Friday, July 31, 2009

Kid's Say the Darndest Things #4

Aaron: Mommy, I need a dollar. (he picks up her purse and starts to dig through it.)

Maria (his mom): Hey now, didn't I ever teach you you're not supposed to go through a woman's purse?

Aaron: You're not a woman. You're just a mom!

Miss Ellie: Teresa, you see the nest up there? Do you think it's a bird's nest or a squirrel's nest?

Me: Well, I think it looks to small to be a squirrel's nest, Ellie.

Chelsie: I know what it is.... It's a duck's nest!

James: Uh uh, Chelsie. It's a Guinea pig's nest.

Chelsie: Guinea pigs don't live in nests.... they live in boxes, silly!

Miss Marva: Callum, you are just way too adorable!

Callum: I'm not aborable, Miss Marva. You're too aborable.

Sam: Hey, there are puzzle pieces gone.

Me: yeah, I know. We've been missing them for a few days, Sam.

Sam: I know. A squirrel came and took them.

Me: Maybe, the squirrel got in when some people were coming in the door....

Sam: No, I am pretty sure it came in that window right over there.

Miss Marva: Hey, Kaytlin. Are you even listening to a word I am saying!?!?!?

Kaytlin: No, I'm stuck in my head, Miss Marva. I'm a very silly silly little girl.

According to Your Will....

"Christ, hear me.
Christ, hear me.
Christ, graciously hear me.

Discerning your silence is a difficult task,
but it is not something I do on my own.
Everything I am, all my experiences, thoughts,
memories, passions, and my spirit,
comes to me from You, Jesus,
You give me life.
You sustain my life.
You inspire and guide the course of my life.

Show me how I can please You.
Grant me the strength to love you more intensely.
Let Your Spirit direct my choices.
When I pray about my vocation in life,
let me not focus too much upon the future.
Let me become more receptive to your presence;
it is when I am patient, humble
and self-sacrificing that I encounter You.

Becoming fully attentive to each moment
allows me to see you working in others
and in myself.
It is when I am patient, humble,
and filled with love, that I grow closer to You.
Intimacy with you is how I will know
what you ask of me.
Grant me the strength to do whatever you ask of me
according to Your will. Amen."

~Colleen Wamser~

Thursday, July 30, 2009

"An Exceptional Beautiful Woman"

"For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with the knowledge you’ll never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anybody.

Remember, If you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years-only grows!

--Audrey Hepburn"

I have always liked this quote... I have never read the whole thing though, until tonight when I saw it on a friend's note on facebook. I thought I would pass it along because I agree with everything it says.

The burden of being a "secret keeper"

"Sometimes reality has a way of sneaking up and biting us in the ass. And when the dam bursts, all you can do is swim. The world of pretend is a cage, not a cocoon. We can only lie to ourselves for so long. We are tired, we are scared, denying it doesn't change the truth. Sooner or later we have to put aside our denial and face the world. Head on, guns blazing. De Nile. It's not just a river in Egypt, it's a freakin' ocean. So how do you keep from drowning in it?"

"At the end of the day, there are some things you just can't help but talk about. Some things we just don't want to hear, and some things we say because we can't be silent any longer. Some things are more than what you say, they're what you do. Some things you say cause there's no other choice. Some things you keep to yourself. And not too often, but every now and then, some things simply speak for themselves."

"The thing people forget is how good it can feel when you finally set secrets free. Whether good or bad, at least they're out in the open. And once your secrets are out in the open, you don't have to hide behind them anymore. The problem with secrets is even when you think you're in control, you're not."
~Grey's Anatomy~

One of my favorite shows happens to be "Grey's Anatomy." I cannot really explain why, except that some of the things the writers come up with make so much sense and really make me think... take the quotes above that come from the show.

Secrets... we all have them. I know I have held back a lot of them. I tend to be the one people go to when they want something serious to be kept because they know I won't go around and tell everyone about it. I have become quite good at keeping them to myself, and sometimes being the "secret keeper" sucks, to put it bluntly. Sometimes I get tired of holding onto everyone else's problems, but at the same time, I like being able to know that people trust me enough to tell me those secrets that they probably would not talk about to anyone else. Secrets are a burden, so how do you tell which ones to keep and how long till you want to explode from holding them in for so long.... I think the "secret keeper" needs another confidante themselves just to vent out frustrations... but because they agree to keep the secrets they tend to be stuck in a rut.
Not only is it a burden holding onto other people's secrets, but after awhile holding onto your own gets tiring. I am getting very close to breaking that "barrier" and letting some of mine out, but the thing is I am afraid of what the repercussions might be if I do just that. I don't want to have any awkwardness with anyone, but if I do put it all out there... I have a feeling there may be. I think I should have put it out there earlier on this year, but the fear of those repercussions has always stopped me from doing it. I am still afraid of what may happen, but not so much anymore... I figure living in denile over certain things is much worse then laying it all out on the line.

"If Today Was Your Last Day"

There is a new song out there by "Nickelback," called "If Today Was Your Last Day." Listening to it made me think about how I would spend my last day if I knew it was my last.... I have decided I would go to confession first thing because that is most important. I would also try to spend the rest of my day with my closest family and friends, while calling some of those who I have grown apart from. The thing is, we never know when our last day will be, so like this song says, "Every second counts 'cause there's no second try, so live like you're never living twice.
Don't take the free ride in your own life." I think I like this song so much I am going to put it on my playlist for this blog.

If Today Was Your Last Day
by Nickelback

My best friend gave me the best advice
He said each day's a gift and not a given right
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by
That first step you take is the longest stride

If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had, if today was your last day?
What if, what if, if today was your last day?

Against the grain should be a way of life
What's worth the price is always worth the fight
Every second counts 'cause there's no second try
So live like you're never living twice
Don't take the free ride in your own life

If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had?

And would you call those friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories?
Would you forgive your enemies?
And would you find that one you're dreaming of?
Swear up and down to God above
That you'd finally fall in love if today was your last day?

If today was your last day
Would you make your mark by mending a broken heart?
You know it's never too late to shoot for the stars
Regardless of who you are

So do whatever it takes
'Cause you can't rewind a moment in this life
Let nothing stand in your way
'Cause the hands of time are never on your side

If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had?

And would you call those friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories?
Would you forgive your enemies?
And would you find that one you're dreaming of
Swear up and down to God above
That you'd finally fall in love if today was your last day?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Christianity vs. Scientology

A few months ago I mentioned in a post how I wanted to learn more about the different religions in the world so I could know more about how to respond to people when they try to put down my own belief in Catholicism/Christianity.... well with all the hype surrounding the Scientology cult, I became curious to know more about it all. I found a lot of different information on it, but my favorite website that explains more on this subject can be found if you click here. Below is from the website I mentioned above. Some interesting stuff right there,

Christianity vs. Scientology—Doctrine

The doctrines of Scientology and Christianity are quite divergent. It is important to immediately clarify specific terms that are incompatible between them, such as:





L. Ron Hubbard’s writings



“All Theta,” “Eighth Dynamic”

Personal Triune Creator


A shade above “clear”

God—the Messiah


Thetan (immortal spirit)

Finite creature


None (man is basically good)

Disobedience to God/man is fallen


Increasing self-awareness

In Christ alone by faith alone





Mentally emanated by thetans

Created by God

Christianity and Scientology are divergent as to the following:

They disagree over what constitutes the basis of authority of one’s beliefs. Christianity accepts only those writings inspired by the living God, the 66 books of the Holy Bible. Scientology views the writings of L. Ron Hubbard to be Scripture. Because of this there is a sharp contrast in their doctrines, a sampling follows:

Scientology accepts reincarnation; Christianity rejects it (Hebrews 9:27) and holds to the resurrection of the body (1 Corinthians 15:50-57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20:5, 13).

Scientology says man is basically good; Christianity teaches that man is plagued by original sin (Romans 5:12).

Scientology dismisses the reality of hell; Christianity accepts it as the final destination of all who reject Jesus Christ (Revelation 20:10-14).

Scientology rejects the divinity of Jesus Christ; Christianity believes Jesus is absolute deity (John 1:1), the divine Messiah who is the unique only begotten Son of God and Savior of mankind (John 3:16; Titus 2:13, 14).

Scientology accepts occult “out-of-body” experiences; Christianity condemns all forms of occultism (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).

When considering the many thousands of existing and unexplainably accurate manuscripts of the Bible, the many hundreds of fulfilled prophecies contained in the Bible, and the existence of over 25,000 supportive archaeological discoveries of the Bible, as compared to the highly dubious writings of L. Ron Hubbard; there is no question to the intelligent mind that the Bible is the only credible and divine Word for man.

They disagree over the concept of God. The Bible declares there is one true God, the Creator of the universe and all that is therein. He is knowable and personal by His creators. He transcend (is outside of) both time and space. He is sovereign over all creation (Psalms 135:6; Ephesians 1:11), and there is no god beside Him (Deuteronomy 32:39; Isaiah 44:6; 46:9). Even though He is both righteous and just, He is portrayed in Scripture as compassionately toward His people (Exodus 3:7, 8; Job 34:28; Psalms 81:10, 91; 14, 15; 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4; Philippians 4:6, 7). He is a loving God toward all mankind (John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9). God, not thetans, created the universe—which is real (not an illusion)—Genesis 1:31. Man is also real, having been made from the dust of the earth.

Contrary to Scientology’s portrayal of man as a powerful immortal spirit who has self-imposed limitation by the MEST, he is intrinsically weak, helpless, and dependent on God. He is absolutely finite (Psalms 100:3) and who is puny in comparison to the matchless and incomparable one true God. Contrary to the prideful view that man is an immortal thetan, the fact of his true position before God should lead man to a sense of humility and engender worship before the one true God.

They disagree regarding the condition of man. Man did not fall in “materiality.” He fell by and into sin, which caused his alienation from God (Genesis 3:6-24). Every human being is born with the Adamic nature and is prone to and will in fact sin (Romans 5:12). Unlike Scientology’s belief in the “clearing” of engrams, sin can never be eradicated in this life (Romans 8:4; Galatians 5:16, 17; 1 John 1:10)—but only in the next life (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 22:15).

Whereas sin caused estrangement and enmity between God and man, Jesus Christ, through His sacrifice on the cross where He paid the penalty-price for man’s sin, brought the grace-gift of eternal salvation to man, which included reconciliation (Colossians 1:20), peace (Romans 5:1), and the restoration of fellowship with God (Ephesians 2:13). And all of this is totally free (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Revelation 21:6) to anyone who will only exercise non-meritorious faith in Christ alone, unlike the huge expense of courses offered to those within Scientology who wish to be eventually delivered from themselves.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Life is a roller coaster ride

If you read the post below, you will know all about my recent roller coaster adventure. Thinking about that roller coaster ride though really did make me realize more about how life is moving like that ride... with only one way to go and no going back to the place you left... I mean even after you get off that roller coaster you are not the same as when you left it... You can't really take back whatever actions you may make, and it's too late to fix some mistakes you did and so you just have to keep going. Life is full of intense moments of free-falling, twisting, turning, spinning upside down, and it never lets up. You have to find a way to hold on tight and hope that you have prepared yourself for whatever comes around the next turn. Life is a breathtaking and scary ride.
Right at this moment in time, I feel like I am at the top of an incredibly tall drop and the ride stops, and you can't decided which is worse... anticipating that drop, because you know it's gonna happen no matter what, or when you end up actually dropping... I personally think that the anticipating is the worst, because once you've actually gone through the drop you anticipated you can then decide if you made it out to be worse than you thought it would be or if you were right on. So here's to the free-fall that I know will be happening to me very soon.....

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Facing My Fear....

.... My fear of roller coasters that is. The picture above is a roller coaster called "The Vortex" at King's Island... There is a saying, "The only thing to fear is fear itself." I keep that quote in one of my many quote books that I keep, and for the most part I totally agree with it. This past week-end I faced my fear, and even though I would never do it again, I can proudly say I conquered it. As I said above, I happen to be incredibly terrified of roller coasters. I have ridden quite a few in my life, and every single time I get off I am a nervous wreck for a good half hour afterwords, at least.... with this particular roller coaster though, I was still shaking and feeling sick for an hour after I rode it. When I first waited in line for the ride with my three other friends I was actually planning on asking to walk through to the exit, but somehow my friends connived me and played their little mind games and got me to agree to go on this one roller coaster. As I was waiting to get on those last few minutes I started to shake and cry and feel incredibly sick to my stomach. It got so bad I was telling them that I wanted my Daddy to be there with me. I got strapped in and I remember praying silently in my head asking God to please let me not puke or pee in my pants while on the ride, meanwhile I was also yelling at my friend for making me get on the ride and bawling like a baby all at the same time. My heart was beating so hard and fast that is felt like my heart was going to pound out of my chest and some words that I try to avoid saying at all costs started flying out of my mouth and I could not stop them. It was one of the most traumatizing few minutes of my life on that ride. After I got off, I started crying again and my friends told me they had never seen my face turn green before. I was a total wreck, and immediately asked to call my Dad after I got off the roller coaster because I needed to hear his voice so badly. There is something to be said though about facing your fears. You feel somewhat proud for putting yourself out there and breaking out of the safety/comfort zone.

Friday, July 24, 2009

"Prayer Before Starting on a Journey"

Since I am leaving for the week-end I decided to look up this prayer... Please keep our safety in your prayers and that we do not get to lost along the trip.... I've never actually driven to Ohio before. This may turn out quite interesting to say the least.... My mom gave me a third class relic of St. Anthony this morning to hopefully help me find our way if we do happen to miss a turn. She knows me too well. I will post again as soon as I can. :)

Prayer before Starting on a Journey

My holy Angel Guardian, ask the Lord to bless the journey which I undertake, that it may profit the health of my soul and body; that I may reach its end, and that, returning safe and sound, I may find my family and friends in good health. Do thou guard, guide and preserve us. Amen.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Why can't everyone just get along????

I am a person who hates conflict, so I try to avoid it at all costs. Sometimes, though, I obviously can't avoid it, and so then I have to deal with it. Over the past few months there has been some drama within a group of my friends, and until recently I have been able to avoid getting involved. You see, about a month ago a nice sized group of my friends all planned a fun trip to King's Island, I think altogether it would have been seven or eight of us. About two weeks ago, some of them got into a fight, and they all came to me to be the "mediator" I guess you could say. Being the mediator of arguments can be one of the most frustrating positions, and after about a week of being the "go to" person, I had to tell them to leave me out of it, and that may have caused me more problems than it did to help keep my sanity.... The big King's Island week-end trip has finally come, but only a few of us are going because some people are not talking to others, and now my younger sister is giving me the silent treatment over going. At first I was tempted to back out of the trip because the person I was mainly going to see, a very old friend of mine, almost had to back out of the trip too, but when she said she definitely was going I decided to go afterall. At first I felt bad about my sister not going because she could not get off of work, but lately, her attitude towards me has made me think twice. In fact, I am more excited to get out of town for awhile and away from the drama because of it. It's times like this when I want to just have some sort of magic power and go *poof* and make everyone get along and stay happy. So since I don't have that magic power, to save me from excess stress I am going to go on this week-end trip and hang out with my friends and have fun, because I've gotten to the point where I am so over it all.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gardasil... Apparently It Causes More Than Just "One Less."

I just received this in an e-mail. I am sure most of
us are familiar with the Gardasil vaccine commercials
that come on tv all the time... well here is another
reason to not believe everything you see on the

NVIC Vaccine News

Preventing Gardasil Vaccine Injuries &
Deaths By Barbara Loe Fisher She is just 16: the
intelligent, lively pretty girl from Kansas, who
was a high school gymnast and cheerleader and got
straight A's until, in 2008, three Gardasil shots
changed her life and she became one more Gardasil
reaction statistic.

Today, Gabrielle never knows when she will be back
in the hospital emergency room. Diagnosed with
inflammation in the brain and body, the brain
seizures won't stop. She has had strokes. The right
side of her body is weakened. She is in almost
constant pain. Gabi has developed lupus now. Her
doctor says she could die.

Fast-Tracked Vaccine

Gardasil vaccine was fast tracked to licensure by the
Food and Drug Administration in 2006. It contains
genetically engineered virus-like protein particles
(VLPs) and aluminum, which affect immune function.
The exact mechanism of protection is unknown and the
vaccine has not been evaluated for the potential to
cause cancer or be toxic to the genes. It is a vaccine
that, by the summer of 2009, already caused more than
15,000 thousand reports of vaccine reactions,
including more than 3,000 injuries and 48 deaths....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Can't seem to wake up and stay warm...

Today has for some reason been a more tiring day... I think it has mostly to do with the fact that I have been kind of fighting off a cold all week. I was colder than usual today, and could not stop yawning. When I signed into yahoo today one of the news head lines caught my eye. It said "12 Health Mysteries Explained." I found out some interesting facts about different things, and if you're at all interested in reading more, you can click here. I have put some of the article here.

Why Do So Many Women Have Cold Hands and Feet?

Blame it on circulation. “The nerves that control blood flow to the hands and feet are more sensitive in women than in men,” says Mark Eskandari, M.D., a vascular surgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, in Chicago. “So when the temperature drops, their vessels constrict more, warming blood flow slows, and their extremities feel cold.” Women also have lower blood pressure than men. “When they’re cold or stressed and their blood pressure drops, blood is redirected to the heart and away from the hands and feet,” he says. "Some experts believe that women tend to hold heat in the core, where the heart and uterus are, so they can protect developing fetuses," notes James Applegate, a family doctor in Grand Rapids, Michigan. But this is just a theory.

Why Is Yawning Contagious?

No one knows for sure, but a study published in a recent issue of the journal Cognitive Brain Research theorizes that yawning in response to someone else’s yawn may be an empathetic response, similar to laughter. “A yawn can be triggered not only by seeing a person yawn but also by hearing, reading about, or even just thinking about yawns,” says Steven Platek, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Drexel University, in Philadelphia, who directed the research. Platek and his colleagues believe that contagious yawning may be a primitive way of modeling our feelings after other people’s.

"Unanswered Prayers"

There is a song by Garth Brooks called, "Unanswered Prayers." It's all about how he is thankful that sometimes God did not answer his prayers the way he wanted to because later on in life he realized that God had a better plan for him then he could have foreseen while he was in high school. It is funny, because I am sure most of us have prayed and asked God for certain things we thought we wanted at one time or another, and then a few years later are more grateful that He did not answer it in the way we thought we wanted Him to. I think, just as this song states, that unanswered prayers are a blessing. It's another example of us not knowing how God has planned things for our lives, and His plans are ultimately the best for us so it is important to trust in Him completely. The lyrics are below...

Unanswered Prayers
Garth Brooks

Just the other night a hometown football game
My wife and I ran into my old high school flame
And as I introduced them the past came back to me
And I couldn't help but think of the way things used to be

She was the one that I'd wanted for all times
And each night I'd spend prayin' that God would make her mine
And if he'd only grant me this wish I wished back then
I'd never ask for anything again

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn't answer doesn't mean he don't care
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers

She wasn't quite the angel that I remembered in my dreams
And I could tell that time had changed me
In her eyes too it seemed
We tried to talk about the old days
There wasn't much we could recall
I guess the Lord knows what he's doin' after all

And as she walked away and I looked at my wife
And then and there I thanked the good Lord
For the gifts in my life

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs
That just because he may not answer doesn't mean he don't care
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered
Some of God's greatest gifts are all too often unanswered...
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Marriage and Christ's Relationship with the Church

Tonight at our Summer weekly youth group Bible study we focused on the sacraments. It was an interesting one tonight... When we talked about the sacrament of Matrimony we looked at the "infamous" (more so for women at least) Ephesians 5:21-32 quote. For those of you who do not know what this quote is:

"Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the savior of the body. As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. So (also) husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. "For this reason a man shall leave (his) father and (his) mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church."

Now, I happened to have been able to attend quite a few talks on the Theology of the Body, and at almost every single one of them, this quote is talked about and broken down. You see, I have noticed that whenever this reading is read at Mass how each woman reacts to it. Once I heard it broken down though, I have become a fan of it, which may shock some, but let me explain this a little more from what I have heard. The relationship between a married couple is supposed to mirror that of Christ and his relationship with the Church; the man is supposed to take the role of Christ and the woman is supposed to take the role of the Church. So, yes, the quote says for women to be subordinate to their husbands and respect them, but it also states that the men should love their wives as Christ loves the Church. Now that is a big statement right there, for them to love as Christ did. Let's think for a minute... how did Christ love the Church... well He loved it so much that He died to save it... Now, that's a pretty big thing to be ordered to do. If the husband is supposed to love their wives that much, than I think the least the wife can do is give him respect. As I reflect on it, I think the women have the easier side of the bargain... that's just me though. I have a feeling not to many women agree with me on this though....

I'm A Lean Mean Housecleaning Machine

I have finally found the time in my hectic week-end to sit down and breath. My week-end feels as though it went by so fast and was packed with a lot of different things. I feel like I've been going like the energizer bunny. My Saturday was spent with mostly cleaning my house. I cleaned a heck of a lot, and when I thought I was finished with that and I could relax, my sister called begging me to help her pack up her apartment so that she could come over for dinner with us, so being the good sister I am, I told her I'd come over and help. All in all, I think I spent six hours cleaning. I think I got a good work-out out of it though. :)
Saturday evening was nice. My family had a friend over for dinner. He's leaving for the seminary next month and my mom wanted to have him over before he left, which was kind of funny in a way since she ended up having to work last night... We cooked out and I think it was pretty fun.
Today happens to be my Aunt and Uncle's birthday, so my sister and I sat with them at Mass while my parents and brother were serving. It was nice to be able to sit down with them on their birthday. My Uncle also happens to be my godfather, and it is always nice to be able to go to Mass with them.
This afternoon was spent shopping, which is always fun, even though I was a "window shopper" today. I like to go to different stores and try on different outfits I would never actually wear just for fun.
This evening was spent at the youth group Bible study. There was a nice sized group there. We talked about the Sacraments, and I found it very interesting. Afterwords I played a little bit of ultimate. Now, for those of you who do not know me personally need to understand I am very competitive when I play a sport. I mean it is all good fun, but I still am competitive. I think it comes from when I played softball so much when I was younger. I like to win a lot, and if I lose I'll be okay, but I do like winning better. After about a half hour of playing I got to be pampered at a Mary Kay party. It is always fun to have girl nights like that where you can joke around about things you would never talk about around the guys. So as I said before, I have had a busy week-end, and I am now some-what ready to go back into work tomorrow a little bit refreshed, especially after the Mary Kay party.

Friday, July 17, 2009


I happen to be a "retreat freak." What I mean by that is I love going on retreats. I love everything to do with them. I have gone on so many, that sometimes the memories of them tend to run into each other. I keep every t-shirt I get from them and wear each of them a lot. I have retreat t-shirts that I received way back in high school that I still love to wear. I have kept every note I have received on a retreat in the same bags I got them in. In fact, keeping them separated like that has indeed helped a lot in keeping the retreats straight in my head. Last night, I felt the need to go back and read some of those notes I received from different people while on a retreat. While looking through the different large retreat envelopes I have, I happened to find a poem a friend of mine wrote and wanted to share with each of us that went on that particular retreat. I was really moved by it, and so I want to put it here. Enjoy!

by Jen Prins

"He's not just a concept
A flighty idea
Something to make the kids happy

He's not cold impersonal authority
That hides behind rules
And doesn't give a damn

He's not a push over.
He tolerates being cheated, lied to, and stolen from
As many times as it takes

He even stands there as you walk away.

He doesn't want to take anything from you

In His eyes you are never damaged goods_
No matter how broken or used you may think you are.

He doesn't even ask you to come into the light
'Cause He'll follow you into darkness

He'll learn your pain.

So when no one else gets you and you're all alone

He'll be there.

He'll take it away

Not by a cheap wave of the hand
Of one who wants "everything" to be beautiful and
"Everyone" to be happy

But by living through hell too - so you won't be alone.

Even your screams
"My God, why have you forsaken me?"
Will be His own.

And by walking your steps
Instead of making you walk His

He's earned the right

To pick you up and carry you home.

"The Holy Catholic Church"

The Holy Catholic Church

Oh, Bride of Christ, you’re beautiful !
So radiant your face!
Crowned in love by holy priests,
Your raiment spun of grace.

Attended to by angel choirs
That ever sing your praise,
The Mother of the blessed saints
Who wisely chose your ways.

Protector of the Eucharist,
Beloved of the Queen,
The keeper of the Flame of Faith,
The door to truths unseen.

Pure Flower of the Spring of Life,
The soul’s sweet lullaby.
Oh, God’s most gracious gift to man
Through you how blest am I !

by Kate Watkins Furman

Thursday, July 16, 2009

"This Being Human is a Guest House....

I was looking up a certain quote about acceptance, and in doing so, I found this really interesting poem... I never really thought about the image of us humans having to be a "guest house," but it is so true.

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and attend them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture, still,
treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I was pleasantly surprised with the bank I use this past Saturday morning. I went there to open up a savings account (I know a lot of you are wondering why I have not done that yet... I am somewhat embarrassed about that fact, myself... but I've opened one now so I feel better about myself.), and as I was waiting for the woman to help me open it up I looked around and noticed that they were doing a fundraiser. They are trying to raise somewhere around $1,500 dollars for C.O.T.A. Whenever I see someone raising money for this place I always gladly donate to it. Now, for those of you who are new to my blog, you can read more about why this organization is so close to my heart when you click here. I happened to have noticed a lot more fund raising going on for C.O.T.A. this year. I think it has a lot to do with baby Ryan, a little baby boy who is from the Bloomington area and is in need of an kidney transplant. You can learn more about him if you click here. If you want to know more about this organization there is a neat video which you can watch it if you click this. I would have actually put it on my blog, but there is no code for me to use to place it in this blog. The one thing I love about this organization is that all the funds that the children get come from the child's community, because that is where the majority of the fund raising comes from. It helps bring a community together in a very uplifting way.

Mission and Vision

The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) helps children and young adults who need a life-saving transplant by providing fundraising assistance and family support.

Statement of Values

Respect for life including transplant-needy patients, their families and communities, organ and tissue donors, contributors and COTA volunteers.

Fairness in all relationships through the demonstration of unquestionable integrity, accurate financial reporting and the responsible stewardship of resources in COTA’s care.

Enhancement of COTA’s ability to provide 100% of all donated funds to benefit transplant-needy patients with transplanted-related expenses, and to provide excellence in service provided to every individual contacted.

Promotion of the need for organ and tissue donors and support for public education focused on the organ and tissue donation process with the goal of future elimination of lengthy transplant waiting lists

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Patience Is A Virtue...

One of my favorite quotes out there happens to be by a famous poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson. There are so many quotes of his that I love, but this is most definitely my personal favorite.

"What is success? To laugh often and much. To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children. To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty. To find the best of others. To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition. To know that one life breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)~

This is one of the quotes I do try and follow and live up to. Today at work there is a girl that has been with us for about two weeks. She is a cute kid, but she is kind of spoiled and maybe a little over dramatic. What I mean by that is she wants to be held almost constantly and if you put her down she will throw herself face down onto the floor and throw a fit, and then start crying because she has hurt herself... There are so many kids in the room that need my attention just as much as she does, and I need to make sure I give each child equal attention. I was at my wits end with her today, and came home with a little bit of a headache. I opened up a book, and the quote above was the first thing I read. I needed to be reminded of that quote.

Monday, July 13, 2009

"Life is a highway. I want to drive it all night long..."

One of my favorite things to do when I have a lot of different things going through my mind is to get in my car and just drive. Sometimes I drive down to the lake, sometimes I drive out towards Owen county, but my favorite place to drive is out in Brown county. I love that route mainly because it is such a pretty drive, as you can tell from the pictures above. I was lucky to be able to go out that way this evening to spend some time with a close friend, and it was one of those days today when I felt like getting in the car and just driving so that worked out quite well. There is just something about getting in your car and randomly driving somewhere with your music up and the windows rolled down. I find that I tend to have the best conversations with God while I am driving around like that. I've had a lot going on in my life the past few weeks... my car wreck, coming to terms with the fact that most of my close friends are leaving, a creepy stalker guy that likes to follow me around, family stuff. I just kind of had enough of dealing with that, and the long drive was just what I needed to clear my mind. There is something about feeling the control of driving a car... how fast it goes, where you steer it... it is one of the only things I have real control over and I think I just needed to remind myself that even though there are a lot of stuff in my life I can't control, I still have other things that I do have complete control over, like driving my car. I came to that conclusion while I was talking to God, how I hate feeling totally out of control with so many things, and I felt like I needed something for me to control otherwise I would probably go crazy. What is it with human nature and the need to control everything? I know I probably wrote about this before, but it still is a large thing I need to work on... giving up total control to God... It's kind of like when I go on a random drive. I want to know what is coming around the next turn, and yet I am so focused on what will be around that turn, I don't take the time to appreciate what I could be seeing at the moment. What can I say? I am still a work in progress.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

"Lying in bed and screaming 'Oh God!' does not constitute as going to church."

Today I became a little frustrated with my younger sister. I love her dearly, and of all reasons to be upset with her, I never would have thought this would have been one of them... I would have expected something like it to happen with my other siblings, not her. The reason why I became upset with her was because if I was not home today to make her think, she probably would not have gone to church today. Now, this is something I tend to get frustrated with a lot: people who claim they are Catholic and love the faith and all, but still think it is okay to miss Mass on a Sunday just because they are too tired. That's the excuse my sister gave to me anyway. I walked into the living room and I happened to notice that Mass was supposed to start in fifteen minutes, and I look and see my sister still asleep on the couch not at all ready to go to church. I asked her boyfriend if he told her what time it was, and he did not. At this point I kind of nudged her awake and told she better get herself up if she was planning to go to Mass, and then she said, "I'm just too tired to go today." Maybe it was the fact that Crista used to not think like that at all and would never think of missing Mass on Sunday a few months ago made me kind of lose it and go all "big sister" on her. I looked at her and said, "You know, this situation makes me think of a bumper sticker I saw on facebook today. It said, 'Lying in bed and screaming oh God does not constitute as going to church." I also told her how I was thoroughly disappointed and a little shocked in her behavior towards going to Mass. I may have said some other things as well. At first she was mad at me, but then she finally looked at me and said that she was going, so she got up (with five minutes until Mass began) and rushed downstairs to brush her hair, and then she finally left....
It just really makes me sad when I hear people who claim to be Catholic, but do not seem to "find the time" to go to Mass on Sunday.... It only takes up an hour of their time... I just do not understand that mind set. I personally think one hour a week is so easy to spare for God. I wish more people went to daily Mass myself... I also get frustrated when I see people walk into Mass even up to thirty minutes late and come out afterwords quite happy with themselves... It makes me wonder how many people really know they are not supposed to receive the Eucharist on Sunday if they have not heard the Gospel. Maybe it is because I love my faith so much that it is hard for me to comprehend other people kind of taking it for granted. Don't people realize that being a Catholic/christian is not a one way street. They can't just be "Oh, I'm Catholic. I believe in God. I'll be saved..." Oh no, every relationship is a two way street. It takes as much effort from each side to be of any worth at all. If they can't give just one hour to their relationship with God, then how can they truly expect God to be so willing to always help them out when they need it? I am going to close with a quote by E.M. Bounds, which I think is very fitting. "Those who know God the best are the richest and most powerful in prayer, Little acquaintance with God, and strangeness and coldness to Him, make prayer a rare and feeble thing."

Friday, July 10, 2009


I was so happy to finally be able to go out and buy the new Rascal Flatts cd and the new Keith Urban cd. This song happens to be from the Rascal Flatts cd. I have heard that you can directly relate at least one third of Rascal Flatts music to God, and thinking about all the different songs they have I can see how that is true. This one particularly kind of hit me, I mean after all God is love, so obviously love is then unstoppable. It is another song I can easily correlate to confession, not that they were probably meaning that in their song, but it is so easy to get. I was actually in my car on the way to go to confession when I first heard this song... go figure!
I put the video up here only so ya'll can hear the song too if you want... there really isn't any other reason for it.

Rascal Flatts

Hey, so you’ve made a lot of mistakes,
Walked down the road a little sideways,
Cracked a brick when you hit the wall.

Yeah, you’ve had a pocketful of regrets,
Pulled you down faster than a sunset,
Hey it happens to us all.
When the cold hard rain just won’t quit,
And you can’t see your way out of it.

You find your faith has been lost and shaken,
You take back what’s been taken,
Get on your knees and dig down deep,
You can do what you think is impossible,
Keep on believing, don’t give in.
It will come back and make you whole again,
It always will, it always does.
Love is unstoppable.

Love, it can weather a storm,
Bring it back to being born again,
Oh, it’s a helping hand when you need it most,
A lighthouse shining on a coast that never goes down,
When your heart is full of doubt,
And you think that there’s no way out.

You find your faith has been lost and shaken,
You take back what’s been taken,
Get on your knees and dig down deep,
You can do what you think is impossible,
Keep on believing, don’t give in.
It will come back and make you whole again,
It always will, it always does.
Love is unstoppable.

Like a river keeps on rolling,
Like the north wind blowing,
Don’t it feel good,
Don’t it, yeah.

You find your faith has been lost and shaken,
You take back what’s been taken,
Get on your knees and dig down deep,
You can do what you think is impossible,
Keep on believing, don’t give in.
It will come back and make you whole again,
It always will, it always does.
Love is unstoppable.

So you made a lot of mistakes,
Walked down the road a little sideways,
Love is unstoppable.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

"The Language of the Body"

This is too cool. This is all about the Theology of the Body, and I enjoyed it.

"God is Love"

Earlier today some friends and I got into a pretty deep conversation all about love. The conversation started off with one of my friends asked us if we really thought much about how the word "love" is used in our everyday language. I thought about it for a minute and then I looked at him and asked if he meant how we use love in the place of infatuation. You know, like when you first have a crush on someone and you tell people how you love that person, when really it is not love, but infatuation. I also talked about how people talk about "love at first sight." I personally don't believe in "love at first sight." I think the term "lust at first sight" fits more appropriately than love. To me it takes a whole lot more than just a glance to love someone. Loving someone is a choice. You choose everyday to love that person for everything they are. Their "good" parts as well as their "bad" ones. When you first see someone you know nothing about them other than what they look like so how can you truly love that person?
Another friend brought up how we tend to overuse the word here in America. For example, when we say "Oh I love country music" or "I love pizza." Obviously we don't think about what we are saying when we say that... I mean, would you die for something like country music or pizza? I know that if for whatever reason someone pointed a gun at me and said "hand over the pizza or I'll kill you." I would drop the pizza and get myself out of that situation as fast as possible... not that I think anyone one would do something like that... I'd be worried if they did.
Another thing which was brought up in this conversation is the encyclical, "Deus Caritas Est," which translated means "God is Love." It was the very first encyclical written by our Pope, Pope Benedict XVI. In this encyclical Pope Benedict talks about the four different types of love... which I put below if you're at all interested in reading about them.
Another friend told us that his teacher once told him that the way you can tell if it is true holy love is if God is involved in the relationship, which I totally agree with. There is a t-shirt I like to wear from an old retreat I helped lead back during my senior year of high school. The shirt says, "Got F.R.O.G.? (friendship relies on God)." I think that fits perfectly with this topic and a nice way to remember that God always needs to remain an important part in every relationship we have.

Affection (storge, στοργή) is fondness through familiarity, especially between family members or people who have otherwise found themselves together by chance. It is described as the most natural, emotive, and widely diffused of loves: natural in that it is present without coercion; emotive because it is the result of fondness due to familiarity; and most widely diffused because it pays the least attention to those characteristics deemed "valuable" or worthy of love and, as a result, is able to transcend most discriminating factors. Ironically, its strength, however, is what makes it vulnerable. Affection has the appearance of being "built-in" or "ready made", says Lewis, and as a result people come to expect, even to demand, its presence—irrespective of their behavior and its natural consequences.

Friendship (philia, φιλία) is a strong bond existing between people who share a common interest or activity. Lewis explicitly says that his definition of friendship is narrower than mere companionship: friendship in his sense only exists if there is something for the friendship to be "about". He calls Companionship or Clubbableness a matrix for friendship, as friendship can rise in the context of both. Friendship is the least natural of loves, states Lewis; i.e., it is not biologically necessary to progeny like either affection (e.g., rearing a child), eros (e.g., creating a child), or charity (e.g., providing for a child). It has the least association with impulse or emotion. In spite of these characteristics, it was the belief of the ancients, (and Lewis himself), that it was the most admirable of loves because it looked not at the beloved (like eros), but towards that "about"—that thing because of which the relationship was formed. This freed the participants in this friendship from self-consciousness.

Eros (ἔρως) is love in the sense of 'being in love'. This is distinct from sexuality, which Lewis calls Venus, although he does spend time discussing sexual activity and its spiritual significance in both a pagan and a Christian sense. He identifies eros as indifferent. This is good because it promotes appreciation of the beloved regardless of any pleasure that can be obtained from them. It can be bad, however, because this blind devotion has been at the root of many of history's most abominable tragedies. In keeping with his warning that "love begins to be a demon the moment [it] begins to be a god", he warns against the danger of elevating eros to the status of a god.

Caritas (agapē, ἀγάπη) is an unconditional love directed towards one's neighbor which is not dependent on any lovable qualities that the object of love possesses. Agape is the love that brings forth caring regardless of circumstance. Lewis recognizes this as the greatest of loves, and sees it as a specifically Christian virtue. The chapter on the subject focuses on the need of subordinating the natural loves to the love of God, who is full of charitable love. Lewis states that "He is so full, in fact, that it overflows, and He can't help but love us." Lewis metaphorically compares love with a garden, charity with the gardening utensils, the lover as the gardener, and God as the elements of nature. God's love and guidance act on our natural love (that cannot remain what it is by itself) as the sun and rain act on a garden: without either, the object (metaphorically the garden; realistically love itself) would cease to be beautiful or worthy. Lewis warns that those who exhibit charity must constantly check themselves that they do not flaunt—and thereby warp—this love ("But when you give to someone, don't tell your left hand what your right hand is doing."—Matthew 6:3), which is its potential threat.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Top Five Dream Destinations

Tonight during out drop-in Fr. Stan asked us all a question. He wanted to know the top five places we wanted to visit in our lifetime and why. This did not take long for me to answer because I have thought about these five places a lot since I was in high school. I thought I would put them up here for some fun...

#1. I want to visit the Vatican City mainly because I am Catholic and there is so much of my faith there. I want to see the Sistine Chapel. I here that you could spend so much time in the Basillica there without realizing because there is a lot to see and take in. I want to go there so badly.

#2. The state of Hawaii is another place I have always longed to visit. First off, I hate the cold and wintertime, and it is always warm there. Second, I love going to the beach, and Hawaii is basically a group of islands surrounded by the ocean. Thirdly, I would love to visit Pearly Harbor. Fourthly, I think seeing the volcanos would be kind of cool.

#3. I really would love to visit Greece. After watching the movie "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" I have wanted to see the place in reality. It looks as though the place has kept the same character for hundreds of years, it looks like a timeless country, if that makes any sense whatsoever.

#4. I would love to go to Ireland. A lot of my ancestors have come from Ireland, and I would love to visit there. Not to mention, the movie "P.S. I Love You" has also fed into my goal of somehow visiting that country... random note: those who have not seen the movie "P.S. I Love You" should see it... it's such a great movie, but I warn you to grab tissues because you will undoubtedly cry.

#5. I want to visit Egypt. I think that seeing the pyramids up close would be so cool. There is obviously a lot of rich history in Egypt and I would love to soak it all up there. It would be way to awesome.

Role Models

Tonight at "holy hour" the topic we covered was all about role models. Who our role models are and why we chose them, qualities we look for which make a person a great role model, and how, even though we may not think about, all of us are role models to the people around us. We talked about the four cardinal virtues and the three theological virtues (when you put these together, they are also known as the seven heavenly virtues) and how if we want to be good role models for our faith than we need to pray to God for the gift of these virtues in our lives. For those of you who do not know what the above virtues are, they are:

Prudence: proper judgment of reasons for action with regard to appropriateness in a context
Justice: proper judgment regarding individual human interests, rights and desserts
Restraint or Temperance: practicing self-control, abstention, and moderation
Courage or Fortitude: forbearance, endurance, and ability to confront fear and uncertainty, or intimidation
Faith: steadfastness in belief
Hope: desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ's promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit
Love or Charity: selfless, unconditional, and voluntary loving-kindness

So who are my role models? I have quite a few of them. The first two are my parents (the couple in the picture happen to be them). My father, well if you knew him personally than you would understand... he is such a hard worker. He works at a tough and under appreciated job give us kids what we have needed without complaining hardly at all, he volunteers for so many church events, teaches ccd classes, and is friendly to everyone he meets. There are so many people that I meet on the street that look at me and say, "Hey, you must be Danny's kid. You are a McConnell, right?" I love him dearly for everything he does.
My mom is amazing. She taught me all through high school and has helped give me the intelligence that I have. She is the one who always reminds us kids to always keep God first in our minds. All the things she does for us at home go unnoticed way to often. I love her dearly.
Some other role models for me are Mary, the Mother of God, St. Maria Gorretti, Mother Teresa. Taylor Swift (some may laugh at that, but I think the way she deals with the media in such a mature way amazing), Peyton Manning (yes, I am a fan, but I think he does a lot of good outside of football), Mother Teresa, and a few others.

To me, I think that really anyone can be considered a role model, but I think there are certain qualities a person should have that makes them a role model to really look up to. I think that a great role model needs to have integrity in everything they do. I think also that role models should use their actions to let the light of Christ shine through rather than just words. Sometimes I think that words will get nothing across to some people, but actions, well it is hard to ignore those. I think that a good role model does not always think of themselves as a good role model, if that makes since. I think they stay humble about it. I believe that someone who knows what they believe and will not back down from that in a respectful manner is a quality in a role model that is worth noticing.

There is a post I wrote awhile back in April which you can look at here. A lot of times I do not think about how many people look up to me, but the fact is everyone has someone that looks up to them. So since I am one for someone than I need to act like someone who I would choose as a role model. I hope that I have done the people who look up to me justice. I think tonight's "holy hour" was a good one to reflect upon.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Have you ever realized how time seems to be your enemy? It always speeds up when you are having a great time and then when you wish it would speed up through a boring time in your day it always goes by so slowly??? It just hit me today that half of my Summer is over. Classes will begin next month and how I spend my life now will be totally different. I will be consumed with work and school, and helping out with youth group... I won't have much me time at all this upcoming year, and thinking about all that is starting to get to me.
It's funny how plans go. I had a great Summer planned out this year filled with trips to Holiday World and King's Island, camping, going to see family down South, and hanging out with my friends as much as I possibly can, but so far the only thing I have ended up being able to check of this fun "to do" list is hanging out with my friends as much as possible.... Not that that is a bad thing, because it is not, it is just that I started out looking forward to so many things, and for whatever reasons... work mostly... I have not been able to check off more on that list. Luckily, I will be able to check off atleast one more thing on this list and that is my King's Island trip. I am looking forward to hanging out with my friends for the week-end. It should be a great time, and a nice way to kind of end my Summer before I have to buy school supplies and figure all that stuff out.
I guess in some ways having my life focused on God, school, and work is in some ways a blessing. Some of my close friends are leaving this fall for college and whatever the future holds for them, and I am going to miss them terribly. I think the best thing for me is to keep busy so that I don't think about how I won't see them nearly as much. It'll be hard this coming school year without them here with me, but with my schedule time will probably fly past, or at least I hope it does, but as I said before... time seems to be my enemy. I hope I am not dead by the end of this year though!

(Side note: My computer at home is still not fixed, and so that is the reason for my lack of posting... as soon as it's back up and going I will let ya'll all know...)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

All About Holiness in A Woman

I was able to be able to check my facebook today, and there happened to be a note that was posted, and the title of it intrigued me. I was quite pleased with what was in this note, and decided to put it on here. I am sure that this probably won't be as interesting to the male readers out there, but I hope that the females get as much out of it as I did. It is quite long, but it is so good that I do not mind it so much.... Enjoy

Holiness in a Woman

I learned something very intriguing from a really amazing priest the other day. He told me that holiness in a man means RESPONSIBILITY. Can he provide for his loved ones? Can he keep his commitments? Can he "take the lead" through mutual respect? I found it quite profound to be able to stick all of what it means to be a holy man into just one word! So that got me thinking. What does it mean to be a holy woman, in just one word?
After googling it for at least a half hour straight, coming up with... absolutely nothing, of course, I decided to ask Mary and found myself looking at a bible verse. Wisdom 7:23-8:21. (I'm not typing it out, so go crack open a bible!) The verse speaks of a peace, wisdom, understanding, beauty, a reflection of eternal light, self-control, and joy. After this multitude of beautiful and strong virtues, the passage goes on to say how "he" then sought this "wisdom," taking her as his bride for his delight, her company, and her heart.
This is what every man seeks AND what God seeks. Why do we want to be holy women? Because we have a longing within ourselves to be desired, fought for, and beautiful. By whom? Ultimately by our Prince charming, our Lord, but if we are called to the sacrament of marriage, we also desire to be holy for our earthly spouse, as well. We want to be holy and beautiful for our princes.
So where do we start? Always with God. In the book, The Restless Heart: Finding Our Spiritual Home in Times of Loneliness, Ronald Rolheiser describes how "before being born, each soul is kissed by God and then goes through life always, in some dark way, remembering that kiss and measuring everything it experiences in relation to that original sweetness." Through this understanding of our deepest longing for love, to be united with God, we need to ask ourselves a VERY important question: ARE we His spouse? And if we desire an earthly spouse, how can we logically think that we can be a man’s spouse if we are not trying to fulfill our deepest calling to be Christ's Spouse?

A Bride of Christ

Here are a few questions that we can ask ourselves to discover if we are striving to be Christ's spouse:
- Do we spend time with Him? I don't like it when people ask how much I "pray." I would much prefer if they ask how many dates I've been on with my Prince lately. Do we go on walks with Him? Talk to Him? BE with Him? Many of us have the opportunity to go to communion daily. This is the time when we are most united with our Heavenly Prince in a radical way. Do we choose BE with Him? Do we rise up, His love, His fair ones, and come away with Him?
- Do we help Him with His work? Our Lord is many things; are you at His side helping him? Our Lord is a teacher; do we enjoy being with children, young and old, and teach His Father’s way? Our Lord is a healer; do we visit the sick, provide a band-aid when needed, and offer looks and touches that will heal the broken hearted? Our Lord is a lover; do we provide charity through praying for the souls in purgatory, giving affection to the ones on earth, and seeking and yearning for the Father's Love and Will? The Lord has many other "occupations"; do we help Him?
- Do we share in His pain and His joy? How have we been given the opportunity to BE with Him--you know what I mean. To be with HIM—THERE. Everyone has a special place where we can just BE with Him. Do we venture out of ourselves to share in the pain that others go through in order to be closer to Christ? Do we visit Him in His Agony through the painful times in our lives when we lose a loved one, feel lonely, have an addiction? Do rise with Him in His Ascension when a baby is born, the sun rises, we receive good news?

The Blessed Mother, Spouse of the Spirit

We can ALWAYS turn to Mary to guide us. She has lived and continues to live as the Spirit's beautiful, immaculate bride! What a sign of Hope for us on earth! We can go and look through the gospel, find when she is mentioned, and ask ourselves how we have actually done what she has done through the Grace of God. We can see what a holy woman would do in our situation—WWMD?
We can also pray the rosary, not just for special intentions or because we "have to," but to learn how to be little Mary's here on earth. How did Mary live that mystery? How was she a spouse in that mystery? How has this mystery become real in our lives? How can we be His spouse in that mystery? For example, the first joyful mystery, the Annunciation: when did we last say "yes" to God? Perhaps it was when we didn't want to wake up early for Sunday or daily mass, but we did anyway because we WANT Him MORE than hours of sleep (although we have to be prudent, too!). Perhaps it was when we helped that little boy put on his winter coat and little gloves and hat to enjoy a snowy day. Perhaps it was when we answered our cell phone when our mom or dad was calling, even though we had a TON of homework and wanted to spend time with friends later.
One of my favorite examples of how we can be like Mary, a holy woman, is through caring for someone who is hurt. Do you remember when we were in elementary school and there were always those one or two girls who always helped everyone? Perhaps someone got hurt in gym; she was always right there so quickly! She always got out of class or didn't participate in an activity because she was the one who helped and stayed with the person who was hurt. Maybe you were that girl; or maybe you were like me, wondering how she could just DO that--forget about herself, know exactly what to say, what to do. But, that's what we're called to do: forget ourselves and simply be Beautiful for Christ.
This is also why girls should love to sing, dance, share the Faith, etc. And this is where Faith comes in. All of these things—going out of ourselves and being like Mary—can be very scary. This is because we have this feeling like we don't know HOW to do these things: to be Beautiful. But, the Truth is... we do know how when Christ is beside us. He is the one who is doing the true healing, the passionate dancing, the on-tune singing; we just have to give Him our little yes of action and He will be there LEADING us.

A Woman Existing

A couple years ago I wrote a poem that I entitled, "Pure Existence." The poem is about knowing that my soul mate is out there somewhere. He is strong and gentle and knows that I am out there somewhere, too. The end of the poem asks a very importance question that we all wonder in our hearts: Will he wait for me? Am I worth waiting for? Is my pure existence enough?
In order to answer this question, we need to first discover what it means to exist. In order to exist, we have to be there, present, and respondent. I can think of many times that I have not existed in this world. One of the simplest examples that I experience quite often is in a clothing store. I really like clothes shopping, but there is a part of it that I absolutely despise. I will be in a clothing store with my mom, who is talking to me, but when I spot that cute shirt or dress or skirt, I stop existing. I don't hear a thing that my mom says. I have trained myself to say a few uh-huh's and ya's, but I'm not really there. Instead of my existence, that dress is existing. The same thing happens a lot if I'm single and a cute young man walks by. I simply don't exist, but that guy has LIFE, let me tell you. In fact, he has MY whole life in his hands right then. But, is that enough? Will he notice me?
No. Not really. He may notice the way I look, but not my heart--not my true existence. Why? I'm not even existing right then! God says that we first have to Exist in order to be noticed. How do we exist? We become His spouse. What true man of God can resist the Church? What true man of God can resist Mary? What true man of God can resist a Bride of Christ? Jesus' princess? A lily immaculately white? A rose in full bloom? A young woman Existing. We look so many places to be irresistible, captivating; yet so many times we fail to go straight to the most remarkable, captivating beauty in this world and the next: God. We, as women reflect the Beauty of God in a Real, True way. Remember how we can live out the Annunciation? God chose a young woman to bring His Son into this world--to Exist! He chose US! In the words of Our Lord and JPII--Be Not Afraid!

One Word

Have you been wondering what I came up with (through the Grace of God, of course) as the word to describe True Holiness in Women? Well, here it is: Support. Do we feel lonely? Do we try to pray, but still feel lonely? Do we feel useless? Do we feel like we are not needed? Do we feel like we are not Existing as Women? Then we are not supporting the way God intended us to.
Mother Teresa. Talk about a woman who lived out her calling. She supported her Bridegroom with His work with the poor. She supported human dignity through every person that she touched. Women give their bodies and their lives to support. Wives support their husbands by respecting and challenging their True calling to manhood. Mothers support their children by caring for and cherishing their True calling to be God’s children. Christian women, especially those called to the religious life, support Christ by being His Bride. Women support.
Each and every day we need to support. If we give this over to God, He will provide amazing opportunities to fulfill our calling as women. We just have to receive those opportunities. They were there our whole lives. Right in front of our eyes is the way that we are fulfilled. Right in front of our eyes is the face of Christ, staring back at us asking for our support in His work. We just need to receive this gift of womanhood. In the spirit of Mary say YES to be HOLY!

Ave Maria!

"God Bless the U.S.A."

As I said in a post below, this morning I was able to attend the patriotic rosary held at a local parish. It was a beautiful ceremony. For a patriotic rosary, you pray each Hail Mary for a state and on the glory be beads you pray for certain people in the government, and the armed forces... things like that. In between each decade we sang a patriotic song. I was very excited this year, because they decided to sing one of my very favorite Patriotic songs. It amazed me though, at how many people said they heard it for the first time this morning. It's such a great song, that I decided to post it on my blog...
Random thing here...after the rosary, I was walking out of the Church into the gathering area. It made me happy because as I was beginning to leave the priest, Fr. Mike, a good family friend, came up to me and seemed upset that I would leave without saying hi and giving him a hug. I should have known better though, because I have known Fr. Mike for years now. He said, in a joking manner, that he was upset that I have not come up and visited him more often. I love Fr. Mike to death!

God Bless The USA
by Lee Greenwood

If tomorrow all
the things were gone,

I’d worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.
I’d thank my lucky

to be livin here today.
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can’t take that away.
And I’m proud to be an

where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,

next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.
From the lakes of Minnesota,

to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,
From sea to shining sea.
From Detroit down to Houston,

and New York to L.A.
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.
That I’m proud to be an

where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,

next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.
And I’m proud to be and American,

where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,

next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.