Monday, January 31, 2011

Proud and Maybe a Little Prejudice

No, not Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (though y'all should not be surprised with the picture I chose. lol).

My twitter chat with @CatholicDan this morning reminded me of something I talked to our newest parish priest about last weekend... my new struggle with pride. I don't think, and I hope I'm right, I've ever had problems with pride before but it's just one of the things (that I hate) that have come up since attending this school. (And I say "this school" because I'm currently sitting in the cafeteria, waiting for my Math class to begin.)

This is kind of like a sequel to my last post about going through a possible late rebellion. Sometimes, I'm so sure of what I know to be true (see? I'm already doing it) that I sit in the front row and openly make a face to show my disagreement with a professor's statement. I don't think I have all the answers, because I don't... not by a long shot, but I occasionally think I know the answers (or at least those leading to the truth) in comparison to my professors. Hello Pride, didn't see you sneaking up on me. Please go away. Now. The new parish priest (who is so new I don't remember his name, sorry!) told me to be a little more humble when I have these thoughts passing my mind. I am thankful that I do catch myself before I go down this path, and even more so after talking to the priest, but I do slip up. I don't mean to but I'm human and I do make these mistakes.

Last week wasn't as bad as the first two weeks back but I did have one or two "ugh, you're so wrong!" moments. I need to remind myself that if I do have the right answers and do know the truth, that I can share it with my classmates in a way that doesn't look like I'm trying to show off. I'm not, despite to contrary beliefs of some classmates who think I am "holier than thou"... because I pray before I eat and go to the chapel to pray when time allows. I'm sorry, I didn't know these things were done to show I'm "better" than others... because I'm clearly not nor do I ever think so.

I have seriously begun to look into transferring because I'm slowly losing the battle. I don't like the person I'm slowly becoming. I don't like that I am being proud and occasionally prejudice (I have decided not to participate in Campus Ministry despite majoring in Religious Studies). I don't like that my professors are shoving the liberal, feminist agenda down our throats more than ever. I don't like that I have been embarrassed by professors in front of classmates for trying to get them to clear some Biblical things for us. I am not happy. At all. I do still get a kick when I occasionally stump them but those moments are becoming less frequent when they pull the "I know more you do, so shut up" card on me. Again, I know they know more than I do, but I still think that telling us that homosexuality is of God and that God just wants us to be happy (hinting that if we want to go ahead and have a homosexual relationship it's totally fine). Oh and hell doesn't exist either. I mean, seriously? I don't know, I'm about to throw in the towel because this place is really bringing out the worst in me and it makes me want to cry.

Alright, I should go read a bit in one of the books that I cringe at. lol. I hope y'all have a great week.

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Late Rebellion?

I chose whatever picture came up first on google. lol.

If you were to ask my mother or any member of my family if I ever went through a phase of rebellion in my teens, or at any point of my life, they would tell you that I didn't. My mom likes to tell the story of when I was a toddler and how I would sit very "ladylike" in my little frilly dresses, with the adults or off drawing somewhere by myself, while all the other children ran around and yelled. I was an active child, playing all sort of sports until my teens, but I knew when and where it was acceptable. I didn't talk back to my parents (or I don't remember ever doing it) nor did I ever miss curfew. Even when I went through my concert years, frequenting places such as the Roxy and the Troubadour as much as 4-5 times a week in my late teens, I always got home right after the concert was over. I didn't date guys neither of my parents approved of. Basically I was the textbook definition of a goody two shoes. I did some stupid things in my teens, don't get me wrong, but it was never out of rebellion. Despite being this way, I've found myself relishing in defying authority at school. Could this be a late rebellion?

I should say that while I do rant and rave on twitter and Facebook a lot, I'm actually laughing a good majority of the time... and I laugh at the ridiculousness that is being "taught." I need a sense of humor to survive at this school. (And, yes, I'm currently sitting in the commons typing this). My professors are treating me better and are trying to help me out so that I actually ace my courses this semester (huh, I wonder if it's the green scapular that goes everywhere with me...) but I still disagree with basic things that are taught. Could you sit in class while hearing things like "goddess existed before religions" and then saying that Our Lady is basically a goddess, blah blah blah? How about when hearing that by existing everyone is doing sex? Wait, wait... how about the "fact" that no one is completely heterosexual or homosexual and that we're at least 90% of one and 10% of another and that that's how God made us? Can you blame me for wanting to contradict them and/or for speaking out more than usual?

The thing is that I actually feel bad that I do "talk back" when they say something. They are being nice to me as a person but I still feel like my beliefs are being attacked. I know they are trying but, man oh man, what I wouldn't give for someone to go in and ask them to stop with the heresy/blasphemy. So, am I rebelling because my beliefs are attacked, as is my beloved Faith and Church, or am I just going through a phase? I don't know. Like I said, maybe it's a late rebellion. *shrugs*

Anyway, just wanted to get this off my chest and out in the open. I have Death and Afterlife in about 15 minutes so I should get moving. I hope we don't watch another euthanasia video because the one from Tuesday left me feeling depressed and teary eyed for about 24 hours. What can I say? Seeing people suffering, and especially seeing people want to end their lives because of the suffering, really affects me.

I hope everyone has had a great week thus far. :)

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

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Book Review: How to Get to "I Do" A Dating Guide for Catholic Women

Whoever said using Twitter was pointless was wrong. If it hadn't been for Twitter, and author Amy Bonaccorso sending me a friend request, I wouldn't have heard of this book when I was in the midst of (sort of) questioning my vocation. I have always been a firm believer that everything happens for a reason so when I was re-thinking my vocation after a particular difficult time for me this, for me, was like a sign from God to have patience and that what I was experiencing was just a little bump in the road. Now, I don't particular like talking about my relationships and that part of my life but I will disclose some things that I think will helpful when reviewing this book. By the way, for me to do this means that the book was actually helpful which is more than I can say for other books aimed for single Catholic women whose vocation is marriage.

First off, I actually ended up loving this book a lot more than I had anticipated. I've read (and reviewed) other books dealing with the same subject but I felt like this book was the only one that was realistic in how relationships truly are. Others tend to romanticize relationships. Although I am a hardcore Janeite and am a hopeless romantic, I do know that real life is not a Disney fairy tale. I like to call myself a romantic realist. A lot of books play up the romance once you find the person with whom you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with. They don't tell you about all the frogs thrown against the wall (instead of kissing them) or about how we should not have our minds clouded by visions of engagement rings and wedding bells. What I liked the most of this book is that it covers everything from the dating to after the wedding which most other books won't even go into. Amy acknowledges that we are human and that we do make mistakes and she works with us instead of preaching.

When you get to be my age (golly, that makes me sound old doesn't it? lol), people begin to question why you aren't married or with children. Especially in the Hispanic community, it's almost unheard of for a young woman to not have at least a significant other at 25. I often get questions on whether I feel my "biological clock ticking", especially since there are more complications during pregnancy as a woman gets older. I must admit that I do occasionally think about it because I do have a strong desire for children (a far cry from my "no children, thank you" stance at 20 years-old, before my reversion). At the same time, I don't want to rush myself or things so I've had a "slow and steady" view. This book covers that... and how! The chapter of "Secular Sisterhood", as well as the entire book, made me realize that I was relying way too much on having God put the guy in my path. I was stuck in the same little rut and that if I want to meet people I have to actually get out there (while still maintaining my morals and beliefs.) There were some things that were advised that I wasn't entirely comfortable with because of my temperament.

I'm actually pretty shy at first, especially when around people of the opposite sex, so of the suggestions to get out there and mingle are a bit daunting for me. It's not as easy for me to be so open right off the bat. It isn't until I feel comfortable enough with someone that I act like the goofball that I am with friends and family. I felt like my personality wasn't compatible with some of the advice in which she encourages us to actually get out there and date. I occasionally felt as if I were almost being pushed into acting in a way that is very outside my comfort level. I actually had to look within to figure out why that was and even after I figured it out, I was still not entirely sure it was for me... but that's okay. I did see where she came from and I can see why she would advice some things but I'd have to modify it to fit my own personal comfort level. I liked that I got this out of the book as I hadn't with any other before. It made me feel more confident about how I feel about dating and who I was as an individual person.

Throughout the entire thing I kept thinking about recommending it to various people, Catholic and non-Catholics alike, because it's full of great advice. Amy mentions setting a time limit with the vocation discernments which I, from personal experience, found to be excellent advice. When I was discerning my own vocation I didn't set one for myself but Fr. Leo did... at I was glad he did. He saw something in me that I was still figuring out and advised me to wait 2 years before I decided on becoming a nun. Before the two years were up I knew in my heart that the religious life wasn't for me. Discerning a religious vocation should be taken seriously and not delayed which many young women and men do. I LOVED (yes, it needed to be in caps) that she mentioned that the single life should not be the "last option" if you're not called to the religious life and can't find a person. I have seen many friends seriously consider the priesthood/religious life or becoming a consecrated single because they can't find anyone and their patience isn't the best.

This book really goes into online dating which I was a little wary on. I'm not knocking it but I've always been friends with someone before dating them and I feel like a lot of people just want to jump into relationships because they're physically attracted to someone (and only for that reason). Some people also try to present themselves in a way that they aren't (putting their best foot forward... even if it's not who they really are) which makes me a little nervous. At the end I have come to consider it because it may a little easier as I blush and stutter easily when I first meet people. I still haven't done it because I'm very cautious (hi, mostly Phelgmatic here, remember?) but I'm more open minded to the idea of using it.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, I was actually going through a bit of a weird time in which I was questioning whether I had discerned my vocation properly. I had actually begun the second 54 day Rosary novena (which ended yesterday) to pray for not only my vocation but also that of a couple of my friends. It was a time when I wasn't the only one questioning their vocation but I was the only one who was sure that their vocation was that of marriage and not religious life or of being a consecrated single. Without going into much detail, I was dealing with feelings for a friend who was (and still is) discerning his own vocation while having another fella from my past show up and thus reminded me of a time in which I seriously considered becoming a Carmelite nun. It was a lot of fun. lol. I also had other things that contributed to my confusion. Since I don't have a spiritual director at the moment (and haven't had one since Fr. Leo passed away a little over a year ago) I was trying to make sense of everything without much help. The novena (which is always hard at first) was something I started hoping to either be at peace with my vocation or to help me figure things out. I didn't like that I was going into a spiritual desert (which I endured throughout most of Advent almost up until Christmas). A couple of days into novena came friend request and the eventual purchase on Amazon. It was the best decision I made during my time in the spiritual desert and it helped me make sense of the feelings I had for a friend with some amazing epiphanies that helped me greatly.

If I had to summarize this book in a nutshell I'd call it advice you'd get from an older sister who wants the best for you... without being preachy. A lot of dating/courtship/relationship books aimed for Christian women are a little too much. While I do agree that God should have a place in a relationship, this book doesn't shove it down your throat. It didn't have a "if you don't do this and this and that then you're displeasing God and thus ruining your relationship" vibe. Again, she acknowledges that everyone is different and that we're not perfect which takes the pressure off of feeling like we must behave in a certain way. I would definitely recommend this book for single women AND men (and I was mentally making a list of which guy friends I'll personally speak to about this book) of all ages. :D

I don't think this is the last time I will write about vocations as I'm taking a Theology of Marriage and Family class, but I think this is it for now. ;). lol. I hope y'all have had a great week thus far... and that I've peaked the curiosity in some of you enough to make you want to read this book. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Music Monday: Bruno Mars' "Marry You"

Is it just me or does this following song make anyone else sad and just a little offended? Just listen to the lyrics and you may see what I mean.

I don't know about anyone else but I'd feel slightly insulted if a guy sang this song to me. Really, you're "looking for something dumb to do" so you want to marry me? Would you like my 5 older brothers to hunt you down in the process? They'll gladly do that too. lol. Anyway, this song is just a precursor/hint to a review that's going up tomorrow (around lunchtime, God willing) of a book that ended up being so much more helpful than I imagined it would be.

Alright, I blogged so whoever threatened to take my guitar away can just simmer down for now. lol. I also have a couple other posts ready to publish... as soon as I finish them. Blame school for my lack of time. :D

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Someone feel free to kidnap my guitar if nothing is up tomorrow night. That may be the only way I actually post. lol. ;)

Until tomorrow... thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Just a Simple Request

I took this picture from my school. Isn't it pretty? Too bad the same can't be said for what goes on inside...

Posting will hopefully resume tomorrow (Friday) but can y'all do me a little favor and just pray for me? I'm in the first week back to classes at the CINO college and, well, let's say that they've managed to outdo themselves (in terms of what is being taught) in just four day (thus far). I will explain all but if y'all can pray for my sanity as well as being prepared to defend the Faith whenever it is attacked, I'd greatly appreciate it. Details will come soon... trust me. lol.

Thanks in advance!