Friday, March 25, 2011

Two Days Within

As I sit here, doing laundry I thought it would be a great time to write another entry. I want to say I wish internet at my home and not have to go places to get internet. It becomes a hassle because when I want to write an entry, I cannot post it and then it is a few days old. So, hopefully many of you can understand my little problem.

Alright, it is time to go through what has been transpiring for the past two days. Thursday was 20s Group Meeting. 20s Group is a group created to form a fellowship of young adults to not only meet new people to form friendships, but to deepen their understanding of their Catholic faith. I was most excited with this because I had experienced St. Paul’s Outreach, and though the people were kind and charitable, they were more charismatic, and as I was told by my Spiritual, “sometimes cannot be your cup of tea”.

There are many of those in the 20s Group who wish to balance charismatic and traditional within, but I am hoping we stick to the traditional way, and that is just because it is hard to find a group of young adults who are in joy with being Catholic that are not more into the charismatic movement. I am hoping through the meeting we have today (Saturday) we can discuss how many of us would like a balance between the two and not have this group going only charismatic, but that is my opinion.

The 20s Group meet every Thursday and the evening consists of Holy Hour of Adoration (which I love silence, just saying that out loud now) and then after that we have a special guest speaker, a member talk, catechist, Bible study, or something randomly fun. After that we either stay at the parish are we are going out to a local watering hole, or with the weather getting warmer going somewhere with a volleyball court or something.

Anyways, this 20s Group meeting was a lecture done by Fr. Michael, who is the pastor of the parish I attend and the group is associated with. His lecture was on “The Lord of the Rings”. I have never read the books because I never had them in my possession to read. The lecture focused on how J.R.R. Tolkien, the “father” of modern fantasy literature was able to bring Catholic imagination to the books. I loved how he was able to underline everything in the book as Catholic, but without making a new religion within the book, which would in turn create a cult. (Sounds familiar with some of the books/movies made)

One of the cool things I learned from this lecture was how J.R.R. Tolkien able to show Jesus Christ throughout the story and yet as even Fr. Michael, no one would notice. He uses three characters to be Priest, Prophet, and King. When I post this I want to see if anyone can guess which characters are Priest, Prophet, and King.

Lastly, the one thing that is interesting through out this lecture was Fr. Michael stated that in “Lord of the Rings” the day of victories was March 25th, which is for Catholics is the Annunciation. This is the day celebrate when Mary said “fiat” to God to be the Mother of Jesus. Her “yes” brought about the beginning of the Salvation, as the writer for the Magnificat says, “The Annunciation heralds the beginning of the our salvation.”

So, yesterday was the great day of Victory! It was to be the third Friday of Lent, but because it is such a special day, the Lenten practices were lifted for this one Friday. That meant St. Patrick’s Knights of Columbus served not only Fish, but Chicken. It was so interesting to have that happen, especially when I am allergic to seafood to say on Friday to the Knights, “I would like Chicken please”. They did something on the Chicken, which was have Italian dressing or seasoning on it, which literally make me wish I could have a second round.

JR, my fiancé and I sat at a table with our friend, Emily and my “adoptive” grandparents, Bee and Dave. It was wonderful to be able to spend time with them all, because though I am a parishioner at the parish, there are not many who like to sit with us because they promised to sit with their families or with families that they always sit with. Either way, I am happy that it was not just JR and I at a table.

To add to the joy, I was told that JR will be joining the Knights of Columbus. I was kind of sitting going, “why I was not told?” But, am I pleased that he is doing something that he wants to do. I am going to have a Knight as my fiancé.

Emily was at the Fish Fry because we had our Dominican Third Order make-up Novice class before the Fish Fry. I truly think it is Jesus doing something because when Emily has missed a class, I somehow miss a class and we take the make-ups together. It is nice to do that because I feel that Emily and I are like Sisters, not just in the Dominican Order, but spiritually.

The lesson was about the Government of the Order, how Saint Dominic was beyond his time for he had the Order set up in a Democratic way. And it still works! Think about this, the Dominican Order is the only order that has not broken apart; there is no break though out the eight hundred plus years of the Order.

At Saint Patrick’s Parish a normal Friday during Lent goes as follow, Fish Fry from 5pm-7pm and then from 7pm-8pm is the Stations of the Cross and then depending the night, there is an all night Adoration. This Friday due to the special occasion instead the Stations of the Cross it was Adoration. This year I have been unable to attend the Stations of the Cross with the parish because of work schedule and then last week my great-uncle went back into the hospital. So I was all for Stations, but I do not mind having Adoration either because it is a chance to quietly speak to Jesus and thank him over and over again of the graces received.

Yesterday I was also glad for Adoration for I quietly made my petitions for the soul of a high school classmate who committed suicide this past week. I prayed for his soul, but also for his family who lost the person they loved so dear to them.

As I looked upon the Body of Christ I constantly asked the Lord for the strength of not blaming myself for his death, for I knew I felt that for awhile because I was never truly there for him and I never was the ear to listen to him as he needed his heart poured out, I was not the shoulder to carry the weight of his suffering.

In the end I was kind of in a sad way glad I never went to the funeral. I wanted to, but how could you go to a funeral when you have that much regret, you know you cannot lift that regret. I did not want to look upon the faces of his family and say, “I am sorry for your lost, I am sorry I was not there for someone who seems to needed someone to listen to him”.

I would not be able to control the emotions and regret and in turn I would blame myself more and more and I know that would never be good for me, Jesus would never want me to have that regret, when I had no control over the events. I know that there will be a few people who were friends with him and read this and will come after me for not coming, I hope that when they read this they will understand why I could not come, not just because of the time, but for the reason I stated above.

I like to go on a lighter note, which is I blame my godmother for getting me so addictive to the game Sequence. Last night when JR brought me back home, we played for about I think an hour or two of the game Sequence and we could not believe that it was close to midnight by the time he left the house. All just playing that game and talking, something we liked a lot. And the game got intense a few rounds, literally. (He had to use three green chips that is how intense).

Well, I guess I should end this entry because with Microsoft Word I wrote three pages for this entry. And I do not want to bore people who actually read this blog/journal. God bless and have a blessed Sunday.

March 23rd, 2011

This entry was written prior on Word because I had no internet. :) Enjoy:

It is already the middle of the week and I am quite certain within a blink of an eye I will be transported to Sunday night working 10pm-6am. It seems it goes by quickly and yet it doesn’t for it is just 11:07am and I thought it was about 2pm.

This morning I did my morning routine, which consist of: Liturgy of the Hours, reading the Magnificat, and Magnificat: Lenten Companion. Since I am unable to go to Daily Mass, I read the Magnificat to at least know what today’s readings were.

The great part of the Magnificat is the fact that they add a piece of work written by a Saint, Blessed, Religious, Clergy, Laity, or even Pope as a meditation. Sometimes these written works do not really invoke me to write about them, but today the Holy Spirit invoked this one to me.

Written by Mother Elvira Petrozzi, she writes about pain and suffering and how “pain is a part of human life”. She also writes, “Do not avoid it, minimize its significance, or talk about it in such a trivial way!” I have in my lifetime remembered being told to avoid being hurt by doing this, or it happened in the past get over the pain. How I have suffered when I was silent to those few words said to me as I was growing up!

Mother ends her work by writing, “The risen Jesus is our true hope, because in Him pain and death are defeated!” Jesus took on our suffering when he did not deserve any of the sufferings, He was the Word made flesh. He reminds us that the suffering we endure here on earth we will not endure in Heaven. How joyous I am that Jesus saved us from always being in pain and suffering after death. I know I am going in deep, but these are just the thoughts being thrown out from my mind.

In the Magnificat: Lenten Companion, Father Richard G. Smith writes about how “the Gospels are the great and true epics of Christianity, and the Twelve are our heroes”, but also “none of the Gospels shy away from the real humanity of the first disciples”. This is true we read stories of heroes who are strong and perfect, and yet we know that is not humanity. “We’re meant to see something of ourselves here-like these disciples, we often miss the boat with Jesus, even after so many years of living with him!” How true that is, sometimes I find where converts like me and reverts like my fiancé, JR are at, we for so many years missed by how we seek perfection. “Jesus doesn’t need our perfection, he only asks for our faithfulness.”

That quote reminds me of what I was reading for my Third Order Novice class this coming Friday. Obedience, as in my lesson works says, is misinterpreted gravely, even by those of the society and even the Clergy sometimes. “To be obedient is to strive ceaselessly to hear even more clearly God’s Word, the Gospel, and Jesus Christ.” Obedience is not a way for us to be shoved down on our knees crawling as slaves, no obedience is freedom.

I am not a theologian, maybe I would like a degree in theology one day, but I do not have it now. With that said, sometimes though I know I am writing the Truth, sometimes it is even difficult for me to explain how I know the Truth. Kind of funny, right? I would say so, but please I ask that those who love to argue or just debate because they have a thrill, please know that I am baby in my own faith, still learning how to defend myself in what I know in my mind, heart, and soul as true.

To change the subject a little, today is the feast of Saint Turibius de Mongrovejo. I would just like to copy down the little biography from the Liturgy of Hours:

“Saint Turibius was born in Spain around the year 1538. He taught law at the University of Salamanca, and in 1580 he was chosen as the bishop of Lima and journeyed to America. Burning with apostolic zeal, he called together many councils and synods which successfully promoted the reform of the religion throughout the whole region. He vigorously defended the laws of the Church and earnestly looked after the people committed to his car by visiting them frequently. He devoted much of his time and attention to the car of the native Indian population. He died in 1606.”

If I am not correct the Josephinum, which is a pontifical seminary and college and the only one outside Vatican City. But, anyways, the one main chapel that they are trying to restore is the St. Turibius chapel, so named after this holy man. One more thing I would like to copy from the Liturgy of the Hours is the prayer for Saint Turibius:

“Lord, through the apostolic work of Saint Turibius

and his unwavering love for truth,

you helped your Church to grow.

May your chosen people continue to grow in faith and holiness.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.”

Yesterday, JR and I went over to his grandmother’s house to look through things because his grandmother was getting rid a lot of her things for she is now in a retirement home. JR and I felt a little uneasy because I can say it felt like she was dead and I knew she was alive.

But, we started going through her pictures which I was looking for something special, which was her wedding photos because I asked about them. I found them and what a beautiful couple! I will say that I had a difficult time trying to not look at JR and say, “I cannot tell if that is you or your grandfather”. For those two look so much a like. Literally JR looks more like his grandfather Unverzagt than any of the others.

It is amazing, but there is one picture we found that he never thought he would see. It was a photo taken before his grandfather died, where his grandfather was holding him and on the side of the photo his dad was sitting there smiling. I cried a little because you could just see the joy in John Sr.’s eyes even though he was going through cancer. JR grabbed that picture and wanted it, and I do not blame him. It is a moment he treasures, though he doesn’t remember it. I do wish I had a photo like that with my own grandfather Phillips, but he died while I was still in my mother’s womb.

So, what will I do today? I am probably going to just relax this is my vacation! JR is coming over later this afternoon and we are going to eat out and probably just have a good day/evening together.

God Bless,


Monday, March 21, 2011

Vacation, that sounds lovely...

That is what I am on, a vacation...from my job. It is wonderful to have this week to relax and not worry about sleep schedules or anything work-related. I can focus on keeping up with my Lenten promises. Which reminds me I am failing in only drinking two twenty ounces of soda pop, I think it is due to the fact it is my only source of caffine and really I love water, but the I hate the tap water at some places, bottled water taste like swimming pools, and I cannot stand flavor water. But my other Lenten promises I have kept up, but with vacation I find I can focus more on them.

For one of the things I wanted to do during Lent was to read more of my spiritual Catholic books. One of those books was: "The Story of a Soul" by St. Therese of Lisieux. When I decided to read this book I wanted to make sure I took my time on this book. Many people that I know who know me can tell you I read fast and sometimes I do not really dive into the books I skim through it instead. So, this time especially with all the Catholic books I have read before I have been slowing down to contemplate what I was reading.

Back to "The Story of a Soul", St. Therese is very witty and wonderful as a writer. I could catch onto to what she was writing about within the first few sentences of the first chapter. She reminded me of how I sometimes write my journal entries or write letters, she even reminds me of the letters John and Abigail Adams wrote to each other.

The first eight chapters really encouraged me to really dive into writing my conversion story that I have been anxious, but worried about writing. Why, many of you would ask? Well, to start it is because I fear writing down my conversion story and someone going after my grammar or spelling, and truly I just believe no one would care how Jesus taught me that He loves me so much. But, St. Therese really inspired me to think, "I need to write this, I cannot just keep this to me." Maybe, well most likely St. Therese and the Holy Spirit were working together to help me come to the decision I needed to get to.

I am not finished with the book, I am only three chapters away from being finished. But, I have to say I am finding more quotes that I love of St. Therese in chapter nine than I have really found in the first eight chapters.

"We live in the age of inventions now, and the wealthy no longer have to take the trouble to climb the stairs; they take an elevator. That is what I must find, an elevator to take me straight up to Jesus, because I am too little to climb the steep stairway of perfection." When I read that quote, I remembered a priest who spoke at the fourth annual Columbus Catholic Women's Conference this past February. It spoke true to me in so many way, that I know I can never be like some of the Saints like St. Maxmilian Kolbe, St. Dominic, St. Catherine of Siena, or Blessed Jordan of Saxony, but I can be humble and good, and so much and that would be an elevator for me.

One paragraph from chapter nine really moves me as I have never been moved except for other time, but that will be another time to speak about that. Here is the paragraph:

"She asks pardon for her brothers who do not believe. She is quite content to eat the bread of sorrow as long as You will her to. For the love You, she will sit at this table laden with the bitter food of sinners and will not rise until You give the sign. Yet in their name and in her own, may she not say: "O God, be meciful to us sinners". Send us away justified. May all in whom the light of faith shines dimly see at last. If the table they have defiled must be purified by one who loves You, I am willing to sit there alone eating nothing but the bread of tears until You choose to take me into Your Kingdom of Light. I ask only one grace--may I never offend You."

It is a powerful statement that I must contemplate even more, for I truly do not know how I shall grasp at this beautiful and moving love that St. Therese seems to had found.

I will be jumping around on this entry, just because that is me, I never could make good transitions from one subject to the next, but this is like a personal journal to me that is viewed for the public, so may God help the poor souls that decide to read my entries.

Yesterday, my fiance(JR) and I decided we were going to bake cookies for the prison ministry (something the prison ministry asks at least I think three times a year). It was a wonderful thing for me to ponder upon how can these cookies help with the ministry of those poor souls who decided to mortality sin and repenting for their sins. I remember thinking, though not deeply, but thinking that each cookie that we bring to the prison minstry cookie drive is a way to helping a poor sinner to repent and know that God's mercy is so great.

JR and I made a lot of cookies and there is still one package left for me to bake, I will most likely bake these for the 20s Group's Social Hour. It will be good to have done and if there are extras, which sometimes there are, then they will be at the house for my great-grandmother and great-uncle to chow down on. Which now that my great-uncle is home, I know that sweets and good meals are going to be something I want to do.

Well, hopefully this is not too long of an entry. Please know that I pray for all of you and if you have a certain prayer request please post a comment for me. Thank you for reading and God Bless.



My name is Nikita Rhea (Maria Goretti) Phillips, I am twenty-three years old.

Over a year or so ago I created this blog thinking this would be a great to have one more place to put my thoughts. I do have a livejournal, but not many people read it there or can easily find my entries without having an account so I thought this would be a nice x-posted blog so that those who wanted to read my entriest would be able to.

Well, a few things happened. For one, I was not writing that much because it was difficult to write about what was going on in my life. Second, there were certain people, well two or three who did not like the fact I was open of talking about my faith, or what I stand by. I have insercurities and so that hindered me from writing.

Finally after contemplating on these few issues I had decided to rally again and write not only here, but on livejournal, but I want to be able to really writing on this blog more because I want to be able to read comments and interact with those who read my blog.

So, many might be wondering what would I be writing mostly on this blog? Certainly my life, but also entries about my faith, which is Catholicism. I am going to be a two-year old in the Church and I am very happy to be Catholic. I will also write about my other loves, such as history, books, my engagement (yes I am to be wed in May/June 2012), movies, music, and etc.

I hope in the near future this will my main source of where I go to write down my thoughts and I also hope that in the near future I will be able to have people comment on this blog.

God Bless,