Saturday, April 11, 2015

Porn industry and modesty



I thought I would take the time to write about something a bit different. It's something I am passionate about. I love books, and I enjoy reading as much as the next person. Unfortunately, I believe that there are some books that should simply be burned due to the fact that they are poisonous to the mind.There is a book called 50 Shades of Grey, and recently the movie came out. As a female, I must say I find it rather appalling due to the fact that they constantly engage in BSDM--and to those that are not aware of what this is, it's nothing more than  a celebration of rape, pain, abuse, and disrespect towards a human being. This is the constant trash that you would find in porn. Porn treats a body not as glorious reflections of the image of God, but as sources of sin and temptation.

I'm not sure what I'm more concerned about. The fact that this is socially "acceptable" entertainment, or the fact that women enjoy reading this. The core to this is: we don't have a positive example for our children. The divorce rate is 50%. We live in a society where broken families is the norm, and we have kids growing up without a mother or a father..sometimes both.  In this instance, I will be speaking about fathers. There are many girls growing up without that father figure. A girl's first love should be her father. Unfortunately, in today's society this isn't always the case.   A father should be there to give the parental love and affection they need, and to show them what they deserve for later on in life.   Boys, never having a male role model around to tell them how to treat women with respect and love. Aside from our paternal father, we should be looking to our Heavenly Father first and foremost as the ultimate example.

But, what is teaching our children?  The porn industry, which teaches us violence against a human being. It teaches us to degrade another life. Some would use the term "violence against women", but two people take part in the act, both people are at fault in my eyes.
Let's look at some statistics:
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  • 80% of 15-17 year olds have been exposed to hard core porn.
  • 67% of men and 59% of women said that porn was acceptable.
  • Studies have shown porn is more addictive than heroin or cocaine. 
On top of all of this, we have sex trafficking that takes place in the world. We are disgusted at those who would hold women and children as sex slaves, deny them their human rights, and make them mere objects for sexual pleasure. At the same time, pornography is tolerated, accepted, openly defended, and even celebrated. What you might not know is that many women and children who are being sexually exploited and trafficked are also being used for the production of pornography.

Reading these statistics saddens me, especially since I have known people that have struggled with porn. It breaks my heart. Impurity chains your heart, and clouds your mind. What you choose to feed your brain makes a difference. To those that struggle, every single time my advice is to pray constantly.  Pray for the graces to be pure, and stay close to Mary through the Rosary. Even though porn may not seem "real", it is.  You aren't dealing with just a woman. You aren't dealing with just a man.You are dealing with a daughter of God. You are dealing with a son of God. His creations are meant to be respected and loved. His creations are not meant to be mistreated, abused, and lusted after for ones own selfish pleasure.   Treat him/her, accordingly. It might take more than prayer to beat the addiction. I highly suggest spiritual guidance/counseling.   Because it is a selfish act, true love becomes harder to find.  Love is about self giving and sacrifice. Christ is the perfect example of love.

One should really contemplate on the selfish aspect alone.
Just try to imagine. You are spending hours pleasuring yourself to impure images and various videos, you begin to become obsessed not only to the pornographic material, but to yourself. You don't know how to embrace the sacrifice that true love is designed for. Instead you view others as toys for your own selfish entertainment that are designed to fulfill  every want and need—just like the pornographic material. A Christ love is about giving and serving. It's about sacrifice. What kind of love is narcissistic and abusive?

So, what can we do to help others remain pure?
Scripture gives us the answer. 1 Corinthians Chapter 6: 19-20: 

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own. For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.
Dress modestly. This goes for men and women.
I don't think heat should be an excuse for wearing -less- fabric. Even if it was 80-90 degrees out, it's still not an excuse. In fact, that excuse alone really frustrates me. There is a way to look cute, stylish, and still be cool and comfortable. You don't have to wear short shorts to be cool and comfortable. You can wear a cute knee length summer dress, and a nice necklace, just as an example. Maybe you have a low cut top hanging in your closet, but you can layer your clothing. You can wear a knee length, light, airy skirt.



Whether you do it for attention or not, you're still going to get attention. But what kind of attention? The wrong kind. How you dress says something about a person. It's how you are presenting yourself to the world. It may not matter to you, but it does matter because people see it. Men are more visual, and this may be an occasion of sin for them. We have an opportunity, to make people see more--and not in a bad sense. When you dress in short shorts, mini skirts, or have a low cut top on, they are going to see just that. They are going to see you for your BODY.You aren't giving them the full picture. In my opinion, if a woman were to dress in a sense that had decency--then it would show off all your inner beauty. Then people would love you for YOU and not your body.   This is the problem with porn, and Pope John Paul II said it: "The problem with porn is that it doesn't show enough." It doesn't show the inner beauty. It doesn't show the beautiful bond that takes place between husband and wife.

As women, we get defensive about our taste in fashion. We have to understand that our fashion shows off who we are--keep that in mind. It's the first impression people will have of us. It's not completely our fault, certain styles have become so "acceptable" in today's society. The media is constantly coming out with new  trends. What it really comes down to is how much you are willing to conform to society and its ways. Think for just a moment....Are you living on this earth to be accepted by a temporary world or accepted by God's infinite loving eyes? His opinion should be the only opinion that actually matters.  Our Lord is not pleased with these fashions, nor is Our Lady.

"Our Lady of Fatima:More souls go to hell for sins of the flesh than for any other reason.
Our Lady of Fatima to Jacinta:Certain fashions will be introduced which will offend Our Divine Lord very much. Those who serve God ought not to follow these fashions. The Church has no fashions. Our Lord is always the same.
Our Lady of Fatima to Jacinta:Woe to women wanting in modesty.
Our Lady of Fatima to Jacinta:Many marriages are not of God and do not please Our Lord.

Today let us offer up our day for the sins of the flesh.
Mary, Mother most pure, and Joseph, chaste guardian of the Virgin, to you I entrust the purity of my soul and body. I beg you to plead with God for me that I may never for the remainder of my life soil my soul by any sin of impurity. I earnestly wish to be pure in thought, word and deed in imitation of your own holy purity. Obtain for me a deep sense of modesty, which will be reflected in my external conduct. Protect my eyes, the windows of my soul, from anything that might dim the luster of a heart that must mirror only Christ-like purity. And when the “Bread of Angels” becomes my food in Holy Communion, seal my heart forever against the suggestions of sinful pleasures. Finally, may I be among the number of those of whom Jesus spoke, “Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God.” Amen. 

Pax Christi,
Layna

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The battle is near.




I have spoken before about a dream I've had when I was 6, but I never shared the one I had when I was 17. I was staying in California when I had this dream. In my dream I saw a battlefield. This battlefield wasn't like an ordinary battlefield on land. Though the entire dream was in sepia coloring, I still saw shadows, smoke, fire, and light. There were two different sides. Heaven's army had some followers, but not as much. It was small. The front line was Christ, the angels, Saints, and a man wearing a papal hat. Satan's army was much larger, with "important"  leaders.  Christ and Satan were both starting to look to the side lines for followers. Numerous people started walking to join the army of Satan. Angels and demons began fighting to death.  Then it flashed to a scene where one angel stabbed the head demon...then there was a flash of white and I woke up.

I have said it before but that's the purpose of this banner. I want to make people think: "Which army are you a part of?" Because now more than ever, I truly believe there's a battle going on, and it's only going to get worse.  We are living in the times of Fatima, and we need to be on guard, and ready. There is a battle within the Church, within the media, and within the entire world. We are called to grow closer to Christ and to prepare ourselves for the difficult times to come. I recall a Saint that said something along the lines of "think of Heaven daily". We should think of Heaven daily. Hourly, even. We can't lose sight of Heaven.   Christ calls us in many ways, and that might just be through suffering. When things get hard, we shouldn't despair, but rejoice and be glad. It is through despair, that we invite the works of Satan.  I can't stress doing penance enough. Even the message of Fatima stresses doing penance.




"In the Gospels the word penance means a conversion of one's life, a turning away from sin, and a turning back to God. As Our Lady insisted at Fatima: "Men must amend their lives, and ask pardon for their sins. . . . They must no longer offend Our Lord, Who is already so much offended." The Fatima message is a call for men to give up sinful practices which grieve God and draw down His chastisements on the world, and to make reparation for them. Commenting on Our Lady's request for penance, Sr. Lucia wrote: "The part of the last apparition which has remained most deeply imprinted on my heart is the prayer of our heavenly Mother begging us not to offend any more Almighty God, Who is already so much offended."Jacinta, too, shortly before her death remarked: "If men only knew what eternity is, how they would make all possible efforts to amend their lives . . . mortification and sacrifice give great pleasure to Our Divine Lord."In August of 1917 Our Lady told the children, "pray much and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell because there is no one to make sacrifices for them."

We must do penance.  For our own sins, for the souls in purgatory, and for sinners everywhere. We have the choice to do penance here on earth, with the time we have, or to do it in purgatory. We have to learn how to value our time. So often we waste it. I am guilty of this. It's hard.  Instead of watching your favorite television show, why not "fast" from it that day and do some spiritual reading? This is just one example. I have encountered others. While I was on a 5 day silent retreat, one of the priests never ate dinner the entire time. He often paced around with a rosary in his hand, while silently reading the Liturgy of the Hours. I found this inspirational. If you choose to do penance you will see a great difference in yourself, and perhaps others might begin to see it in you.  Some ways we can do penance is by offering up:

*An illness
*Any ache or pain
*Facing that slow driver on the road that loves to test your patience.
*Abstaining from food (like meat).
*Extra prayer
*Acts of charity
*Denying yourself comfort (like staying in bed for those extra 10 minutes)
So often we sin, and brush it off like it's nothing. Maybe we'll go to confession, but how serious are we about our sins? It should pain us. We should weep, because are the ones that did this to Jesus.

What are we going to do about it? When are we going to learn? When are we going to follow Him?
Are we going to wait until it's too late or are we going to join the battle and fight with Him?


“This Beloved of ours is merciful and good. Besides, he so deeply longs for our love that he keeps calling us to come closer. This voice of his is so sweet that the poor soul falls apart in the face of her own inability to instantly do whatever he asks of her. And so you can see, hearing him hurts much more than not being able to hear him… For now, his voice reaches us through words spoken by good people, through listening to spiritual talks, and reading sacred literature. God calls to us in countless little ways all the time. Through illnesses and suffering and through sorrow he calls to us. Through a truth glimpsed fleetingly in a state of prayer he calls to us. No matter how halfhearted such insights may be, God rejoices whenever we learn what he is trying to teach us.” 
 St Teresa of Avila 


I don't write this to discourage you, but to make you aware. One should make a healthy practice of doing an examination of conscience daily. This will help us learn from our habits.  Stay close to Christ. I'm also doing this because I'm angry. I'm tired of seeing the world slap God in the face through abortion, through homosexuality, through pornography. Etc.  Why yes, I can understand how "fun" pornography must feel in the moment. Good things are not always GOD things. God only wants what's best for us, but we don't listen. How can we listen when we're too caught up in latest news, the latest car coming out, the latest fashion trend, the latest iPhone, sports, etc.   It makes me sick, really. Open your eyes, and listen. God is calling you. Follow Him! 

“Let nothing disturb you,Let nothing frighten you,All things are passing away:God never changes.Patience obtains all things.Whoever has God lacks nothing;God alone suffices.” ― St Theresa of Avila 

~Pax Christi,
Layna

Loneliness



I haven't written in a very long time, but I miss it terribly.  I keep on coming to my blog and I stare at it with the intention to write, but nothing ever comes to my mind.  I've been debating between: "should I write with just raw, honest, emotion?" or "should I write and preach, even though my own spiritual life is struggling?" I would feel hypocritical.   I can't write when I'm struggling in a spiritual sense.  There is much that I am confused about in my own spiritual life.  Because of this confusion, I will be leaving for California next month, and I'll be starting a new life, while getting my spiritual life in order. I appreciate your prayers.

 I have chosen to write with an honest approach. I'm not sure why, but to this day I still receive numerous comments telling me to continue to write, and that pushes me to want to write. I never made it "big" in the blogging world, but to the few that did take the time to read...I appreciate it. Some of you have actually expressed that my posts help you in your own spiritual life. I'll admit, when I first started writing I just did it for me. I didn't really expect to have any readers. To know that I have been able to help some people is amazing, and I couldn't have done it without the grace of God.

To those that read my page, I see you as friends automatically. To my friends, I don't want to hide when I'm in the darkest of times. Struggling is part of the Christian life.  We aren't saints yet. All I've ever been on this blog was real. I can't count how many times I've mentioned suffering . 

I suppose the reason why I've mentioned suffering a lot in my writings is because I have had my share of suffering. In fact, I deal with it daily. I suffer from depression, and that's the cross I have to endure. Some days are easier than others, I'll admit. Because of this,  I'm forced to live for joyful moments because I never know what tomorrow will bring. Even in the worst case scenario, I still try to find beauty in everything. I never feel defeated, because I never give up.

I always tell myself "This too, shall pass" and that has always helped me through hard times.
Though I don't always feel God, I trust He's there. I know He watches over me and loves me.  That reminder is enough for me to make it another day.


 One of the main struggles I've been dealing with is loneliness. Loneliness is something we all struggle with, and it becomes even harder when you feel like you can no longer hear God.  I think part of the problem for me is I tune Him out with various distractions and often my depression (and sin) alters my way of thinking to the point where I feel unworthy.  "Why would He want anything to do with me?" I start thinking to myself.   When you no longer can hear God, you feel like you are wandering without any sense of direction. Before you know it you find yourself going off the path of righteousness. In my own life, I am convinced that God has been a jealous God. Every friend I meet has either ended up not turning out to be a true friend, or they suddenly leave without reason, continuously. I feel like God is purposely making it so I am alone, and I'll admit. It makes me angry until I remember He's probably doing it for a good reason.  For what reason? I'm not sure. I suppose it's just so I can grow in holiness without distractions, and perhaps that's what we are all called to as Christians--is to be detached in some way. As a mother, father, husband, wife, or a working man/woman..I understand it must be hard to prioritize our time. But, there is 24 hours a day. It comes down to what we choose to do with it. We are called as Christians to make time to adore our Lord. Whether it's saying the rosary on the way to work, or doing an hour of adoration, or going to daily mass, or just saying 3 Hail Mary's as you wake. Nobody is ever "too busy".  It helps to keep your mind fixated on Heaven, because ultimately that should be our goal.
My own mother shared this wonderful quote with me, and it made me think.

"Jesus, Mary, The Cross: I want no other friends but these." St. Bernadette Soubirous

That should be all we want.  Easier said than done, right?  Unfortunately we seem to forget who our real friends are--- Jesus, Mary, and those in Heaven. We can't lose sight of who our real friends are. Especially right now in this day and age when darkness and evil is most active. Satan will come to us the second we choose to despair. We must stay strong.  We have no idea what true loneliness really is. The only true loneliness there is, exists in hell. Imagine hell having a special place reserved for you in the darkest corner, away from everyone,  and your only friend is agony because you can't be with Christ, and that kills you.  Next time you feel alone, remember what St. Teresa of Calcutta said:
"The terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved." Even she understands.
We crave love, because we were designed to love and be loved.  Only God can fulfill this need.

Let us pray the litany of humility.
__________________________________________
O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,

Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved...
From the desire of being extolled ...
From the desire of being honored ...
From the desire of being praised ...
From the desire of being preferred to others...
From the desire of being consulted ...
From the desire of being approved ...
From the fear of being humiliated ...
From the fear of being despised...
From the fear of suffering rebukes ...
From the fear of being calumniated ...
From the fear of being forgotten ...
From the fear of being ridiculed ...
From the fear of being wronged ...
From the fear of being suspected ...
That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.


That others may be esteemed more than I ...
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease ...
That others may be chosen and I set aside ...
That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...
That others may be preferred to me in everything...
That others may become holier than I,
 provided that I may become as holy as I should…
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Pax Christi,
~Layna