Friday, November 18, 2011

What Could You Use $50 For?

What could you use $50 for?
What in the world is this all about, why would I ask a question like this and not something like "what could you use a millions dollars for"? Yesterday, I had a very interesting conversation on Twitter with a person whom I follow, Thomas Peters (@AmericanPapist/AmericanPapist Blog Channel). It arose from people complaining they have to pay $50 a month for birth control pills and this is coming from people who are following a pro-abortion group @emilyslist.

I had to say something, it was something that urkes me when reading about it. That $50 that you use for your birth control could go to feeding yourself, clothing yourself, heck even paying your bills, your kids' school fees, filling up your car, but no, you are to keep up with your sexual pleasures (sorry I am going to blut) that you will fork out the money. Then you will turn around and complain about it. Complain that you have no money for food, clothing, paying your bills, and cannot afford to put your kids through school.

Let us think about this for a moment. You really want me to sit there and emphaize with you when you decided that you sexual urges are more important than the other things, even better some will go as far as wanting more government help. That is something I do not get. If I do not have enough money to pay for the list I mentioned than I do not think you should really think about your sex life.

Tight budgets means putting something on the back burning for awhile until you have the ability to deal with it. Not having sex is not the end of the world. Let me tell you, before I became Catholic, I had sex, it did not help with stress or make me feel great, I was unsatisfied with it in the end and nothing was taking away the fact I was broke. I never had birth control and I am glad I never did that would have made things worst for me finicially.

My first thoughts when thinking about that $50 it never entered my mind birth control it went straight to "how can I use that to help me eat, be clothed, pay off debt".

So, what could you use $50 for?

God Bless,

Family Ties

This topic is something I have been wanting to write about in my blog for awhile, and if I have written about it is only in rants or mentions. Family has always been a center of my life, I would battle within myself to do things for the family. Mind you I have no regrets of what I have given up for my family, yes some things hurts than others, but I am learning to forgive and go on.

But, this past year with my great-uncle I have learned something about one side of my family. Family ties mean nothing to them, unless it truly involves them or if the person may die. It hurts to know that all I have done for my family well that one side it comes down to that. They do not ask about how their ninety year old matriarch doing, or how their fifty-six year family member is holding up with all that he has went through. Watching them come to the waiting room during a surgery, but never calling asking how they are doing, or even surprise visits or heck if you work me acknowledge me and then say, "hey how is Darrell?". Jeez you know how to text, even that will do, the neighbors do that more than this side of family will do.

Maybe I am complaining way too much about it, but it would seem through my encounters with this side of the family, I now understand when my Daddy said to me, "I wish you could of had the childhood and family life I had." It is not his side of the family I am complaining about, no it is my mother's but remembering his words and watching his regret, I think about it, I wish my family could understand what they are doing to not only themselves, but towards the three of us who live together.

I feel alone, even if my mom does come around more often than the others, but still it is like another chore for her to come and visit or check up on us three. I have people who know about my great-uncle and Granny, they remind me that I should not do this all on my own and yet, no one else in the family is going to help. Granny tries to defend them by saying they have lives, well I do as well, but I am not going to pass by and watch, that is not in me.

I have told JR over and over, I will not allow our future children do that. You have lives yes, but never forget those who raised you and love you, that in their time of need you will in turn help them. I hope I can raise of family who do not think of themselves and think 'unless people give me something will I give back', that they will willing love and give back.

Jesus have mercy on us, especially those of my family who forgotten that love is not self-centered, but to all.

God Bless,

Reflections on Earthworms and Road-kill

There is one thing I cannot stand when it rains: earthworms on the sidewalk. Why would this bother me, well I walk EVERYWHERE, and so when it rains and after the rain earthworms it seems they like to be on the sidewalks. I do not like walking knowing then I might be stepping on an earthworm, which I would hear a noise through the rain and I literally would cringe. I try to avoid landing my feet on one of them, but of course my over caution back fires in the end.

But it was this past Tuesday walking home in the rain that I contemplated something I never contemplated before. How my pro-life stance can be used in an analogy based on two things, earthworms and road-kill.

As I mention I walk with caution when it rains because the earthworms are on the sidewalks, I believe them to precious to the Eco-system. I have seen many try to walk around them when they(earthworms) are out and about, trying to not squished the earthworms for then the evidence of it would be left on their shoes. It is a guilt that you step on them, I can tell you I do not see many who just walk and purposely step on every worm without a care.

Yet, as a walker I also see road-kill, animals just crossing the street and a car just hits them or runs them over. What does a driver do when they do this? Nothing, they keep going, no thought about, afterwards they may feel bad, but it was the animals fault for crossing the street, no theirs.

What does that have to do with anything? Think of it this way, earthworms and the animals are metaphors of the unborn babies. Those who walk are the ones who find life is precious and considers never to allow abortions, yes there will be some who will have an abortion, but the regret that is there afterwards is like the evidence on someone's shoe for stepping on an earthworm.

Those who drive are the ones who believe themselves to be in control of everything around them, and if something gets in the way, oh well run it over, it will only hurt for a moment. A woman gets an abortion for it is said to them the child is in the way of THEIR LIFE. The animal who was run over, was it truly at fault? All it did was want to cross the street to where it needed to go. An unborn child is like that did it deserve to be aborted when it was crossing the threshold of life?

It might never make any sense to anyone who reads this entry what I am trying to say, this thought came to me as I was walking home in the rain and was avoiding stepping on earthworms, but then saw a dead raccoon on the side of the road. I have watched people just buzz past without a single glance and it dawn on me, how many people just buzz past an aborted child, as if they did not care, but for who see the dead child it pains them to see this and causes them to wonder, what can I do to help stop the killing?

God Bless,

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A review for four days

I want to say I wish I could update more often on this blog, but with very crappy internet (use wifi more often) work schedule, and getting everything I need done to be done, there just seems to be little time for writing in my blog. Yet, I refuse to give up on making sure to write here, but I know I have neglected not only this blog, but a blog I am co-founder for (Three Bookish Girls ) as well. That being said I am hoping today this will change. To those who keep reading my blog, I thank you for sticking around when I am been hiatus for what it seems like forever. I hope I can recieve your forgiveness for that.

This past weekend was a little busy with the fact that my fiance and I had our pictures taken for the parish directory and hoping to get pictures done as an offical engagement photos (which I hope we can still get done and have those pictures as presents for family members). Saturday was also a date day as we called it because I did not have to go into work until 10pm, so before our photo shoot we went to the Ohio Historical Center at the Ohio State Fairgrounds. I love going there, not is there just the museum and the historical village (which hopefully I will see extensively in December), but a great historical library.

I did get to talk to one of the volunteers of the center and he gave me the information for something to help with my geneaology, they are perserving flags, especially the Civil War flags, and quite possibly my ancestors from the Beaver line who fought with O.V.I. (Ohio Volunteer Infantry) flag might be in their collection, if so I can go and see the flag at the warehouse and learn the history of the O.V.I. that my family fought in. I find that pretty cool, but others in my family just give me the look, "why do you really care about this" or "oh that is nice, Nikita". Really I wish my family understood my passion for learning about history, but I have a fear that will never happen.

As I mention Saturday was busy, JR and I after visiting the Historical Center went to our parish to get our photos taken, I can say that they were nice photos, but Olan Mills (I think I am spelling it correctly) for which my family always went to for photos is expensive as ever! I am hoping that once we own the proofs I can select the pictures and individually get some 8X7s for the family.

Since we were at Saint Patrick's we decided to the Vigil Mass for Sunday and then go to the Knight of Columbus Spegehetti Dinner at the parish afterwards. The Mass was wonderful, Fr. Thomas cracked me up when he ended the Mass with the annoucement of the dinner, but instead said, "Pancake Dinner" which I can tell you was shocking cause some were hoping it was pancakes. :D A good funny moment for the just turned 50 year old priest.

Sunday was the monthly meeting for the Saint Catherine of Siena Dominican Laity Chapter. I must say I do like saying the Rosary before Vespers instead of before the meeting begins. I think a great way to close the meeting to ask Our Lady to pray for us and then contemplate as we pray Vespers. But, then again that is me.

The first offical book club gathering was yesterday. (I will write more, but I have to leave for I recieved word that my great-uncle might be coming home)

God Bless,

Saints Margaret of Scotland

Today there are two women Saints who have the same feast day, but are from different centuries. For many who pray the Liturgy of the Hours you can choose which prayers to say either the prayers for Saint Margaret of Scotland or Saint Gertrude. I was recommended by my Godmother to say the prayers of one Saint for even years and the other during odd, and if there are three Saints (which happens) well, you could do every three years for each or something like that.

Anyways, I decided to pray the prayers for Saint Margaret of Scotland. Why, probably because she was the Queen of Scotland and since I have traces of Scottish blood, I want to honor that, but also she was a good example of a wife and mother, which I will in the near future become myself. I would like before anything else copy and paste her little bio that is in the Liturgy of the Hours:

Saint Margaret of Scotland was born around the year 1046 in Hungary where her father was exiled. She was married to King Malcolm III of Scotland and gave birth to eight children. The ideal mother and queen, she died at Edinburgh in 1093.

It was not just the fact she was a wife and mother Saint, but the second reading in the Office that made me say, "Today I am asking for Saint Margaret of Scotland to intercede for me." Since there is nothing that she personally wrote, the second reading was from the Second Vatican Council. Titled in the Office as, "The sanctity of marriage and the family" I would like to copy and paste the reading for you all to enjoy.

Husband and wife, by the covenant of marriage, are no longer two, but one flesh. By their intimate union of persons and of actions they give mutual help and service to each other, experience the meaning of their unity, and gain an ever deeper understanding of it day by day.

This intimate union in the mutual self-giving of two persons, as well as the good of the children, demands full fidelity from both, and an idissoluble unity between them.

Christ the Lord has abundantly blessed this richly complex love, which springs from the divine source of love and is founded on the model of his union with the Church.

In earlier times God met his people in a covenant of love and fidelity. So now the Savior of mankind, the Bridgroom of the Church, meets Christan husbands and wives in the sacrament of matrimony. Further, he remains with them in order that, as he loved the Church and gave himself up for her, so husband and wife may, in mutual self-giving, love each other with perpetual fidelity.

True married love is caught up into God's love; it is guided and enriched by the redeeming power of Christ and the saving action of the Church, in order that the partners may be effectively led to God and recieve help and strength in the sublime responsibility of parenthood.

Christian partners are therefore strengthened, and as it were consecrated, by a special sacrament for the duties and the dignity of their state. By the power of this sacrament they fulfill their obligations to each other and to their family and are filled with the spirit of Christ. This spirit pervades their whole lives with faith, hope and love. Thus they promote their own perfection and each other's sanctification, and so contribute together to the greater glory of God.

Hence, with parents leading the way by example and family prayer, their children--indeed, all within the family circle--will find it easier to make progress in natural virtues, in salvation and in holiness. Husband and wife, rasied to the dignity and the responsibility of parenthood, will be zealous in fulfilling their task as educators, especially in the sphere of religious education, a task that is primarily their own.

Children, as active members of the family, contribute in their own way to the holiness of their parents. With the love of grateful hearts, with loving respect and trus, they will return generosity of their parents and will stand by them as true sons and daughters when they meet with hardship and the loneliness of old age.

Though this reading was written 20th Century, the ideas and notions are the same as the time Saint Margaret of Scotland was physical alive in the 11th Century. There are so many examples of how so many of God's children have forgotten sanctity of marriage and family. I watch those who raised and loved and still love their children are left in the care of those who they do not know, and never see their children. I find that I am gulity at time or another of doing that, and feel the regret lodged in my throat, for which I ask for constant prayers from my family members who have passed who I know I should of been closer to.

I have recently as I was writing this was looking up things about Saint Margaret, found a very good link that has a good biography about this married Saint. Check it out: Saint Margaret's Biography
Saint Margaret of Scotland is one of the many married Saints who remind me that the family and marriage are attacked now more than ever, and by her intercession, may Catholics and for that matter all Christians work to defend MARRIAGE and FAMILY LIFE!

Lord, you gave Saint Margaret of Scotland a special love for the poor. Let her example and prayers help us to become a living sign of your goodness. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, you Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Christmas List

It is getting to that time where everyone asks me what I want from Christmas. Well here is the list.

1. High School Class Ring (I have always wanted it even if it is been five years since I graduation)
2. My High School Varsity Jacket
3. Desk
4. Internet (Wifi at the house)
5. Nook or Kindle Fire
6. Gift Cards (Lane Byrant, Barnes&Noble, and/or Amazon)
7. Books
  • To Heaven with Diana
  • A Man of the Beatitudes: Pier Giorgio Frassati
  • Dominican Preaching in the Providence of St. Joseph
  • Supplement to Liturgy of the Hours of the Order of Preachers
  • Fenwick Papers: Fr. Luke Tancrell
  • Extreme Makeover: Teresa Tomeo My friend got it for me
  • True Devotion to Mary: St. Louis de Montfort
  • The Secret of the Rosary: St. Louis de Montfort
  • Dialouge of St. Catherine
  • Saint Gianna Molla: Pietro Molla
  • Life of Christ: Fulton Sheen
  • Holy Women: Benedict XVI
8. Lace Veil (I would like a longer one and please black would be nice)
9. Laptop (this one I am using is going to die soon)
10. PlayStation 2
11. Video Games
  • Kingdom Hearts 1
  • Kingdom Hearts 2
  • Legend of Dragoon
12. Cards (Because it doesn't really matter if I get the top 11 things, a Card is always wonderful)
13. Prayers (Those are wonderful too)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Social Media, why I have these three, but wish to just have two

I can tell you all that I have not only a twitter account, but both facebook and google+ accounts. I have kind of fallen away, but not really left facebook.

Facebook has gotten to the point where it changes so much that there are days where I just wonder in an hour what else did they change. Also, my other issue is I have had a facebook since 2006/2007 and I was just adding all my high school classmates (who were in college) and those in college who had one; adding myself to games and quizzes (that I do not play anymore and I keep wanting to play, but I have all these add requests and everything that I have to go through those just to play the game at times).

Now that I am finding myself with over 100+ people on my facebook with only maybe 50+ who really would like to speak to me. Many keep you because they like the number game, you know claim they have 6000+ friends, but really never know them at all, yet those you add know you (you hope). I wish I could wipe clean my facebook of my friends and re-add those who are really important to me or I know I want to keep in contact, but either I do not have the time or don't have the Internet access to sit there and click everything.

Twitter is something I have in the recent months gotten the hang of and liked a lot. For I can follow a blogger and get an instant acknowledge of their new blog posts, but also things that they find interesting I can see as well. But, it is also a place where I feel that you do not have to worry about if those who I unfollow will be sitting there wondering why I did not keep following them. (which there are those on facebook who have done that to me, will not mention names)

Now as I said I have a Google+ account and I find it is my clean slate, but also I like the way the set up is that Google+ is connected to Blogger, Gmail, and Google Reader for me. I do not have to set up accounts for different things to get what I want. (That is more password creative that I lack sometimes and user name creativity too) There are some downsides (like SMS ability like I have with Facebook), but I would rather have the Google+ because I think I would use the social media to my advantage and like I mention it is a clean slate. Plus, their games are simple right now and is not over-taking my social media, if you know what I mean.

God Bless,

Election Day, Not Your Ordinary Doctor's Appointment, Date Night

Good Morning to those who read this blog. Yesterday was not really a day I need to remember until after 6pm. The reason for this is my great-uncle has been re-admitted back into the hospital.

There is a sense of relief that he is back in the hospital, meaning my concerns and those of his were not going unseen. It was not the re-admitting part that bothered me, no it was making my great-uncle to wait for a room, when you did not put a wound vac back on, but wet and dry dressing.

He was sitting in a wheelchair for two hours with that dressing on and complaining that it was burning. I was trying to stay quiet, for what good would it do to get upset, but my mother on the other hand, well she was about ready to punch the receptionist because we were told there would be a room ready for him, because he was in a bad situation at the time. Nope, two hours later he was finally put in a room with him about ready to cry because of the pain and burning sensation he was dealing with.

My only hope is that they (the doctors and nurses) will find a better way of controlling the issue we are dealing with at home and help my great-uncle out. We are also hoping that they can have someone talk to my great-uncle because he has become very depressed lately. I do know he feels relief when I pray for him, but he is just upset with all that is going on and how it seems to be worst and not better. So, I ask that everyone who reads this blog to please pray for him.

Yesterday was also election day and I went to the voting booths early in the morning. While I know the results of the issues, I cannot say I am happy about all of it. I look at the viewpoint of how much I cannot stand hand-me-outs on someones taxes because someone doesn't want to pay a certain percentage of their retirement and health care.

But, as my fiance explained "majority speaks" even if I know it is by their stupidity of not understanding that it was to help keep taxes from being hiked. The best part of all of this though is because I voted I am allowed to speak out against the results, but not in the manner of OWS people, but as a citizen of my state.

Later yesterday night after being at the hospital from 2:20pm I came home and cooked dinner for JR and I (who was still in class at the time). Tuesdays have become the date night, which is nice because we can have a dinner and sit at the table talking about the day and then watch NCIS (which the newest episode was AWESOME). Next week and once a month I will not have date night with JR because of a book club I am apart of, but JR has understood this and I know I will make it up somehow.

Lastly, I have learned a few things that make worry about myself. First, I cannot understand that when I am expecting a call from a co-worker just in case they need help that I am dead asleep and will not hear my phone ring. I mean I put it on loud! What the heck! Second, I listen to music way to much to the point where I have a short now in my headsets. I need to buy new ones soon.

Third, I have way too much time on my hands when I get up in the morning because I made two new playlists one called "Disney" and another called "Non-Disney" in total hours of favorites equal out to be twenty-nine hours and twenty-five minutes. (Disney playlist was exactly six hours while Non-Disney playlist was twenty-three hours and twenty-five minutes)

God Bless,

PS: I hope to get my copy of The Dreamer Volume One today.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Favorite Dominican Saints and Blesseds

I was reading one of my friend's blogs and thought why not I do the same. (Forgive me for copying, Emily) I decided that I should start with the Saints and then move on into the Blesseds.

Saint Dominic, no offense should be a favorite for every Dominican (laity or religious). Without his desire to preach and teach we would not have the Order at all.

He is without a doubt second to St. Joseph when it comes to what we know of his mind, for St. Dominic there is little of his work except the Rule of the Order and three letters, I believe. It is only by those biographers who lived with him that we know what he said and did.

Another of my favorites is of course what many consider the Mother of the Order, Saint Catherine of Siena. What makes her one of my favorites other than she is the patron of the Dominican Laity Chapter I am apart of?

Well, for what I know about her, (which I am still learning) she was a great woman of the Church. What many perceived how women were Catherine proved quite differently. She convinced the Pope to move back to Rome, in that alone is great. And yet, she was still a woman, who did not force that she lead the Church and the women to reign over men, no. She was a woman that I would love to say I strive to become.

Another great woman of the Dominican Order, St. Rose of Lima. She was someone who showed that beauty was not graced upon those externally, but internally as well. When I asked my Godmother while she was in the convent to help me decide a religious name when I was received in the Dominican Laity as a novice, one of the first name she gave me was St. Rose.

I need to research her more, but I ask her constantly to help with finding the TRUE beauty of the human person, and not allow myself to concern my whole self on my external worth.

It would be difficult to not consider this Saint a member of my favorites. Saint Thomas Aquinas, a theologian, but a man who literally helped not only me, but many understand the faith through what is known as the Thomist (asking a question then disproving the question and then turning around to rebuke those answers). I have yet to sit down and read the Summa Theologica, but that will come in time. He is a favorite of mine because he is the trademark of the Dominican Order, but an influence to the Order as well, striving to preach and teach the Good News and Truth.

Onto the first of the Blesseds, well I am going to combine two Blesseds together. Blesseds Jordan of Saxony and Diana d' Andalo were of the first followers of Saint Dominic. Blessed Jordan became the Second Master of the Order and Blessed Diana would be one of the founders of the convent in Bologna. But, why would I want to put these two Blesseds together? Well, it is their letters that make them my favorites (well it is really just his, but they are addressed for Blessed Diana).

I have read the letters and what I have always loved about these two was their constant love of God, but to each other. Blessed Jordan was friend, brother, and father that Blessed Diana needed while she was soldier of the Order. But it was of Jordan's last letter that truly give real meaning of why I love these two. Here is the letter (it is going to be long, sorry):

To his most dear daughter, Diana of Bologna, Brother Jordan of the Order of Preachers, the unprofitable servant:--greetings and the constant friendship of Jesus Christ.

Because I cannot see thee with the eyes of my body and be consoled with thee as often as thou wishest and I would like, I refresh a little and soothe the desire of my heart by visiting thee with a letter and writing to thee about myself. I would also like to know how thou art, for thy progress and thy joyfulness are a sweet nourishment to my heart. But thou are not sure to what ends of the earth I may be called upon to go, and even if thou didst know thou wouldst not have messengers ready to take thy questions to me.

What we could write to each other, beloved, is after all but little; in the depths of our hearts burns our love for each other in the Lord, and by it we speak to each other continually in acts of love that neither tongue can speak nor word convey.

O Diana, miserable is this present state that we endure because we cannot love each other here without pain of heart or think of each other without anxiety! Thou art vexed; thou dost suffer because it is not permitted to see me always, and I, I also am distressed because thy presence is so rarely granted me.

Who will lead us to that "fortress-city," to that "city of the Lord of Hosts" that the "Most High Himself has founded" where we will no longer pant either for Him or for each other? Here, each day we are lacerated, and the depths of our hearts are torn asunder; our very miseries force us daily to cry out: "Who shall deliver us from the body of this death?"

Yet it behooves us to bear this patiently and as far as our daily duties permit to recollect our minds in Him alone Who can "deliver us from our necessities," in Whom alone rest is found, outside of Whom, no matter where we look, we find tribulation and an abundance of sorrow.

Meanwhile let us accept with joy whatever may happen to make us sad, for "according to the same measure by which our tribulations are meted out to us will also be the joy that will be given us," and poured into our hearts by the Son of God, Jesus Christ, to Whom is "honor and glory, virtue and power forever and ever, Amen."

Pray for me as I know thou dost. Greet for me the Prioress and Galiana. Greet each one of my friends who are not in the cloister, above all and especially those who are of thy spiritual family if they by chance should come to thee, and commend me to their prayers. Fare thee well, beloved daughter, in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
Blessed Reginald of Orleans was another who I thought of choosing as my religious name. I learned about him while I was reading about St. Dominic in his biography by Sr. Mary Dorcy, OP. He is the one by the Blessed Virgin's love that the scapluar is part of the Dominican Habit. We know that Mary is a special patron for the Order and the story of Blessed Reginald proves this.

After Blessed Reginald was cured of his illness he preached in the universities and preaching the Truth. I found his story as I mention amazing and hopefully soon I would love to write out the story that I know. Please pray for him that another miracle by his intercession will help him to be a Saint.

I learned about Blessed Imelda Lambertini from my Godmother. This little girl who wished to recieve the Eucharist, her strive to have the Body of Our Lord in her so great. When she finally received the Eucharist, only hours I believe she died in the chapel to be with the Lord.

She is considered the patron of those recieving their first communion. Blessed Imelda's life reminds me of those who wish so much to be of the Church, but are hindered because of things that are seen and unseen. (One big example is my little sister, but that is for another time)

My final favorite Dominican is a recent addition to my favorite list. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, a Dominican Layman who died at a very young age. I do not know much about him as of yet (but hoping by next month having a copy of his biography), but I can say that what I love most about this Blessed is his ablity to have joy and love for not only his neighbors, but for the Lord.

So, there you have it, my favorite Saints and Blesseds of the Dominican Order. Sorry that it was so long, but it had to be. :)

God Bless,

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Order of Preacher (Dominicans) All Saints' Day

Today was the Dominican All Saints' Day. Did we not just celebrate All Saints' Day this past Monday? Yes, the Church did, but I believe all the Religious Orders (Jesuits, Francsicans, Benedictines, etc) all have a certain time in November to celebrate and honor not only all the Saints and Blesseds of the Order, but of all those in the Order who have died. So, to all those who are Saints and Blesseds in the Dominican Order, we honor you this day.

20s Group: For the Dead and Barn Dance

Saturday, the St. Patrick's 20s Group was invited to a Barn Dance by the St. Gertrude's 20s Group. There was at least ten of us that came to the event, the girls in pictures (L-R: Paula, Emily, Camille, and I) carpooled up to De Graff, Ohio (that is near Bellfountaine, Ohio). But, before we headed towards there we all went to Mt. Calvary Cemetery to pray for the souls of those who have died.

Mt. Calvary Cemetery is the oldest Catholic Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio. I had actually wanted to go to that cemetery because for me those who are buried there are forgotten, bothers the heck out of me that people forget these people who in turn are praying for you; they too, need prayers. So, the four of us split up and prayed the Rosary on our own. I went to find JR's Grandma Unverzagt's families since that was my other reason for going. I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, which is my favorite of them all. I did walk around what was known as the Holy Cross sections and cleaned off a few (they just had loose grass from caretakers mowing). Once we had finished all four of us would met back up at Bishop Watterson's grave and pray an Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, and for the intentions of the Pope for the poor souls (if I remember correctly).

Once we left the Cemetery, off we went to the farm. It is a nice area and I can say I would not mind living there. They had a little petting area, they also had received gifted with a litter of puppies (Australian Shepherds), but truly the great thing was celebrating the Vigil Sunday Mass there. The celebrate of the Mass was a priest from the Dayton area (part of the campus ministry actually for UD). One thing that I loved from his homily was pretty much this: Do not wait ten, twenty, or even fifty years to get something, you should start now because the future is the present.

After Mass the party started well, having a little food in the stomach. The way the Barn Dance worked was they would have three sets of square dancing and then about fifteen minutes of either line dancing (like cha-cha/slide or cupid shuffle) and/or good music from all genres (but mainly rock and country). I got to know and talked to those in the 20s Group that I had formed a friendship with, like Sarah, who I find I can really talk theology and country music.

I did not square dance, but I got to get help take care of Henry, whose Mom and Dad are from the St. Patrick's group. He liked going outside and looking at the animals, but my favorite moment was just holding him and dancing to the music. It is with moments like those that I am reminded how blessed I will be with coming of our (JR and I) own children.

The majority of us left around 11:15pm. My good time was almost halted when I called the house and asked how everyone was. I will not go into details, but Camille was almost ready to I think park the car and Gibb slap me. Not many understand the situation of how my life has been or use to be. Maybe some other time.

All in all, the day was great!

Friday, November 4, 2011

20s Group Gospel Study: Ten Virgins and tend to our Faith

As I mention in my entry "This Thursday: Saint Martin de Porres" 20s Group meeting consist of a Gospel Study. That is when we take the Gospel of this coming Sunday and contemplate and discuss. I thought it would be wonderful to copy and paste from the NAB the Gospel reading. From the Gospel of St. Matthew: "Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight, there was a cry, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise ones replied, 'No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.' While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked. Afterwards the other virgins came and said, 'Lord, Lord, open the door for us!' But he said in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.' Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour." (Chapter 25 Verses 1-13)

In my group, since I should not confuse anyone was: Chris, Dave, Sean, Mark, Mary, and Paula. The one question I know we did not answer, but hopefully with the great help of twitter, I will get the answer. If anyone knows the answer please comment. The question is: Why does Jesus use 10 virgins?

Since we could not answer the first we decided to move on, which brought us to discussing a great length and deeper in the Gospel. What is the main point of this Gospel? At first as I was listening I did not really look down at the verse and see the quotation within the quotation and so my idea of what it meant at first glance did not really work. (I am repeating myself again)

Sean gave a good point that caused me to contemplate and from what he said I will hopefully give sense to what I do think now of this parable. The flame is our faith and the one thing I remember from RCIA and all the studies I have done is God is not confined to time, He created time. So, His Son could come in five weeks or five hundred years.

There are those who predict or assume that Jesus will come at a certain time of their choosing and so when hardship arise and Jesus has not returned their discouragement is the flame that goes out with no more oil. They are like the foolish virgins. Then there are others who know that it is the will of God of when the end times comes and no matter what hardships or darkness they ensue never will allow the light of their faith blow out. That hardship that many cannot stand and would avoid with all certainty I quote Sean on this, "without hardships, there is nothing to strengthen the faith or remind us of that faith" for which we have.

The group, especially Chris mentioned that these virgins were out in the darkness to meet their bridegroom. We as the faithful are in the darkness and only have are light of faith to guide us and without that light we would be consumed by the darkness. There are many Saints and Blesseds who have dealt with this darkness where they felt that God was not there, but with the oil (which is like the virtues) to fuel their faith were able to never give up. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, if I am correct and even St. Teresa of Avila.

In then end, I want to purpose two questions that the group had discussed 1) does this parable imply that some Christians will not be ready on the day the Bridegroom comes 2) what can we do to ready ourselves for Jesus' coming?

Please comment your answers!

God Bless,

Friday: St. Charles Borromeo

Today is the feast of Saint Charles Borromeo, who is my fiance's patron Saint. First I would like to re-write what is in the Liturgy of Hours about him.

Saint Charles Borromeo was born at Arona in Lombardy in the year 1538. After having taking honors in both civil and canon law, he was made cardinal and bishop of Milan by his uncle, Pope Pius IV. As a true pastor of his flock he tirelesly promoted Christian life by the reform of his diocese, the convocation of synods, and the promulgation of regulations intended to foster the Church's mission. He died on November 3rd, 1584. (He only forty-six years old!)

To help understand how great this Saint is I would like to re-write a sermon (or part of it) by Saint Charles:

I admit that we are all weak, but if we want help, the Lord God has given us the means to find it easily. One priest may wish to lead a good, holy life, as he knows he should. He may wish to be chaste and to reflect heavenly virtues in the way he lives. Yet he does not resolve to use suitable means, such as penance, prayer, the avoidance of evil discussions and harmful and dangerous friendships. Another priest complains that as soon as he comes into church to pray the office or to celebrate Mass, a thousand thoughts fill his mind and distract him from God. But what was he doing in the sacristy before he came out for the office or for Mass? How did he prepare? What means did he use to collect his thoughts and to remain recollected?

Would you like me to teach you how to grow from virtue to virtue and how, if you are already recollected at prayer, you can be even more attentive next time, and so give God more pleasing worship? Listen, and I will tell you. If a tiny spark of God's love already burns within you, do not expose it to the wind, for it may get blown out. Keep the stove tightly shut so that it will not lose its heat and grow cold. In other words, avoid distractions as well as you can. Stay quiet with God. Do not spend your time in useless chatter.

If teaching and preaching is you job, then study diligently and apply yourself to whatever is necessary for doing the job well. Be sure that you first preach by the way you live. If you do not, people will notice that you say one thing, but live otherwise, and yours will bring only cynical laughter and a derisive shake of the head.

Are you in charge of a parish? If so, do not neglect the parish of your own soul, do not give yourself to others so completely that you have nothing left for youself. You have to be mindful of your people without becoming forgetful of yourself.

My brothers, you must realize that for us churchmen nothing is more necessary that meditation. We must meditate before, during and after everything we do. The prophet says: I will pray, and then I will understand. When you administer the sacraments, meditate on what you are doing. When you celebrate Mass, reflect on the sacrifice you are offering. When you pray the office, think about the words you are saying and the Lord to whom meditate on the Lord's blodd that has washed them clean. In this way, all that you do becomes a work of love.

This is the way we can easily overcome the countless difficulties we have to face day after day, which, after all, are part of our work: in meditation we find the strength to bring Christ to birth in ourselves and in other me.

Though this sermon was directed towards the clergy, I can relate a lot of his advice to my vocation as a laywoman of the Church. How can what St. Charles' sermon help you to strengthen your faith and love for the Church?

Father, keep in your people the spirit which filled Charles Borromeo. Let your Church be continually renewed and show the image of Christ to the world by being conformed to his likeness, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

This Thursday: St. Martin de Porres

To start off I would like to say, I had a great Thursday, though I have been dealing with a lot of crap, stress, and discouragement. I did get to sleep with some minor times awaken by Granny and Darrell, but I instantly went back to sleep. (I was up until 9am)

A great part of the Thursday was coming into Darrell's room and seeing that my lovely work that I had done at 2am was still intact and nothing was leaking. Darrell was still dealing with pain and soreness, but he was just happy that it was staying together.

He cried a lot last night saying he was sorry for putting this on me. It was at that moment that I knew through all my anger and frustration with our family that God granted me a gift of being able to help Darrell when others would ignore it or consider him a job. This poor soul who was suffering and in pain needed another to not only comfort, but pray for him and what fitting for the Lord to work His wonders. I comforted Darrell and even said a few Hail Marys while I was holding his hand and allowing this tall tree to weep.

It reminded me of whose feast day it was...Saint Martin de Porres, OP. Known to many as "The Father of the Poor".

The big part of everything was he is a Dominican Saint, he was apart of the laity (like me!). I thought I should write this little bio from the Liturgy of Hours.

Saint Martin de Porres was born at Lima in Peru of a Spanish father and a African mother (freed slaved) in 1579. As a boy he studied medicine which later, as a member of the Dominican Order, he put to good use in helping the poor. He led a humble and disciplined life and was devoted to the holy Eucharist. He died in 1639.

St. Martin showed us that 'holiness is a path opened to everyone' as Fr. Gregory, OP stated during Holy Hour. What does that mean, well St. Martin was of mixed race and was regarded as the lowest of the society during that time period and yet he showed love and kindness to all. Fr. Gregory notes that to anyone, including those who do not believe in a God would considered what St. Martin had done as natural goodness, but it not just about the natural good, but the supernatural that happens to the internal by this saintly man.

Lord, you led Martin de Porres by a life of humility to eternal glory. May we follow his example and be exalted with him in the kingdom of heaven. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and regins with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Thursday is as many of you who read my entries know it is the meeting for 20s Group. This Thursday was a Gospel Study. I will be writing about this in another entry, but I wanted to mention it just in case I do not write another entry. Anyways, we split into three groups and tackled Matthew 25: 1-13

"Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight, there was a cry, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise ones replied, 'No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.' While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked. Afterwards the other virgins came and said, 'Lord, Lord, open the door for us!' But he said in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.' Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour."

Before I end this entry I wanted to mention that I am truly almost finished with the book I mentioned in other entries. And I have to quote one of the Dominican Friars, Fr. Theodore Clement Thuente, O.P.

"The human heart is by its very nature Catholic. The constant and universal preaching of the Catholic Church has also its silent and secret influences upon the non-Catholic world. May it help them to see that Luther's life and work were insincere and his doctrines false; thus what Luther says about the teachings of the Catholic Church is not true. Many of them, indeed, see that Luther was not truthful and saintly but do not see that the Catholic Church is holy and 'the pillar of truth'. "

God Bless,

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Meeting Lora Innes and 20s Group Bonfire

It is difficult to explain the reasons of why I have not written in two weeks, but I due it to no Internet, only a little time to rush to read my favorite comic, The Dreamer by Lora Innes. I met Lora Innes finally at my very first comic book convention. There are a few things I can say I cannot stand about the convention, but overall I was glad I went.

Meeting Lora Innes was a blast, to see her works in front of me was better than looking at them from the screen of my laptop. I felt like a school-girl. I spent half of what I brought to the convention on her booth alone. One thing I truly do thank her for is my new sticker of Nathan Hale, who in fact is one of my favorite characters. She gave me the sticker for free, which if Lora Innes reads this, I am so very happy to have the stick, or really just to own the new stuff.

What makes me love this Columbus-native's work, well one big reason is she brought American History to life, she did not re-edit history, no, she in turn brought light the history that is long forgotten, for we only care of the main details not the lives of the people in the history unless they were GREATS. (sorry I am sucker for admitting not being a Washington or Jefferson or even Franklin-lover, I find they were truly lost to lore of the times and we forget some of heroes)

Another big reason is the artwork is amazing, it something I have become picky about, the way a comic book looks, in Lora's comics there is a sense of making the characters look realistic, but give a little cartoonist in each of them. I really recommend her work, but I cannot wait for other series that she creates in the near future. She has done one of the three favorite times periods for me, what is next....Civil War, let me only pray it will be. Plus, it would be great to have a Native American story actually. Maybe the Trail of Tears or something like that....or maybe the Shawnee. Alright enough of my rant of what could be brought to life by Lora Innes.

One of my main reasons to going to Mid-Ohio was to meet and show my absolute fan-girl side to my FAVORITE artist/author! But, what to do after that first meeting, well I went to other booths hoping to find other artists that would fit what I like, there were a few, such as Alan Evans, who was the artist of the "Hello" book, on how Nathan Hale and Allan Warren met. There were others and hopefully by the end of the year I will have a new list of artists/authors to mention, but I know my favorite will always be Lora Innes, to which I owe my dear friend Mary to introducing The Dreamer to me.

So, will I go next year to Mid-Ohio Con, oh yes, but I will have a costume this time, and hopefully with the help of many of my friends, I will have it ready by then. I will let you all to the details as they come through (since I am not really sure if I can get everything together).

Later that day my fiance, JR (who also decided to come to the convention) and I went the 20s Group's Bonfire and Fall Party (Website ) at one of the group member's home. There was a good group there and certainly that could be done again anytime. One of my favorite memories there was watching Henry, he is the little mascot for the group (well most of us think of him that way) and his parents are members of the group, well he named a pumpkin, Henry.

That is all for this post, more to come in the next one.

God Bless,