Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Long List of Saintly "Thank You"s, Intercessions.

This might be the last post I write this year because tomorrow is usually a really busy day for me -- due to the clean-a-thon. I haven't really started and that will take me a good day and a half if I do it at my usual pace. Since I feel VERY weak and slightly fatigued today (due to a little fasting I did yesterday; I've learned I really can't fast without feeling like I'm gonna pass out within a few hours), I will be doing this a bit slower. Also, my mom's just caught a cold/flu bug so I'll also be helping her clean the house. We like to ring in the New Year with everything in order and as clean as possible. :D Since this is the case, I just wanted to post a long list of "Thank You"s to saints who've interceded for me. It will be extra long, so brace yourselves.

St. Jude Thaddeus: St. Jude's helped me out for years. He was my patron saint during the hardest times of my life, and I believe he was in the saint that got me back to my Catholic roots. I've always been Catholic but didn't always act Catholic (mainly because no one ever bothered to explain to me what was and wasn't part of the Church's beliefs). I credit him for helping me get back into prayer and attending Mass, as well as going to confessions. There's a reason why I head straight for our St. Jude statues whenever there's an earthquake.

Our Lady of Guadalupe: Our Mother in Heaven has been absolutely amazing to my entire family. She's my father's patron saint, along with St. Michael Archangel. What can I say that hasn't already been saint about her? All I can do is express my gratitude to her for all she's done for us, including helping us through my mom's potential breast cancer scare last year. I also have a journal where I write as if I were writing to her, but that's another story... :D That's something you won't see, unlike the little drawing I did of her, earlier this year.

St. Dymphna: Patroness of all who, like me, suffer from anxiety. She's actually brought a lot of new readers to this blog because of a post I wrote, a few months ago, on Catholicism and anxiety. Though she's helped me very much, I believe she's helped me help others who did not know about her and now pray for her intercession. That's a great feeling. :D Any time I feel a really BAD panic attack coming on, I pray for her intercession -- that the Lord hears her own prayers for my peace of mind -- and I feel better not long after. I hope to help promote her intercession for others as much as I can.

St. Timothy: I went through almost 2-3 months of a stomach virus that simply refused to leave my system... until I looked up who the patron saint of stomach and intestinal problems was. When I did, I asked for his intercession and a few days later, I was practically back to normal. :D I am very grateful to him for that, because I landed in the Emergency Room twice (the last two times I was there) because of dehydration from the virus before I asked for his intercession.

St. Martha: This one is for my mom, who works in a subsection of housekeeping (not but exactly housekeeping) at a convalescent hospital. My mom has a HEAVY work load and she gets home completely exhausted every day. One day, I decided to look up the patroness of her line of work. I told her to ask St. Martha for her intercession whenever she had one of those heavy days. She did (and has since). Mom will occasionally tell me how she had a heavy workload and she says "St. Martha, please help me get through this" and the next thing she knows, she's done! She somehow manages to finish everything quickly; the time just flies. So a big thank you to her!

St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Joseph of Cupertino: My academic heroes! Every time I had a hard exam, I asked for their intercessions (St. Thomas Aquinas for a clear mind; St. Joseph of Cupertino for knowledge to pass the exam). I even kept St. Thomas Aquinas' holy prayer card on my desk during a couple of my exams, including my Oceanography final exam (I ended up getting an A in the class for the semester). I also believe St. Joseph of Cupertino also came through for me during my English Lit final because, despite studying for a section that wasn't covered much on the test, I was able to pass it and score a B for the semester. So, THANK YOU!

Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati: I've only been learning about Bl. Pier Giorgio recently, I asked his intercession for absolutely no anxiety during my final exam. I heard students also asked him for help and since I want to submit something to further his case to become an official saint, I decided to ask him for health and peace of mind during finals. I definitely got it. I don't know how but I made it through my final exams with the most relaxed attitude I've ever had. Seriously, I was so zen the entire time, I was very kind of shocked. Of course, anxiety is up now but hey I made it through my finals which is all I asked. :D I am now asking him to help me with something, also school related, and I will let y'all know if he's able to intercede for me. :D

St. Teresa of Avila: Ever since I had that dream of St. Teresa -- before I even knew who she was -- I've felt connected to her. After learning about her, and seeing how much I had in common with her, I felt so much more connected to the Church and the Lord. She started my whole love of learning about saints' lives. (Well, her and Fr. James who said to look them up whenever I dreamt about them). A thank you to her for helping me figure out my career was in writing. :D

St. Pancras of Rome: Got a cramp? Ask for his intercession and it'll go away. He definitely interceded for me when I got that painful charley horse, first thing in the morning, a few months ago. It was the fastest pain relief -- from a charley horse -- I've had.

St. Anthony: He's helped me find things AND I owe him a food donation (he's the patron saint against starvation) to my local parish which I hope to do either later today or tomorrow.

St. Christopher and St. Sebastian: Thank you for not letting Liverpool F.C. lose when I've watched the games! :D (I'm a Reds fan, as was the late Pope John Paul II. :D)

Infant of Prague: Last, but certainly not least, is the Infant Jesus of Prague. I am telling you, every time I'm in a bind and need an urgent intercession, I've done the 9 hour novena and it's always helped me. I definitely recommend it to those of you who are in urgent need.

I would like to end this blog by saying that I am grateful to each and every one of these, and all the rest of, saints for the intercession they've done for me and for others. For those non-Catholics, NO, I am NOT worshiping these saints. Saints intercede for us -- they ask God, on our behalf, to help us through our troubles. I would also like to say that if you ask a saint to intercede for you and he/she doesn't, it doesn't mean it doesn't work. In my experience, you either have to be patient, because not all prayers are answered immediately, or it wasn't in God's will. I always keep in mind that if my prayer isn't answered right away or at all, it's because I HAVE TO endure whatever it is I'm going through in order to learn from it. That's something a lot of people probably don't consider. That is the reason why many prayers conclude with "... if it's God's will."

Alright, I am feeling a little better than I was when I started writing, so I will try to finish my cleaning. Yaay... *groan* lol. In case I don't write another post, I wish you all a WONDERFUL, and safe, New Years! If you're Spanish or Hispanic, don't forget the 12 grapes at midnight -- I know I won't! :D.

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Darn Anxiety!; Clean-a-Thon '08

This darn anxiety's been bugging me lately. In the past couple of days, it's gotten worse. I've had my first blown attack in months. I didn't even make it through Mass today because of how bad my anxiety was. The important thing is that I tried. I went to Mass, mid-panic attack, because I was determined to be there... even if I was there only a minute or two. I toughed it out only 15 minutes when I felt very lightheaded and like I was about to faint. Bah. :( As I told a friend of mine, earlier in the day, I just have to look at this as a little trial God's placed before me that will only make me a stronger person once it's over. I had so many things planned today and they'll have to take a backseat to this darn anxiety until I get better. I will... eventually. :D I kept saying that I would endure my anxiety for souls in purgatory. It's my suffering and I'll offer it as I wish. lol. Hopefully I'll be able to get a few things done tomorrow morning-afternoon, while I still can. I have the big clean-a-thon to do tomorrow through Wednesday.

Ah, yes... the clean-a-thon. I do this every year between the 27th and the 31st. I go through every single thing I own and throw away, file, or donate things I no longer need/want. I do it all by myself. It's a tradition I started in my late teens. There hasn't been a year I haven't done it. Last year I got through it very slowly because of my anxiety and lack of strength (had to have my dad move my heavy wooden desk for me). Despite the darn anxiety, I feel better than I did around this time last year so hopefully I'll get it done in two days. :D

That's it for now. Very short, eh? Yes, well, unfortunately, I'm very tired. It's still early but the Seven Blossoms tea I drank for my anxiety always has this effect on me. Yes, the Seven Blossoms tea is good for anxiety. Haven't had any since I drank it. I am, however, sleepy. So yeah. :D If you don't get a post from me until the 31st, it's because I'll be busy with the clean-a-thon. Hopefully I'll get done pretty quickly... and that I am able to do a special I have planned for this blog. :D

Oh, and a quick prayer request, if y'all can please pray for me. I've been feeling pretty crummy lately. That and my fingernails have started turning a purple-ish/blue color which is apparently lack of oxygen or something equally scary. I won't be able to see the doctor for another month so... please pray that it gets better and goes away or that I have the strength to wait until the end of January to have it looked at. Thanks. :D

Hope everyone had a great weekend. :D 'Til next time, thank you for reading and God Bless. :D

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!; Christmas Mass; One Year Anniversary!

Note: I am posting this a day late. I started it yesterday but didn't finish it on time. :D

A very Merry and Blessed Christmas to everyone!!! What a beautiful day! A day to thank God for sending us His son, Jesus Christ, for our salvation. :D I LOVE LOVE LOVE Christmas, not only because of what the day represents but I love the closeness it promotes. It's awesome! :D

Today's been such a great day for me! I went to Mass. Not just any Mass, a SPANISH, Christmas Mass. That was HUGE for me. If you've read this blog long enough, you know I tend to avoid Spanish Masses because of how crowded they tend to get. Crowds + Anxiety = Panic Attack. In fact, I hadn't gone to a Spanish Mass since the January Mass where Fr. Stan was reading my mind. But, that was a weekday Mass and thus not crowded. Anyway, since both the local and usual (where I usually go) parishes had only one or two English Masses earlier in the morning, when it was raining cats and dogs, I had to attend a Spanish Mass. (side note: There were several non-Spanish speaking people at the Mass.) So, I got ready and was determined to make it through the Mass. I got there, saw that it wasn't that crowded and thanked the Lord. But, the second I went in I was hit with the intense smell of the incense. I have a very sensitive nose so I thought "Uh... I'm out!" Luckily, the back room has windows AND speakers so you can watch and listen to the Mass without being in the main room (which was not very well ventilated). On the down side, there is NO sitting. So, I had the choice of making myself sick with the smell of incense... or tough it out and stand throughout the entire Mass. Which did I choose? I stood the entire Mass. My back ached, I felt kind of weak (been feeling more and more weak as each day passes), but I was determined to make it through the entire Mass and to received the Eucharist. And, I did.

I had my little moments of anxiety, especially walking towards the altar in the middle of all the people (I was second in line to receive communion) from the back to the front. I just kept looking at my feet, or up at the cross, internally praying and asking God to please not let me faint. I stood there, shaking, until Fr. Juan and the other Eucharistic ministers finished with the elders and the sick who can't get in line (it's custom at the local church that they go first). Then I walked back to the back room, where my dad was waiting (he stuck it out, standing, with me) and I just burst into tears. Happy tears! To be able to attend Mass, a dreaded (only because of the crowds) one, and to receive the Eucharist without breaking out into an actual panic attack was amazing for me. I thanked God, in my mind, for helping me through it all. At the end of Mass, we got in line to kiss one of the two baby Jesus statues Fr. Juan and the other deacon (his name escapes me, sorry!) were holding. After we did that, we came home and that was it. :D

I didn't really do anything for Christmas. I didn't really get presents, but that's just how I wanted it. For once, my friends listened to me when I said "NO PRESENTS!" lol. I would rather they do something for someone and say that that is their gift for me, than getting material things. Last year, my adoptive "sister" DJ donated to a charity in my name, which was the best gift I could've received. Oh, I did receive an A in my History of World Religions course!!! That was a great present. My professor updated the grades in the afternoon so it counts as a present. :D So, not counting the Philosophy of Logic grade which I still don't know about since we have no idea if the professor will curve the grade like he did with the midterm, I've received two A's and one B thus far! Whoo! :D I should be receiving at least a B (86%) in Philosophy so I'm not worrying. If the professor curves the grade, then, whoo! lol. Either way, I'll be a happy camper. :D

Anyway... moving on... I cannot believe it's been exactly ONE YEAR since I started this blog. I honestly had no idea where I would be going with the blog, but I'm happy with how it's turned out. I didn't even plan on starting it on Christmas, last year, but that's how it happened. I'm glad to have made the friends I've made through this blog. It makes me feel good when I get messages about particular topics or even prayer requests. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that other people no longer feel they are the only ones going through certain things. :D I thank the Lord that I've been able to write as much as I have. I've not yet begun either. There are more topics I will write about; more personal stories I will share. :D

And with that, I will end the blog. :D You'll get this a day late 'cause I felt sick yesterday afternoon (Christmas). Been feeling really weak and fatigued but I'm chalking it up to some leftover anxiety that's manifesting itself physically. That happens with me... it may take days for anxiety to get released. :D

Thank you all for helping me make this blog what it is today. :D As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Happy, Joy Joy; "Things That Help" Anxiety.

I am bouncing up and down, full of excitement, because I received two (well, three if you want to get technical) things that have made me extremely happy. I get excited and happy pretty easily but these things have definitely brightened up my gloomy day.

First, I was checking my grades online and saw that I'd received a B for my English/British Literature course this semester! Yaaay! :D Considering how many lectures I missed, and how I started a week late because I switched schools, I am very happy with this grade. So, I now have a B in this class and an A in my Oceanography course. I still have to wait for my Philosophy of Logic and History of World Religions grades but, if my calculations are correct, I'm fairly certain I received a B in Philosophy (my hardest course) and either an A or a B in History. The History grade depends on that 10 page research paper I had to do last month (she's not done grading them yet). Either way, I did well this semester (despite my absences and illnesses) and I couldn't be prouder of myself. :D

What's the second good news? I received my Christmas presents to myself. I ordered the pair of Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati books written by his sister... and they arrived yesterday in the mail. I didn't get them until today because it rained almost all day yesterday and no one wanted to go outside. Too cold. Anyway, I am super excited to have gotten them! I will be take a semi-vacation from the 'net (mostly from emailing and facebook) until probably the New Year and these books will definitely help me pass the time. :D

Oh yes, and my friend Kathryn got married today, which makes today even lovelier! Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to the wedding since it was thousands of miles away and I have pressing business at home (in the form of an English gentleman) and I'll only have a limited time to enjoy it so I couldn't have gone. Also, no money for flights.

And speaking of English gentlemen (like the transition? lol), I wanted to share with you something that my friend Mark, founder of Soul Food Cinema, sent me in regards to anxiety. He promised me this list a while back but I just recently received it and the permission to share it with y'all. I am calling him a (sort of) guest blogger since he did write this list. :D

"Things that help

• Doing things I genuinely enjoy doing – things that bring genuine lasting joy, as opposed to just fleeting happiness and a temporary high.

• Taking spiritual breaks and holidays, especially away from television and computer screens and other electronics. Spending time in front of the Blessed Sacrament more instead. Not watching television and films in the evening is a good one too – try reading instead.

• Reading scripture and really taking it in and trying to understand its context and meaning. The psalms are good at night time or in the morning too; they express all of our emotions for us!

• Proper preparation before whatever it is I’m doing. So praying beforehand, doing research, practising beforehand (e.g. if giving a talk/speech) etc.

• Belief in my heart for whatever I’m doing – I have to genuinely care about it and not just do it because I think I should, because I have to or because someone else wants me to do it.

• Writing down my thoughts and spending some time meditating over them, particularly writing down things to change in my life and then spending time in silence discerning which things I’ve written down have come from God and which things have come from me.

• Prayer and rosary throughout the day. Especially praying to St Dymphna (thanks for that one!). *ed. note: You're welcome, Mark. :D*

• Self respect and trust in God; especially for the talents I know He has given me.

• Other people praying for me.

• Relaxation and fun. Doing things for enjoyment’s sake. Seeing friends etc. playing something (a game, a sport, an instrument…).

• Making progress with those things I’m working on in life – moving forwards as opposed to standing still or moving backwards.

And things that don’t help

• Spending too much time alone.

• Trying to do things by myself without help and certainly without prayer.

• Keeping things to myself.

• Abandoning my faith (selling out) and my true beliefs in a vain and proud attempt to please other people rather than to please God.

• Not giving daily thanks to Jesus (in abundance!).

• Self-betrayal of God’s forgiveness, charity etc, by denying the gifts, opportunities and freedoms he presents me with.

• Disrespecting those who deserve respect, especially the poor and those people brave enough to openly declare their love for Jesus.

• Not serving others that need it; especially not using my particular gifts.

• Not being patient.

• Not praying first, instead of doing first.

• When people ask for help, giving them my solutions and bringing myself to them, instead of bringing them God’s solutions and bringing God to them.

• Pursuing people (friends/girlfriends) based only upon shallow things e.g. looks, popularity, worldly success."

There you go. I think Mark wrote a fantastic list. A big reason why I wanted to share this because I've noticed that quite a number of people find this blog by searching "anxiety and Catholicism" or "anxiety and Catholic". They usually land on a post in which I cover a few things such as the patron saint of those who suffer from anxiety. There is something he mentioned, about taking spiritual breaks from the t.v. and 'net, that I hope to go more into depth next blog.

Okay, that is it for now. I am going to try to find a way to keep warm. I think I will drink as much tea as I can. Brr! And, okay, it's only like 54 degree Fahrenheit but that's very cold for us Southern Californians. lol. I'm just rambling on now. :D As always, thanks for reading and God Bless! :D

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I Caved: Twilight Review; Must Watch!

Alright, so... I caved and I went to see Twilight. I usually don't like to get caught up in fan frenzy/mania of some franchises but I'd heard really good things about it, especially from my Christian and Catholic friends, that I decided to check it out. Also, this was a test for me because it was going to be the first time since I got sick that I've gone to the movies. I'm happy to report that my anxiety last about a minute or so. :D

Anyway, what can I say that other Catholic bloggers haven't said? Nothing really. I think a lot of people covered various topics/themes from the film/books in other blogs. I will just give my impressions of the movie... sort of a mini review.

The one that I loved most was that Edward was actually a gentleman throughout (most of) the movie. Granted, he "died" when society was different and men were actual gentlemen who opened the doors up for their dates, who willingly went to meet the girls' father, and introduced her to his family. Now? Yeah... not so much. I've only had one guy do that... and he's the one that's stuck around in my life the longest. Point being: there are not enough gentlemen in this world and it's a shame!

There was a scene where Bella and Edward could've easily gotten carried away but didn't... because Edward didn't want to. I won't go into more detail but I would like to point out a post Fr. Austin Murphy wrote on this scene and about true love waiting at his Jesus Goes to Disney World blog. I highly recommend you read it because, especially after seeing the film, I completely agree with what he wrote.

I have to admit that Bella and Edward's relationship reminded me of one that is near and dear to my heart. I think the main reason it reminded me of this particular relationship (and I really don't want to say who it is but let's just say it involves myself) is because Edward is so protective of Bella and wants what's in her best interest, and that's how it is in this relationship I've reminded of. He doesn't do or say things to her because he's selfish and he wants to do it. Edward places Bella first... all out of pure love. Okay, so he wants to kill her because her scent is intoxicating... and that's where our similarities end (thank goodness! lol!). How many of you can say that you've had to restrain yourself (either physically, saying something verbally, or even denying yourself something you wanted) because of the love you had for that person? Doesn't have to be romantic love, it can be familial or platonic. Now, THAT is what love is all about, kids. Oh, and getting a "hey... I actually liked this movie!" from your picky (extremely picky when it comes to movies) date is not half bad either. Haha!

Watching this movie from a "This is just a movie, Edward isn't real... snap out of it, girl!" point of view really helps show you things you'd otherwise miss if you were in a "fan-girl" sort of mode.

I won't write much more because I realized I've gotten carried away in my last couple of posts (with the length) so I will just give a couple of announcements... all you must watch! :D

First off, Fr. John (from my parish) is going to be interviewed on CNN between 9 and 10 a.m. tomorrow morning. Wish I would've posted this sooner but I was out almost all day. So, go check it out if you can. He's being interviewed on something that he's doing for the Catholic community, especially those in L.A.

Second: Remember my review of Hear My Voice (which, btw, would be a great Christmas present for any Catholic kids you might know)? Well, the author, Jonathan Stampf, was nice enough to let me know that he will be interviewed on Catholic TV on January 9th. He will be talking about his book (you can find the updated links to it -- and the new coloring page -- on the left side panel under "recommendations"). I hope you can watch it. And, if you're like me and don't have Catholic TV on your cable/satellite provider (darn Time Warner Cable!), I believe you can watch it on their website.

Alright, I won't keep you from enjoying the rest of your weekend. I expect to write at least 2 more posts this week... especially since it'll be this blog's 1 year anniversary on Christmas Day. :D I can't believe it's been a year already! Wow. :D Anyhoo... I will shut up now. lol. As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Our Lady of Guadalupe and Recent Crime in Mexico; Freedom and Volunteering.

I want to share with you a picture I took at my parish, after Mass, last Sunday. I love how they put this picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe next to the altar, with flowers surrounding her. I especially LOVED that they put the Mexican flag behind her. :D Dad said that the celebration, decorations, and flowers are 10x more ornate in Mexico, but that's to be expected.

Oh, and something interesting that we heard a priest say about Our Lady of Guadalupe and Mexico. As many of you know, Our Lady is the patroness of all the unborn children, in addition to being the patroness of Mexico and the Americas. Here's something that made us think: There has been a recently crime wave in Mexico. Innocent victims get killed. Celebrities get kidnapped and held for ransom.... or the get held up or robbed blind. Musicians are getting killed in broad daylight, in crowded streets. Mexican politicians are having accidents, getting killed, or are generally having misfortunes. People are genuinely afraid to go to Mexico because of all this. When did all of this start to happen? When the Mexican government signed the bill which made abortions completely legal for all women in the country! We hadn't even thought about that until we heard the priest say it. Then my father and I (especially my father who keeps up with news about Mexico) came to the realization that he was absolutely right! We thought about it and all of these misfortunes did happen around that time. Could it all possibly be a sign from above to remove that law? I honestly think it's no coincidence and that the government should really think about it. I don't want to even think about what would happen here if Obama does sign the proposed law that would make abortion legal. Let's all pray that that doesn't happen!

Anyway, moving away from scaring you poor people (haha)... I am officially a free woman! WHOO! lol. I finished my last final exam yesterday morning. I would've written yesterday but my entire body ached, including my head, and I was feeling crummy. I still feel kind of blah today, though much better than yesterday. It is no doubt the "residue" from my stress.

Speaking of anxiety, I miraculously did NOT have any panic attacks. I was very afraid that I would, given the amount of stress I had, but nothing. My shoulders and back had knots from the stress and I had some anxiety symptoms but no actual attack! Thank you, God! I will also say a BIG thank you to Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. I started a novena and asked him for help to calm my anxiety down while doing my exams. I also asked for another important thing but I won't share that until it comes true (and I have a lot of faith and hope that it will come true). :D

Since I now have A LOT of free time until the Spring semester (which begins in February), I was thinking about what I was going to do. Finish the novel, read books, go watch my little "sister" Delaney in a production of Music Man (P.S. Happy 16th Birthday, De!)... but what else? I racked my brain as to what I can until I remembered the Advent: Saint Quiz I took on XT3 (Official WYD/Catholic Social Network site) a couple of days ago. The quiz is about how you celebrate Christmas and which saints you are most like because of it. My answer was actually tied between 3 different categories: "Mostly Bs: For you Christmas is a season of good will", Mostly Cs: You have a real devotion to the mystery of Christmas", and "Mostly Ds: For you, Christmas is a time to celebrate". I remembered that I really wanted to be most like Group B... in which Blessed Pier Giorgio was included in.

As previously stated in an earlier blog on what Bl. Pier Giorgio has taught me, I've been inspired by him to become so much more selfless. I feel like I've been very selfish and I want to change that. Because of that, I've come to the conclusion that I will donate my free time to doing things for other. This is Los Angeles... there are more than enough soup kitchens I can volunteer at. I've already put up a notice on my facebook to see if any of my friends want to join me. I already have one of my best friends on board and I hope others will want to as well!

I am not posting this as a way of saying "Ooh, look at me... I'm selfless. I should be admired!" Not at all!!! I do it in hopes that others will do the same in their towns/cities. With so much commercialism, people have started to forget the real meaning of Christmas. Volunteering at a soup kitchen, donating money, clothing, food, or other things to those who need it -- this is what this time of year should be about. Just think about this: Jesus was born poor, in a manger. Despite his humble beginnings, he did all he could for others. We, who have so much, have absolutely no excuse not to do the same. So, I honestly encourage you to do something... even if it's buying a sandwich for a homeless person.

Alright, I think this post should be long enough to last for a few days... or until I have more to write. :D I hope everyone is enjoying their vacation! As always, thanks for reading and God Bless! :D

P.S. Check out Catholic Everything who were kind enough to contact me about joining their blog list. :D

Friday, December 12, 2008

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Happy Our Lady of Guadalupe feast day! Being Mexican American, and my parents being proud Mexicans who like to remind me of my heritage on an almost daily basis, today is a big day for my family. You should see my dad's room and how he decorated the table Our Lady is on. I even woke up super early for Las Mañanitas and Mass. I hope you all take time out of your day to thank Our Mother for everything she's done. It doesn't matter if you're not Hispanic/Latino... she's also the Patroness of the entire Americas, the U.S. included. No excuses! Pray at least a decade of the Rosary if you can! I'd highly recommend it! :D

Muchas gracias for todo lo que nos has dado, Nuestra Madre, Morenita Linda. :D <3

This quick post was brought to you courtesy of Procrastination. Procrastination, when you have finals and don't want to study. Not recommended for students with a GPA of 2.5 and lower. And now, back to your regularly scheduled blog reading.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Confession: I've Come Far (Advent Reflection); Superior Scribbler Award.

A good friend sent me something I apparently wrote nearly 3 years ago. It was uncharacteristic of me to write something like it, even then, but was shocked that I was capable of such a thing. I won't repeat what it said but, as you can guess, I was shocked that I'd written it. To be quite honest, I don't remember writing the profanities but my friend swears I did. That made me think I had a potty mouth which I'd forgotten about, but my friend reassured me that that was the only time I'd cursed. That, along with other things that reminded me of my past, made me think of how far I've come in just a matter of years.

Those who knew me when I was in my teens to 20 years-old would be surprised by how much I've changed. It's all for the best, too. I had horrible habits growing up. I wasn't the most honest person, I would act before thinking things through, etc. All of this was during my time away from the Church.

I've NEVER felt like I fit in in this city. Honestly, even now, I'm still trying to figure out my niche in the City of Angels. Growing up I would try to modify aspects of myself, some times for the worse, just to fit in with a group of people. This continued up until I got really sick with my anxiety and other illnesses. I made the conscience decision to cut myself off from the people who would continue to "help" me down the wrong path. Once I really got sick -- to the point of me being in and out of the hospitals -- I decided to change myself completely from the monster I'd become.

I look at all the illnesses I've gone through as a blessing from God. Every single pain, ache, panic attack, trip to the hospital... every single one of those things has only made me stronger. I truly thank God for every thing I've suffered because it's only brought me closer to Him and it's returned me to the faith I had as a child. Not only that, it's shown me what truly matters in this life.

Needless to say, I've sincerely repented and confessed to everything I did prior to my coming back to the Church. Not only that, but I've done a total 180. Lying (which was my biggest fault)? I absolutely HATE it with a passion and hate saying even the smallest "white lie". In fact, I would rather get scolded at and/or hated on for voicing the truth than lying about it. I never drank alcohol. I never did drugs. I never did anything I shouldn't have done outside of marriage. I never snuck out of the house. But I did lie, curse, and do more than should be allowed... and am truly and deeply sorry for ever having done it. It was wrong of me to do. All I can do now is learn from it and make my story known so that others won't fall into the same pattern.

Why am I so open about what I went through, you make ask? Because I want people to see that it IS possible to come back to the Church despite any sins you've committed. It IS possible to be forgiven by God. It IS possible to turn away from all of it, get your life straightened out, and start living it as the Lord wants you to. What a better time to reevaluate this than during this time of year. Advent is a time for penance so why not make the most of it and confess to your past sins so you can look forward to living a better life? If you don't think it's possible, read St. Augustine of Hippo's biography. You'd be surprised with how many saints committed sins before they repented them and then led a life of a true saint.

I will admit that I was inspired to write about this (and I can tell you, if you want to know actual details of what I went through and how I came out... it's all in the novel I'm writing), by a video I saw of Eduardo Verastegui's conversion story on the Spanish version of EWTN. He also went down the wrong path (though his and my life stories have been quite different) but repented his sins and is now doing all he can to help the Church with his vocation.

Now, having spilled my guts out to the public :D...

From Journey of a Catholic Nerd Writer

I would like to thank Fr. Austin Murphy of Jesus Goes to Disney World for including this blog on his list of Superior Scribblers and would now like to pay the award forward. I don't think I can pass it back to him but I'd highly recommend you check out his blog anyway because it's awesome. I check it on a daily basis (whenever I can). I've even had self proclaimed Deist say she enjoys his blog. :D

First off, I'd like to award both of Rebecca's blogs awards.

Catholic in Film School is a great blog about, you guessed it, a Catholic in film school. This blog also has a lot of media centered content, from a Catholic's point of view, that I am sure you'd all love and enjoy. I've also been introduced to a lot of Catholic things for Los Angeles based people, such as L.A. Catholic Underground, by her and her blog. Maybe one day we'll join forces and write some kick tush screenplay. What do you say, Rebecca? lol. :D

Her other blog, Modestia, is a great site for young, modest women who are looking for great fashion finds. Who says you need to dress drab to be modest? Not this Modestia! I also love the fact that she spotlights celebrities that are good role models for other young girls and women (Selena Gomez and Ali Landry, anyone?).

Matthew's Fallible Blogma is one of the best Catholic blogs I've ever seen. Funny story, Matthew and I met on facebook -- adding him without knowing anything beyond the fact that he was Catholic. I normally wouldn't do that but thought, "Hey, another Catholic friend doesn't hurt!" I'm glad, though, because I would've never found out about this blog otherwise. Matthew presents things that are going on in our society in a refreshing, thought provoking manner.

Q's L.A. Catholic is a great way to find out what's going on in the Los Angeles Archdiocese. He does a superb job keeping us updated with the happenings here, while not shying away from making his (and, really, most of our) opinions known. He voices things that a lot of us which we had the guts to say.

Okay, so I am a little biased because she is my little adoptive "sister", but I can't help but love Delaney's Hat Full of Hope blog. It's great to see what a Catholic, home-schooled young lady thinks about. And it gives you hope that the future isn't as rotten as we might fear. Can't wait to see her in a play soon! :D

Now, pay it forward. The rules, from Bosco:

* Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
* Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
* Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to this post, which explains The Award.
* Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
* Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

Alright, well, this blog should be enough for the next week... until my finals are over with. I have my History of World Religions final assignment due tomorrow but will try to have it done by tonight. Philosophy of Logic final exam is due on Tuesday night but will try to have it done by this weekend. My English Literature (Medieval to early 18th Century literature) final is on Wednesday and that will be my hardest one. Yes, save the hardest for last... lol. Wish me luck... because I'm going to need it. lol. :D I will be studying all weekend long.

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Monday, December 8, 2008

More Exciting News!; Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Someone needs to pinch me! I've had a (nearly) dream week since last Monday... and it keeps on going. Today, after I came home from looking for a parish that had a Mass for today's Feast of the Immaculate Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary (more on this a bit later), I got an e-mail from Positive Media Resources (the same producer of the movie "Bella" - squee!) congratulating me as their new intern. It will be home based internship (doing everything from my computer) because they are currently in Florida and I'm in Los Angeles, but still, VERY exciting! If you read my rant about the lack of good moral films (in July) you will know why I'm excited to do this. :D They are also doing a summer internship here (from their L.A. offices) so hopefully I will have enough experience by then to continue it. :D

So, along with this internship, I will also doing my assistant teaching at the local parish . Thank goodness my course load next semester is fairly light (because I'm done with the lower division requirements) so I can focus on these things.

What a wonderful week. First the call about becoming an T.A., then my mom surprising me with an iPod touch (though, this qualifies as a material thing), getting even more inspiration for the male protagonist of the novel/screenplay I'm working on from a very lovely English gentleman (who is the inspiration for Will's character), working on the novel, AND being caught up with my homework to the point where I could rest... I had a fantastic week. This one is shaping up to be grand as well! Oh yes, and I also received some prayer cards as well as the Pact pledge kit from Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati's official USA website at the end of last week. Uh... amazing week? YES!

I don't know what I did to deserve such wonderful blessings this past week (and I really think I honestly don't deserve everything that's happened) but I am very grateful! And I'm even more happy that this latest bit of good news has come on one of the most important Feast days!

I joined the Blue Movement that's been going around facebook. The Blue Movement is basically us Catholics pledging to wear the color blue (especially the color light blue) today, in honor of Our Mother's Immaculate Conception. I didn't have my light blue shirts clean (heehee, oops), so instead I wore a light blue scarf to class (and will wear it out when I go back out later today).

I tried my hardest to go to Mass today, since it's a day of obligation, but couldn't. :( First Mass (at the nearby Parish) was at 8:30 a.m. which I couldn't attend because my class starts at 9:35 a.m. and it's about a 20 minute drive to this particular campus. I was planning on attending the noon time Mass but my father vetoed the idea... which made me upset. When dad said we could finally go (*shakes head*) I said, we'll be there late... but I guess better late than never. So, we got to the parish... and the Mass had ended right as we were going to park. We drove to another parish and the early Masses had been over with very early. There ARE evening Masses, the last English Mass will be in a couple of hours, but there's absolutely no way I will be able to make it with my anxiety... especially the Spanish Masses. If you haven't been to a Spanish Mass in a big city like this... let's just say the word crowded doesn't even big to describe how it gets. People flood out the doors and are packed in like sardines. *sigh* Well, I tried. I tried and I even got upset when dad refused to take me (ah, the inconvenience of having someone drive you because you can't). And, okay, dad had a good reason for not taking me (I was feeling crummy/lightheaded as well as a bit anxious) but I would've totally "roughed it" and gone -- wonky feeling or not. *sigh* I tried, Blessed Mother... I tried.

Did I mention I also missed Mass yesterday (well, most of it) because of my anxiety? Oh yes. I went early in the morning to avoid arguments later in the day (because of all the soccer matches that dad watched during the day), and made it maybe 15 minutes because of my anxiety. We didn't even go to the parish where we normally go to because they don't offer an English Mass that early. *sigh* But, I can say that I tried to go and I made it through a little bit of it. You will not fully conquer me, anxiety! *pumps fist in the air* lol.

Alright, well, I have things to do so, I shall go do them. As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I'm About to Burst with Excitement!!!

I don't even know where I begin... I am SO EXCITED! I guess I should start off with the most exciting news I've gotten today.

A couple of minutes ago, I got a call from the Sister who's in charge of the Department of Religious Education at my parish. Fr. Stan had passed along my information (thank you, Fr. Stan!) to her about me possibly being able to help out. Apparently, they are short of English (and especially bilingual) speaking Catechism teachers. There far more Spanish speaking teachers, and since I speak both languages fluently, I'd be able to help out with either. So she asked if I'd be interested and I said I would. So, she told me what I had to do and what time the meetings would be. I have to take a couple of introductory classes as well as get fingerprinted. The Los Angeles Archdiocese requires it for all those who will be interacting with minors. I don't mind any of it... not even the trip out to the parish where I'll have to get my fingerprints done. I'm just so excited! I already picked what dates I'd be able to "work." It won't be work for me. I was also told that once I get enough experience, I will be able to have my own class. I would love to have a class full of little kids. I remember what a wonderful experience I had when I was a little 7-8 year old catechism student (and it was at the same parish). This is exactly what my dream is -- to teach others about the Catholicism in hopes of strengthening their faith. :D

It was really funny that I got the call right as I had logged onto Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati's official U.S. website. Like right that minute. I said to my mom "I wonder if this is a sign that I am meant to do this as my vocation" because I still keep going back and forth between being a wedding planner, a teacher, or something else. :D

I think I am going to go dance around like a goof for a little while (my way of celebrating). :D Heehee. I hope everyone is doing well. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Patron Saint of This Blog: Winner; Advent Has Begun!

Ladies and gentlemen... we have a winner! I had the poll up for a little over a week and had 11 people vote (thank you!) The winner, as you can see, is Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati! :D Whoo! I'm glad he won. It might have been my post about how he has inspired me that inspired others to vote for him. :D He will now be patron saint for this blog. :D Yay! :D

Well, Advent has begun. :D I wanted to do this long post about how amazing Advent is and how it's my favorite time of year... but I'm afraid it'll have to wait. I will say that I missed confessions AND Mass this weekend because I was stuck in bed (pretty much all week last week) with a cold/flu virus. *sigh*

I would write more but I have a crazy day today. So much work to do, not enough time. I only have 2 more weeks left of classes (WHOO!) so that is why I will be writing less and less in the next couple of days. Even though that's the case, if you want to share what you do for Advent, please feel free to post a comment about it! :D I will try to write a proper post next time. :D

Alright, I am off to tackle Gulliver's Travels. Well, the 4th chapter. I have to do an oral presentation of it, including symbolisms... by myself... in front of the whole class. *whimpers* I will definitely say a prayer to St. Dymphna to help me be alright to present it. I'm doing it for extra credit (since I've missed a lot of the class lectures). The things I do for a good grade, lol.

Okay, well, I hope everyone had a great weekend! And, again, thanks to all who voted! :D As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Thoughts; Remix Fun.

I hope all my fellow Americans (wow, sounds like the beginning of a speech) had a great Thanksgiving yesterday! I wanted to make a post but I was stuck in bed with a cold. I can't complain too much though. Yes, I did feel gross, I was all achy, and all I spent nearly 2 days in bed... but I got caught up on my prayers and I got a head start on my History of World Religions paper. That one is due tonight (eesh!).

I am skipping on today's big sales because I'm not fully recovered from my cold and it's (finally!) cold outside and I have to write that 10 page research paper on the sacred art of 3 different religions. I have 4 BIG art history books to go through. I'm just thankful that my Philosophy of Logic professor spared us work yesterday.

You know what else I'm thankful for (in the past year)? My amazing parents. My overprotective older brothers and sister -- and their families. Both of my younger adoptive sisters (one of whom gave me a blog award that I will post next time :D. Thanks D!). My friends who are like family (which consists of virtually all my friends; many of whom have asked my mom to adopt them, lol.) That my father was able to beat his cancer for the second time. That one of my best friend was able to beat her ovarian cancer. That everyone is happy and healthy. That I've been healthier than I have been in years. Most importantly, I am thankful for everything God has done for us. I am grateful that I've been able to get closer to God and have been able to do the same to my parents. You guys have NO idea how happy I am that my parents have started praying and going to Mass more often! I could continue the list but it would get much longer and I still have to work on my paper. lol.

Oh, and I'm also thankful for iTunes, and cell phones, and books, and digital cable, and TCM (Turner Classic Movies), and french fries, and Mexican food, and airplanes which take me to different countries, and laughing babies, and babies named Charlie who bite their brothers' fingers... HAHA. I'm not (entirely) serious here. :D

Alright, I should go work on my paper, but before I do, I will leave you with a video I thought was so awesome. During YouTube Live (yeah, I missed it) they had a lot of big youtube names performing. One of them was DJ Mike Relm and he remixed two videos that were HUGE on youtube. The second remixed video is probably my favorite.

Okay, back to work. :D Oh yeah, and if you haven't vote on the poll, please do so. It ends tomorrow night. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Has Taught Me

For the past week, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati's name has constantly been on my mind. I don't remember how his name came up (I'd only heard it once before when they announced the patron saints for this year's World Youth Day) but I've had this inexplicable (pretty intense) desire to learn as much as I can about him and his life's work. It's similar to how I felt about St. Teresa of Avila almost a year ago.. Anyway, I have been researching (because not a lot of people have heard of it) and I've come to find that the things he did during his short life are things that I did as a child, or that I've wanted to do. The main thing is giving to those less fortunate. With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, I have made a decision which will no doubt leave tension in the household.

Ever since I was a little girl, it has always pained (yes, pained) me to see homeless people. On one of our trips to Mexico, when I was about 11 years old, there was a woman asking for money. She looked at us eating and I felt so bad that I gave her my peanuts. Granted, it wasn't much but it was all I had. She was grateful for it... but, boy, did I get made fun of by my family (one person in particular). That's something I've had to deal with: either get made fun of for what I do or get a lecture, followed by the silent treatment, for trying to help. I spoke to my mom about this on Saturday night and I told her I was determined to donate at least *certain amount of dollars* worth of food to our local parish's Food Drive. I know I'm probably going to get scolded at and there will be unpleasantness for a few days but I have to do this.

I've wanted to for a long time but I've never had the money to do it. So, instead of spoiling myself for the holidays (I do NOT need to spend more money on iTunes or amazon.com; nor do I need an iPod -- which I've never owned), I'm going to donate money and food. I will donate clothing, if I get the time to go through my stuff before the Christmas deadlines. I've always been afraid of the "consequences" that would come from doing this, mainly because it would be going against one of my parent's wishes and thus I'd be disobeying a parent, but I cannot consciously continue to be scared of what they will say/do. Now that I'm an adult (whoa, scary thought!), and have more resources, I'm going to follow Blessed Pier Giorgio's example and help those who are in need. Maybe that's why he's been on my mind so much lately. Honestly, I did not know much about him up until a week ago.

I'm very grateful that I have been able to learn a little bit about him. I haven't even scratched the surface yet. He's already inspired me to do more for others, as well as get the courage to do it. I mean, he did so much for so many people in his short 24 years on this earth, and shared the wealth he was born into... it's amazing. He's definitely someone to look up to. And to think he was only a little over a year older than I am now when he passed away, it's very sad. Sad, but he's up in Heaven and that makes me smile. :D

Alright, well, I should probably go work on my English Lit critical analysis of "Paradise of Lost", as well as study for today's Philosophy of Logic exam. Oh boy... lol. :D

OH!... and don't forget to vote to this blog's patron saint! Only 5 more days left to do it. And, hey, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati is one of the saints (in his case, future saint) to be on the list. Just saying... lol.

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless! :D

Saturday, November 22, 2008

St. Cecilia; Novena Keeps Working

Happy St. Cecilia Feast Day! St. Cecilia holds a special place in my heart. Since they don't have confirmation saints in Mexico (where I was confirmed; the only Sacrament of Christian initiation I didn't receive in Los Angeles), I consider St. Cecilia my confirmation patron saint; because I was confirmed at a church of which she is patron saint. (If you've read the blog long enough you've heard how I would've preferred to wait to do my confirmation here in L.A. when I was older, instead of doing it at around 13... so I won't repeat it.) She has an amazing story.

Taken from the SQPN St. Cecilia page:
"Cultivated young patrician woman whose ancestors loomed large in Rome's history. She vowed her virginity to God, but her parents married her to Valerian of Trastevere. Cecilia told her new husband that she was accompanied by an angel, but in order to see it, he must be purified. He agreed to the purification, and was baptized; returning from the ceremony, he found her in prayer accompanied by a praying angel. The angel placed a crown on each of their heads, and offered Valerian a favor; the new convert asked that his brother be baptized.

The two brothers developed a ministry of giving proper burial to martyred Christians. In their turn they were arrested and martyred for their faith. Cecilia buried them at her villa on the Apprian Way, and was arrested for the action. She was ordered to sacrifice to false gods; when she refused, she was martyred in her turn.

The Acta of Cecilia includes the following: "While the profane music of her wedding was heard, Cecilia was singing in her heart a hymn of love for Jesus, her true spouse." It was this phrase that led to her association with music, singers, musicians, etc."

I love St. Cecilia! I truly do. :) I think the fact that she's the patron saint of musicians and singers, and the fact I'm so passionate about music -- and used to be a singer around the time I did my confirmation, is perfect. Oh man! I just realized something about the female protagonist in my novel that has a connection to St. Cecilia. Whoa, I didn't even do it purposely! That's so cool! *goes off into own thoughts*

Okay, coming back to reality... lol... I can attest that the Infant Jesus of Prague novena that I mentioned yesterday definitely worked! The real test was last night. If I don't eat properly a few hours before bed, I will NOT make it more than 4 hours through the night. I went to sleep at nearly 2 in the morning (watching a movie... heehee) and woke up a bit after 9 a.m... and I wasn't feeling sick like I would've normally felt. YES! :D

Alright, well, I am going to go do something productive. Don't know if that means homework or working on the novel, but it'll be one or the other. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

P.S. Have you voted on the poll yet? You should, if you haven't!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Infant Jesus of Prague; Novel News: I Have the Ending!

How amazing is the novena to Infant Jesus of Prague (I often just call him Infant of Prague)? I've prayed it about 3 times when I was really in need and it's never failed me. I prayed it again today because I had to fast for over 24 hours and I don't do well when I fast. I have to eat every couple of hours or else I get sick. I love that this prayer lasts 9 hours instead of 9 days because sometimes you need your prayer quickly. I would've done the 9 day novena but I didn't even know when I had to fast until the day of so... yeah. It's truly come through for me. I feel better than most other times I've attempted to fast. I also prayed it a couple of weeks ago and it came through for me in a big way. So, if you're ever in need of an urgent intercession, you can always count on the novena of the Infant of Prague. Here's the prayer in case any of you need it:

This prayer is recited at the same time every hour for nine consecutive hours in one day.

O Jesus, You have said, "Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you." Through the intercession of Mary, Your Most Holy Mother, I knock, I seek, I ask that my prayer be granted.
(Make your request)
O Jesus, You have said, "All that you ask of the Father in My Name, He will grant you." Through the intercession of Mary, Your Most Holy Mother, I humbly and urgently ask Your Father in Your Name that my prayer be granted.
(Make your request)
O Jesus, you have said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away but My word shall not pass." Through the intercession of Mary, Your Most Holy Mother, I feel confident that my prayer will be granted.
(Make your request)

I have such a devotion to the Infant of Prague. I've always loved the different depictions of Jesus as a child; even when I was little and loved the Santo Niño de Atocha (which I have written several posts about before.) :D I dedicated a thanks giving Mass for Him and for St. Timothy coming up this Sunday. Hope I'm well enough to make it to it! :D

Ooh, I have exciting (well, at least for me! lol) news. I finally have an ending to the novel I'm writing! WHOO! I have part of it written already. I also have most of the songs that go with the novel. See, I'm making it a little more interactive and there are certain songs (which are mentioned throughout the novel) that go with a particular scene. At the moment, it looks like Mute Math's "OK" will be the theme song for the entire novel, or at the very least the ending. Did I just give something away? Maaaybee... :D lol.

Alright, well, I think I will try to sleep early. The earlier I sleep, the sooner I wake up and the sooner I can eat properly again! Oh man, I miss food. lol. :D

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Oh, and don't forget to vote for which saint (saints) you would like to see as the patron saint of this blog. Remember, you can vote for as many saints as you'd like. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Thursday, November 20, 2008

When and Why Do YOU Pray?; Patron Saint of this Blog

While one of my very best friends searches this blog for clues as to where I might have my Christmas wish list hidden... (I am not telling you! :D), I decided to update the blog. Whoo-hoo! :D

You know, I woke up feeling fatigued and just gross, and it got me thinking "Oh no, I hope I am not getting another cold, or flu, because I can't afford to be sick... especially during the last weeks of school." Then I was thinking about how I have amazing friends who have been praying for me and my anxiety (which has lessened SO MUCH in the past two days). That led to questioning myself... "When do YOU actually pray?" I haven't been praying as often as I probably should. I have been super busy with school (10 page History research paper AND the entire "Paradise Lost" for English Lit, anyone?) but that shouldn't be an excuse. While I was making breakfast this morning, I remembered this question on some quiz that I took ages ago. It asked when you prayed or how religious are you? One of the options was "Whenever I'm sick/there's a natural disaster." That made me realize that some of us *points to self* are occasionally selfish with their prayers. I will admit that I tend to do more praying when I am sick... and it should be the other way around. I do pray that I find the strength to get over whatever illness I have... but I do also pray for others when I can.

About a week and a half ago, our next door neighbors were arguing at full volume... at 1 in the morning. I was upset because I had to wake up early that morning, but that changed to feeling bad that they were fighting. So, I started to pray to God to help them resolve whatever it was they were fighting about... and it stopped pretty soon after. I have to admit, that prayer was both selfish and unselfish at the same time. If it had happened in the day, it would've been more unselfish. The point of this example is that... just like I prayed during that time when it was needed, a lot of us do the same thing. Maybe not the same situation, but same concept.

I am often in awe of my little (adoptive) sister who often asks "How can I be praying for you?" She might be going through some really difficult situations but she always manages to finds time to pray for others. I think we should all try to be a little more like that. Even if we're all doing very well, and so are all of our friends and family, there's always something to pray for... or to pray to say thanks. Don't just pray while there's a crisis, or when you're in need of the Lord (which is when the majority of us do it -- come on, admit it)... pray just to thank Him for everything He's provided for you.

I am going to set a specific time every day to thank God for my amazing parents, family, and friends. I will also thank all the saints who have interceded for me over the years -- whether I asked for their intercession, or others did. I will feel much better doing this, than just praying when I need to.

Moving... I actually want to do something kind of fun with the readers of my blog. I want everyone (who wants to participate) to pick the patron saint of this blog. I will be putting up a poll on the left where you can vote for whom you'd like to see as the patron saint of this blog. I will have the poll open (hopefully) until the end of this month so we can have a patron saint next month (which will also be the 1 year anniversary of this blog. :D). So, go ahead and vote! You can vote for as many as you'd like. And if you know of others that read this blog, please let them know about it! :D

Alright, well, I should probably get to work on my massive amounts of homework. I won't complain because there's no reason to, really. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Monday, November 17, 2008

Anxiety Strikes Again; Easiest Way to Get Me Peeved: Insult God.

And the anxiety strikes again. Grr! I had to leave my English Literature class early today -- only making it through less than half the class -- because of my anxiety. One of these days I will say it's no longer an issue but for now, it stinks. After months of being pretty good and not having major anxiety, it's struck in a big way.

The worst anxiety attacks I've had have happened last Saturday (not this past Saturday), last Wednesday, and last night. As I mentioned in the previous post, I thought they would have to take me to the hospital twice but I knew it was anxiety so I tried my hardest to stick it out. Last night was the second worst attack I've had in a long time. It started earlier in the day (it was a complete miracle I made it through the Mass) but got bad at night. It lasted a good 2 hours or so before I was calm enough to even think about sleeping. My poor mom stayed up with me until nearly midnight and then dad woke up to take over until I was alright. I'll tell you, all of this sucks. (Pardon my language!)

One of the good things about the anxiety is that, since I've already lived through enough panic attacks to know when it's anxiety, I don't wig out as much as I used to... thus allowing me to calm down even sooner. I think it got worse last night because I remembered all the work I am behind on (mainly: my History of World Religions class) and that didn't help much.

I had a St. Dymphna prayer/holy card on my desk in English class today, but I think since I was offended a bit during class, that didn't help my anxiety at all.

See, today we sat around in a circle and read John Milton's "Paradise Lost". Now, that alone, with the little anxiety I had before class, made me nervous. We take turns reading and, uh, I am not the best reader when it comes to reading out loud. To myself, I'm a quick reader but I hate public speaking. Anyway, I was okay with it, I can usually handle that... until someone in class called God a... well, let's just say it's one of the worst things someone can call God. I immediately went "WHOA" and said it loud, in the person's direction. He tried to explain himself, and I understood what he was trying to say, but the fact that he called God that specific word really ticked me off. Our professor tried to bring things back into perspective and say things the way they should've been said... but I was peeved, and so was the girl who sat next to me. Even she said it was a bit extreme to call Him that word. I said out loud that I was offended and made it clear that I was upset.

I don't care what your religious beliefs are... you NEVER insult God with that word. EVER! If you disagree with Catholicism or Christianity, that's your prerogative, just be careful how you phrase things because people will be offended if you don't. I'm just saying. I think that's what might've triggered my whole "I can't breathe; anxiety; must leave class 'cause I feel sick" thing. The guy kept glancing at me after that. Hey, if you insult God, I will make it known that it's completely unacceptable. I would've said more to him about how completely disrespectful that was and given him my 2 cents but that would've just opened up a bigger can on worms. I am prepared to back up my feelings on Wednesday (if the Lord gives me enough strength to make it through without anxiety) if the guy wants to clear up what he said.

So, there you go. If you ever want to get me angry, that's the way to do it.
Man, if I wasn't already feeling like I was going to lose it (anxiety-wise) I would've spoken my mind until there was no tomorrow. Okay and... rant over, I promise.

Okay, well, I should probably email my professor as to why I left early so I'm going to do that.

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

P.S. Check out my new friend Matthew's blog Fallible Blogma. It's awesome!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

L.A. is Burning - Part Deux; When in Doubt, Ask a Priest.

There is another fire burning in the northern part of the Los Angeles County. Not good, at all. We can smell the smoke from where we live, but it's not so close that we can see the smoke like we did during the last fires. I'm going to pray that it doesn't get out of control like the others did last month. Of course, it HAD to be on a day when the temperatures would go over 90 degrees. Yes, you read that right... it will be over 90 degrees Fahrenheit today. Oy.

Well, I have my school dilemma figured out thanks to Fr. Stan. He did give me the disclaimer that if it didn't work out for me, it wasn't his fault, but of course I knew that. I did figure out what schools I would applying to and I am VERY happy with my decisions. It's all onward and upward from now one. :D

My motto is that when you're in doubt about something, always ask a priest's advice. I asked Fr. Leo's advice a few months ago about something and he definitely helped me and actually helped me on the path to trying to fight my battle with anxiety, while not letting it keep from going to Mass. Now, Fr. Stan has totally enlightened me. He quote Pope John Paul II and I totally saw my school dilemma from a new perspective. I love that when can go to them and ask for advice. :D

Alright, I've had a really BAD week, anxiety-wise. I honestly thought they would have to take me to the hospital twice because of horrible I felt. I'm so much better now, thank goodness! It was just three really intense days. Anyway, because of it I'm WAY behind on my homework -- which is all past due for all classes. So I'm going to do that now and then email them to the professors. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day

Please take some time to say a prayer of thanks to all those brave men and women who have risked their lives and gone to protect this country. Also, say a prayer for those who are currently in places like Iraq; that they may come home safe to their families.

My childhood sweetheart is in the Navy so I'm always worried about how he's doing. Not just because he's my oldest friend (we've known each other since we were 5 years old; we're nearly 24) but because he has a wife and a mother who are patiently waiting for his safe arrival. I'm sure that's the case with a lot of other people.

Thank you for everything you've done for us, Veterans! May God Bless all of you!

Monday, November 10, 2008

History of World Religions, Religious Studies Major.

I don't know where to start... I have so much I want to write about (but, don't worry, I won't. lol). First off, I am SO HAPPY we finally covered Catholicism and Christianity in my History of World Religions class. I have a list of all the people and saints that we covered... if I can just find it... *digs through desk drawer*... here we go:

- St. Ambrose - St. Augustine of Hippo - St. Benedict of Nursia - St. Francis of Assisi - St. Clare of Assisi - St. Dominic - St. Catherine of Siena - Pope Gregory I (The Great) - Pope Gregory XI - Pope Urban VI - St. Augustine of Kent/Canterbury - St. Thomas Aquinas - St. Anselm of Canterbury - St. John of the Cross - St. Teresa of Avila (WHOO!) - St. Ignatius of Loyola - St. Francis Xavier.

All those people/saints were covered in only 7 pages. I was super excited to have to learn a little bit more about them for a class! It reaffirmed my belief that I am supposed to be a Religious Studies major. :D I had to compare Martin Luther, John Calvin, King Henry VIII, and St. Ignatius of Loyola for my Christianity paper. Guess which I wrote more about; which one I knew more about. :D Man, I LOVE this class. :D

We're currently doing the last religion we'll learn about (I think), which is Islam. We have a big research paper due in like 2 weeks and I was originally going to do it on Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism but now I'm going to switch Buddhism for Islam because I think it'll be easier (since they believe in God). I still don't know if I'll focus on the sacred texts or the art but it's one of those. It'll be interesting.

All of this that I have been learning has really made me think about what I'm going to do when it comes to my Religious Studies major. I'm at the point where I have to decide, once and for all, where I'll be attending next Fall to finish my Bachelor's degree. I have to do it this week because I have to make sure my Winter session and Spring semester classes are exactly what I'll need (also, to basically get more credits done at a cheaper cost, lol). I''m still undecided whether to go to a state university (where I'll have to learn about different religions) or go back to my private college (where I'll focus mainly on Catholicism). I would rather go to a Catholic university/college but, really, it all comes down to the tuition. Since I'm in charge of all my educational costs, I have to really think about the debt and whatnot once I graduate. I am completely torn on what to do so I'll hopefully get some advice from Fr. Stan. I've already called to make an appointment so now I'm just waiting for him to call me back and set the day when I can go in and ask. I've tried to figure it out on my own, and have even prayed about it, but all that I've come up with is going to a priest and asking his advice.

I don't think my decision would be so hard if I wasn't planning on (eventually) becoming a teacher. See, I have my plans. If I don't make it as an author or wedding planner, I want to be an elementary school teacher. I love kids and I love teaching them things. I think I'd do a good job. Because of this, and because I'd want to teach at a Catholic school... well, it makes me think twice about what school I'll get my degree from. Hopefully Fr. Stan will be able to help me figure it out a bit.

Well, that's it. I had more planned but I just started getting these stomach cramps and I'm not feeling too well so I'm going to call it a day. Hopefully it isn't serious... and that I won't have to go to the Emergency Room.

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless! :D

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Have Wedding Fever.

I've caught the wedding fever lately. One of friends is getting married next month so that has gotten me awfully excited. Sadly, I won't be able to attend because it's across the country and I'm pretty much stuck here (in California) until probably the New Year. Anyway, even though that's the case, I'm still excited about the wedding. (And then getting a big house in Ireland with her, her future husband, and my sister. lol.)

I LOVE weddings and what they represent. Two years ago I entertained the idea of becoming a wedding planner. I've already been put on notice by a friend of mine to be ready to help when he is ready to start planning his wedding with his fiance. I put the idea back on the shelf when I decided to stay focused on finished my degree... and then had other family responsibilities (helping dad when he had cancer). Lately, I've started getting this nagging feeling that maybe I should look into it again. I've been watching "Whose Wedding is it Anyway?" and I've gotten to the show... again. lol. I don't know what I'm going to do. I mean, the job is PERFECT for me. I love love. I love what a marriage represents. I think I can do a good job creating a great wedding for someone, no matter what their tastes are. And, hey, my Religious Studies degree can come in handy because I'll know the traditions and customs of various religions (sometimes the couple are of two different religions). The more and more I think about it, the better the idea gets. :D We'll see though, I still have time to weigh my options. :D

Oh, and Rebecca at Modestia is also having Bridal Week in case any of you lovely young women want to check out wedding gowns and bridal tips. :D Even though it's very doubtful that I will get married any time soon, I still love looking at the pictures and seeing which are my favorites. :D

And for those of you getting married soon, remember not to get fully caught up in just the planning of it. I know a lot of people wig out over details like what color the bridesmaid's dresses will be, or who is sitting next to who at the reception... and they totally forget what they're actually doing. Remember that importance of it what it is to be married and how incredible it is to be united under God to do his will. The whole significance of marriage is absolutely beautiful and such a blessing. Please, don't take the whole thing for granted. :D

Okay, I have to go tackle my History of World Religions assignment. I also have to get started on the BIG research paper that is due next week (the outline) and the following week (the finished paper). I still have to pick whether I'm going to focus on the sacred art or sacred texts/literature of 3 different religions but I already have the religions picked (Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism).

Oh, and I have 4,299 words written so far (for NaNoWriMo). Man, I still have a way to go but it's really fun having a deadline for my novel. :D

Oh, and I recently took a Jane Austen heroine quiz (Yes, I DO love Austen) and I got:

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

Whoo! I do feel I am the most like her out of the other Austen heroines. :D Uh... I think I'm procrastinating now. lol. I'm going to go work on the assignments. lol.

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Election Results; NaNoWriMo.

Well, the results were in a few days ago. Barack Obama will be the new president. *sigh* I really wanted McCain to win, and I even shed a few tears during his concession speech. I think Senator McCain was too hard on himself and I've gained a whole new level of respect for him. *sigh* Well, I think now all we can do is pray for Obama's safety (because regardless of his position on things like abortion, death threats are NEVER the answer) and that he changes his mind on his stance on important moral issues. Even Pope Benedict XVI has reached out to Obama in hopes the Obama does the right thing.

Proposition 8 passed in California. That means that marriage will be define as a man and a woman in this state. I was surprised (but a wonderful surprise) because California is known to be a very liberal state. Most of my classmates in English Lit class went on this rant about how it shouldn't have passed. Even my professor said that it shouldn't have. (She's on the liberal side but she's still such a caring and compassion person.) I kept my mouth shut because it was way too early in the morning to get into those debates. Do I want to get into an argument in which I'd be the only one on my side of the argument... while I was still sleepy? Not so much. I did, however, make it known through body language that I was not pleased when they started on McCain and his concession speech and the harsh words they said about it. Respect the man!

Sadly, Proposition 4 did not pass. I was keeping tabs on how the results came out in each county in California and most did not pass Proposition 4. It's sad. This was, I think, they only thing we (the members of my family who are allowed to vote) agreed on. I have no clue about how my bro voted but I think (hope) he made the right decisions. Hopefully they'll bring back this Proposition in future elections.

Besides the craziness of the elections, I am taking part in the craziness of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo -- NaNo for short). If you're participating in it, please feel free to add me. :D So far I have 3456 (yes, seriously) words written. We have a minimum of 50,000 words pledged by the end of the month, though, so I have to really get to it! I have the long Veteran's Day weekend and don't have another class until Wednesday so I am going to take advantage of it.

You know what? That's exactly what I'm going to do right now. I need a distraction for schoolwork and I feel creative so why not? :D Maybe in the next post I'll update y'all where my friends (and fiance of one of my friends) are on our search for the perfect home in Ireland. We've decided to move out there because we're not happy with the way things are going in this country. Long story. lol. :D

Alright, well, I must get to writing. As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Monday, November 3, 2008

Remember to Vote!

I have my make-up English Lit midterm exam tomorrow so I will make this VERY short.

Please remember to vote tomorrow! Every vote counts, and it looks like this election will be close. I'm voting just as any good Catholic/Christian citizen would. No need to tell you how I feel about the propositions or candidates. I hope y'all will do the same... even if people get upset with you for it, just like my dad did with me. Yes, he's angry at me for voting for a certain candidate. *shakes head* I am definitely not apologetic, though. I love my dad and all but I simply cannot vote for a candidate that's pro-abortion... I just can't.

Alright, well, I have a LONG day ahead of me... voting in the early morning, midterm after that, Philosophy of Logic after that, more English after that. Oh, the joys of being a college student. lol.

REMEMBER TO VOTE! 'Til next time, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy All Saints' Day!

Happy All Saints' Day everyone! I hope you all say a little prayer of thanks to all the saints... your patron saints and other saints... for giving us wonderful examples of how to be good Catholic Christian people. Also, for all the intercessions they've done on our behalf during our most difficult moments. If you've read my blog long enough, you know how appreciative I am of saints. I love 'em. :D I know it's not mandatory for us in the U.S. to go to Mass tonight because this day of obligation falls on a Saturday and it transfers to tomorrow's Mass. I would stay, though, if I could. Unfortunately, I don't think I am going to stick around the Mass tonight, after confessions, because I've been feeling very weak and like I'm going to faint.

I honestly don't even know if I'll make it to confessions tonight. I feel just blah. Don't know what's up but I hope it's just something that will go away by itself and doesn't require me to go to the doctor... or the E.R. Prayers are definitely welcomed because this is one of the worst feelings to have.

I had a dream last night that I went to the E.R. because I'd accidentally swallowed a staple. Seriously. I've also been dreaming quite frequently that I'm going to die... or that it's the end of the world. Eh. I think it's just all stress related. I mean, I had a mini panic attack this morning but I think it's all the stress that I've had recently finally being released out of my system. I definitely have delayed reactions when it comes to my anxiety. I'm weird like that. lol.

I don't have much to write beyond this. Really, I wanted to wish everyone a good All Saints' Day. I hope y'all aren't hung over (from the sugar high/rush and then crash) from all the Halloween parties you might've attended. You know who you are. lol.

Alright, I think I'm going to go lay down for a bit. Hope everyone's doing well. :D As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

St. Pancras and St. Timothy; Final Grades; Doctor Appt.; Costumes.

It took me a while but I finally have time to post a longer blog. :D

I don't know where I should start, really. Well, I should first say a thank you to St. Timothy and St. Pancras of Rome! For those of you who have read a previous post about how St. Timothy has interceded for me, no need to tell the story over again. St. Timothy is the patron saint of digestive and intestinal disorders and illnesses. For those of you who don't know who St. Timothy is, you can find out more about him at this page. St. Pancras of Rome is the patron saint against cramps, headaches, and against perjury/false witness.

On Monday morning, the morning of my English Lit midterm exam, I woke up feeling really sick. I'd actually gone to bed feeling a bit weird but woke up early with these stomach pains and cramps. I thought it was nothing so I went back to bed. when I woke up a bit later, the pains had gotten worse... and the cramps and pains had also traveled down into my legs. I took two different kinds of teas, Chamomile then Spearmint, because they usually help out my stomach but they weren't really doing much for me. So I asked St. Pancras (though I actually say his name in Italian - San Pancrazio) and St. Timothy to please help me get better because I was going to miss my midterm. I fell asleep and woke up feeling great... but too late to make it to my midterm. For me, my health is more important than my studies (plus I have an amazing professor who's letting me take the make-up next week), so I wasn't too stressed. Anyway, as a thank you to them, I promised to mention them in the next full length post I would write... and here it is. :D Remember their names when you're having pains. Trust me, they will come through for you. :D P.S. Also, thank you to St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Joseph of Cupertino during my exams and moments of academic wigging out. lol.

Oh, and before I forget, I PASSED MY OCEANOGRAPHY FINAL EXAM! I actually did 10% better on my final than on my midterm (how did THAT happen?!). I also got my final grade for the class which was... drum roll please... AN A! WHOO! Even if the professor hadn't graded on a curve, I would've gotten an A in the class because of my final exam! I was so relieved when I found out... mostly because Math and Science are usually my worst subjects. I'm more of a Philosophy/English/Music/History type of person. Now I know that all the stressing I did last week and the week before wasn't for nothing. lol.

Other good news I received... my EEG and heart monitor results came back normal! WHOO! I had my follow up appointment earlier today and all of my results came back normal. The doctor was perplexed as to why I've had to many test done at such a young age. He said I was perfectly healthy, nothing wrong with me, so he didn't understand. I had to explain that, because of my anxiety, the therapist recommended I have all the exams due to rule out everything. So, now we can safely assume that the rapid heart beat and the other symptoms are all anxiety related. I've had quite a bit of stress-related anxiety but I know it's because of how crazy the last few weeks have been. And, thankfully, it's not the intense panic and anxiety I had a few months ago. I'll be fine once this weekend is over because I'm caught up with all my work and I only have 3 classes to worry about for the next month and a half. :D Oh, that reminds me... I need a massage next week for the kinks and knots in my shoulders and back. lol.

Before I go (Philosophy assignments due tonight), I should mention that I do NOT have a Halloween costume ready for tomorrow. I originally did, and Rebecca from Modestia has first dibs on the pictures because she asked me on facebook, but I waited too long to get what I had planned. Now, I have to see what I can come up with from things I have at home. I have an idea but I won't share it because I'm going to wait and see if I can pull it off. I definitely had a hard time finding one that isn't too sexy or too revealing -- you know, like the majority of adult female costumes are. It's a problem most of us, who like to dress more modestly, encounter during times/events like these. You can also find out what Rebecca decided to wear by reading her blog on it.

Alright, well, Philosophy awaits. :D If I don't write a blog tomorrow, I hope everyone has a nice, safe Halloween. If it looks weird, don't eat/drink it! lol. :D

'Til next time, thanks for reading and God Bless! :D

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

St. Jude Thaddeus' Feast Day

Since it is St. Jude's feast day today, and since he is my main patron saint, I thought it was only appropriate to make a post today. Unfortunately, I don't have enough time to rave about all the prayers he's heard and helped me out with but I am going to share some pictures of a statue of his at my parish. St. Jude isn't the patron of the parish but there's such a huge devotion to him. So, please enjoy the pictures. Click on them to see them bigger. :D

Pictures of the St. Jude statue in the courtyard.
From Journey of a Catholic Nerd Writer
From Journey of a Catholic Nerd Writer

A picture of a smaller St. Jude statue inside the Church. The words read "St. Jude Thaddeus, (Monetary) Offerings" in Spanish.
From Journey of a Catholic Nerd Writer

Alright, I'm off to finish the Philosophy assignments that are due tonight and the rest of the English Lit assignments I have due tomorrow. :D As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Monday, October 27, 2008

Election Novena

I strongly urge everyone to start the election novena and rosary today and conclude it on election night in hopes that the right candidate is elected and that the right propositions pass.

You can also find the novena to Our Lady of Victory here at Fratres.

I will hopefully have a full blog tomorrow. Busy night tonight. :D So, 'til next time, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Midterms? Final? HELP!; I Love Saints!.

Sorry it's taken me nearly a week to post another blog. This is the hardest week I'll have this semester, hence the lack of updates. I have my Oceanography final tomorrow morning (WHOO-HOO!). The English Literature midterm is on Monday morning. History of Great World Religions' midterm starts this coming weekend (the 30th) but that's an essay so I'm not too worried about it. After that, normal work until finals week... with one less class to do. WHOO!!! I would do a cartwheel right now if I didn't have these giants, painful stress knots all over my back. But, it's just 3 more days until the work lessens. I've had my crazy schedule for 8 weeks so far, I think I can make it 3 more days. lol. Despite my knots and occasional stress (the next door neighbor thinks she's the only one who lives in the area -- such loud music), I am pretty mellow about my exams. I don't know why. Might be because I've worked hard so far (though, I'll admit, probably not as hard as I should've) and because I'm pretty confident I will (hopefully) pass. I'll hopefully get my Oceanography final grade sometime next week. Fingers crossed it's a good grade. The man's grading on a curve, so I'm a little worried. :D

Quick note: We've officially started the Christianity section of the History of Great World Religions class and both St. Thomas Aquinas AND St. Teresa of Avila are mentioned. WHOO! :D

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE saints? I truly do. Last night, I was feeling horrible -- stomach pains, feeling faint, a gross feeling; most likely because of something I ate -- so I said a little prayer, "Oh, St. Timothy, if it's something related to my stomach, please help me get over this so I can go finish my History assignments that are due tonight". A little while later, all better. :D I made it 15 minutes under the deadline. That's how close I was cutting it due to the... well, whatever it was. Also, yesterday I received the WONDERFUL news that my financial aid appeal had been approved and I will be receiving aid for my books for the rest of the year. YAY!!! :D The Novena to St. Jude totally came through for me. :D Mom seemed somewhat shocked when she told me it was very apparent that I had such a strong faith/belief in the saints and their intercessions. Not only the saints, but in prayer. I feel like this is helping me out with my ultimate mission. What my ultimate mission/goal is... you'll have to wait until my next blog because I am exhausted (5 hours of sleep), I have confessions in a little while AND I still have to plan my attack on the final exam tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be able to write either Monday afternoon or Tuesday. We'll see. :D

'Til next time... thanks for reading and God Bless. :D