Friday, May 29, 2009

So Happy: Mission Almost Complete, Anointing of the Sick.

I am so happy, I could burst. I'm honestly ready to bounce off the walls and do back to back cartwheels but I won't. I'm still studying for finals (I have an entire novel to read by tomorrow morning. FUN!) and won't have time to do all of it until everything is done. I have done little happy dances, though. :D

"So, why are you a little ball of excitement? Where is this happiness coming from?" you may ask me. The answer is simple: Part of my mission has been completed! :D What mission? Well, if you've been reading this blog for a while now, you've seen me mention that my ultimate goal is to get both of my parents back to the Church, which (especially) means they'd have to go to confessions and receive the Eucharist. Today, one of my parents has taken that step... and I couldn't be any happier! I have prayed and wished for this moment for a couple of years now.

Originally, Fr. Juan was supposed to come just to give my dad the Anointing of the Sick. I set this ball in motion last week. I mentioned to my mom that we should probably do this, especially since my dad's been expressing an interest in prayer and attending Mass lately. Today, Fr. Juan called and let us know he was coming later in the day. I casually mentioned that dad hadn't gone to confessions or received the Eucharist in about 40 years. We both agreed to not push him (dad) but Fr. Juan would come prepared just in case.

After I greeted Fr. Juan and gave dad a few encouraging words about how it would be great if he would confess but that I'd understand if he didn't want to. I only said the second part (about not being upset if he didn't confess) because I could see dad starting to put up a "fight" against confessing. I went to my room and prayed that the Holy Spirit would help my dad and that he would take the opportunity to confess. I also got my prayer card of Pope John Paul II and asked him to pray for my dad. (side note: Mom and a few friends are currently asking for his intercession for my dad. We're hoping for a miracle!) And dad finally did. He confessed and received the Eucharist. I was so overjoyed with happiness that I cried. My father has given me the best birthday present ever (though my birthday isn't technically until tomorrow). Once he received the Eucharist, Fr. Juan prayed for him and dad received the Anointing of the Sick. After all was said and done, both dad and I were grateful for everything Fr. Juan did for us. And now, I just have to get my mom to go to confessions and receive the Eucharist and my mission will be done. :D

I have been so blessed lately, I'm completely speechless. I don't deserve any of the goodness that I've been experiencing, but I am very thankful for everything. Even with my birthday "curse" messing up my plans for tomorrow, I will still consider this the best one yet! I've been looking forward to my 24th birthday for as long as I can remember (which is about from age 7 forward) but I never knew why. I hope this was the reason why. :) Oh, and I didn't even mention that I've been lucky enough to be chosen to have priority registration at my new school, for next Fall. Man, what a great way to spend my last day as a 23 year old.

Alright, well, I think that's enough for now. :D I still have to go finish reading the Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle for my English Lit class. I have a research paper on it due on Monday morning at 7:30 a.m. It's cutting it short, but I read novels pretty quickly so I'm not worried. :D

I hope everyone has a great weekend! As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

P.S. Thank you to my twitter friends who prayed for my dad during all that happened today. It means a lot to me and my family. :D

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Giveaway Winners; Feminism, Part One.

Note: Started this post two weeks ago but haven't been able to finish and post it until today -- May 28, 2009.

Thank you to all who participated in the St. Dymphna giveaway. If you won, I've already contacted you via Twitter because all the winners entered through Twitter. :D And, to be fair, I'll post the answers.

For the Rosary Chaplet:
1) I've mentioned St. Dymphna MANY times in this blog before. How many entries have I mentioned her name, in one way or another? 34 Entries
2) What was the entry (post) name in which I included scanned photos of a St. Dymphna's prayer card? Go Liverpool!; Anxiety and Catholicism, St. Dymphna (It's the entry most of the google searches landed on prior to the Fr. Alberto Cutié scandal.)
3) Which fellow saint helped St. Dymphna during her escape (and was also martyred with her)? St. Gerebernus

For the Prayer Cards:
1) Where is St. Dymphna originally from? Clogher, Ireland (I'm going to be there very, very soon)
2) Where was she martyred? Gheel, Belgium.
3) What is she the patron saint of (besides anxiety)? Insomnia, Sleepwalking, Mental Health, Epilepsy, Neurological Disorders, Psychologists, Therapists, Possessed People, Princesses, Loss of Parents, Family Happiness, Rape Victims, Incest Victims, Runaways.

Again, congrats to all the winners. :)

While I'm still discussing St. Dymphna, let me just say what a great inspiration she and saints like St. Maria Goretti are for young women. They also, with the other female saints and, of course, our Blessed Virgin Mary are the true defintion of the word "feminist."

I recently wrote an essay for one of my classes on Feminism and the literature during the 1970s Women's Movement. It reminded me of a Women's Studies class I took a few semesters ago. I was at war with my professor who is the common definition of the word feminist. Why were we at war? Because I was very vocal about how some of the things "feminists" are "supposed" to do to show their independence from man were more damaging than helpful. She use to single me out in class and ridicule me for waiting until marriage. I will never forget the first time she asked if anyone was actually still waiting and I was the only one who raised their hand. Jaws dropped. A few girls told me after class that they admired me for doing so and that they would do the same if they could go back in time and change things. Still, from that point on, I was picked on by the prof. Any time a subject like a V-Monologues (which she urged us to go to and which I lost points on for not attending) or anything of that nature would come up, she'd get in her little jab... even if it was a "No offense to Emmy who knows nothing about what we're talking about" or a "Emmy, you have no right to answer this because you've never experienced it."

I hate it when feminists take saints like St. Maria Goretti and criticize her for "wanting" to die instead of letting her attacker have his way with her. I would've done the same thing St. Maria Goretti did. In fact, I have... in a way.

When I was a freshman/sophomore in high school, I attended a public high school. I worked as a counselor's assistant the summer between my freshman and sophomore year doing office work. One day, when the counselors had a meeting, the other counselor's assistant, a young man 4 years older than me, cornered me in the office. Since everyone knew the counselors had afternoon off, no one came in and the guy apparently thought it was a good time "to be alone." I was in no one attracted to him nor did I ever make it seem like I was. As I was re-stacking the papers and pamphlets in the office, he grabbed my arms and pinned me against one of the tables. He told me these things I will not repeat but let's just say I could have slugged him for it if both of my arms weren't being restrained by his hands. I was so disgusted, and frightened, that I found a physical strength I didn't know I had and I pushed him off of me with all the force I was able to get. I may look small in size and age but I pack a wallop. (There have been a few guys who have been on the receiving end of my slaps and sucker punches.) I pushed the guy so hard, he wound up stumbling on the table in back of him. I was ready to punch and kick him when an administrator came in. They did nothing to the guy and the few people I told basically said to forget it because he was so beloved that no one would believe me. I did have two wonderful friends who not only believe me (because they know the kind of person I am), but one of them, a guy, stayed with me at the office for the rest of the summer. I left the school a semester after the incident and it's part of why I got anxiety at 15.

The point of me sharing that is that feminists will take a story like mine, which is NOTHING compared to what happened to St. Maria Goretti or St. Dymphna, and put their own spin on it. I'd probably get props for not letting a man take control of my fate, and standing up for myself. but then the question would come up... if I were in real danger, would I give in to save my life? Or would I do what it takes to preserve my purity? No question, I'd do the same thing both of the saints I've mentioned, as well as others, and fight. This is where feminists would have an issue. I can just hear them now "Don't be stupid. Rape is something you can get over, death isn't." Then they'd probably lecture me on how the Catholic Church has "brainwashed" me into thinking that I shouldn't express my "needs and desires." These type of things I've heard before and each time I feel bad because they just simply don't get it.

Of course, feminists usually advocate being in charge of what one does with their selves. Their argument is usually "I'm taking charge of what happens to my body. I can take care of it." Then they say things that contradict each other. "Pornography is horrible because it objectifies women... but if a woman wants to do it and is control of her body, let her do it. It's her freedom."... "If a woman dresses provocatively, men will objectify her. But, if she wants to dress like that because she wants to feel sexy, then let her. It's her body." Then, there's my all-time favorite (please note the sarcasm) phrase, "If a woman wants to have an abortion, let her. It's her body and she can do what she wants with it." Yes, please let women take the life of an innocent child and completely destroy her body in the process because she doesn't want to have a child. *rolls eyes* I'm actually doing my last essay for my Philosophy/Ethics course on why abortion is morally wrong... which will be the second part to my Feminism posts in the near future. All I will say about this, for now, is that my presentation/essay ends with the phrase "You can keep telling us to keep our rosaries off your ovaries, but your ovaries NEED our rosaries."

If these so-called feminists stopped their whole "Equality for all!" dribble they could see that what they're actually doing is putting women at a greater risk. As much as they'd like to think that women can do EVERYTHING men can do, that's simply not true. Likewise, there are things (like giving birth) that women can do that men can't. We were not designed to do the same things. Even if we take religion out of the equation, it's still be clear that we're not all alike and trying to put this front about how we're supposed to "get out of the backwards teachings of religion and the 'Leave it to Beaver' era" is actually harmful to women. Our minds, souls, and bodies are temples and should be treated as such. "Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid." (1 Corinthians 6:15)

I will stop this post here because I have to go continue studying for finals... and because I have a second post that I will hopefully post as soon as I finish my finals. I know this post will both shock and upset some of my friends because only a couple of people have known about this. All I have to say about what happened to me is that I forgave the guy for what he attempted to do and I pray for him.

Alright, that's enough stalling. lol. I hope everyone has a good weekend... I hope I do, even though my birthday "curse" has already began to strike. Long story. lol.

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

Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy St. Dymphna Feast Day!; Giveaway.

Happy St. Dymphna Feast Day! :D Thanks to Catechist Corner for reminding me (via twitter) about today because I wanted to give something in honor of her day.

As I've mentioned several times, I owe the fact that I'm currently anxiety free to St. Dymphna. From the first day I started praying, asking her to pray for me and help me with my anxiety, I've been able to do a lot of things I couldn't have done 2 years ago. I'm incredibly grateful to her for everything she'd done for me. Since I have a special place in my heart for her, I decided (months ago) that when her feast day came around I would give away 3 St. Dymphna Rosary Chaplets and 5 Laminated Prayer Cards. They will all be blessed, too. :) (*whispers* If there was a DVD of her life, I would be giving that away).

Now, the contest rules:
- Pick either (or both, for a better chance of winning) set of questions.
- Answer the questions and leave me your answer as a comment on here, through a DM on twitter, or via email (my email address is on my blogger profile). Make sure to write down which set of questions you're answering.
- Let me know how you want to be contacted (email, twitter, your own blog, etc) in case you have won something.
- Sit back and relax until Sunday when I pick the winners.

How will I decide the winners? This will not be a "first come, first serve" type contest. No one has to rush to try to get these questions in right now... but you do have to have them by Sunday evening. From the people who have the correct answers, I will randomly draw the names out of my little box. Got it? Okay, good. :) And now for the questions...

For the Rosary Chaplet:
1) I've mentioned St. Dymphna MANY times in this blog before. How many entries have I mentioned her name, in one way or another? This entry counts as one. :D (Hint: The Search Box is your friend. :D)
2) What was the entry (post) name in which I included scanned photos of a St. Dymphna's prayer card? (Submitting the link as the answer is also acceptable.)
3) Which fellow saint helped St. Dymphna during her escape (and was also martyred with her)?

For the Prayer Cards:
1) Where is St. Dymphna originally from?
2) Where was she martyred?
3) What is she the patron saint of (besides anxiety)?

And, that's it. You have until 10 p.m. PST to answer on Sunday night. :D I will contact the winners the following day. Good luck to everyone!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I believe I've scheduled a "no internet" rule for myself for the rest of the weekend (unless something good happens and I need to come back). I'm on a novel writing roll and have part of the beginning already written. I work backwards, I had the middle first, then the ending, and now I'm working on the beginning. :D

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

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Sharp Blow to the Family, but Not Our Faith.

Note: I started this blog yesterday, Tuesday, but am finishing it today, Wednesday.

Tuesday: Dad and I just got back from the doctor's where I got news that made me feel like the burnt crumbs at the bottom of the toaster. At first, we were told that dad just had liver problems, but it was because no one wanted to tell us what the real deal was. Since I am the one who is in charge of dad's medical appointments and business, I got to speak to his doctor personally this morning. He told me that his cancer has indeed returned and this time it was in his liver. A further blow -- his jaundice shows that his cancer is at the advanced stage... and that his cancer is incurable. I fought back the tears (better than I expected) and translated/told my dad that his cancer had returned. I made the decision to not tell him it's incurable, which the doctor said was best. I told him that the chemotherapy he could start in 2 weeks is very intense and aggressive and that he had to choose either that or, as the doctor said, make him as comfortable as he can be until the Lord decided it was time for him to pass, which might be in the near future. Staying strong, keep my faith intact, and getting through this in one piece is going to be the toughest test yet.

I refuse to give up on dad. I refuse to get panic attacks (and I might succeed with the amount of stubbornness I currently have). I refuse to be angry at God for having all of this happen. I've known people who have cursed God for these things but it's completely wrong and stupid to do it. None of this is His fault. If anything, no matter what the outcome is, my faith will only be that much stronger. My mother and I have both said that we'll accept whatever God's will is for my father... but we'll continue to pray and have hope for a miracle. We're realistic but incredibly hopeful at the same time. Last time they told me he had 3 months to live... and that was 2 years ago. Did I mention that I had to keep that to myself for months? Doctors can make predictions but only God knows when we will pass away. I'm not going to listen to any estimates they want to throw at us. All I'm going to do is pray... that dad, mom, and I get the strength we need to get through this. I've already felt more strength than I ever thought I had. I'm seriously owing my lack of panic attack to St. Dymphna.

I already have so many things I've got brewing in my head that I have to take care of. I'm happy dad agreed to the chemo (which he will start in 2 weeks from today). His new doctor, who is AMAZING and I'm pretty sure Catholic or Christian and pro-life, is going to keep him in the hospital for two days per week while he has his chemo done. I'm also grateful that dad refuses to go down without a fight. Now I know where I get it from. :) I am going to try to get my license in the next week or two, too. I need to step it up in that department. We have two cars, one of which is part mine, so I can use them to take dad to the hospital and pick him up while he has chemo. I'm also going to on with life as normally as possible for my parents' sake.

I've already been told by both of my parents that they forbid me to put school on hold yet again. I was originally supposed to graduate from college in 2006 (I graduated from high school a year and a half early :)) but I've taken years off to take care of dad in the past. I wanted to take the time off again but dad put his foot down and told me to forget about it -- I'm going to finish that degree by 2011 as is the current plan. I believe this is the reason why I decided early on this year (and late last year) not to attend UBC or Oxford this upcoming Fall. Well, the reason why UBC didn't work out (after that problem with the rude admissions lady) and why, despite my love of England, I just suddenly lost interest in attending Oxford.

Wednesday: It's a day later and things are surprisingly well. Thank you to all my friends on Facebook and twitter who told me they would prayer and/or have prayed for our family. Dad actually slept through the night without being in pain, which is rare. He's also in better spirits, as are my mom and I. Since my dad's still very fatigued, my good friend/bro drove me around to do some errands and to pick up some things for dad at the San Fernando Mission. I got him a St. Peregrine (patron saint of cancer patients) medal and prayer card. He's going to wear the medal along with his Sacred Heart and Our Lady of Guadalupe medal. :) (Btw, if any of you have a loved one or friend who is suffering from cancer, here is the novena to St. Peregrine) There is so much prayer and just devotion to our faith in this house... it's a complete 180 from when dad was healthy.

I've taken the time to process everything and I'm now, more than ever, ready to tackle whatever obstacle that stands in my way. I'm also grateful that we have so many people who are willing to help us -- from dad's new doctor to family and friends. I've even got friends who are lapsed Catholics started to pray again. Maybe what is happening is not just for our family, but perhaps it will help bring others closer to Him and the Church. If that's the case, whatever the outcome, it will definitely be worth it in the end. Now, if I can just get dad into confessions, for the first time in 40+ years... well, my mission continues and I will not give up. See? My stubbornness HAS returned. lol.

I think I will go work on the novel a bit, as well as read up on St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Eugene de Mazenod, and especially St. Toribio Romo Gonzalez. I dreamt about St. Toribio a few weeks ago and I FINALLY figured out who he was. Yes, it's like with St. Teresa of Avila all over again. First I dream the saint, then I have to go search for who the saint is until I find them. :)

Again, thank you all for your prayers. It means a lot to me and my family. As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Fr. Alberto Cutié; Tribulations; What Kind of Catholic Are You?

I'm sure many of you have heard of the Fr. Alberto Cutié scandal that has completely shocked everyone. Trust me, my jaw dropped when mom told me to look it up online. I thought to myself, "there is NO WAY this is real. It has to be fake!" Dad said Fr. Alberto was tempted by the devil. Mom agreed and added that it seemed like he was set up. Everyone has their theory on it... and I won't add to the speculation of whether he did or didn't. All I will say is that, he's human and humans make mistakes. Do I condone what he did? Definitely not. Were the right actions taken by having him removed of his duties? I think so. Do I forgive him for his transgressions? Absolutely. How can I expect to be forgiven for my sins if I can't forgive others for theirs? Of course, you can argue that since he is a priest, and took a vow of chastity, that his sin is quite the biggie. Either way, I will definitely be praying for him. You can read his statement at his site.

It seems that many of us are having trials and tribulations lately. My dad checked himself out of the hospital on Monday, and I don't blame him. The head nurse was a tyrant and was really rude towards my father. The good news is that he looks much better now AND I've just scheduled an appointment for him on Friday. We'll hopefully know exactly what he has and then go from there. I'm still hoping it's just liver problems and not cancer (for the third time). Yesterday we had to take my mom to the hospital (a different one; we each have our own places) because she was in a lot of pain. That just stressed me out a bit. It turns out her arthritis was just flaring up, big time!, but nothing worse. I am now in charge of taking care of my father and his appointments, plus the housework since my mom can't with her arthritis... on top of my schoolwork. I refuse to crack, though. I know there has to be a reason why I'm being given all this responsibility all at once. The good thing is that I've had little anxiety, and no panic attacks (thank you, St. Dymphna!) thus far. Either I'm just weird or I'm just a very "glass half full" person, but I actually see all that is happening as blessings in disguise. It's showing me that I'm stronger than I thought I was. All of this is preparing me for when I have a family of my own some day. Most importantly, it is bringing the family closer together. I've been finding that saying prayers, as well as being able to concentrating on the Rosary, is coming much easier to me. And, really, all of this is just bringing me closer to God and for that I am very grateful. It's very "Daily Rosary Catholic" of me.

What? You never heard of a "Daily Rosary Catholic"? Well, according to a "What Kind of Catholic Are You?" quiz on I am a Daily Rosary (Very Traditional) Catholic. According to the result description I'd "like the church to revive the time-honored devotions, liturgical practices, and strong institutional discipline that prevailed before the Second Vatican Council—and [I'm] hoping that Pope Benedict XVI will lead the church in exactly that direction. [My] favorite hymn is probably a traditional Latin composition such as the "Panis Angelicus," and [my] favorite pope is probably a pioneer of the Church's great liturgical tradition such as Gregory the Great. [I] loved 'The Passion of the Christ.'" Yeah, sounds about right. lol. If you take the quiz, please let me know what your result is. :D

Alright, well, I have some studying to do so I should go do that. If not study, then relax and maybe take a nap. I only had about 4.5 hours of sleep last night (eesh!). OH! Before I forget, I haven't replied to emails in a week or two but I'll reply by tonight. I do read your emails, just haven't been able to reply to the longer ones. :D

I think that's enough reading for y'all tonight. lol. As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

P.S. Have you voted yet?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Little Girl Gets Her Wish; Cardinal Newman News; Thank Yous!

A couple of weeks ago I read this article at the National Catholic Register about a little girl, named Emma, who is getting her wish to meet Pope Benedict XVI. Go Emma! :D What's incredible about this little girl is that, not only is she an abortion survivor (whoo!) but she was only three years old when she said (and I'm quoting from the article) "That’s my new pope. Do you think I can ever meet him?" This little girl has been serious about her faith from a young age, even talking about becoming a nun when she gets older. It's stories like this that make me hopefully for the next generation. I don't know many young people, including 20-somethings like myself, that would consider a religious vocation. (For the record, I also seriously considered becoming a religious sister until I got too many signs that I wasn't meant for that particular vocation). Oh, and btw, major kudos to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for even attempting to make her wish come true, even when they believed it to be impossible. :)

Another great thing that has recently happened: another Cardinal Newman miracle has been approved by the Vatican. It's only a matter time before Papa Bene can declare that Cardinal Newman "Blessed". Sweet! I have a lot of respect for him, and he has popped into one of my saint dreams before, so I'm happy to hear about this. And, side note, I actually made sure there were Newman Centers at the universities I applied to before I applied to them -- that's why the University of British Columbia and Oxford University were on the top of my wish list before I decided to stay in Los Angeles. Do any of you have Newman Centers at your schools?

Before I conclude this entry, I just wanted to once again thank everyone for their continued prayers. Dad was checked into the hospital yesterday. My mom initiated that whole process without my knowing. Without going into much detail, I did not know anything about it so it caused some problems because, as of right now, I have the say in what happens. I just learned that I have that power yesterday. It's quite shocking for me, but I'm completely prepared to take it on. I can do it. :) Anyway, after I told my dad that I thought it was a good idea for him to go, to stay under observation over the weekend and then have the tests done on Monday, he agreed to stay. He called this morning (really early) that he was checking out of the hospital because he hated it there. It took some convincing to get him to stay... and it happened right before he signed the release form. I honestly credit your prayers, as well as my prayers to St. Dymphna to keep me from having a panic attack, for making my dad reasonable and for keeping my sanity. I sincerely thank all of you. I get your messages, emails, and tweets and I am trying to reply to all of them as soon as I can. :) Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU!

And that is it for today. I want to get all my homework done today because we're going to go visit dad tomorrow. I'm also going to try to go to Mass tomorrow... and confessions in a little while. Did I mention that I have to walk quite a distance to go to the nearest church? Mmhmm. :D

Alright, enough of my stalling. lol. As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D