Tuesday, July 31, 2012

33. In The Face Of Evil

I had a dream last night and I want to record it because it was particularly interesting, but also because I think we can use it as an example.

The major part of the dream that I remember was this: There was a large orchestra in a music hall and some of my classmates were in it and some were listening to the music with me. They started playing a piece that was immoral (I don't know how that could be, but that is what I dreamed!) and I didn't know what to do. I opened up my purse and pulled out my rosary to pray the Divine Mercy.

How do we act in the face of evil? Do we stand aside and watch; do we scold them; do we pray; or do we join right in? How we react to evil says a lot about us. I'm not saying that I always break out the rosary, but I thought it was interesting that I dreamed that I did...

Just a thought for the day!


God Bless!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

32. Christ In You, Either Way!

So I have been hearing a lot of talk lately about how people receive the Eucharist - either in the hand, or on the tongue. I personally have done it both ways. I was taught in 2nd grade when I made my First Communion to receive in the hand, right under left. I have done it that way until Easter of this year, when I celebrated Mass in Spain. The nuns there all received on the tongue, and so I did too. After researching it some more, I found out that there is some discord in this topic!

The case for receiving in hand:

  • Less likely to drop the Host
  • Common, more widely accepted
  • Some Extraordinary Ministers don't know how to place on the tongue

The case for receiving on the tongue:

  • More reverent to the true, Divine Presence of our Lord
  • Not worthy to hold Jesus in hand
  • Don't have to lick your hand or pick up crumbs
I saw an awesome video called "Jesus Is On The Floor" that sides with receiving the Eucharist on the tongue. This video is part of a huge online movement that I have seen that is rallying for Catholics to start receiving on the tongue. It's a really good video, a bit creepy at first, but I think you should watch it...

These are just a few of the arguments for each option. None is better than the other, it is just personal preference. Either way you receive, you're still welcoming Christ into your body, and He is dwelling within you!

How do you receive the Eucharist? I'm curious to know what the general consensus is and what the majority does and WHY. :)

Thank you for reading, I know this is a short one... Don't forget to comment and share!


God Bless!


Friday, July 20, 2012

31. A Very Special Intention

I am sure you all have heard of what happened earlier. It's tragic, devastating, and heartbreaking. I don't even want to turn on the news anymore, but I  do want to pray for these people. Please pray the following prayer with me:

Heavenly Father, we know that You created all things to be good. When things like this happen, we can't help but to ask,"why?"  We know, deep in our hearts, that You would never make such tragic things happen, and we know that You love us eternally. We also know that You have a plan for us, and You guide and guard us from evil. We pray for the victims on this day, that they may see the light of Your Face, and they may be welcomed into Your Kingdom.
Lord Jesus, we know that you suffered for our sins. May your suffering help the soul of the killer; may his heart be softened, and may he repent and regain Your Mercy. 
May Your most Holy Spirit fill the families that have been affected by this most devastating event, so that they may not seek revenge, but rather seek to forgive, and to have mercy on the man who took so many lives today. We ask this through the most faithful intercession of our heavenly mother, as we pray:
Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.


Monday, July 16, 2012

30. All In A Year

It has been a year since July 16th, 2011, a day that will always be in my heart.

If you don't know why that date is important to me, it is the date that I came back into God's grace and changed my ways. On this date exactly a year ago, I gave my life to Christ. You may not believe that I wasn't like this before, and as I write this, I can recall how I fought my mother, who forced me to go to that conference.

A year ago, I was not in love with Jesus. I was in love with myself, with the world, with vanity, and with sin. Everything has changed since then. My friends, my clothing, my attitude, my habits... Everything. And boy, am I glad that July 16th happened!

Today is my anniversary with Jesus. I am celebrating my rebirth on this day, and I want to recall everything that has happened in this past year that has made me who I am. Let's start by recalling July 16th. (This is from my previous blog, before I switched to Blogger.

After the conference, however, I still needed some more detachment from my worldliness. I remember falling for a person who was not a holy person, and I knew as I sat in his truck with him that if he were to advance, I probably would follow suit. After some drama, however (and nothing happened, if you were wondering.), I realized that my heart belonged to God, and if a man on this earth wanted it, he had to go through God to get it. Maya Angelou once said, "A woman's heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her." 

In August, I had to struggle to keep my faith. I began to lose my friends once they realized my huge change, and keeping my faith out of the workplace and the dinner table was difficult... It was also hard because I was wearing my brown scapular that I got on July 16th, and everyone took notice.

Sometime in August or September, I began to be drawn to religious life. It started as a curiosity, a flutter in my heart when my mom introduced me to two sisters, and a small (but mostly funny) desire to dress up as a nun for an event at school. I pushed it aside as just a new part of my being Catholic - liking nuns. So in September, I got even more questions about my scapular, I lost more friends, got weird looks, and I got questions about my experience, new life, etc. My extremely pro-life self was born and I participated in the Car Wash for Birthright, which is something that my old parish did every year. I began to search for a name to take for Confirmation...

October was pretty much uneventful, except for a day retreat that I went to in preparation for Confirmation. I met some awesome speakers, and heard some very touching stories. Read them HERE.

In November, I watched the Passion of the Christ, which changed my view of the crucifixion from Jesus on a cross, to Jesus tortured, beaten, bloodied, harassed, and sinless upon that cross, and I am a nail in his wrist. I recommend the movie if you are able to handle consecutive violent scenes, and are older than 17. I shouldn't have watched it when I did (I was 16 and squeamish... I still am haha) but I am glad that I did... Read my review HERE.

In December, I was finally Confirmed on the 4th. The name I took was Kassia. This year was the first Christmas that I actually recognized and celebrated the real meaning of the day, and I felt a peace within me for that reason. The day after Christmas I drove down to the airport in NJ with my fellow Madrigal Singers to take off for Ireland! The churches and cathedrals that we visited and sang in were gorgeous and gave me a new sense of respect and love of church architecture. I learned also that my new faith meant losing 'friends.' But I also gained a new friend, one who has stuck with me and helped me through the difficulties that come with being Catholic in this day in age.

January was pretty uneventful. The only thing that sticks out in my mind is a big FaceBook debate (those always end well... NOT) about one of the things I live to preach against - abortion. It ended with me losing even more friends, temporarily deleting my account, and fearing to go to school. But once again, God helped me through it, and I learned that I will have hardships in this new life. Also, my attraction to religious life began to grow into more than a curiosity, as I joined an online chat, prayer, and discernment community.

February brought the beginning of Lent. Unlike many Catholics, I greeted Lent with excited cheers. I was excited for my 'first Lent.' I wore my ashes with pride on Ash Wednesday, and completed the season of Lent with scripture readings, a lot of prayer, and a daily devotional.

March was pretty uneventful, but April brought me to another country - SPAIN! :) Such a great experience! Even though I didn't have many friends to share the week-long visit with, I made the best of it, and I was able to go to Mass on Easter (in Spain), and to visit too many Churches and Cathedrals to count! And oh my gosh. THE NUNS! They were everywhere! And I loved it! :) On Easter, when I went to Mass, the church I went to was connected to a convent. There were nuns in the pews with us, and also behind a grille to the left of the Sanctuary. That was a great start to the trip! In the streets, in the airports. It was like I was in heaven! We visited a convent and it was so thrilling to walk in a cloister(I'm such a loser haha)! A few of my fellow travelers (I went with some of my classmates) began to tell me that I should be a nun, and that I should 'work' at the Sagrada Familia... (They don't quite get the whole ministry thing... HAHA) I finally confided in one of my closer friends that I was at least considering it. Her support helped me along the way through my discernment.

In May, I finally confided in my youth minister that I am discerning religious life. It was a difficult choice to make to openly discuss this, since for the most part, I was trying to keep it quiet. But I knew that if I told him, he would be able to help me discern this and deal with the questions and everything that comes with this. His support has helped me and I feel that I can always go to him for help if something comes up. His advice has been a great blessing in my life.

June was uneventful...

I brought my good friend who is a Mormon to Mass with me on July 10th, and introduced him to the heart of Catholicism. It was a good experience for me as well, to teach about the Catholic Mass, and to show my friend why I love it so much!

So this past year has been full of ups and downs. Discernment, losing and gaining friends, and the struggle to stay out of sin... It was definitely a battle that I couldn't have won without the help of Christ. I can only imagine what I would be like if I hadn't been forced to go on that retreat, and if I hadn't (re)found Christ. And those thoughts scare me. But they also make me thankful that July 16th, 2011 happened, and that I have given my heart to Christ. <3

Thank you for reading; I know it was long! But I hope this has inspired you, and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to comment! :)


God Bless!!


Friday, July 13, 2012

29. A very important question!

So I went to Mass this morning, and right before Mass started, a woman who I have seen there once or twice walked in and sat down in the pew in front of me, on the other end of the pew. I took little notice and the Mass began.

I soon began to her her sniffle, and I began wondering if she was crying. This preoccupied my mind for quite a bit of the Mass, making me lose focus during the responsorial Psalm (I forgot the response haha) and the homily. By the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, I had decided that after Mass had ended, I would go over to her and ask her if I could pray for her.

What I find very funny/strange/creepy, though, was as I was trying to figure out how to word my question - Is there anything I can pray for on your behalf? can I pray for you? ... I'm not very good with speaking- a little thought popped into my head. I'm not sure of its origin, nor if it was of my own thinking, or of something outside of me. But something told me that perhaps she didn't speak English.

I pushed it aside and after Mass had ended and people began to leave, I walked down the pew towards this woman, still bent in prayer. I asked her my rehearsed question, "Is there anything I can pray for on your behalf?" She looked at me, and said something in broken English like, "I don't speak English..." I recognized her Spanish accent and asked her again (in flustered Spanish, so I botched the subjunctive... but anyway...). She nodded and told me hurriedly that someone she knows (I think her husband??) has a condition with his brain (I think she said cancer... not sure though). So I told her that I was so sorry, and that I would pray for her. I then touched her shoulder gently and said, "Que Dios te bendiga" - God bless you.

And I did. I kneeled with her and prayed for about fifteen minutes, until I had to leave to go to work. She was still there when I left, kneeling and crying.

This experience touched my heart because I saw how surprised and sort of relieved she was that I offered to pray for her. She was weeping and I can only imagine the distress that she is going through. Also, what touched my heart was that God put in my heart to pray for her and her intention. It felt good to pray for and with this woman, who I hardly knew, and who spoke a different language than me (granted, I can speak pretty good Spanish, and I do know prayers in Spanish, but that's beside the point)

Let's be honest. Sometimes, we are afraid to ask people if we can pray for them. And that is understandable, but we really should go out on a limb and offer our prayers to people who might need them. And it feels really good to know that you might have made someone's day by asking them, and you may have made a difference.

I challenge you right now - next time you see someone in distress - I don't care who it is; your best friend, a stranger, an elderly lady, or a child - ASK THEM if you can pray for them.

In the words of Nike:

Just Do it.

You never know. It could make a difference.

Prayer changes things!!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Leave your comments for me in the comment section! Share if you liked the message!


Que Dios te bendiga


Saturday, July 7, 2012

28. Here Comes the Catholic Church! (Photos and links!)

Found this on "Catholic Sistas" and thought that I would share with you :)

You can also find a bunch of similar pictures (profile pictures, computer backgrounds, and FaceBook banners too!) on St. Peter's List HERE and HERE 

Feel free to share!

Have a great day!


God Bless!!


PS: Blog post coming out soon (I've been working on it for about a week now...) Keep checking the site!!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

27. Nuns vs. Vatican

Lately, there's been a lot of talk about the whole Vatican-attacking-nuns thing. As someone who has been talking to nuns and sisters a lot, and as a young woman currently discerning a religious vocation, this frightened me at first. What did this mean for the nuns? What was going to happen? Why were they being investigated? How dare the Pope pick on those poor, innocent nuns! What do you mean they're not doing a good enough job? Haven't you (Mr. Pope) heard of the Sisters of Life? ... ... Oh.

Sisters of Life, NY, Members of the CMSWR

The "crackdown" is on the (mostly) nontraditional nuns of the LCWR - Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The Sisters of life are a part of the CMSWR - the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious. They're not being targeted. The LCWR is... Oh, now I get it!

After doing some research, I learned a few more things. These nuns usually are feminist, standing up for female ordination, and they also usually advocate for gay marriage and abortion - all topics that the Catholic Church has taken a strict stance on - a stance that doesn't agree with the Church. And they actually teach against them. And this is why the Vatican is "going after" these sisters.

You may say, "But look at all of the good that they do! They work in hospitals, adoption services, and help the poor!" That's great, and I'm sure they do a wonderful job at that. But that's not what the Vatican is judging right now. The Vatican is making a decision on their adherence to Church teachings on abortion, contraception, gay marriage, and the ordination of women priests. And in these areas, the sisters have failed to do their jobs. And that is why they're being evaluated.

In truth, the Vatican is NOT a bunch of men picking on the poor women nuns. The sisters have strayed from Church teaching, and this needs to be corrected. Not all nuns are being targeted, it is only the umbrella group LCWR, and those orders associated with the organization. These nuns have tricked everyone, through their use of the media, into believing that it is the "male hierarchy" bullying the nuns "for no reason." They have fooled people into thinking that the Vatican is overlooking all of the good that they've done. They have tricked people into thinking that the Vatican is targeting them solely because they're women. This is NOT the case!

What infuriates me is how misinformed the supporters are. I saw a video of a priest having a discussion with a woman who was in a protest for the nuns. (The woman initiated the dialogue. They were marching outside of a parish and decided to pounce on the priest after the Mass was finished.) It was frustrating to watch, but also very entertaining to see all of the fallacies that she was saying, and how uninformed she was. She resorted to inturrupting him, yelling, and overall, being rude. The priest, on the other hand, was extremely calm, kind, prepared, and informed. Watch it for yourself :

Gotta love Fr. Ted. :) ... Can't stand the ladies' ignorance...

If I'm wrong, please let me know. I'm not picking on the nuns - in fact, I have many friends who are nuns, and I am discerning religious life right now. It's not that I'm upset with them, I am just disappointed that they have made this seem like they are under attack. I am hopeful that the nuns and the Vatican will come to an agreement, everything will be resolved, and these feminists will stop picketing and stop harassing well informed priests with misinformation.

That is all. I'm done with my rant...

I hope that cleared up some confusion, and gave you a new perspective. Have a great day, don't forget to comment and share if you liked the post!


God Bless!


26. You're in the House of God...

So be presentable!

I came downstairs last week to leave for Mass (I usually go to the Vigil Masses on Saturdays). I was wearing this:

Background info: If you don't know me personally, or you don't know my mom, she's not Catholic, and she doesn't understand some of the things that I do and why.

Anyway, Mom said, "Why do you always dress up so nice for Church?"

What came to my mind (but I didn't say) was: "Because the Man of my dreams is there!" :)

The altar and crucifix in my parish
I mean, why wouldn't you dress nicely for Mass? You're going to be in the True Presence of Christ, you'd think that dressing nicely would be the obvious thing to do. But I've been quite surprised at what I see at Church sometimes. Sometimes it's a good surprise, but usually it's a bad one.

Shorts are usually a no-no in Church. They show too much of the leg, and it's very difficult to find shorts that aren't super short!

Something like this is not appropriate:

Also, shirts with skinny straps, low necklines, or "midriffs" are inappropriate for Mass. 

Also, your footwear should be modest. You don't need 6" heels to go to Mass. Like your other clothing choices, your shoes should not be distracting, or uncomfortable.

This is the kind of footwear you want to avoid:

You're probably thinking about your wardrobe, saying "What can I wear??" Well I want to tell you that there is plenty out there that is appropriate for Mass! 

Take these outfits, for example:

A nice top with a floral skirt, simple and comfy flats, 
a bag that matches, perhaps a headband, a cross necklace, and some simple,
 non-distracting earrings!

If you're looking for a more professional-looking
outfit, try (not skin-tight) trousers with a belted shirt, 
and some neutral colored accessories, like this bag and these flats! 
Add a pearl bracelet and some simple studs!

If you want something more comfy, here's an idea!
Keep to two simple colors, in this case, the navy blue and the white/cream. 
I also thought it would be neat to repeat the striped pattern in a little hair clip.
Slip on a navy blue pair of Toms and you're good to go!

I know I'm no fashion expert, but I know when something is modest, and when something is immodest. It's not good to dress immodestly to begin with, but to bring your immodesty into a Church is definitely not appropriate! So I hope this post will give you a few ideas, and will make you think more about what you're wearing in God's presence!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Don't forget to share and comment!


God Bless!