Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Love's Offering"

Today was one of those long days at work. Working with 12 kids a day who all have way more energy than the energizer bunny is not usually a problem for me. Today, though, with the weather the way it was, unfortunately we had to stay inside with the 12 kids and all that pent up energy. Let's just say it was exhausting and loud. The kids were not wanting to pay attention to anything we said, and I wanted to wake up and just start the day over with a whole new attitude.... So after I got home from work, and feeling as though I had gotten nothing accomplished with those kids, I decided to open up my copy of "God Calling" just because I was curious what it would say for today's reading. "God Calling" is a very inspirational daily devotional book that I received at my Confirmation. It has become one of my most used books in my collection. Anyway, so I opened it up to March 31st and this is what it said.

Love's Offering

I Am your Lord, gracious and loving. Rest in My Love, walk in My ways. Each week is a week of progress, steady progress upward. You may not see it, but I do.
I judge not by outward appearances, I judge the heart, and I see in both your hearts one single desire, to do My Will. The simplest offering by a child brought or done with the one desire to give you pleasure, or show you love, is it not more loved by you than the offerings of those who love you not?
So, though you may feel your work has been spoiled and tarnished, I see it only as Love's offering. Courage, My children.
When climbing a steep hill, a man is often more conscious of the weakness of his stumbling feet than of the view, the grandeur, or even of his upward progress.
Persevere, persevere. Love and laugh. Rejoice.

This is just what I needed to read after my day at work. Cool or what?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Just a Little Reminder

Don't forget that tomorrow is the BIG red envelope day! I have mine all ready to go in the mail tomorrow. Basically you're supposed to send an empty red envelope and address it to the president, and then on the back of the envelope you're supposed to write, "This envelope represents one child who died because of an abortion. It is empty because the life was taken and is now unable to be a part of our world." Now, I don't know how much this will do for us, but I have a feeling there will be tons of these red envelopes that will come in. It's one little thing you can do that won't take much time and if anything, in a small way you're letting your voice be heard.
It reminds me of when I like to wear my pro-life t-shirts. I have numerous ones that I where, along with the many retreat t-shirts I still where too. My favorite pro-life t-shirt is one that I got from my mom. The front of the shirt says "Survivor 79" and then on the back it states, "Since 1973, 1/3 of my generation has been slaughtered by abortion at the rate of 4,000 babies per day. My friends... My classmates... My generation compromised by the selfishness of others. As a survivor I will not let future generations be murdered in the name of convenience. I will not be silent. I will not forget. I will not compromise." Now I have received many comments because of this t-shirt, some good, and some not so good. I don't really get into heated conversations over this t-shirt with people who do not seem to appreciate it... instead I let the t-shirt speak for itself because everything that's written on it is completely true. If you're interested in buying one you can find it at prolifetothemax.com
I really do hope you all will take the time to send that red envelope tomorrow!


Here is a video all about the most recent "Consumed" retreat I was able to go and experience.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My "Conversion" Story

This past month at my church we have been doing a parish renewal program, called G.I.F.T. (Growing In Faith Together). Tonight the speaker, Dr. Howell, spoke about the Eucharist. It was such an inspiring talk and it gave me so much to think about. During his talk, he asked us a question. He asked us if we had ever had a profound "conversion" moment in our adult life when we knew without a doubt in our mind that God was really and truly real and it changed our whole perspective on how we looked at the world. This question had immediately made me flashback to my "conversion."
You see, growing up I always have "known" that Jesus was really in the Eucharist, but I didn't really get it totally. Being homeschooled my whole life I had religion and the faith thrown at me from all sides. Not only was I getting it from home, but having my family be so well known in my church there were many people who automatically thought that since I was Danny and Suzanne McConnell's daughter I must be a really good kid who probably had a close relationship with God... Sadly, this was far from the truth. You see, on the outside I portrayed myself as the good Catholic girl because that's what I thought people wanted to see and I went along with it, but really on the inside it drove me crazy and I resented it...I hardly got anything out of going to church. So that's how I was and it was not until I was a freshman in college that I had my "conversion." I was not doing smart things in the beginning of the school year, and I don't really want to get into those things right now, but they really were not smart at all... One day, my mom came to me to ask if I would go on this retreat called "Consumed" with her and my younger sister and some of my other friends. "Consumed" is an Archdiocesean retreat based on Eucharistic adoration. You basically spend the whole week-end with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The talks were usually given with Jesus exposed, songs were song, there was quiet time with you and just Jesus. You could choose to spend one hour during the night to stay awake with Jesus... so forth and so on. Now at the time my mom first mentioned this retreat I really did not want to go. It was not something I thought would be fun at all. In fact, it sounded kind of boring to be with Jesus in adoration for that long, so I passed on the offer and did my own thing that week-end while my mom was gone. Well when my friends came back from the retreat I noticed something totally different about them all. They were happier and more on fire with Jesus then I had ever seen them before. One of my friends even told me that he wanted to become a priest. Needless to say, I became curious about what this retreat was all about, but I was not yet ready to give up my fun just yet.
Well about six months went by, and by now I was ready to do something different. I was ready to not be so grumpy and pessimistic about things, and seeing all my friends still on fire with Jesus after six months really made me sad I didn't go on the retreat. A few weeks went by when my mom again came up to me and asked me if I would like to go on "Consumed" with her and my younger sister. The first one went so well that they were doing another one. Well, I pretty much jumped at the chance to go this time, but I really did not know what to expect going into it. Since I hadn't gone the first time, I didn't really realize all the stuff that would go on, but I was open to anything that could happen. So I went and I met the priest that was leading it, Fr. Meyer. He was a breakdancing and rapping priest (he still can do those things now, but not nearly as much as when I first met him.) and I thought that was really cool. There were also rapping nuns that came, and I had never met a nun that rapped before. The talks that were given all made me think about things in a whole new way, and the confession I did at that retreat was by far the most moving confession I had ever done. For the first time, I felt really and truly sorry for what I had done. None of that was as moving though as that night when they had a Eucharistic procession. Fr. Meyer brought the Eucharist around to each of us, and when he brought it to me, I remember looking up into the monstrance and I knew immediately for the first time ever that THAT was Jesus. It was not a symbol, but He was really there. I knew right then that my life had changed totally in that moment, and I would never be the same person I was before going on the retreat, and I broke down and cried. I wish I could tell you exactly how I felt or what was all going through my mind at that moment, but there really are no words to express it. I felt so amazing after that, and now looking back I am so glad I took the chance to be open and let Christ change my life, because He did, and I am so on fire with God and the Eucharist. So Dr. Howell was also right when he said that he was sure that everyone's "conversion" most likely had something to do with the Eucharist, because mine had everything to do with it, and it's something I will always remember.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

"You Know You're Catholic When..."

I found some of these funny, so I thought I'd share....

You Know You're Catholic When...

"Peace Be With You" is just a way to meet pretty girls/guys.

Priests have been giving us alcohol since we were little kids.

you say Amen at the end of the Pledge of Allegiance (if you haven't said it aloud, you know you've thought it)

You make the Sign of the Cross after the Pledge of Allegiance

- people think you worship idols for refusing to clean up the "dirt" off your forehead.

We all know Da Vinci code is bogus and inaccurate. Yet we'll still read it if nothing else is going on

There's no need for impromptu prayer; you can always fall back on the Rosary

We're the oldest Christian religion. Period.

You know a missal is a book and not ammunition

You know the rosary is NOT a piece of jewelry

You know the difference between a cross and a crucifix

Hearing of a family of ten kids is not unusual.

You genuflect before entering your seat at the theater.

if you only crave hamburgers and steaks on Fridays during lent and you crave fish every other day in Lent...just never on Fridays.

you can only recite the Creed when around large groups of people.
you make the sign of the cross when you pass in front of a Catholic church

you have an overwhelming compulsion to say, "And also with you," when Yoda says, "May the Force be with you."

someone asks you your favorite Madonna song and you say “Hail Holy Queen.”

you know how to process, keeping two pews between you and the person in front, keeping lined up with your partner, walking without bobbing or swaying

you know at least 5 sins that can be committed against each of the 10 commandments

you pray a Hail Mary when you hear a fire truck or ambulance siren

all your children have saint names

You have a rosary hanging from your dash

your son calls home after being gone and the first thing you ask is have you been attending Mass

one of your crucifixes has five years worth of dried out palms stuck behind it.

you measure your life by the number of Popes who have come and gone.

you know more than 15 recipes for preparing tuna fish

You know a family whose every daughter has Mary, or every son has John Paul either as the first or middle name.

You refer to other religions as “Non-Catholic”.

You carry prayer cards in your purse or wallet

You know your friend likes a guy when she sits next to him at Mass

You reach in your purse for your keys and a rosary falls out.

You know the "difference" between Christianity and Catholicism

You learned the ABC's as "A is for Apostle. B is for Bible. And C is for Catholic"

When you make the sign of the cross and get weird looks.

When you say Amen, and actually know what it means!

You can say a Hail Mary faster than most people can recite their phone number.

You like your Bible with ALL the books in it, thank you very much!!!!

When you can stay awake during a homily.

When you hear the name Peter and instantly think of the Pope.

When you say you have two mothers and over a billion brothers and sisters.

people try to wipe off the *dirt* on your forehead.

You know the Virgin Mary is not a God and you don't treat her as such. But she is without sin, gave birth to Jesus and did it without having sex. That warrants more than a little respect.

"It's All the Same"

Today I was listening to a cd that was from a retreat I went on last month. The cd is full of songs that were used as reflections for the different talks that were given. The song below was the one that happened to hit me the most. It seems to me to be from God's point of view, and my favorite part of the song is the chorus. It is so true how we can sometimes joke about not needing God when things are going great in out lives, but then when things start to go wrong we automatically turn to God thinking he should fix the problem. It seems to me though, that we need to fix our perspectives on how we look at things and always keep in mind that we will always need God in our lives, not only in the bad times, but in the good also. Your relationship with God should be like any other relationship you make. It should always be about giving and taking.... not just the taking part. The lyrics are below if you're interested at all.

"It's All the Same"
Sick Puppies

Verse 1

I don't mind where you come from
As long as you come to me
But I don't like illusions I can't see
Them clearly
I don't care, no I wouldn't dare
To fix the twist in you
You've shown me eventually what you'll do
I don't mind
I don't care
As long as you're here


Go ahead and tell me you'll leave again
You'll just come back running
Holding your scarred heart in hand
It's all the same
And I'll take you for who you are
If you take me for everything
And do it all over again
It's all the same

Verse 2

Hours slide and days go by
Till you decide to come
But in-between it always seems too long
For certain
But I have the skill, yeah
I have the will, to breath you in while I can
However long you stay is all that I am

I don't mind, I don't care
As long as you're here


Go ahead and tell me you'll leave again
You'll just come back running
Holding your scarred heart in hand
It's all the same
And I'll take you for who you are
If you take me for everything
And do it all over again
It's always the same


Wrong or Right
Black or White
If I close my eyes
Its all the same

In my life
The compromise
I'll close my eyes
Its all the same

Go ahead say it
You're leaving
You'll just come back running
Holding your scarred heart in hand
It's all the same
And I'll take you for who you are now
If you take me for everything
Do it all over again
It's all the same

Friday, March 27, 2009

Game: 20 Questions

1. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I believe the first thing I wanted to be growing up was a vet.

2. What have you done in the past week to help someone else?
a lot of different things. I've given people, who don't have cars, rides to different places. I have bought ice cream for my parents just because they needed a "pick-me-up." I like to help people whenever I can!

3. Who is the best-dressed person you know?

4. What is on your nightstand?
alarm clock, lamp, books that I'm reading, dove lotion, and I think that's it.

5. If you were a cat, what kind of a cat would you be?
I've always liked calico cats.

6. If you lived in a house surrounded by acres of trees, what particular type of tree would you want flourishing on your land?
dog wood trees are always pretty.

7. What do you find to be very overrated?
ha ha.... Valentine's Day, most definitely.

8. How many email addresses do you have?
Two. One for school/work and the other for personal junk.

9. Have you ever felt replaced?

10. Would you rather watch football or baseball?
Football, hands down. Baseball bores me to watch, but it's fun to play.

11. What is the wallpaper on your phone?

I don't own a cell phone....

12. Name a lyric from the song you're listening to.
" If I admit I was truly over you, my heart would say Amen, but I'd give in to the cold caress of 2 a.m.. If I admit I can't get used to this, would my heart break again as I fall into the waiting arms of 2 a.m..

13. Do you use a feed reader?
Oh yes, Google Reader.

14. What chocolate do you always leave in the box?
the orange stuff. I think it's kinda gross. Orange and chocolate, that is.

15. What would you do if you found out your ex is engaged?
Ex? What ex?

16. Do words hurt you?
Not usually, but occasionally when the person knows exactly what words that would hurt me, and then says them in a really awful spiteful manner, then yeah.

17. Are you a talker or a listener? Is it ever possible to really be both?
Good question. I do like to talk a lot, but I don't mind listening either. I guess I tend to talk more then listen though.

18. Have you ever walked on the beach at night?
Yes, the last time I went to Florida when I was sixteen. I want to go back so bad!

19. Who is your favorite professional athlete?
good question. I guess I would say Peyton Manning

20. Which TV show have you seen pretty much every episode of?
Dawson's Creek, Gilmore Girls, 7th Heaven. I was hooked on those shows in High School.

St. Anthony to the Rescue!!!

St Anthony happens to be one of my very favorite saints. I am such a scatter-brained person, that I do not know what I would do without the guy. I think I ask him to help me out at least two or three times a day. I owe him quite a bit for all the help he's given me.
Last night, my mom asked me to drop by the store on the way home from the library to pick up Velveta cheese so she could make macaroni and cheese for the fish fry tonight. Now, I do not like velveta cheese at all. I think it is kind of gross to be honest, so I never have had to go and buy it from the store. When my sister and I got there, I immediately headed over to where the cheese was thinking that since Velveta cheese is cheese, it should have been there. I stood staring at all the different cheeses for about three minutes until I realized that it was not there. Not knowing where else to look for cheese I decide to go find my sister and ask her if she knew where the Velveta cheese was kept. When I asked her, she had no idea either. For some silly reason, I decided to go check the macaroni and cheese area thinking that since macaroni is made with Velveta maybe they kept it there. After looking in that aisle for a few minutes and not finding this cheese I became very frustrated with myself. I decided the velveta cheese had to be in the cheese aisle, and I somehow missed it, so I went back to the cheese aisle again. I think I stood staring at all the different brands of cheese for another five minutes when it finally donned on me that I should pray to St. Anthony. So I told him how frustrated I was getting and if he would help me somehow find the Velveta cheese I would be very grateful. I turned the corner, and right by the milk were some shelves, and on the bottom shelf, what was there? None other then the Velveta cheese that I had been searching all over the store for. So, thank-you St. Anthony for helping me, yet again!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Kid's Say the Darndest Things

On facebook, I have been writing notes for awhile about the funny things that the kids I work with have said. Here are just a few. They never get old for me. :)


Axel (2 yr. old) : (While putting the toy animals away.) Hey, guys! Don't put my cheetoh away!

Greta (2 1/2 yr. old) If baby pigs go oink! oink! and daddy pigs go (makes a snorting sound), then what do mommy pigs make?

As some of you know I work at a Catholic daycare, so a good number of the kids are Catholic. One day as I was putting the clean dishes away in the kitchen, I heard two voices singing "Glory to God in the highest and peace to His people on earth." So I looked into the room and I see the two kids that were singing, Thomas and Greta. I asked them what they were doing and Thomas looks at me and said "SHH!!! We are in church Miss, Teresa. SHH!!!!"

Sarah:Grady, you look sad. Are you sad?
Grady: No.
Sarah: Are you angry?
Grady: No.
Sarah: Are you happy?
Grady: No.
Sarah: Then what are you?
Grady: I'm Grady!

Jack S.: Miss Teresa! Miss Teresa! I have to tell you something!
Me: What Jack? What do you have to tell me?
Jack S.: Miss Teresa. You have to save big money at Menard's!
Me:(After laughing for a few seconds) Do you save big money at Menard's, Jack?
Jack S.: Yes, I do. Lots of times.

These kids can be too cute for words! :)

Paralleling with Mary

Last night I had another great time at "holy hour." It was led by a friend of mine, who will actually be becoming a nun after she is finished with college (YAY!!!). Last night for holy hour, since it was the feast of the Annunciation, we talked all about Mary. There were some parallels that my friend brought up which I had never really thought about before for whatever reason. For example; how when Jesus was lost in the temple when he was twelve for three days and then was found again was a parallel to when he died on the cross and then rose again from the dead. I don't know why that never hit me, but I got it for the first time last night. Another parallel she brought up was that of Mary being the new Ark of the Covenant. She talked about the similarities between David's relationship with the Ark of the Covenant and Elizabeth's (Mary's cousin) relationship with Mary. I would put the passages from the Bible here, but sadly I do not know where they are and I don't have much time to find them this morning... I never ever thought about Mary being the new Ark of the Covenant, but again, it makes total since to me. It was filled with other things like that, some of which I had talked about in my Mary talk I gave almost a month ago. I really enjoy going to these holy hours because I always come out of them with something new to think about and ponder and learn. There's never been a dull one yet!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Funny Isn't It???"

This was given to me way back in middle school by my ccd teacher. I have kept it hanging up in my room ever since just to remind me to always put God first.

Funny Isn't it???

Funny how a $100 "looks" so big when you take it to church,
but so small when you take it to the mall.

Funny how long it takes to serve God for an hour,
but how quickly a team plays sixty minutes of basketball.

Funny how long a couple of hours spent at church are,
but how short they are when watching a movie.

Funny how we can't think of anything to say when we pray,
but don't have difficulty thinking of things to talk about to a friend.

Funny how we get thrilled when a football game goes into overtime,
but we complain when a sermon is longer than the regular time.

Funny how hard it is to read a chapter in the Bible,
but how easy it is to read 100 pages of a best selling novel.

Funny how people want to get a front row seat at any game or concert,
but scramble to get a back seat at church services.

Funny how we need 2 or 3 weeks advance notice to fit a church event into our schedule,
but can adjust our schedule for other events at the last minute.

Funny how hard it is for people to learn a simple gospel well enough to tell others,
but how simple it is for the same people to understand and repeat gossip.

Funny how we believe what the newspapers say,
but question what the Bible says.

Funny how everyone wants to go to heaven provided they do not have to believe, or to think, or to say, or do anything.


Always in My Heart

This past Sunday night I got to spend some time with an old, but dear friend. I met her when I was 11, and both of our families were in the same homeschool group together. While visiting with her, we started talking about some of our other old friends from that group. It was then that I realized how long it's been since I had seen, or even talked to some of those people that at one time I was so close to. We were all like a family in a sense, because we were together as much as we possibly could, and we knew everything about eachother. You know, who was mad at whom, who had a crush on so and so, whether someone got in trouble and why, what made each of us tick, and what made each of us smile when we were down. I now know hardly anything about them. Thinking about that made me remember a bumper sticker I once found on Facebook, and which I put on this post. It's sad that this happens a lot as people grow older. They change and become different people, as does yourself. I know that even though we have all gone and done our seperate things, and even if we do not stay in touch as we grow older, that we will always be able to look back on those homeschool days and smile. They will each always have a special place in my heart, and I will never forget that without having these people in my life, I probably would have turned out to be a different person.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Thoughts On "The End of The World"

My younger sister has always been really interested in "the end of the world." You know, all the different theories people have of what's going to happen when the end of the world happens. Lately she has been trying to convince me that the end of the world is going to be in the year of 2012. Well, last night while we were both at a friend's house baking stuff for fun, we all began to talk about different "end of the world" theories. We talked about my sister's 2012 theory and then how having Obama as our president is the beginning of the end. We talked about how a huge asteroid is gonna come and destroy 70% of the world.
Well I don't really put much stock into all the different theories out there. I figure it is gonna happen when it's gonna happen, so why worry yourself over how it will happen, or when. I mean, as long as you live your life the way God asks us to live, and you go to confession regularly, then there really is not much to worry about.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dr. Phil's Personality test

I just took Dr. Phil's Personality test for fun to see what it would say, and surprisingly I think it figured out my personality pretty well.

Your Result: The Loyal Friend


Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful & practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who's extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expect the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over it if that trust is ever broken.

Warning About New Carjacking Scheme.

My mom sent me this e-mail. I just thought I'd put it here as a warning to those who read my blog. I'd rather you all stay safe!


Heads up everyone! ... Husbands, wives, kids, everyone!!!
Please, keep this circulating... You walk across the
parking lot, unlock your car and get inside. You start the
engine and shift into Reverse. When you look into the rear
view mirror to back out of your parking space, you notice
a piece of paper stuck to the middle of the rear window. So,
you shift into Park, unlock your doors, and jump out of your
car to remove that paper (or whatever it is) that is
obstructing your view. When you reach the back of your car,
that is when the carjackers appear out of nowhere, jump into
your car and take off. They practically mow you down as they
speed off in you car. And guess what, ladies? I bet your
purse is still in the car. So now the carjacker has your car,
your home address, your money, and your keys. Your life, home
and your whole identity are now compromised!


If you see a piece of paper stuck to your back window, just
drive away. Remove the paper later. And be thankful that you
read this e-mail I hope you will forward this to friends and
family, especially to women A purse contains all kinds of
personal information and identification documents, and you
certainly do NOT want this to fall into the wrong hands

Please keep this going

Friday, March 20, 2009

Awesomeness, Baby!

Well, some of you already know that I have an older brother, David, who died before I was born. He died because he needed a liver transplant and he did not get it in time. Now, I don't usually like to talk about him because it's one of the things that makes me kind of frustrated in my faith. I know that if he did not die, C.O.T.A., (Children's Organ Transplant Association) an organization that was started with the money that was raised for him and which has helped 1300 children live that otherwise would have died, would never have been started. The selfish part of me though is annoyed that I never got the chance to actually meet him. I often wonder about him, what he'd be like and if we'd get along or fight constantly. Anyway, I don't normally do this, but today after my stressful and emotional week, I decided to go visit his grave. So, after stations of the cross and the soup supper I got in my car and headed out to his grave where I stayed for maybe 10 minutes and kinda talked to him about my life...it sounds kinda silly to some I'm sure, but for some reason I felt like I needed to visit him there. My parents have always told me that his favorite song was "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." He had a little music box with that song that was kept in his room. I know for a fact that right before my brother died, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" started playing in his room, and so that song has become a very special song in our family. Somehow on each of our birthdays or my parents anniversary that song ends up playing, whether it's because "The Wizard of Oz" is playing on tv and we happen to flip it on when she is singing that song, or it plays over a commercial or someone randomly starts singing it, it always happens. The reason I started talking about that song is because tonight after I decided to visit his grave, I'm sitting here watching "Australia" and what song happens to be placed in that movie but Judy Garland's version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." My mouth literally dropped wide open and I just sat there and was in complete shock. It's times like this when I fully believe there is a God and heaven where our loved ones are really watching over us. Talk about AWESOMENESS!!!!

Goodbye Nina!

This past week we have had a lovely visitor stay in our home. She is a two year old golden retriever, and one of the sweetest dogs I've ever met. My dad was going to get us a lab this past Valentine's Day as a surprise for my mom, but then the family that was going to give us a dog never really got back to us... I love big dogs, and have always wanted one, but after this past week I've realized just how much work they take. Anyway, the past few nights sometime in the middle of the night, this gigantic dog has taken a liking to jumping on top of me and taking over my bed. I've tried pushing her off several times, but she always goes and jumps back on until I finally let her win and move onto the couch in my living room. Then after a few hours she follows me in there and sleeps on my feet. Because of this and my allergies, I have not been able to sleep very well at all, and as much as I like Nina, I am ready to have my own bed back without the dog. I can now see why my mom and dad were both hesitant about us owning a dog while growing up. We were much better cat people I suppose.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

So I had a bad day, and when I have bad days, this happens.

I am sitting here after a very stressful day and realizing that there is so much more to me then people really realize. It's not anyone else's fault but my own I guess because I am afraid of letting people in. I mean on the outside I seem to be a well put together person. I have a job, go to class, love my family and friends, make people laugh, listen to them when they have problems, I try not to say mean things about people, kind of "prudish" to some because I want to save myself for the one I marry (which I don't find prudish at all, but others do.). I mean I do also have my faults. I am maybe a little to prideful and judgemental and expect to much from the people I love, and I follow the rules almost perfectly, which in itself is like an imperfection to me.
After realizing these things about me, I realize that that's only a small piece of who I am. I am someone who is screaming on the inside at myself for not breaking the rules enough. I am someone who is longing for the day that I finally meet and fall in love with that special someone, whoever he may be I can't wait to meet him. I hate being, and fitting, into the mold as the "perfect" daughter in my family. It drives me absolutely insane, and yet, for whatever reason, I keep pushing myself to fit into that mold. I am perfectly scared of letting myself get so close to someone that they know everything there is about me, and yet I want that so much. I contradict myself all the time. I really dislike it when people think I should be a nun because I haven't gone and done a "slutty" thing in my life. I personally don't agree with that at all. I mean just because a girl does not need to have a boyfriend all the time should not be the main reason someone should become a nun. I don't want to put nuns down, because I think they are great, but I am sick of hearing "Oh, Teresa. She'll be a nun." I mean, I don't have anything against nuns, but people have to realize if I were to enter the religious life, it would not be as a nun. Nuns live in convents and spend the majority of their time praying... I am proud of them for that, but I am such a social person. I enjoy going out and meeting new people. If God were calling me into the religious life I would most likely become a sister...I really believe that's not my calling though. I really feel as though I am called to get married. I want to grow old with someone I am so incredibly in love with and raise my children with him. I am tired of being looked at as just a friend by all the guys I know. It's no wonder I haven't dated that much when they all look at me as the person to ask about the girl they actually like. There is so much of me I want to let out, but why I am afraid to, I don't know. Eventually I will be able to find the courage to let it all out, I don't know when or how, but I know it will all come out soon.

"When You Were.."

So tonight, after having a big fight with my parents (which for those of you who care, I hardly EVER fight with my parents) I went into my room and turned up my cd player really loud and then proceeded to look through some of my old notebooks. In the notebooks I have kept old letters from retreats and things I've written myself. So while I'm looking through these in a somewhat depressed mood, I found this old poem I wrote my senior year. I remember at the time I was writing it I was obsessed with Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and I sent it in. I guess it was not unique enough for them to take it... I'll let you decide for that yourselves on whether they were right or not.

When you were…

When you were born, you leaned on your parents for everything. You were helpless.
When you were one, you still leaned on your parents, but you had your own form of transportation. On all fours.
When you were two, you began to express your needs in small words and sentences.
When you were three you began to wonder about everything around you. You asked many questions from “What is that?” to “Why does my shirt have ducks on it?”
When you were four, your vocabulary grew into sentences strung together to carry on a conversation and you became curious about even more things then before.
When you were five, you could put clothes on your body without any help. You could count and write your name.
When you were six you could add and subtract. You could tie your own shoes and rode your bike without training wheels. Accomplishments that you were quite proud of at the time.
When you were seven you learned how to read and found how your imagination can go wild while reading a book.
When you were eight, you learned how to multiply and divide. You learned the importance of sharing and treating others with kindness.
When you were nine you could go to slumber parties. You knew how to use the phone. You learned appreciation for music while learning to play the piano.
When you were ten you were in your first play. You helped with the chores and met your first obstacle in friendship.
When you were eleven you began shooting hoops, and although you were by far not the best, the fact that you never gave up taught you to never give up on your dreams and goals. You also learned to be a good sport during softball and these are some important things to never give up.
When you were twelve you understood the pain of losing a close friend whom you never really truly lost because your memories are always with you and that you cannot lose.
When you were thirteen you learned the joys of being an aunt. You learned to catch and toss a football just as good as the guys which proved that girls are just a good as guys in quite a few things.
When you were fourteen you learned the damage a lie can do to one’s reputation. You learned that gaining back another’s trust is hard work and once gained back should NEVER be lost again.
When you were fifteen you learned the pain of rejection and how you get over it. After all he wasn’t worth it anyway.
When you were sixteen you began to realize the importance of your friends and how much they can make you a better person then you would have been without them. You learned how to say “No” to anything you knew would get you into trouble.
When you were seventeen you learned of fears of the future. You learned just how much you love your family. You begin to enjoy every minute of your last year of childhood and remember everything about being a young woman.
When you were eighteen you learned the true meaning of the saying, “These are the good old days” just a little late. You realize just how wise your mother was when she said, “Don’t grow up to fast or you’ll regret it.” You also learn how to take all those valuable lessons you learned from childhood throughout life because these are some of the most valuable lessons you could ever learn.

"One Step At A Time"

A few people have asked me why I chose to call my blog what I did. Well there is a song that has recently been made popular by Jordin Sparks, and it talks about a lot of things I have been kinda going through lately. Once you read the words (if you haven't heard the song yet) it will most likely make more since... I especially like the part in the song where she says, "When you need to find the strength It's your faith that makes you stronger," because it's so true. That's where we should always go when we feel weak and not turn to other things like alcohol or drugs or whatever else you may think will help, because after you end up getting drunk you don't usually feel better, you feel worse... and I believe I went into a whole other topic that I was totally not meaning to even talk about, so anyway, here's the song.

"One Step At A Time"


[Verse 1]
Hurry up and wait
So close, but so far away
Everything that you've always dreamed of
Close enough for you to taste
But you just can't touch

You wanna show the world, but no one knows your name yet
Wonder when and where and how you're gonna make it
You know you can if you get the chance
In your face and the door keeps slamming
Now you're feeling more and more frustrated
And you're getting all kind of impatient waiting
We live and we learn to take

One step at a time
There's no need to rush
It's like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It's gonna happen when it's
Supposed to happen that we
Find the reasons why
One step at a time

[Verse 2]
You believe and you doubt
You're confused, you got it all figured out
Everything that you always wished for
Could be yours, should be yours, would be yours
If they only knew

You wanna show the world, but no one knows your name yet
Wonder when and where and how you're gonna make it
You know you can if you get the chance
In your face and the door keeps slamming
Now you're feeling more and more frustrated
And you're getting all kind of impatient waiting
We live and we learn to take

One step at a time
There's no need to rush
It's like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It's gonna happen when it's
Supposed to happen that we
Find the reasons why
One step at a time

[Verse 3]
When you can't wait any longer
But there's no end in sight
It's the faith that makes you stronger
The only way we get there
Is one step at a time

Take one step at a time
There's no need to rush
It's like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It's gonna happen when it's
Supposed to happen that we
Find the reasons why
One step at a time

One step at a time
There's no need to rush
It's like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It's gonna happen when it's
Supposed to happen that we
Find the reasons why
One step at a time


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

You Might be a Homeschooler if....

As some of you know, I happened to have been homeschooled all the way through high school. Being homeschooled, I have always seemed to be placed as someone who probably did not know how to socialize or the good little church girl or whatever. I was looking on the internet when I found this survey. Now, I don't necessarily agree with all the things that people automatically assume when they hear I was homeschooled, but a lot of these things are pretty close... It made me laugh a lot to think about the good old homeschooling days.

You Might be a Homeschooler if…

Growing up/now
[x] Own/have owned a denim jumper
[x] You were at least 13 when you got your first “trendy” haircut
[x] Everything in your closet at some time was referred to as modest
[ ] You do/have tucked things in that shouldn’t be tucked in
[ ] You have been a member of at least 3 co-ops
[x] You were a true 16 and never been kissed
[x] Your mom drives a van of some sort
[x] You have at least one childhood picture where you, your mom, and all you siblings matched
[ ] You are/were/will be a PSEO Student- I have no clue what that is.
[x] At some point in your life you were more comfortable with adults than kids your own age
[x] Have studied ways to defend your beliefs, debate, and/or create laws
[x] Used uber conservative A Beka or Bob Jones curriculum- Even more conservative then that is Seton.
Total: 9

[x] You use big words that most adults could not use in conversation- (like mature and maimed. :) )
[x] You can use the words sublime, epiphany, and cognizant correctly
[x] You have a favorite word.
[x] You have an understanding of Latin root words and how to use them
[x] People from the outside world are referred to as “public schoolers”
[x]You or one of your siblings knits.
[x] You laugh at the decline in literacy in America- it’s not exactly funny
[x] You score constantly higher than “public schoolers” on standardized tests.
[x ] You have no concept of cafeteria food - Unfortunately, I do
[x] Family vacations are/ can be referred to as “Field Trips”
[x] Traveling on said vacations have included stopping at historical site markers along the way- don’t other people do this, too? Duh!
[ ] You have never been in a public elementary school, middle school, or high school during regular school hours (any or all of the above)
[x] You have gone to or been involved in a homeschool convention
Total so far: 20

[x] You have taken part in a political protest- Many of them actually
[x] You were a Pride and Prejudice fan before the movie
[x] You were a Lord of the Rings fan prior to the movie
[x] You were a Chronicles of Narnia fan before the movie
[ ] You speak a language other than English
[x] You dream of dating characters from books instead of celebrities
Total so far: 25

It (has been) assumed that you:….(these may or may not be true, but people think they are)

[ x] Have won many spelling bees
[x] Have no social life
[x] Have no friends of the opposite gender
[x]Are extremely inept
[] Only listen to classical music
[x] Play piano or the violin
[] Do not own a pair of trendy jeans.
[x] Have no knowledge of drugs or alcohol
[x] Don’t date, only court.
[x] Have never been to a “party”
[x] Know no other beliefs other than what your family believes
Total so far: 34

You have been asked more than 10 times in your life:
[x] If you wear pajamas to school
[x] If you get perfect grades because your mom grades you
[x ] If your mom teaches you or if somebody else’s mom does
[x] How do you meet people
[x] Why you aren’t in school
[x] If you get days off whenever you want
[x] If you’re going to be homeschooled through college
[x] If you have a big family
[x] What your parents are protecting you from
[x ] To quote something famous
[x] For the answer, because supposedly homeschoolers always have all the answers
Total so far: 45

You have “rebelled” by:
[x] Listening to “worldly music”- I’ve gone country!
[x ] Wearing black fingernail polish
[ ] Wearing tight clothes or letting your midriff show or showing off what color of boxers you are wearing
[x] Watching a *gasp* PG-13 movie
[x ] Breaking dress code
[x] Listening to music with a beat,Christian or otherwise
[ ] Dancing. Especially dances that involve contact for longer than 2 seconds. With somebody of the opposite gender. Scandalous!!!
subtract this from total: 3


1-10 You’re not really a homeschooler…you just do school at home
11-21 You’re a homeschooler, but not what the world expects
22-32 You’re a homeschooler
33-? You probably wouldn’t have facebook to begin with…but congrats you’re the stereotypical homeschooler

Haha! I’m still laughing…

Pick-up Lines for Catholics

I was messing around on facebook and found this list of pick-up lines.... I thought it was amusing and thought I'd share.

1. Confess here often?
2. Did you feel what I felt when we reached into the holy water font at the
same time?
3. You've got stunning scapular-brown eyes.
4. I bet I can guess your confirmation name.
5. Let's get out of here. I know a much cozier little Catholic bookstore
6. You don't like the culture of death either? Wow! We have so much in
7. What's a nice girl like you doing at a First Saturday Rosary Cenacle
like this?
8. Sorry, but I couldn't help but noticing how cute you look in that
ankle-length, shapeless, plaid jumper.
9. Hi there. My buddy and I were wondering if you would settle a dispute
we're having. Do you think the word should be pronounced HOMEschooling, or
10. May I offer you a light for that votive candle?
11. You don't have an accountability partner? Me neither.
12. The Bible says "Give drink to those who are thirsty, and feed the
hungry"; how about dinner?
13. You look so beautiful in that mantilla you wear to Mass
14. Want to go to Adoration with me?
15. I didn't believe in predestination till I met you.
16. Man does not live by bread alone. So how about dinner and a
17. What do you think Peter meant when he said, "Greet everyone with a holy
kiss" (1Pet 5:14)?18. A little bird... the Holy Spirit actually... tells me we
should get to know each other a little better.
19. Do you need help carrying your Bible? It looks heavy.
20. What are your plans for tonight? Feel like a Bible study?
21. Hi, this pew taken?
22. My prayers are answered.
23. What's a charismatic like you doing in a mainline place like
24. Don't worry, I'm attracted to you purely in a spiritual way.
25. What's your name and number so I can add you to my "prayer" list?
26. Has anyone ever told you, your eyes are like doves and your neck like
the tower of David
27. Oh you are cold, Ecclesiastes 4:11.
28. You have the body of Amy Grant and the soul of Mother Teresa.
29. Am I the only one who sees the sign of the beast in the Volkswagon
0. Read any good Bible passages lately?
31. Wow that grey/black ash smudge on your forehead, vaguely resembling a
cross, really brings out the tones in your skin.
32. You know Jesus? Hey, me too! (from Brittney Quirk)
33. God told me to come talk to you. (from Brittney Quirk)
34. How about a hug, sister? (from Brittney Quirk)
35. Would you happen to know a Christian man/woman that I could love with
all my heart and wait on hand and foot? (from Brittney Quirk)
36. Do you believe in Divine appointment? (from Brittney Quirk)
37. My friend told me to come and meet you, he said that you are a really
nice person. I think you know him. Jesus, yeah, that's his name. (from Brittney
38. You look like a good vocation (from Stephen Bonnette)
39. I lost my rosary, can I use your fingers? (from David Napoli)
40. Hey ... I don't want to embarass you but your Scapular strap is
showing. So ... how long have you been wearing that? We should discuss the
Sabatine promises over a 40 hours devotion sometime. (from Robert Klesko)
41. You're so fine, you're divine! (from Thomas F. Varacalli)
42. “It’s Palm Sunday, may I hold your palm?” (from Walker Solis)
43. “A girl like you only comes along once in a Blue Army meeting.” (from
Walker Solis)
44. At a charismatic assembly: “Slain here often”? (from Walker
45. Presenting a rose: “I just may be the answer to your Little Flower
novena.” (from Walker Solis)
46. Thumbing a rosary: “How ‘bout joining me for a few decades?” (from
Walker Solis)
47. “Me, I prefer a more traditional Mass. I’m a regular Latin lover.”
(from Walker Solis)
48. “You look like (an officially approved) apparition!” (from Walker
49. “You’re a saint! Kiss me, and make me a second-class relic!” (from
Walker Solis)
50. “If loving you’s a heresy, consider me anathema!” (from Walker
51. "Where did you find such an exquisite St. Christopher medal?" (from
Jennifer Salame)
52. "Can I hold your hand during the Our Father?" (from Alyssa
53. "My Guardian Angel thinks you are cute"(from Aaron Russell)
54. "Let me get your number; I know this great place to go to on Sunday
mornings. They have the best wine!"(from Chad A. Dubiel)
55. "Wedding and onions always make me cry. Which do you like better: onion
rings or wedding rings?" (from Walker Solis)
56. "You must be the eighth wonder of the world because I'm smack dab
between seventh heaven and cloud nine right now." (from Walker Solis)
57. "Is that a new perfume or the odor of sanctity?" (from Walker
58. "So YOU'RE the third secret of Fatima?!" (from Walker Solis)
59. "In the dark void of this world, could you be my luminous mystery?"
(from Stephanie Adams)
60. "Dinner. My Place. Tomorrow. Don't argue; it's a feast of obligation."
(from Ben Cohen)
61. If I had a bead for every time I though of you, I'd have a joyful
mystery. (from John DeLozier)
62. My sacred heart of Jesus statue started beating faster when I saw you!
(from Corrie Christiaansen)
63. I love that new Benediction Incense scent on you. (from Alexa
64. hey.. do you wanna take the church van for a spin?(from Corrie
Christiaansen )
65. You are like the book of Revelation. You've got me all confused. (from
Christa Masson)
66. "May I be the ish in your ishah?"(from Corrie Christiaansen)
67. "My, you sure do look cute up there in a cassock and surplice."(from
Mary Thein)
68. "Can I pray for you?" (from Jacob Valle)
69. "I was wrong about the Latin Mass, because YOU are the most beautiful
thing this side of Heaven."
70. "Your parents had 13 children too?" (from Wade Pittman)
71. "Which choir of angels do you belong to?" (from Dante De Luca)

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Story of a Love

A few days ago I was looking for another good book to read when my mother suggested the book, "Maurice & Therese." This book is all about the letters that were written between St. Therese and Maurice, a very adventurous seminarian. Maurice was a seminarian who sent a letter to St. Therese's convent asking for a sister to pray for him and his vocation to the priesthood while he went away for a year to fight in the war. It's interesting to see just how close these two people had gotten through prayer and the letters they exchanged between each other . It's definitely a book that you should read if you ever find a time when you are looking for a new one!

God's Week

I found this poem a few years ago, and even now I still like to read it.

On Sunday, Lord, I go to Mass and there my prayers do say;
And hope, thereby for Heaven's help and in Thy grace to stay.
On Monday, Lord, I go to work, what I my bread may gain;
And pray that I'll not duty shirk and offer Thee my pain.
On Tuesday, Lord, I say my beads for those who've gone astray;
While from the cross, I hear Thee plea to follow along Thy Way.
On Wednesday, Lord, I visit make, I drop in to say "Hello;"
Though others, Lord, may Thee forsake, I try my love to show.
On Thursday, Lord, life seems so bleak; I'm tempted oft to sin,
Yet even though I'm frail and weak; with Thee the vict'ry win.
On Friday, Lord, I courage get; as I Thy cross to see;
How wondrous, Lord, that Thou dids't die, to prove Thy love for me.
On Saturday, my sins confess and then my penance say
Oh, do my Life and Family bless and walk with us each day.
Throughout the week, I strive my best, like Thine Own Self to be;
And trust each day to merit grace and grow a bit like Thee.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

"Everyone Against Abortion Please Raise Your Hand"

I'm thinking this video pretty much speaks for itself.

"Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven"

As some of you know, I happen to be a huge country music fan, and when I say huge, I really do mean it. Anyway, as I was sitting in my living room watching the C.M.T. awards, Kenny Chesney comes on and sings his song, "Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven." I think that this song happens to be so true. There are so many of us who want to go to heaven, but not until they have their "fun" first. It's interesting to watch these people who think that as long as they say they believe in God then they are going to be "saved" no matter what. I am not really a judging person, but to me, it's common sense that if you don't try everyday to follow God, then how can you be so sure you're gonna make it up into heaven. I mean it takes work to get there, and playing around thinking you have all the time in the world doesn't cut it. You never know when your time is up, so I think you should try now to do God's will for you rather then to put it off. So that was my thinking process as I sat listening to this song. The lyrics are below if you're at all interested.

The Preacher told me last Sunday mornin'
"Son, you better start livin' right.
You need to quit the women and whiskey and carrying on all night.
Don't you want to hear him call your name when you're standing at the pearly gates?"
I told the Preacher "Yes, I do, but I hope he don't call today." Are you ready?

Everybody wants to go to Heaven.
Have a mansion high above the clouds.
Everybody wanna go to Heaven, but nobody wanna go now.

Said, Preacher, maybe you didn't see me throw an extra twenty in the plate.
There's one for everything I did last night,
and one to get me through today.
Here's a ten to help you remember, next time you got the good Lord's ear.
I'm comin' but there ain't no hurry
I'm havin' fun down here. Don't you know that-

Everybody wants to go to Heaven.
Get their wings and fly around.
Everybody wanna go to Heaven
but nobody wanna go now.

Some day I wanna see those streets of gold.
Get my halo.
But I wouldn't mind waitin' at least a hundred years or so.

Everybody wanna go to Heaven
It beats the other place
there ain't no doubt.
Everybody wanna go to Heaven
but nobody wanna go now.

Everybody wants to go to Heaven.
Hallalujeh! Let me hear you shout.
Everybody wanna go to Heaven
but nobody wanna go now.

I think I can speak for the crowd.
Nobody wanna go now.

Feeling a Little Adventurous Today

Today was one of those days when I feel as though I am ready to take on the world. The weather was gorgeous, and nothing really has slowed me down other than the fact that I haven't been able to breath to well because of my allergies. Anyway I went to 10:00 a.m. mass this morning with my whole family, which rarely ever happens. We tend to kind of go our own ways on Sundays with our different schedule's and all that. It was nice to sit together with the whole family at mass, along with my little sister's boyfriend who came with us too.
After mass we headed up to Indy to hang out with close family friends at a fundraiser for their school. It was nice to relax with them because they are like a second family to me. I haven't seen them in so long so it made it even more fun to be with them today. While there we ate delicious Italian food and looked around at the gorgeous Catholic church there. It was so pretty. If I had any pictures of it, I would post them here, but I don't.
Later when we came home, my little sister and some friends decided to go to a local state park, McCormick's Creek, where we hiked to the wolf cave. It is always fun to me to randomly go on hiking adventure's with friends. You never really know what will happen on them... We hiked for about 45 minutes I believe and I felt very energized afterwards. Nothing ends a fun adventure of hiking then a vanilla ice cream cone dipped in chocolate from our local ice cream shop, The Chocolate Moose. Yummy! It's always nice to have fun relaxing days like these where you don't worry about a thing or plan at all, you just kind of go with the flow. It was a great ending to a fun week-end!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Gone by the Wayside...

Yesterday, a good friend of mine and I got into a really good conversation about how sad it is that chivalry seems to be dead... Now, I know it's not totally dead. I still know a number of guys who know how to hold the doors open for girls, but there are things that are obviously lacking in that area, and sadly, I don't think will ever come back... My friend was telling me about her visit to California a few months ago. While there she stayed with her uncle and aunt. She told me all about how her uncle would not only open the car door for her aunt whenever they went somewhere, but he also opened the door for her and her mother and sister too. Whenever it was time to eat he would always wait until all of the ladies in the room were seated before he, himself sat down. At first as she was telling me all this I seriously had my doubts. I am not used to seeing this at all anymore and it sounded more as a story she was making up, but she was not making it up at all. There really is a guy out there in California, who not only knows how to be respectful to women and how to treat them, but is not at all ashamed or nervous to show it. Now my friend is from Poland, and apparently she said that's how all the men treat the women there. It's just something that is expected... It's sad to me that here in America we have let those things just kind of become foreign to us.

Friday, March 13, 2009

By Popular Demand

After my last post, a few people have asked me if I would post the talk I actually gave on the retreat. I kind of debated this because of the length of my talk, but then I thought well, why not... So here is my Mary talk. Enjoy!

Why have devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary? This is a point debated hotly among
our Protestant friends and which I hope to help you understand more so of why we have devotions to Mary by the end of my talk.

Maybe devotion to the Mother of God is the constant "WHY is it necessary?” Or,
why is She important to our Christian life? There are many who seem to be afraid
that devotion to Mary might interfere with their devotion to Christ. "How can I give my full attention to Christ, and so my love, if I am devoted to Mary?" It is simply the
difficulty of loving two persons with one heart. Yet, this is the common rationalization of many. Others are apathetic to any Marian devotion because they are thinking that it is "Too Much!" for Her, a creature like us. It is as if too much devotion to Mary would make Her a god. These are the assumptions of others that prevent them from experiencing the warmth of Her maternal love, the happiness of being a child to a most loving Mother and the consolation of being drawn closer to Jesus.

But we can sum up this cold Marian attitude in a single word: IGNORANCE. It is the
lack of knowledge of the privileges and role of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Oftentimes there is a confusion between veneration of Mary and adoration to Her. Of course, we don't and never adore the Blessed Virgin as our Protestant friends accuse us. There is a bold line that delineates between veneration and adoration. No matter how you multiply your veneration, it never ends up with adoration. Just as addition can never make an infinite sum, so our veneration and devotion to Mary remains simply to honor her. Period. When we honor Her we never displease our Lord. It never interferes with our love and devotion to Christ. It is noteworthy to quote what the Church says on this matter: "The maternal duty of Mary toward men in no way obscures or diminishes the unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows His power.. It rests on His mediation, depends upon it and draws all of its power from it. In no way does it take away from Him, but rather does it foster the immediate union of the faithful with Christ" (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, 60).Jesus is never envious when we honor His Mother. In fact, He wills it. He even expressed it in the Fourth Commandment: "Honor your father and mother." Is not the Blessed Virgin our
Mother? Jesus Himself upon hanging on the Cross gave His Mother as our Mother when he said “Behold thy Mother” in John 19:27. Although we are not worthy of Her
motherhood, Christ gave Her to us because He knew very well that we need a mother like Her. And She is not simply a metaphorical Mother, and we are not her metaphorical children, but Mary is TRULY our Mother in the supernatural order just as the mother who gave us birth is our TRUE mother in the natural order. According to Fr. Neubert, "A mother is one who gives life. Mary has given you life, the most real life."

In order for us to honor Mary as our Mother, Jesus, the Son of God, set an example to us for us to follow. He was very obedient to Mary (Luke 2:51) because He was the most loving Son. If to be a Christian means a follower of Christ, then are we not to imitate the love and obedience of Jesus to His Mother? How can we become perfect disciples of Jesus imitating Him in every aspect of His life when we fail to love and obey His Mother? And this is precisely what Marian devotion consists of, love and obedience. So in the person of Jesus we have that divine example of devotion to Mary. His example must be perfect; and that is, what we ought to follow as Christians. If we have to follow Christ's standard of devotion to His Mother, then we should not be afraid in giving Her "too much" love for we will never come to love Her as Jesus did, according to St. Maximilian. Do we think that we can outmatch the love of Jesus to His Mother? Then why are we so reserved in giving our love to Her, in expressing our devotion to Her? Being a Mother of grace She rightly deserves our love-the highest love that we can possibly have. And don't be afraid; our love to Her is too little in comparison with Jesus' love.

My Personal Story

Growing up, the way I learned about Mary was through the stories of her
apparitions. You know, like Our Lady of Lourdes and Our Lady of Fatima and Our Lady of Guadelupe. My mother would have us watch movies about them for religion class quite a number of times, and I never complained because it got me out of doing my bookwork I enjoyed those times, but sadly I never did feel as close to her as I have in the past few years. Don’t get me wrong, there are many times in my life that I have felt the closeness of Mary, the silliest; for example, was easily the one year when I prayed a rosary everyday for the colts to win the super bowl, and that same year the Colts did indeed win the super bowl…I would like to think that my rosary’s had to do a lot with that. I mean I didn’t pray them just for that reason, but I did include that in my intentions to Mary.

Seriously though, I would have to say the time I have truly been closest to Mary was
after watching the movie “The Passion.” You see, I always knew growing up that my sins did indeed hurt Jesus, but I never really thought about how my sins affected Mary, his Mother. Watching the portrayal of Mary in the movie made me think of Mary in a whole new light. There are two moving parts in that movie that especially touched me. The first one happens to be the part while Jesus is being scourged. Mary hears his screams the whole time, and is plagued by the devil as he sarcastically walks around in the background while Jesus is being scourged as if he is trying to not only mess with Jesus’ mind, but also to hurt and tempt Mary as well into putting God down. Like she was a pawn in his sick and twisted mind game. The way she reacts to the evilness of the devil amazes me. The other scene that truly moved me was the very last scene that she has, right after they take Jesus down from the cross and she is holding him, and then she looks straight into the camera with this look of complete devastation, and it’s as if she’s saying ”Look at what you’ve done… are you happy now?” Now, I am not a mom, so I cannot honestly say how it would feel to watch one of my own children go through what Jesus did and still have faith in the message that was being sent through Jesus. I do however have three amazing, crazy, funny, energetic, and frustrating nephews who I love dearly, even if they do drive me insane, I can’t imagine my life without them here. I can’t imagine what it would feel like if I had to watch one of them go through what Jesus did and still come out with great faith in God. I have to say that because of that movie I found an even more deeper connection with Mary.

Another time when I feel in complete awe of Mary is when I think of how she had the
courage to say yes to the Angel Gabriel when he came and asked her to be the mother of God’s child. We’ve been told that she was only thirteen years old when the agreed to become the mother of Jesus. I can honestly say I don’t know what I would have done personally if while I was in the middle of cleaning my room or doing schoolwork or reading a book, or something like that and an angel appears out of nowhere and says to me that I’ve been chosen to be the Mother of God. I think I would probably have been really freaking out and wondering if I’d had some sort of head trauma or something to be hallucinating the whole thing up. I don’t think I would have taken this angel seriously and would have run away scared out of my mind. Not only was Mary able to calmly say yes to that question, but she did so knowing the controversy that would follow her. Having a child out of marriage is something we sadly see everyday. It’s much more accepted today, way more so then it would have been back in Mary’s Day. It was very scandalous to have that happen and it is something that she could have been kicked out of her family and sent away for or worse. But think about this. If she hadn’t said yes to the angel that day, we wouldn’t have Jesus, and if we didn’t have Jesus, we wouldn’t have our Catholic faith. We owe her so much for saying yes to God. I don’t know what I would do without her example to look at and try to follow in my own life. She was an amazing, amazing woman who we should all strive to have a relationship with.

I bet your wondering how we can build a better relationship with Mary. Of the many
forms of devotion to Our Lady, there are some which have been especially recommended by the Church. Devotions which involve the use of physical objects are not superstitious, because these objects are not thought to have any power in themselves. Rather, they are external aids to interior devotion to the Mother of God.

The Rosary

An especially great Marian devotion is the Rosary. There is an ancient tradition that
St. Dominic received the Rosary from Our Lady in an apparition at Prouille in 1206 A.D. as a weapon against the Albigensian heresy. What is entirely certain is that in one way or another, numerous Popes have spoken of St. Dominic as author of the Rosary, without pronouncing on the authenticity of the Prouille vision. They have strongly recommended the Rosary. I for one say a rosary every night before I go to bed. Brother Dominic over at St. Paul’s told me recently that as a child growing up he was taught that if you fall asleep while praying your rosary, your guardian angel will finish it for you. I hope he’s right on with that one, because I know I have fallen asleep through too many rosaries in my life to count.

The Brown Scapular

Another recommended Marian devotion is wearing the Brown Scapular of Our Lady
of Mount Carmel. There are many Scapulars, all valuable, but this one is eminent among them. There is a very ancient tradition that St. Simon Stock, Superior of the Carmelite Order in England in 1251, after imploring the help of Our Lady, was favored with a vision in which she gave him the Scapular, saying: "This will be a privilege for you and for all Carmelites, that he who dies in this will not suffer eternal fire." The historical evidence for this vision is very impressive, and gives at least some degree of moral certitude that the vision really did take place. To gain this promise one must be enrolled in the Confraternity of the Scapular. What is the Confraternity of the Scapular is something I bet you’re probably wondering. Well, The Scapular Confraternity of Carmel is an association of the faithful who strive for Christian perfection in the spirit of Carmel. Through their free commitment, they participate in the life of the Order and its spiritual benefits in an intimate communion of thought, ideals and works, together with Mary Queen of Carmel and all the Carmelite Saints. Membership into the Scapular Confraternity takes place in a simple way through means of Enrolment in the Scapular. Enrolment in the Brown Scapular is done in a short ceremony in which any baptized Catholic who wishes to wear the Brown Scapular can become associated with the Carmelite Order, and thereby qualify to receive the fulfillment of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s promise. Those who have been enrolled in the Scapular, practice the Order’s spirituality, and have been granted some association with the Order. After the reception of the Scapular, the faithful may, for personal reasons, substitute it with a medal showing on one side the Sacred Heart of Jesus and on the other, Our Lady. People are enrolled in the Scapular only once, by a priest or a deacon. Both, Scapular and medal may be replaced without having to be blessed again.

So, why devotion to Mary? Because Jesus wills it by giving Her Mother as our Mother. Fr. Stefano Maria Pio, FFI, S.T.D. says: "The first foundation for devotion to
Mary is Her status as Mother and our status as Her children." This is the reason why the saints had a passionate love to the Blessed Virgin because they looked at Her as a fond Mother. They believed that only by casting themselves upon the maternal care of the Immaculate Mother that one can truly resemble Jesus who quietly rested in His Mother's arms. Only in frequent recourse to Her that one can be nearer to Jesus. And only in loving Her that one can love Jesus more than one can do by himself. Devotion to Mary is highly recommended in the school of the saints. There is no other way, that is surer, closer and quicker, to Jesus than Mary. AD JESUM PER MARIAM (To Jesus through Mary) is the watchword of the servants of God. In Her we have nothing to do but only a disposition: be a child to a mother; as simple as that and we will experience a sweet intimacy with Jesus, our Brother. Ave Maria!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Coincidence... I think not!

In the past few weeks I have begun to start to think that the Blessed Mother, Mary, has been trying to get my attention.... You see back in December I was asked by a very close friend to give a talk about the importance of having a good devotion to the Blessed Mother during our annual youth group retreat. I gave my talk at the retreat about two weeks ago. In my talk I focused a lot on Mary's role during the passion of Christ along with how important it was for Mary to accept to be Christ's mother in the first place. Well later that Sunday evening, I went to listen to a speaker that came to our parish to talk on the topic of commitment. In the beginning of his talk he talks all about Mary and the importance of her commitment to being the Mother of Jesus. basically he said pretty much the same things I had in my talk earlier that morning. I even turned to some of my friends after the talk and asked if they thought it sounded like mine, and they agreed. So if that was not enough... the other night I was in my room reading a book called "Surrender" which is a Catholic romance novel all about chastity and good stuff like that. So as I am reading this book, I come to these two paragraphs where the main characters start to talk about Mary and how important she is to our faith and how if there was no Mary saying "Yes!" there would be no Jesus. That's three times in a few weeks that I get the feeling she's trying to tell me something...I'm just not sure what that is yet. Interesting stuff.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Catholicism and discrimination

Every Wed. evening I enjoy going to one of the local Catholic churches here in my hometown, where a group of us college students and one of the priests, Fr. Stan come together for Holy Hour and then a drop-in. Tonight our holy hour focused on the reading of the mass today. After we reflected on them, we began to get into a really deep conversation about how we as Catholics tend to get discriminated in our daily lives. Whether it's because of the political views we tend to hold or the beliefs we have in our faith. I know I tend to get made fun of at work for being the "conservative" Catholic. Although I am not the only Catholic that works at my daycare, I am one that does try follow the laws of the church.
After quite a few of us shared our stories of how we have been through being made fun of for being Catholic we asked the priest, Fr. Stan, how he thought we should handle ourselves when we come face to face with it. He said that the best way to handle a situation is to not show our anger. He says that is usually the sign that people want to see the most. Instead he said we should try to show them respect and if we say anything it should be something like "Well, I'm sorry you feel that way," and maybe try to look a little sad if possible. I think that is some very good advice that we should all try and remember.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Goals and Aspirations

I have recently been reading a book called "The Rhythm of Life" by Matthew Kelly. It is a very interesting book and it's all about how to live your day to day life with passion and purpose. Towards the beginning of the book, Matthew Kelly gives you and exercise to do. The exercise is to write down your goals and aspirations that you want to see completed in your life before you leave this world. These things can be as silly or as serious as you want them to be. You can go back and add to this list at anytime you want... the point of it is when you look back on it in a year or six months or however long you wait, you will see how much you've changed and how much you may still want those dreams or if you've completed some of them. So here's some of my list that I've filled out that I want to do, in no particular order whatsoever....

1.) Finish my Early Childhood Education degree.
2.) Become even more assertive in my job then what I already am now.
3.) Meet and be truly in love with my future husband.
4.) Have a good family life with my future husband and children.
5.) Work on becoming an even healthier and happier person.
6.) I want to be able to stay at home with my children until they are school-aged if that is possible.
7.) Always strive for a better relationship with God.
8.) I want to try and learn something new and different each year, whether that is a
new language or a different kind of hobby, or ballroom dancing...things like that.
9.) I want to "master" (lol) the "Mass parts" of the Mass on the piano.
10.) I want to be able write an awesome song that people will love.
11.) I want to volunteer as much as I can with C.O.T.A. as I grow older.
12.) I want to travel with my future husband.
13.) I want to visit Hawaii at least once in my life.
14.) I want to be able to buy and own my own house.
15.) I want to be the person who when people talk about, there's always something nice said.
16.) I want to strive to be that kind of person that people will "see" Christ through my
17.) I would love to be able to work with the youth in youth ministry in some way.
18.) I want to strive to be happy in the present moment.
19.) I want to visit Rome at least once in my life.

As I said before I am sure I will be adding on to this list for awhile, but this will do for right now...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Learning to enjoy the ride

This week-end here in good old B-town, the weather has been amazing. I have enjoyed being able to go outside without a jacket and feeling comfortable. I did not really realize how much I missed being able to feel more free without being bogged down by a coat, hat, mittens, and a scarf. There's something about the first few days of nice weather after being closed up for months inside with crazy hyper children and grumpy siblings. The weather has put me in such a happy mood, and nothing's really been able to bring me down.
Just today I spent some time out in my "secret" spot again just reveling in the sounds of nature. I had another heart to heart chat with God. You see, the past few months I have been so frustrated with Him and confused by some things that have happened in my life. Don't get me wrong, I still felt close to Him and everything, just impatient for things to happen in my life. I've come to the realization after my talk with God that He has such an amazing plan for me. I tend to forget that His timing and mine are totally different, and I need to be more patient. I think that's something I will always have to work on. I am so used to being always on the go and worrying about getting to place after place on time. I've grown up in an era where people are used to having things instantaneously, and that has obviously had an impact on me. So until I really have figured out what God has planned for me I need to just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Thoughts on the movie "Watchmen"

So last night, I went out with some friends to see the new movie "Watchmen." I hate to say that the movie was one I found very disturbing and yet thought provoking. It was filled with quite a bit of socialism crap, and some scenes in the movie really didn't need to be in there. However, there was one quote in the movie, by Dr. Manhatten that was very interesting....

Doctor Manhattan: Thermo-dynamic miracles... events with odds against so astronomical they're effectively impossible, like oxygen spontaneously becoming gold. I long to observe such a thing.
And yet, in each human coupling, a thousand million sperm vie for a single egg. Multiply those odds by countless generations, against the odds of your ancestors being alive; meeting; siring this precise son; that exact daughter... Until your mother loves a man she has every reason to hate, and of that union, of the thousand million children competing for fertilization, it was you, only you, that emerged. To distill so specific a form from that chaos of improbability, like turning air to gold... that is the crowning unlikelihood. The thermo-dynamic miracle.
It really made me think just how awesome God is (not thermo-dynamics) in making each human being. It's beautiful and amazing.