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 MaƱanitas 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.