Monday, December 27, 2010

A personal experience

I wanted to share a personal experience that happened to me back in 2007.

Back then, I was going through a dark time in my life. And I remember one day I was really feeling hopeless. I remember sitting at my desk in my room, and I was on the computer.

I was just sitting there feeling so lonely, and I think I honestly believed that God had abandoned me. It was 8:00ish, and the sun was going down, and then I had this strong urge to look out the window.

I got out of my chair, and I looked outside. And I saw this:
I saw a hand holding a cross. (There was no camera effect/photo editing to this picture)

If you look closely, you can see fingers.

Incase you are are unable to see it....

It was an amazing experience, and definitely will never forget it.

Music for the Soul- Part 2

In one of my last posts, I spoke of my personal views on Gregorian Chant. This one, will speak of the history.

Despite what people may think, Gregorian Chant did not start with Pope Gregory. I believe it started around the time of the apostles.

Christ and the apostles at the first celebration of the Most Holy Sacrament concluded therewith: “and a hymn being said, they went out unto mount Olivet.” Matthew 26:30.

It wasn't until after 100 AD Gregorian Chant really "took off".

Around 100 AD, St. Ignatius of Antioch had a vision.
It involved him seeing angels singing praise to the Trinity in alternating hymns. Three centuries later, the antiphon was formalized by St. Ambrose, who was the Bishop of Milan in 374 AD.

He was "instrumental in establishing the early theory of plainchant and took the first four authentic modes of chant. The faithful during their persecution by the Romans took comfort in the catacombs, through hopeful hymns like Te Deum sung in the antiphony style St. Ambrose taught."

You are probably wondering how St. Gregory the Great ties into Gregorian Chant.

"Pope Gregory is heavily associated with the history of plainchant, and he lends his name to a particular style of plainchant, Gregorian chanting. Gregory did not actually develop this plainchant style, but he codified it, standardizing it across the Christian world and establishing a system of musical notation which could be used to record plainchant melodies. Even as Gregorian chanting arose, however, other styles continued to be used, although Gregorian chanting is the official chant of the Roman Catholic Church."

"Gregory took part in many things. Writing, collecting, or organizing of the body
of plainchant in use at the time, as well founding the first singing school (Schola Cantorum) in Rome to train singers for the church, organizing the church's annual cycle of liturgical readings, and first establishing the church's authority over the secular rulers of Rome"

Gregory became the first monk to ascend the Papacy. It was him, that regulated worship and liturgy, appointed songs and hymns. With his great passion for music, he insisted that chant was played as background music for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. His hope was to assist others in their Catholic help them show reverence to God. As pope, he published "The Antiphonary" as the main core of Catholic authority on Chant. He was also the author of "Te Lucis" and "Rex Christe".

Back then, Gregorian Chant wasn't copied into books. Unfortunately, they used to have to memorize all the songs which took monks forever. Finally, they worked out a way to write music down. Once they figured that out, various words and notes were copied into one great large book, which was used by all the choir monks to sing from.

After many centuries plainchant became very complex, and many different forms of chant were born. It wasn't until the 19th century, that the monks (like Gregory the great) began seeking a single alternative method, which would reflect the early methods of how chant was sung.
"There's a famous monastery in France at Solesmes, and its monks became responsible for the restoration of Gregorian Chant as you hear it today - on CDs
and radio. They worked out a very artistic method of singing it and a new method of writing it down. They then produced books which contained the fruits of their scholarship. Their theories were adopted by monasteries throughout the world. "
So, this is why I enjoy Gregorian Chant. I find a lot of history behind it.
I think it's sad that it's not used in Mass anymore, really. (Unless you attend a Latin Mass).
For a while now, I have had this urdge to become an activist within the Church. Someone that pushes tradition. I call everyone to this. Just pray. Talk with your priest about your ideas.
My idea is getting Gregorian Chant back.
Things will never change if we just stand by and watch.
We have to put our foot down and say: "Hey, you know what? I think you guys should get a Gregorian Chant choir for Mass." Defend your case of why you feel the way you do.

And now for one of my favorite chant songs:

Christ is the Lord!

I'm late, but...
Merry Christmas, everyone!
I know it's been forever since I have written, and I apologize. This year has been crazy, especially the last few months with prepping for the Holidays/birthdays. I got a job last month at at a local restaurant, and so that has kept me busy. I am thankful for this job, because it is difficult.

I try to strive to live by the motto: "Ora Et Labora". (Pray and work).

I may be bussing tables, and I might be tired, but I'll put that feeling aside, and I'll offer it up. I'll pray 3 hail mary's constantly throughout the day, asking Mary for graces if I'm ever feeling frustrated. I've found work to be a very spiritual experiece...that is...if you MAKE it one. Our Faith involves work, itself. :)

Anyway, I wanted to talk about Christmas.

I woke up Christmas morning, and the first thing I wanted to do was listen to my favorite Christmas song: "O Holy Night". I came across a beautiful version on Youtube that everyone should listen to:

As I was listening to it, I seemed to enter a world of pure bliss. One of the lines hit me:

"With all our hearts we praise His holy name..."

What does this mean to everyone? It literally means to praise God with all our heart.
But, I found this to be bittersweet. I began contemplating of those who don't "praise" Him. At least, not with their heart. How many people go to Mass, because they are supposed to? We should go to Mass because we want to. To praise God is to honor Him, pray to Him, thank Him, love Him and adore Him unceasingly. When we leave Mass, the words: "Go, and serve the Lord" don't seem to be taken seriously by many people. If you want to praise God, with all your heart, then you would strive to do this. One of our problems is we say we love God too often, but at the same time we're too choosy. "I love you, God" is easy to say when we're at a retreat, when all is right in the world, when we're at Mass. But aren't we supposed to love and sing praise to God even when all is wrong? Aren't we supposed to trust in Him? Christ's birth teaches one thing: That HE is the light of the world. He is the way, the truth, and the life. He brings renewal.

When we are lost, He is the way.
When we are faced with Satan's lies, He is the truth.
When are souls are yearning for something more, He is the life.
And He makes all things new.

He is everything. This why we should praise Him forevermore. Not just on Sundays. Not just on days where things are going great. But everyday, because CHRIST IS THE LORD.
God made the sacrifice by sending down His only begotton son to die on the cross for us.

This is what true love is. True love is sacrifice. As Faithful Christians, we will be faced with suffering and many strugles. But, we are faced with a choice of how to take these hardships.
Will we walk with Christ in them? Or will we cease to praise Him?

One sad thing about Christmas is that people get caught up in baking, buying presents, decorating etc. And while all of that is fine, we have to remember that advent is like the second Lent. It is a time we should really focus on Christ. We should be meditating on His coming.

This, in itself, should grant us peace. If you asked Jesus what He wanted for Christmas, I have no doubt in my mind that He would say: "You."

St. Paul tells us to be dead to sin, and to be alive in Christ. In order to do this we simply must become prayer warriors. Our souls must rest in Him.
Christmas is a time of rebirth, and I truly do believe that if our souls rest in Christ our Savior..we will experience some sort of "rebirth". It will be Christ living within us.

This can't happen though, if we don't praise Him. Like I said before, Faith is work.We must make an effort to attend Mass, take part in the sacraments frequently, go to adoration, and take time for meditation (scripture reading, maybe).

So, this Christmas season, think of how you can please God. Give Him the gift of self.
What can you do to praise Him? Can you pray more? Attend Mass more?
Give Him time. If you start off with 10 minutes of prayer a day, I have doubt in my mind that this will eventually increase. It becomes a beautiful habit. And with this habit, we really are giving ourselves to Christ, because we are offering our time to Him. That's all He wants.....


we are filled with the new light by the coming of your Word among us.
May the light of Faith shine in our words and actions. Grant this through
our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Music for the soul part 1.

Dear friends,
It's great to be back. I felt the need to take a break from writing. I've been overwhelmed with things in my personal life, and I needed to just take a step back and take care of things. Anyway, I will be catching up on things.. (hopefully).
I have things planned. I want to do a 3 part series.

1. My personal view on gregorian chant.
2. The history of gregorian chant.
3. The Latin Mass.
This post will be about my person thoughts and feelings on gregorian chant, so I hope you enjoy it.

"These qualities [sacredness, beauty, universality] are to be found, in the highest degree, in Gregorian Chant, which is, consequently, the Chant proper to the Roman Church, the only chant she has inherited from the ancient fathers, which she has jealously guarded for centuries in her liturgical codices, which she directly proposes to the faithful as her own, which she prescribes exclusively for some parts of the liturgy, and which the most recent studies have so happily restored to their integrity and purity

On these grounds Gregorian Chant has always been regarded as the supreme model for sacred music, so that it is fully legitimate to lay down the following rule: the more closely a composition for church approaches in its movement, inspiration and savor the Gregorian form, the more sacred and liturgical it becomes; and the more out of harmony it is with that supreme model, the less worthy it is of the

The ancient traditional Gregorian Chant must, therefore, in a large measure be restored to the functions of public worship, and the fact must be accepted by all that an ecclesiastical function loses none of its solemnity when accompanied by this music alone. Special efforts are to be made to restore the use of the Gregorian Chant by the people, so that the faithful may again take a more active part in the ecclesiastical offices, as was the case in ancient times."
--St Pius X, Tra le sollecitudini paragraph 3

By now you should know that I am in love with Gregorian Chant. I love Gregorian Chant more than the food I eat, or the air I breathe. But, you're probably wondering: "why?"

Because, it's like how I titled this blog post. It's music for the soul. Chant goes beyond the human mind, where as regular music, our minds would respond to it and say: "hey, this sounds good." We may not understand Latin, but there is something about it that draws us in. And when I say "us", I don't just mean Catholics.

I watch many gregorian chant videos on youtube, and I always read comments like:"I'm not a strong religious man but when I hear monks sing like this I always feel the divine presence with me." or "I'm an atheist, but I love this." or "I love plainsongs. Forget rap!" These people, who have no Faith, or are simply not Catholic, know that there's something sacred and divine about Gregorian Chant.

I find it unfortunate, because chant is not easily accessed now. If protestants/atheists can see something divine in this music, then why aren't we (the Church) responding to the needs of the people? Many have left the Church because of what happened to the Mass after Vatican II.
If you ask me, if we restore tradition, it will lead people back home.

When I listen to it, I know the history behind it (I'll get into this in my next post). I feel closer to Heaven, when I listen to it. If you didn't know already, quite a few Saints have written hymns. For example, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote "Pange Lingua" and "Sacris Solemniis", which happens to be two of my favorite hymns. And I can't help but wonder what they were thinking and feeling while writing these hymns. Their words leave me in awe.

Why do we feel something, when most of the time we don't even know what's being said?

Because, Gregorian chant is a form of expression, and meditation. It's the music of Saints, it reflects Heaven, and it's the Word of God. It truly becomes an emotional thing, especially for monks and nuns. They literally chant their hearts out. One can rejoice in God's name, or meditate upon Christ's passion while chanting certain psalms or The Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

And even if you do not understand the meaning of the words, for the time being
teach your mouth to say them, for the tongue is sanctified by the words alone
whenever it says them with good will.—St. John Chrysostom, On Psalm

And let me tell you something. For Lent, I gave up all music, except gregorian chant for 40 days. It was hard in the beginning, but by doing so, it helped me grow in my Faith.
I'm not saying you should go to the extreme like I did, but if you introduce yourself to gregorian chant! You won't WANT to listen to anything else. Gregorian chant allows your mind to be fixated upon God, which brings peace.
Try it.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Thoughts during adoration.

For a while now, I have been slacking off on my writing. I have also been slacking off on my prayer life. It's not that I'm angry, it's just that I don't know what to say. It's like I can't pray.
I'm not exactly sure why. For a while now, I feel like there's been some sort of wall between me and prayer. I've had to knock down the wall, and force myself to pray, because I know it's the right thing to do.

So, yes...basically I have been struggling with my prayer life. Due to this, sorrow has grown within me. . It's hard to trust God when you are amongst great trials. Lately, I have been constantly having to remind myself that His plan is better than my own. That He loves me, even if I can't feel it. That He's there, even if I can't see Him. The hardships that I've been faced with, isn't what caused my heart to break, It's the fact that I feel like I've abandoned God against my will. I never wanted to drift away from my prayer life. I've been wanting holiness back. But, it's like I'm trying to re-trace my steps to see what exactly went wrong in my spiritual life...and I just can't find an exact reason. I think it's something that happened over time. I don't like it though. I've been wanting my prayer life back. I've been wanting to feel His love

I went to adoration on Wednesday, and asked Mary to give me the graces I need to guide me closer to her Son.

I've been reading a book by St. Alphonsus De Liguori, called "The True Spouse of Jesus Christ".

I brought that book with me to adoration, and I heard in my heart "Page 52". On that page, I read something very profound. This book is mainly about the religious life, but this one part is something we should all strive to live by. It said:

"Let it be your care to unite yourself closely to God; to embrace with peace all
the crosses that He sends you; to love what is most perfect; and when necessary, to do violence to yourself. And that you may be able to accomplish all this, pray continually; pray in your meditations, in your Communions, in your visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and especially when you are tempted by the devil; and you will obtain a place in the number of those fervent souls who are more happy and content than all the princesses and queens and empresses of the earth."

This means exactly what the first line said. "Let it be your care to unite yourself closely to God."
All the trials and hardships that we face, can be conquered if we just pray. If we UNITE ourselves with Christ. So often Satan is trying to weaken our Faith, this is why we must stay close to Christ. We need to anchor our ship between Mary and Christ in the Eucharist.
Uniting ourselves to Christ has to be constant. You can't say: "It's Sunday, so I'll pray, and go to Mass, and obviously I'm uniting myself that way." You choose to be with Christ, or you don't.

Uniting yourself with Christ must be for life. Unite your sufferings with His through prayer. Unite your joys with His, through worship. Unless we pray, and stick close with God, we are bound to suffer to a point that will lead to despair and lonliness.

So, I challenge you to really ask yourself:

"How united to Christ am I?"

Is your prayer life suffering? Pray anyway.
We receive graces if we do what pleases God in the midst of darkness.
No matter how hard it may seem, unite yourselves with Christ through prayer.


Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord;
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord;
You heavens, bless the Lord;
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord.
All you hosts of the Lord; bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord;
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.
Every shower and dew, bless the Lord;
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord;
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord;
Frost and cold, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord;
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness bless the Lord;
Lightning and clouds, bless the Lord.
Let the earth bless the Lord;
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord;
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord;
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord;
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
You sons of men, bless the Lord;
O Israel, bless the Lord.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord;
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord;
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Ananias, Azarias, Misael, bless the Lord;
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Let us bless the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost;
Let us praise and exalt God above all forever.
Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven;
Praiseworthy and glorious forever.

Monday, July 26, 2010

"Why Mary?"

"Many people put the Mother of Jesus down as often as they can, thinking that by degrading her they are somehow building up Jesus. They say things like "Mary is dead and can't help you", "Mary was just an incubator for Jesus", "Jesus put his mother down by calling her "Woman, and "If Mary had refused Gabriel, then God would have just picked someone else". All of that kind of talk is crazy, but they do it because they think that Catholics worship Mary as a goddess, and by putting her down, they are showing Catholics that Jesus is #1. How many people would like it if you said - "I love you, but I really can't stand your mother". And how many people regularly put down their own mother to reinforce the fact that their Dad is #1? No one. Jesus called her "Woman" all of the time to let us all know that she is the new Eve (Adam named his mate "Woman") who's yes to Gabriel overcame Eve's yes to Lucifer. "-Catholic Bible 101

So, why Mary?

"And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with sun, and the
moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. And being
with child . . . she brought forth a male child, who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to his throne. . . . And the dragon was angered at the woman, and went away to wage war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God, and hold fast the testimony of
Jesus."--Revelations 12:1-2,5,17

In this scripture verse, it speaks of a woman (Mary) that is clothed with sun, and the moon under her feet. I use this scripture verse, because it is Mary's role to reflect the light of her SON. Just as a moon would reflect the light of the sun. The dragon is Satan. You see, Satan loves power, and He can't stand Mary because she's a woman that plans on defeating him.
A simple, humble, "weak" woman is going to defeat him. Of course, she's not going to do it alone. We are her "offspring" her "children", and she wants us to help her defeat Satan through true devotion and prayer. Of course, Satan is after us as well. Obviously, he has succeeded with some. We live in a battle between good and evil. Evil must be put to an end, and the only way it can end, is if we take our part in this battle by choosing good VS evil. We must choose to be dead to sin, because Satan is NOT our leader. He is our ENEMY. If we anchor our ship between two pillars (Jesus and Mary) then we can definitely help Mary crush the head of Satan.

Why do we need to pray to Mary, though? What's the purpose, when we can just go straight to Jesus Himself?
Let me ask you this. Have you ever gotten to a destination, without there being a way to get there? The answer is "no", right? You've either driven, had someone drive you, took a bus, a train, a plane, skated, walked, maybe even rode a bicycle. These forms of transportation takes us to our destination. In a way, Mary is like our form of transportation to Jesus.
I remember going on a retreat, and visiting some Dominican Sisters. I believe one of their mottos were : "To Jesus, through Mary". Through meditating on the Rosary, which she gave to us, she can drive us through the life of Jesus. She can show us how much she suffered, as well as her Son. She was the first disciple of Jesus. She can guide us to Jesus, by being the best example there is.

Pope Paul VI wrote succinctly:

“Mary is held up as an example to the faithful for the way in which in her own
particular life she fully and responsibly accepted the word of God and did
it....She is worthy of imitation because she was the first and most perfect of
Christ’s disciples.”

Mary was the perfect disciple, because she stood by Jesus from life until his death. Her level of humility and pure acceptance, is an example to us all.
Also, if Jesus was so close to His mother, why shouldn't we be? Should we only love our Father, and not our Mother? Of course not. To honor thy father & thy mother, involves loving them both. All the great Saints in Heaven had a devotion to Mary.

For just a simple, humble, woman...Mary is powerful! Many favors, blessings, gifts, and graces, many alleged healings and miracles have been reported, and documented. All of these things have to do with Mary. Mary gives us a vast outpourings of all of God's graces, and protection against every type of evil. It's important to ASK for these graces, too! This is why she's important. This is why we need her, in this world filled with evil. We NEED our Mother's protection.

Mama Mary, make our hearts like unto thine.

I've decided to close with a prayer..

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it
known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought
thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto
thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand,
sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer me.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Do you see the sin in this world?

Yes, I'm a tad late, but I hope everyone had a wonderful July 4th weekend. Here in Ohio, they set fireworks off early.

So, I saw fireworks on the 2nd. I don't have a problem with that, seeing as I went to the "Red, White, and boom"--supposedly the biggest firework show in the country. The fireworks made it worth going to. Above is a picture of the actual show. I had a problem with the entire atmosphere, though. I don't think I've ever seen so much sin in one place. Well, maybe I have, but for some reason it all really stuck out. It made my soul ache. I felt sorrow for the lost souls that were wandering all around me. By all means, I am not saying that I am better than them. I am a sinner too, but by the grace of God, I know better. I still have the choice to choose wrong, and unfortunately I do make mistakes.

You're probably wondering exactly what kind of atmosphere was I surrounded by. Well, it was like walking into hell. How does a guy stay pure when girls wear "dresses" that obviously need leggings/pants?! Upper thigh length doesn't cut it, honey. I hate all the swearing, stealing, random make-out sessions, smoking (this includes cigarette packs stuffed in bras), and disgusting music. You would think that they would at least play better music, seeing as it IS a family event and little kids are around. I guess not. Everyone is so desensitized. Swearing? No big deal, everyone does it. Immodest dressing? Who cares! It's my body, and if I feel comfortable with my body..why not?! This is the society that we live in.

I went church for 5+ minutes before leaving, and let me just tell you...I enjoyed it so much.
It was like walking from hell into Heaven. Also, another side note--I've gone to the March For Life for the past 4 years, and I've never had a problem with crowds there. Why? Because I know I'm there for a good cause. Anywhere else, and I feel like I'm being suffocated.

Do you see the sin in this world? What do you do about it? Do you simply walk past whomever is sinning? Do you quietly pray for that person? Do you confront this person face to face?

I think most of the time, it's easy for us to just walk past people.
I don't know about you, but I've always been a people watcher. People fascinate me.
I often wonder what kind of day they had, how they are feeling, what's going through their head, and even what state their soul is in. Sometimes I pick up vibes from people that tell me to pray for them. But, if we simply walk past people that are doing wrong, like it's no big deal, then WE are desensitized to the evil that surrounds us. This means that something is seriously wrong.

"If I had to advise parents, I should tell them to take great care about the
people with whom their children associate . . . Much harm may result from bad
company, and we are inclined by nature to follow what is worse than what is
better."-St Elizabeth Ann Seton

Take it from someone that knows... she could not be anymore right.

Ever heard either of these sayings?

"You are, who you hang out with"? or
"Tell me who your friends are, and I'll tell you who you are"?

It's true. We"are inclined by nature to follow what is worse than what is better."

We have to pray for sinners everywhere. I advise everyone to offer up suffering for sinners everywhere through prayer. It is when we pray for others, we learn to pray for ourselves.

Even if it's someone that we don't like. We must understand that love is not a feeling, but a choice. And this choice we *must* make is not always a warm and fuzzy feeling.
Sometimes, it will cost us. Sometimes, we have to suffer. Look at Jesus, Padre Pio, Mother Teresa, and many Saints. We need to look to our brothers and sisters in Heaven as an example.
Is is by suffering, we receive many graces though, if we respond with love.

I have a challenge for everyone.
If you are passing someone that appears to be sinning, simply say this in your heart:

"For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."
May we cling to the Cross, so that we grow in love and holiness. May we become more like Christ each and every moment. With each breath we take, may we say "I love You, Jesus".
And may our eyes be fixated upon the Kingdom of Heaven, not the kingdom of Satan.

O Lord, make our hearts like unto thine. Pure. Grant us the graces to live the Mass, to serve others, and to love with an undivided heart. May we grow in holiness, that in holiness, we may learn right from wrong. May we speak with the fire of the Holy Spirit within us, and nothing that will offend Your Holy name. May we cling to the Cross, and die to the sin of the world.
May we be a reflection of Your Holy light, that we may set the world ablaze to prepare the world for the second coming.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Love Letter V

From now on, I'm just going to write "Love Letters" once a month, and post it whenever I can. So it won't have to be on a Wednesday.


Dear Child,
Remember when you spoke to the Father,
and asked Him to change all things?
Oh, how many years have passed since then. And yet, the Father still remembers your request...because you never ceased to ask. Let us thank the Lord, our God!


Sons and daughters, thank the Lord.
All the works, thank the Lord.
Cherubim, seraphim, six winged and many eyes, thank the Lord.
All ye' Saints, thank the Lord.
Sun and moon, thank the Lord.

Praise and exalt Him forevermore.

Let us thank the Lord for what good He has done.

For the Catholic Church, let us thank the Lord.
For His Holy word, let us thank the Lord.
For Holy Communion, let us thank the Lord.
For His infinite mercy, let us thank the Lord.
For His abiding love, let us thank the Lord.
For graces brought forth, let us thank the Lord.
For Holy Priests, let us thank the Lord.
For the Holy Father, let us thank the Lord.
For religious women, let us thank the Lord.
Servants of the Lord, let us thank the Lord.

Praise and exalt Him forevermore.

Night and day, let us praise the Lord.
Joy and suffering, let us praise the Lord.
For impossible cases, let us praise the Lord.
For all families, let us praise the Lord.
For the sick and dying, let us praise the Lord.
For the unborn, let us praise the Lord.
For those without Faith, let us praise the Lord.
For sinners everywhere, let us praise the Lord.
For those struggling with addiction, let us priase the Lord.

Praise and exalt Him forevermore.

Lord, You know all things.
You know that I love You.
I am in love with all that you do.
Be with me, all the days of my life.
That through you, I may serve You
in such a way that is fit for a king.

And Mother Mary, grant me the the graces that I need
to willingly accept the will of the Father, with great humility and love.
I ask that you grant me the graces that I need to get through each day.
May we become men and women of Faith, and torch bearers for the ultimate queen.

Show me the way, Mother Mary.
Lead me to your Son.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The evils of sin.

The saints tell us that a soul in the state of grace looks so exceedingly beautiful that it could even be mistaken for Almighty God! They also tell us that a soul dead in sin is repulsively ugly. When we were baptized we were filled with grace and became God’s children; our souls were breathtakingly, magnificently beautiful. But we can lose that grace by sinning.

Sin: Why is this 3 letter word so dangerous to all of mankind? Because it's the one thing that separates us from God. It keeps us from ever being happy and fulfilled. Sin turns us into servants of the devil. Sin weakens our soul, which makes us lazy. When one is not in the state of grace, it's easier to keep sinning. Why is this? Because you have completely cut God out of your life! He didn't want to go away, He never wants to go away. You chose to throw Him out of your life. You chose not to accept the graces that flow from Him. Your soul is His home, if you trash it, do you expect Him to stay?

Think of it this way: Say you're on a trip, and you're looking for a cheap motel to stay at. You find one, and the motel is old. You walk in, and the room smells like smoke, the shower is rusted, and it's just gross. This is a true story that happened to me, and if you're anything like'd be running out the door. That's the same thing with God. In a way, our souls are like the "motel" for God. When we sin, we trash it. When we are in mortal sin, we completely kick him out.

Sin is a horrible thing, because when we sin we are disobeying God. The root of all our sin stems from disobedience. Whenever we sin, we aren't doing what God asks of us. This is also what happened with the fall of Adam and Eve. They disobeyed God. And, it's important to know the tricks of the devil. The devil works in sly ways, and he can easily make something sinful, alluring.

I'm sure you hear those common phrases: "Oh, it's not that bad", "Nobody will find out", etc. Is Satan trying to tempt us. We're human, and we're bound to fall, but that doesn't mean we have to. In Confession, we can't say "the devil made me do it", because we have free will. We willingly chose to sin, and we're responsible for our own actions.

We should flee from sin, and the best way to do that is by educating ourselves on how Satan works in his sly ways. I recommend reading "The Screwtape Letters" which was written by CS. Lewis. In the book, it talks about how the attack is much easier when man's inner world is drab.
Drab? What does this mean? Perhaps it means if you are despairing, and feel weak, and your relationship with God isn't that strong.

Unfortunately, it is possible to become attached to sin. You have, I have, I'm sure we all have.

It's a battle that we face between good and evil. We're always the "monkey in the middle" and God and Satan are constantly tugging away at us. I recall a time in my life when I fell so hard, I thought I wouldn't be able to get back up. I felt this way because I was attached to sin. In a way, chains were wrapped around me. I became a slave to sin to the point where my relationship with God suffered immensely. This made it very hard for me to pray. The best that I could say was: "God, help me!" or "God, help me change!"

Eventually, He did help me change. Why? Because I begged for change, and I begged for holiness. Unceasingly, I prayed because in my heart I knew He could change the mess I was in.

I prayed with confidence, and that's what we must do when we pray!

"We shall not make ourselves holy until we have a great desire to become so.
Nothing great is achieved without desire...."

Prayer is KEY to overcoming attachment to sin. It won't be easy, but you need to have patience. Pray for the graces you need to get through each day. Strength, perseverance, and courage are things that we must pray for. And I wouldn't suggest just praying. Go to the extreme! Go to daily Mass and go to confession often. And let's say you have an addiction to porn...I'm not going to say: "throw your computer out!"But, the computer can easily become an occasion of sin for those that are addicted to porn. Change your online atmosphere. Make your background of Jesus crucified, listen to EWTN/homilies while browsing the internet, and stay close to Mary through the Rosary. She is the greatest example of purity.

Purity: When we are pure, we are not limiting ourselves from loving. Instead, we are expanding our capacity to love in such a way that is Christ-like.

Purity is not only based off of sex, but it's having a pure heart, and pure mind. Fleeing from sin, and striving for holiness would be an example of purity.

So, stay close to Jesus and Mary through prayer. Begin to get familiar with how Satan works in your own life. When you recognize him trying to tempt you, you can instantly pray at that moment. I believe that you will receive the graces to turn away from evil.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mass experience

Today, I realized something at Mass as I was looking at the crucifix.
It's really something obvious, and kind of one of those "duh!" moments...but it hit me hard today.

Let me start off by saying we all have friends, and friends come and go. Sometimes we will even mistreat each other. I've had my share of good friends, and bad. Friends can be a good thing, of course--if their morals are good.

And maybe it's part of my cynical views, but I believe no matter who you know...good or bad...there's going to be a chance of someone hurting you in some way. Things change, break-ups happen, friendships sometimes end, and fights happen.

It's not fun, but that's all part of life.

As humans, we were made to love. We want to be loved, and love back.

It's normal, because that's how God created us! In a way, He kind of wrote "love" upon our hearts. He created the universe, and all the animals, but he created US to get to know Him, love Him, and serve Him. With his infinite love and mercy, he is the perfect friend.

And yet, why don't we treat Him as such? Why is it so hard for us to keep close to Him?

Is it simply because we can't see Him, or hear Him? How silly that is. If you pray, you begin to know Him. Keeping a prayer life is not always easy, so we need to pray for perseverance. If you read scripture, you hear Him, because that's His word. Can you see Him? In a way-- through the Eucharist. The Eucharist is ALL of Him. Body, blood, soul and divinity. Yes, it may appear as bread and wine, but as Catholics...that's not what we believe. We believe that it's the TRUE presence of Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit works through the priest to give us the bread of life.

I speak of the Eucharist because of the feast of Corpus Christi. Every time we go to Mass, we experience the last supper & Christ's passion. It's not like taking a time machine into the past, no. We're actually experiencing it NOW. We are present with all the angels, with all the Saints, and with Mary at the foot of the altar just as she was at the foot of the cross.

At Mass, we are given the greatest opportunity to really get to know our friend by eating His flesh and drinking His blood. We receive an opportunity to fall in love with our friend. This friend is God. At Mass, we join the angels in Heaven with unending praise.
It's have a friend that loves you, and that you can love back.
“I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full” (Jn 10:10). This is what Jesus desires the most: to fill us with the fullness of His life. It is by His presence in the Eucharist that Jesus best communicates to us His divine life: “in him, in bodily form, lives divinity in all its fullness” (Col 2:9).

We have a God that is standing there, waiting with open arms, to embrace us.
It doesn't matter how bad you have sinned, He STILL loves you. His love is unconditional, and we can't even begin to fathom how great it truly is.
If everything seems to be changing in your life, remember that His love never will.

So, basically..what I realized is this: if you're ever feeling lonely, or just went through a break up, or lost someone, whatever it is.... just remember that you have a friend that's always waiting for you. Someone that will love you unconditionally, and will never leave your side. We're all in this together, and we all need to encourage one another to strive to get to Heaven. To to daily Mass if you can. Pray, go to adoration with someone, join a rosary group, there is endless possibilities. Bottom line is just to really get to know God, love God, and serve God, so that we can be with Him in the next life.
We have the best friend there is. That should be enough.
As long as you're living, don't ignore Him.
He thirsts for our love.

“I so ardently thirst to be loved by men in the most Blessed Sacrament that this thirst devours me”
-(Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

An explanation of the banner on my page.

I realized I never explained the banner on my page. Some may find it disturbing at first, until they look at it with depth.

I've spoken about this "battle" in previous writings.

It all started when I was six years old. I had a dream about Satan.

I was living in a house. It looked haunted, almost.
My mother's bathroom was made out of pure gold.
The walls, sinks, everything was just gold.
I remember seeing the devil appear in the middle of the house, and he started destroying everything in sight. But, the only object that I really remember him destroying is the computer.

Now, here's my thoughts on it:

I think this dream means that the world is blind. They can't see the battle between good VS evil because our focus isn't of anything "Spiritual" We often worry about the worldly things. What new gadget we have to have to be"happy." (I think this is what the gold bathroom means)

We need to open up our eyes. Satan's army is sneaky. They lie. They deceive. They get you hooked on the wrong things.
This world is full of sin, and just the internet world is awful. Google the word "porn" and you get
219,000,000 results. Google the word "sex" and you get 96,600,000 results. Google "gay pornography" and you get 16,700,000 results. It's everywhere! Satan is seeking the ruin of souls, and the internet is the perfect way to do it. Trust me.

Webcams/Cyber sex
This is a perfect way to commit a grave sin. And not only you are committing a grave sin, but the other person is as well.

The internet is probably the biggest trap. In my dream, it was not the devil destroying the computer. He was destroying the souls that are trapped "inside the computer".

Of course, I didn't really think much of this until high school. It wasn't until high school that I figured there must've been a reason why the dream was still fresh in my mind years later.

Now, I feel as if it's a message I'm called to give out.

As I've gotten older, I've had some other dreams. Dreams that have taught me to pray and stay close to God. That's the only way we can battle evil.

A dream that I had just last year, was probably the most intense out of all my dreams.

In my dream, I literally saw a battlefield. I saw Satan's army VS Christ's army.

I saw angels and demons fighting to death. Hell's army had more followers.
Heaven's army had some followers, but not as much. The majority were the angels.

The Angels were fought with all their might. Then it flashed to a scene where one angel stabbed a demon...then there was a flash of white.

The battlefield was like none other. They weren't fighting on land.

It was like a place of shadows and Holy Fire coming together.

So, that's the purpose of this banner. I want to make people think: "Which army are you a part of?" because I truly believe there's a battle going on.

Within the media.
Within the Church.
Within the whole entire world.

New song. It's "The Mass" by "Era".
Have no idea what it's saying, and I'm pretty sure it's not Catholic.. but I like it.

It kinda gives me a "battle march" vibe...
It's like gregorian chant mixed with New Age music. Haha.

"My Confession" is still on the playlist. It's just #2 now. :)

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Holy Spirit in the most Holy Trinity.

I think it's been too long since I've really taken the time to write. Time to change that. Today I will be writing a little bit about the most Holy Trinity. (Perfect timing, eh?)

Let me first ask a question, what is the Holy Trinity? Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 3 persons in one. As Catholics, we believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit work together. There is a perfect unity there. A union that our human minds can't begin to comprehend. It's a mystery how there can be 3 persons in one. No matter how much we research, we won't be able to understand it.

I think the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have different "roles".
God is the Fatherly figure. The creator.
He knows us, because He created us.

Jesus is the merciful Savior and redeemer.
He teaches us how to be in this life we live.

The Holy Spirit is active in the Church.
The Holy Spirit is more of the "educator" --in my opinion.

There are so many fruits associated with the Holy Spirit.
Wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.

This right here is an example of how the Holy Spirit is teaching us how to be. Plus, we can always pray for guidance if need be.

The Holy Spirit is really a mystery because so often we see pictures of Jesus and usually He's suffering. We see pictures of God, and He looks like this wise philosophical man. But the Holy Spirit is different. You see pictures of fire, a dove, a light.

Personally, I've never liked the thought of the Holy Spirit being a Dove, but that's just me.
I've always thought of the Holy Spirit as fire based off the scripture verse Acts 2:3-4 --where the Holy Spirit descended down upon the apostles, and appeared to them "as tongues of fire" .

The more you think about it, and get familiar with how the Holy Spirit works within your own life, you'll probably want to think "fire!"
I recall times where I've said things to people, and they were just like: "wow..."
The Holy Spirit worked through me to proclaim the truth. When you feel the Holy Spirit working through you, it's like a flame of truth, a flame of love, a flame that quickly spreads like wildfire. It's something that makes you strive to proclaim the truth. It's not like a bird that just comes and goes whenever it pleases. The Holy Spirit is present, all the time. We just have to be open to receiving graces from the Holy Spirit.

We read in John 14:16-17: "And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with, you for ever. The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive"

We receive this "truth" these "gifts" and these "graces" through prayer, and through the sacraments. And let's face it...
we will never have a good relationship with the most Holy Trinity, if we don't try.
Faith takes effort, and we have to do our part in it. Scripture tells us to pray without ceasing.

That's hard to do, I understand. I'm still working on it! But you do a little every day, and add more along the way. We are called to know God, love God, and serve God.

Today I've been listening to a favorite song of mine by Josh Groban. "My Confession".
And, it really makes me think of the sacrament of reconciliation and how the Holy Spirit really works in it.

"I have been blind, unwilling to see
The true love you're giving.
I have ignored every blessing."

--We have fallen into sin, and we haven't kept a strong relationship with Christ.
He's there with open arms, but we're ignoring Him.

"I'm on my knees confessing.
That I feel myself surrender.
Each time I see your face.
I am staggered by your beauty,
Your unassuming grace."

---In the confessional, we are kneeling, surrendering.
Admitting that we did wrong.
And each time, we experience the "unassuming grace".
His beauty.
His infinite love and mercy.

"And I feel my heart is turning,
Falling into place...."
--- This is what confession does. It changes our souls.
Our souls can be so hardened by sin, that once we have a clear conscious..
things begin to "fall into place".

It's an amazing thing, really.
I challenge you all to pray an extra 5-10 minutes each day. Eventually, that will become more.
Develop a relationship with the Holy Trinity! You can't say you know someone, without actually getting to know them. And that's what God calls us to do. If your prayer life is practically nothing, it's never too late.

It doesn't matter if you think you're the worst sinner out there, He loves you anyway.
He offers us chance after chance to repent and to get to know Him.
It's when we *DON'T* know Him, we are weak, and get the wrong idea of God.
Satan will try to put bad thoughts into our minds..stuff like: "God is mean and just wants to strike you with lightning. He's just dumb. Forget Him."

That's not the case at all. His mercy is infinite.
It's when we don't follow Him, love Him, and trust in His mercy, we hurt Him.
The sins we confess, He doesn't think about. He forgets them.
He loves us. So, again, just try to pray. Experience that amazing love He has to share.


--I put "My Confession" by Josh Groban on my playlist.
It's the first song that plays once you enter my site. I'll have that up for a while.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Retreat experience

Many people have been asking me about my retreat experience, and I haven't really had time to write about it. I've been busy with scouting stuff! But, now that it's over...I can write.


Start of retreat:

Today is the start of my retreat! It first started out with me leaving the house at 1:45, and I got lost. I went back home and studied the map more, and called the Sisters to let them know I'd be late. I left the house, and drove around for a while. Finally, I arrived at 3:05.
All the Sisters were happy to see me. My retreat started out with Sr. Philomena Maria giving me a blessing and also giving me some time to pray. There, I just thanked God for giving me this opportunity to be here. Fridays are a day of fasting for the Sisters, so dinner was skipped.
I just had a piece of bread an an apple.

We did evening prayer & night prayer and I also got to see the Sisters participate in their music class. It was beautiful! Except, it wasn't really singing. It was more like, gregorian chant in the background while the Sisters said the Rosary. Still, it was beautiful. I think they are working on a Rosary CD for people at the soup kitchen, which is really cool.

I remember when I had my first retreat here....I was nervous and scared for most of it. But not anymore. Even Mother could tell that I was more at peace.

Well, it's almost 9:00. I'm going to go pray and go to sleep.
I have a full day ahead of me...


Retreat day 1:

Today was a VERY long day. I woke up at 5:15, got ready, and ate breakfast.

It took me about 30 minutes to eat my breakfast. Not because I had so much food, because I didn't. I was just enjoying the silence. I was having a conversation with God.

Then, I just started hearing "Be mine..." I've been begging God for answers....why would the answers come this soon, though? Could I have been thinking it myself?

And if this is God's call, then wouldn't I know it for sure?

Plus.....for 3 months now....there's been some sort of "unsatisfied" feeling towards everything. Including the Children of Mary. Don't get me wrong, I feel content here. I don't want to leave.
I'm just just really confused now. I don't understand how this could be God's will if I don't have 100% joy about it.

Eh, anyway, today I worked A LOT. It was "Ora Et Labora" day---(pray & work day).

So, after Mass and prayers we worked until 11:30 AM. I was mainly busy with stuff! I kinda enjoyed it, though. I sang songs while I worked. Mainly Catholic songs in Latin. Panis Angelicus....Tantum Ergo.....Ave Maria.

11:30 was lunch. There was SO much FOOD! It was ridiculous!
Hot dogs, beans, chips, desserts..etc. After lunch, we worked some more, prayed more, and I made dinner! (Pizza). The Sisters were having a meeting, so they had me cook. Wish I could write more, but it's almost lights out. Ps. Before I forget, I picked pretty flowers for Mass today. They look beautiful. :)


Retreat day 2

Today I went to Mass at Holy Family. It was a beautiful Latin Mass.
There, I saw my friend Melissa, and after Mass all of us went downstairs to talk to some guys from EWTN. We also ate lunch there, too. (Tuna wraps!)
After Mass, we visited a lady in the hospital that has bone cancer. (Melissa came along).
We said the Divine Mercy Chaplet with her. Wow....nothing seemed to matter anymore

All my problems became nothing, and not because I saw someone with "greater problems"..
but I just couldn't focus on myself. She was my focus.

We got back to the Children of Mary convent, and I had a talk with Mother, which really helped. She thinks that I have a calling, just because I have the desire of religious life.
We also talked about other things that I won't get into, but basically it set my soul at ease.
For so long I've been seeking for a clear sign, maybe this desire in my heart is enough. I truly believe that I am called to persue my religious vocation. Maybe go on some more retreats, maybe visit some other communities, maybe enter the Children Of Mary...who knows.

Does this mean that the religious life will be my whole life? I don't know, but I'm ready to stop discerning. I'm ready to start saying: "yes" to whatever God has in store for me.
I think the religious life is God's will for me, and I'll follow it, unless He takes me a different way.

Mother said something very wise. She said something like: "If you are attracted to a man, you'll date him. If it's God's will, you'll get married." And she spoke about how if I have an "attraction" to the religious life, even the slightest, I should look into it.


Had many laughs with the Sisters tonight at dinner. Even got to watch the last 30 minutes of St. Faustina! I didn't know there was a movie about her.


I have the worst migrane ever, so I'm going to bed. Have to get up 15 minutes earlier. *Le sigh*
Mother says whenever she hears the bells, and has to wake up...she says it's her "heroic moment" haha. You're supposed to spring out of bed when you wake up. This morning, I literally got out of bed like a NINJA! I've never gotten out of bed so fast. I think my alarm scared me, and I was excited for the day.

Well, good night.

Retreat day 3

Today I woke up at 5:15, said morning prayer, then went to Mass in Zanesville.
Came back and started working. I helped by moving a bunch of plants to the green house.
We also had lunch, which was good.

We had recreation after we cleaned the kitchen. Me, Sr. Philomena Maria, and Lynn played basketball. I didn't know how much these Sisters could laugh--especially Lynn! She is hilarious!

Spiritually...I hate this. Sure, I felt more at ease after my talk with Mother...but still....I have this disatisfied feeling. So far, I feel like I've been going through all the motions...but none of it has hit me. I don't feel as peaceful & joyful as I should. I don't feel complete here. Heck, I don't know what I want anymore. If God feels that I should look into the religious life more...fine, I'll do it.
But, right now I just can't seem to feel anything towards it. It's like....the spark in my heart for the religious life is slowly dying. But, that seems to be the story of my life...sparks dying.
Suddenly...things just become less attractive. I don't know, I love the thought of religious life.
I feel *content* here. I don't *want* to leave, but at the same time, I wouldn't mind if I did leave. I have felt this way before I went on this retreat. Nothing, absolutely NOTHING, in my heart has changed. If I am to be God's....why do I feel so...blah about the whole idea?
I always hear God tell me that He is going to do big things with me.....

Day prayer.....brb.


- But, yeah....could the religious life be it? Is that my calling? I find it hard to believe right now....with this feeling within.

Retreat day 4

Today was pretty much like any other day, except Mass was in the chapel, so we didn't have to go out. Also, for recreation, we got a bit crafty! We made cards! The Sisters save a bunch of pictures from Christmas cards, Easter Cards, calendars, etc, and use them to make cards and stuff. So, I made a (late) Mother's day card for my mom.

Work today was fun, but kind of frustrating.

*I cleaned the main floor of the cloister .. :)
*I cleaned the barn, which went well.....until this dog that has been here lately chewed the duster into pieces. There was feather duster pieces all over the ground---after I already SWEPT!
*I got to feed chickens! Never done that before, but it feels funny.

I had a pretty intense adoration hour today....
I can just feel that God is pretty tired of me not listening/following/trying to avoid the truth...

I only heard the Lord speak 2 things. And, can't quote scripture at ALL. So, I know this is God speaking..

I heard Him say:
"Proverbs 22."
"John 6."

What stood out to me in John 6 was the story about Jesus walking on water. And He was like:

The verse that stuck out to me in Proverbs 22
was: "The sluggard says: a lion is outside in the streets...I might be slain."
This basically is talking about the lack of effort required for doing good.

I think this is one of my problems. I think I'm afraid of losing things...friends, family, etc.
And maybe God is calling me to do the extreme, but I'm not really ....putting much effort into that so far.

Retreat day 5

I went to Holy Family for Mass today. The Mass was in Latin, and beautiful as always.

After Mass, we went to the soup kitchen. Ah, things have changed since the last time I was there. Now, there is a private corner for the Sisters to have Eucharistic adoration.
The corner is surrounded by beautiful gold curtains hanging, so it's almost like a whole different room! Eucharistic Adoration was amazing. It was beautiful to see how Christ worked through people, some wept in front of our Lord. Some were too hardened by pain that they couldn't come to pray. Others had hope. It was hard for *ME* not to cry. It was hard to see people in such pain..and wanting to just take all of it away. In the midst of all of this, had to smile though.

Here's a man that only has food that he keeps in a small box. He's just smiling, and telling *ME* to keep my thoughts on God. How beautiful, to be suffering, and just to have Faith in God.
As he was trying to add food to his box, some of it fell out. I kindly helped him by putting the food back into his box, and it's funny....he said: "Thank you, Sister!" (I had my church veil on.)
And without thinking, I was just like: "Oh, no. I'm not a Sister...yet!"

In my mind I was like: "Yet?!?!....Yeah... that's right...." I felt content with those words.
I don't know why, but I'm having a hard time admitting to myself that the religious life just might be for me. I feel that's the truth, I just find it hard to believe. Me?! A sister?!

I don't know why it takes me by surprise. I've desired this for so long. People have said that I should become a sister. But....practically wow.

Pretty soon I'm going to have to go cook. I'm making chicken pot pie for tomorrow, so I have to prepare the veggies and stuff. Right now I'm writing during my "Holy leisure" time.... Mother gave me a bunch of time to kill. Now I can write & read "Mother Angelica".

...I still have to finish cleaning the barn. Gotta move stuff. :(
As Sr. Mary Teresa would say: "A Sister's work is never done."
Yeah, all the Sister's have "catch phrases".

According to Lynn, mine is just a giggle....hahaha.

Lynn's is: "Don't quote me on that."

Mother's is: "Remind me before I forget."

Sr. Philomena Maria isn't sure of hers, but we all think it should be:
"Hey, I have a story to share!" or something along the lines of that.

They make me laugh.


Just got done with evening prayer. Time for holy leisure!
This is probably one of my favorite points of the day...
simply because I get to educate myself in the Faith by reading or listening to a talk.

I'm currently listening to a CD on the religious life.
It's pretty good, so far. Ahh, on the way to Mass today, the sisters turned on the radio. We listened to Fr. Corapi on 1510 (Catholic AM station.)
He was talking about the Rosary, and where the mysteries came from, and how we can relate it to scripture! It was GREAT!

Bed time!

Retreat day 6

Today I woke up and said morning prayer with the Sisters.
After that, I helped Sr. Philomena in the kitchen. I chopped up more veggies.
Today was a "fun day" so we were talking in the kitchen having a conversation.
Normally, the Sisters try to keep silence everywhere outside of recreation.
So, if I'm in the kitchen, and need instructions on something...I can just whisper.
But they try not to have full conversations outside of recreation.

Anyway.... our conversation was about songs. She had asked me what my favorite church songs were. Turns out, we like a lot of the same songs. "Tantum Ergo" and "Let all mortal flesh keep silence" being some of them. After we got done working in the kitchen me & Lynn got some flowers from outside.... we're celebrating the feast of Our Lady of Fatima.

Also, Lynn becomes a postulant today..which is pretty exciting.
This weekend should be fun with other girls coming for a retreat. Can't wait!

Debating on staying for the full weekend or not...still have camporee stuff.
Not totally sure what all has been done--aside from the skits. Oh well.

We had lunch with a wonderful priest today. Fr. Antonio.
Originally from Brazil, and studied in Italy for like 10 years. He has a thick accent, but you can easily understand him. He was very interesting.

Since today is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, we had a procession for her. We did a crowning for the Mary statue in the forest, in the garden, and by the pond.
It was really weird, though....before we left we saw a butterfly. (Symbol of renewal).
And while procesing through the forest, Mother said she saw a snake--most likely poisonous because it had different colors/patterns. (Maybe a copperhead?) but she said she hasn't seen a snake in like....20 years! And really...of all days? Crazy.

Tonight we're having a cook out, so I'm going to use my scouting skills to build a fire. :)
Bahahaha. The moment I've been waiting for...
Yes, I'm a pyro.
Like all good scouts.


Okay, so the fire didn't turn out as good as I would have liked it to.
Not my fault, though. Too many big logs/news paper. Sister was suffocating the fire.
Oh well. Seeing as we were having a cook out, it didn't need to be a big fire anyway.
We had hamburgers! :)

Afterwards, we played badmitton again. I must be cursed because this time the birdie hit my head. Seriously?! First my eye, now my head. I think Sr. Philomena Maria wants to knock me out. Thankfully it didn't really hurt, though.

Ah, going to take a power nap from 9:30 to 10:45. We're having adoration for an hour to pray for priests. 11:00-12:00.

Retreat day 7

DANGIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn't pray for priests from 11:00- 12:00.
I had my alarm set and everything, but it didn't go off! And I WANTED to do it!
I woke up at 12:15, and I was like: "IT ENDED 15 MINUTES AGO? I MISSED IT?!?"
Eh, it's okay. I woke up a 1/2 hr earlier than I just prayed then.

I can't help but feel like....I'm just going through all the motions with this retreat.
Eat when it's time to eat.
Work when it's time to work.

I'm not sure what I even LIKE about the religious life anymore.
Do I just like certain things---Prayer/silence/going to the soup kitchen?
Or do I like it because I find it something more than just prayer and work?

Eh, with God I'll get things figured out.

I've been fasting all day today. Mainly bread & water & tea. Few slices of pear.
(Except no drinking during the hours of our Lord's passion..12-3)

I'd say I'm adjusting well to the fasting.

Bed time!

Retreat day 8

---Not a whole lot of time to write today..

Talk by Sr. Philomena Maria.

*Thoughts control feelings.

*Story about monks singing and angels being next to each monk writing.

*Angels writing in gold = joy while singing.

* Angels writing silver= some distraction.

* Angels writing in ink= just saying the words.

* Angels writing in water= not saying anything.

* Religious life= You GAIN a spiritual family & a divine spouse.


Talk 2-- Mother Margaret Mary

* Be open to graces at Mass by emptying our whole selves. Body & mind.
There should be no distractions.

* LOVE one another. DO! Don't TRY.

*Hardships can be things that lead us to a path to greatness.

* You wound the heart of God if you don't forgive yourself.

*We are most like Jesus when we suffer.

*We are most like God when we forgive.

Day 9

*Woke up
*Said morning prayer
*Went to Mass.
*Went home

-yes, I originally planned for a 10 day retreat.
Came home a day earlier to get camporee stuff done.


---The main thing I found helpful during my retreat was this:
Thoughts control feelings. After my retreat, I had to shun a lot of bad thoughts away in order to feel at peace with the thought of religious life.
If this is what God wants, then alright. I'm fine with it. :)


-- I consecrated myself to Mary, again. :)
After this retreat, I definitely feel more devoted to Our Lady. I want to strive to get a deeper relationship with her.

--I learned some things that you're not allowed to speak about. There's 5 of them, but sister could only remember 3.
1. Your past.
2. Life struggles.
3. Food.

I was kind of shocked when I heard "food" really? But it makes sense. Food can easily dominate conversation, and it's easy to take pleasure in it. They try to keep their minds on God.


--In adoration, I heard Jesus say two things to me.
"My heart is beating with love for you!"
and "You know that I am with you every step of the way."
Now...I don't feel afraid to do His will.
I'm not afriad of this journey...


---I learned so many prayers. I can now do the Rosary in Latin perfectly, the Regina Coeli in Latin perfectly, and and other prayers (which aren't in Latin).. haha.

Friday, May 7, 2010


If you don't see me tweeting/updating my blog...that's why.
Keep me in your prayers.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Love Letter IV

Dear child,
Do you remember the night you woke up in tears?
It was when the prince of darkness visted.

Oh, your eyes were full of fear.
Oh, but you were wise, little one.
You were scared, but you never did abandon the Son.
Faith is what you kept.
You took the pain, and suffered out of love
You're an inspiration to me.


Holy is He who tends to His sheep.

Holy is He who's love I shall keep.

Holy is He who never abandons me.

I unite my suffering with Yours, O Lord.
I unite my pain with Yours , O Lord.
I unite my tears with Yours, O Lord.
I unite my aching heart with Yours, O Lord.

Father, the pain is too much to bear today.
Father, hold me.
Father, comfort me.
Father, love me.

Despite my sufferings, I know your love.
Despite my sufferings, I will praise your name forevermore.
Despite my sufferings, I will turn my tears to roses,
though it cuts me to the core.

He who defeats evil, sing praise.
He who defeats evil, adore Him forever
He who defeats evil, is the King of Kings.
He who defeats evil, is my love.

Sing praise to the King of Kings
Adore Him forever.

He who is merciful towards sinners, sing praise.
He who is merciful towards sinners, confide in His rays.
He who is merciful towards sinners, exalt Him forever.

Sing praise to He who is merciful.
Exalt Him forever.

He who thirsts for love, confide in Him.
He who thirsts for love, love Him.
He who thirsts for love, is my God and my King.

May His thirst be satisfied.

Sing praise to He who thirsts for love.
Love Him forever.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Everyday life.

I had no intention of writing this week, seeing as I've been busy with various things...but, something happened tonight, and it really hit me. It was enough to inspire me to write.

I've always been very observant. I have ever since I was a baby. As stalkerish as it may sound, I've always enjoyed people watching. As I've grown older, I can't help but wonder what they are thinking, if they believe in God, and what kind of life they live. I mainly am concerned about their salvation. I'd like to say that observing is learning, and I think that would be a true statement. Just by observing, you can learn so much.

What's shocking is the stuff that goes on in this world. What's even more shocking is how easily it can be over-looked.

Many people just walk by each other, and don't bother to look at a person in depth.
Yes, believe it or not, that person you just walked past was once a kid.
That other person you just walked past has feelings, and is most likely going through hardships.
Everyone, open your eyes! There are people that need prayers!

Today, three things happened.

1. I went to the mall and I heard two women talking about birth control/fertilization.
In my heart, I said: "Lord, please show them the truth. Show them that life is something precious."

2. I saw a lady, and she was pregnant. It was like a glimpse of hope after hearing about that conversation. I couldn't help but smile!
In my heart, I said: "Lord, keep her baby healthy."

3. Went to the gas station and I waited in the car while my mom ran into the store to get ice cream. A car pulled up next to us, and in the car were 3 young BEAUTIFUL girls. Probably 19.
1 girl (the driver) was smoking. The passenger walked into the store, and later on threw away two beer shaped looking bottles. (Assuming it was smirnoff ice--there was a drop of liquid left in each bottle and it was white looking.) The girl in the back seat was working on opening another bottle of something. It just made me sad.
My heart broke at this point, but in my heart I said: "Lord, have mercy on them."

I don't ever think of the prayers. It all just quickly came to me. I have such a desire to pray for the conversion of sinners.
I care so much about the salvation of others. I want Christ's thirst of love to be satisfied.

If we don't pray, if we don't follow our Faith, if we don't be a WITNESS...then we are failing to do our part in life. We are called to know God, love God, and serve Him. If we know God, then we will desire for all people to know how great He truly is. We need to show people that they are WORTH something. Those that harm them self with drugs, alcohol, etc...They need to stop! Someone needs to take a stand and say how wrong it is. Is it great that we have people destroying their bodies? No! Because each person is important. Each person has a purpose in life whether they believe it or not. Drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol addiction is nothing more than just a slow suicide. I can't understand why people want that for themselves! What do they see in the mirror when they wake up in the morning? Do they see a person that is worth living?
It angers me, because I believe everyone has potential to turn this world around. To make this world a better place. TO BE something. And to see someone waste it all away, hurts.

If any change is going to take place, it won't be because of us, but because of God.
This is why we must pray, and be Faithful.

Sometimes we're at the right place at the right time, and just don't realize it.
Smile and pray for those that look unhappy.

Let Christ shine through you.

Love always, even if it's hard.

♥ † ♥

Amazing video to watch:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Battle

She feels the air,
It's cold as ice.
Her heartbeat increases
Glass tears fall as she screams"Dear Jesus.."

"Grab all weapons, it's time."
"I see no battle" they say.
She takes them inside her mind.

"Hold your swords high,
leave none alive!"

Each army walks out onto the battlefield..
My Lord, My God..what do you have to say?
"Let it be done unto those that betray.
Do they not know the price they must pay

How difficult it must be
To defend against unsolicited attacks.
But, still the angels march on.

They carry their torches and bear the light.
Oh, how they desire to spread truth to all.
They see evil and think of it as such an awful sight..
But, they pray, and still the angels march on.

The silence is broken by a cruel laughter.
And tears are shed for every sin ever committed.
"Sin, all you sinners" they chant.

The canons break out.
Lies are spread, and death is in the air.
"We refuse to let evil take over..Hallelujah!
We'll raise our swords high!"

This is the night that blood has been shed.
Maggots begin to crawl out of the demon's heads..
Looking to infect another soul..

Which side are you on, reader?
What is your choice of weapon in this battle?
The canon of lies, or the sword of truth?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The importance of Adoration

♥ Jesus told Saint Faustina from the Tabernacle, “Love has brought me here, and love keeps me here” (Diary, 576)." To Saint Margaret Mary He said, “I have a burning thirst to be loved and honored by all in the Blessed Sacrament.” ♥

God's promise to us was this:
“I will be with you until the end of time.” (Mt 28:20) and so He is. He is everywhere, but especially in the Eucharist. Not part of Him, but all of Him. His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. His Heart, His sentiments, His mind, His desires, His love. All of Him. He is present, giving Himself to man for love.

The Eucharist is a wonderful gift of love from Jesus to all of men. It's a reflection of His passion and His suffering. In the book of John, it tells us that Jesus loved us until the end. This means He loved us so much, that He didn't stop. He took on all suffering and died for our sake. THAT is how great His love is.

It's unfortunate that our Lord sits there with open arms, wanting to hear from us... wanting to
be friends with us ..and It's sad when people in my church pass by the library (which is where adoration is currently being held due to remodeling). You don't have a minute to say hello to our Lord? So often, I think we forget He's there because we can't see him.

But, even then..I don't understand. Wouldn't the Eucharist be as visual as it gets?
I think it depends. Some may see a piece of bread. Others, penetrate past the fact, and seek truth.

If you've ever been to adoration, you would know that stuff happens! No, maybe you won't have an amazing conversion, but you will feel at peace. You will learn how to love. You will develop a relationship. You learn to listen. You learn patience.

If only you knew the power of adoration, you would not be looking at the clock every second.
You would not be passing the hallway. And, you would not be wanting to leave. Oh, how it saddens me. If you don't have an hour to spend with Him, do you at least have a minute?

"If souls would put themselves completely in my care, I myself would
undertake the task of sanctifying them, and I would lavish even greater graces
on them. There are souls who thwart My efforts, but I have not given up on them;
as often as they turn to Me, I hurry to their aid, sheilding them with My mercy,
and I give them the first place in My compassionate Heart." --God to Saint

I used to have a lot of struggles, I wasn't proud of myself. I wanted to change, but no matter how much I prayed...nothing would happen. I didn't stop praying though. I desired change more than life itself. I wanted a reason to keep on living, because the way I was living made me feel dead inside. Anyway, I did have a conversion. It was back in September, at the Eucharistic Congress of 09. It wasn't during adoration, but during Mass. Every day since then I have strived to live only for God. I just remember crying and gazing upon the altar and thinking to myself:
"I want to live for You, God, and only You."This desire within me has not changed.

I also used to struggle with anger. I suppose going to adoration has nothing to do with me finally being at peace.

You won't ever be able to convince me that Christ is not present in the EUCHARIST!

It's more than just a piece of bread. It's everything. It's the body, blood, soul and DIVINITY of my Lord and Savior.

On this Divine Mercy Sunday, set aside time for our Lord. Experience His great love and mercy.