as it really is. As we start to perceive the reality of Truth, darkness slips back into the abyss and Heaven's light shines through!

At His feet the six winged seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces in the Presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Alleluia,
Alleluia Lord most high.

Finally, even the Angels (who outrank mankind in spiritual hierarchy) cannot even bare to look upon their Creator. They hind their faces yet feel no remorse, they feel JOY at being in the presence of the Lord. ALLELUIA is a cry for elation! They cannot contain themselves, and for the entirety of eternity they cry! Be that singing or weeping, they are overwhelmed by the beauty of God.

I wonder how aware I am of God's existence on a basic level everyday. I pray, I work, I live with God as an assumption. It's almost an afterthought. However this simple fact is what all of my faith relies upon. My trust in God, my vocation, my ministry, my whole person is contingent upon God's existence which is so eloquently verbalized for us in this hymn. Perhaps I should take the first verse as a command with great priority. I will keep the silence established in my soul and wait for the Lord. Our God is not dead...He's alive! And through His Resurrection He opened wide the entrance to the joy that the angels of the fourth verse experience. If I sit and ponder Him, I will be prepared to give the homage He demands. When Jesus comes to claim His own, you can count on me to sing this song.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

No More Networking

With seminary drawing closer, it is almost time for me to get rid of all of my online networking sites. That means I won't have a facebook, twitter, skype, myspace, xanga, or anything else you could ever think of. THIS BLOG however will stay in existence until I'm told it's no longer allowed. So I'll have this, my phone, and my email to stay in touch.

That being said, again it's been way too long since I last posted. There's no way I could make a post long enough to encompass my 21st birthday, a new Bishop, a 2 week road trip, a week long retreat, and preparation for school...

I guess I'll do an abridged version.

I turned 21 on July 14, 2010. My first drink was a Guinness Draught I shared with my dad and my good friend Joe Konopa. I'm really happy I waited until I was 21 to drink. It made it an almost sacred experience. The next day I went to an Irish Pub with a priest and 5 other seminarians. They took good care of me and made sure I didn't drink more than I could handle, then got me lots of water so that I wouldn't get dehydrated. I was blessed to be taken care of like that for my 21st birthday.


Bishop Timothy Doherty was ordained a bishop on July 15, 2010. What an experience to see a man offer himself up to God and then be placed into the line of apostles. Because one can only become a Bishop through another Bishop, you can trace the line of Apostles ALL THE WAY back to the 12 apostles Jesus hand picked! Bishop Doherty was choked up and it was evident that the Holy Spirit was present and providing us with a new shepherd for our diocese.


I left for my road trip that same night. We travelled from Fishers to St. Louis -- took route 66 all the way to the Grand Canyon -- travelled to Las Vegas -- moved on to L.A. -- drove up California 1 to San Francisco -- continued up California 1 to Oregon and Crater Lake -- followed East to Yellowstone -- drove from Yellowstone to Mt. Rushmore -- Mt. Rushmore to Chicago -- then back to Fishers. What a truly life changing experience. Look for pictures on Corey Rudell's facebook and wait for a novel to come out written by Andrew Neylon. My favorite area was Northern California. Giant rocks with waves crashing around them...fog and 60 degree weather. Beautiful. I'll probably retire there.


My retreat was also awesome. It built on the fraternity between myself and my seminarian brothers. I got to know them well and it made me look forward to school -- which brings me, in fact, to looking forward to school. I've spent the last however long scheduling classes, setting up emails, looking up financial aid, writing for scholarships, etc. The reward will be the peace and formation I get when I finally get there. I'm eager to be in an environment where I will be ENCOURAGED to intentionally make my faith the center of my life and my formation my day to day work.

Til then I'll just be sitting around meeting with people and working at the Eagle. I hope to have another post sometime soon. Pacem brothers and sisters.