Sunday, March 16, 2008

Birth Control, Palm Sunday Mass, St. Teresa of Avila and Our Lady of Guadalupe.

I know, I know. It's been nearly 2 weeks since the last update. The big gaps between entries is completely unplanned. First I was hit with debilitating anxiety that kept me in bed for a few days, followed by my first cold since November 2005 (oh yeah, my immune system's pretty awesome) and topped off with stomach pain for a few days. As someone who my friends consider lucky, I really haven't had much luck in the health department lately.

Without getting into details, one of those things I was/am "suffering" from made me think about birth control. And, okay, a discussion on the Roman Catholic (Global) facebook group about abortion inspired me to write about this was well. I won't go into what I REALLY think about birth control and abortion because I sincerely have no time to go through hate messages from Pro-Choice people but I will make it known I'm very Pro-Life. One thing that always irritates me is when nurses and/or doctors assume I'm either on some sort of birth control and/or having sex. I vividly remember the last time I got really upset over this. A nurse was taking my vitals before I could see the doctor and she straight out asked me "What kind of birth control do you use?" I looked at her, blinked and said "I'm not on birth control." She looked at me shocked and said "Then what do use when you have sex? Nothing? That's dangerous! So many STDs." That's when I got upset (and, I'll admit, kinda overreacted) and said "I use it because I don't need birth control! I'm not having sex! Even then, I won't use it!" The rest of the conversation is a little fuzzy but I do remember saying that I was offended that she assumed I was having sex and even moreso because she knew the kind of person I was/am. I also mentioned that I was going to wait until I was married until I had that type of intimate relationship with someone. I understand she'd say something like that because, statistically, young "minority" women have high birth rates and are very likely to engage in intercourse at a very young age. Still, I would think it would've been more appropriate to ask me if I was sexually active before assuming I was and asking me what type of birth control I was on. I wrote this on the facebook group and I will write it again... if I had a penny for every time I was asked what kind of birth control I was on, or asked why I wasn't on birth control by doctors and/or nurses, I'd rich.

It's amazing how not many people know about Natural Family Planning (NFP). I personally am not an expert on the subject since I've never had a need to learn about it (as in, I've never been engaged or even thought about marriage with someone I was dating) but I know it's the only "birth control" officially accepted by the Catholic Church. And it's not actual birth control either, hence the quotation marks. If/when I get married, it'll be what I'll be using. I know it's going to probably get a frown from the family doctor but I don't care. There's far too much pressure from society (on women) to be on birth control and I have no desire to give into that, especially knowing it's a mortal sin. There's a good article I read on the topic at Catholic Online which can be found here. Okay, moving away from this subject...

Today (well, it's technically still Sunday here in California) is Palm Sunday! This is one of my favorite times of the year. I was so bummed out that I didn't make it to Mass... yet again. This time, it wasn't my fault. When I was ready and willing to go to Mass, my father didn't want to take me. When he was ready to take me, I felt too sick to go. See, in the morning I felt fine and I actually want to go early. My dad said he wanted to go fix the car and/or go shopping. I couldn't convince him otherwise so I went to my room and ended up falling asleep watching the Manchester City vs Tottenham game (by the way, whoo for Man City winning! I'm a fan of Nery Castillo's!). In that time that I took a little nap, dad managed to sneak away and he didn't end up getting home until after the last English Mass was over. Ugh. I planned on walking to a nearby parish (which, I hate to admit, I am not too comfortable attending Mass at) but then I remembered it was the 6 o'clock Mass and that lead to me falling into a "fit" of tears because I knew there was no way I would be able to make it through the mass. The 6 o'clock Mass at the nearby Parish is the most crowded and the parish is smaller than the parish I normally attend. Last time I tried to be at that Mass, I ended up leaving after only 2 minutes because of the claustrophobia that turns into panic. For those who've never experienced a panic attack, I will hopefully write an entry about it sometime this week (hopefully tomorrow) to help y'all understand a bit better. Anyway, because I began getting very lightheaded and everything, I ended up missing it... but not before I shed a few tears. Mom tried to console me by saying that I'd watched Pope Benedict XVI give the live Palm Sunday mass at 2 in the morning last night and therefore got his blessing but I still felt bad. My dislike of missing Mass makes me very prone to having the waterworks open. What can I say... I don't like being disrespectful by not attending Mass. I know it's not my fault, especially with my anxiety, but still... it's doesn't feel right.

Something else that doesn't feel right... not going to confessions every week. Even if it's for something like a curse word that came out without thinking (as in, I didn't consciously make the decision to curse), I don't feel right. I just start counting down the days until Saturday when I can go to confessions. The priest who I've confessed the most to lately, Fr. Hoang, knows me so well that he doesn't really give me much to do as penance. Sometimes I do a little more than asked because I feel like I am getting away too easily, even if I'm probably getting exactly what I deserve. Anyway, something I came across while reading the first couple of chapters of St. Teresa's autobiography... she was the exact same way. In fact, the more I read about her life, the more I find similarities between herself and I. I honestly had to stop a couple of times and think to myself "It's almost like she is reading my mind... over 400 years after she wrote it." I am starting to think she might be my patron saint because of the similarities. I've never had so much in common with a saint. Honestly. I've found a saint I can relate to on so many different things. And, speaking of her autobiography, I am about to wrap this blog because I promised Our Lady of Guadalupe to get through 75 pages before I fell asleep. (Oh, and St. Teresa is now on my Patron Saints list on the right hand column).

Our Lady of Guadalupe has really done miracles for me lately. I had trouble sleeping a few nights ago (a lot of those nights ended with my on the verge of panic attacks and other screwy feelings) but since I've asked for her intercession, I've been feeling better. I promised her I'd go to Mass but, unfortunately and completely out of my hands, you all know why I couldn't make that happen. Mom said Our Lady would understand because she knows just how sick I get. I also asked Our Lady for specific help yesterday night and we got a call this morning that is basically an answer to my prayer to her. I also feel like she gave Fr. Leo a little push to call me to set up a meeting because he called pretty late (after 8 p.m.) and I didn't think he would even set up a meeting with me. Ask Our Lady and she will do her best to help you!

Okay, I should really get going because I'm already half asleep and still have 75 pages to read. I should eat something to help keep me up longer. Hmm. Anyway, that is all for now. If I am able to write an entry tomorrow, hopefully I'll be able to write about a few things I want to write about... such as how my novel is coming along, how Jane Austen is trying to give me unrealistic expectations about love *cough*Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice*cough* (and how I am okay with that, lol), and how I've discovered cheese-less pizzas while dealing with a broken skylight. Oh yes. lol. Until next time, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

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