Sunday, October 28, 2012

Earthquakes, My Reversion, and How St. Jude is Connected to Both

This is the actual St. Jude statue that has survived many earthquakes. Seriously, check out the chipped paint.

I was originally going to post my reversion story today (St. Jude's feast day -- shared with St. Simon) because it's through his intercessions that I reverted back to the beautiful Catholic faith I know and love. Then, at 8:24 a.m. we had a mini 3.9 earthquake and, well, decided to share with y'all how St. Jude is connected to earthquakes for me.

I wrote about how St. Jude was looking out for me during the big 1994 earthquake nearly 5 years ago (and added a little something extra over 4 years ago) but most of y'all are new to my blog so it's worth a repost:

"This story takes place in mid-January 1994. I was about 8 years old at the time and I'd never experienced a real big earthquake before... I felt my dad picking me up from my bed, very abruptly and I opened my eyes to see (and feel) everything shaking violently. Things were falling off the walls, glasses and china was breaking everywhere... if you've ever experienced an earthquake, you know what I'm talking about. Since this earthquake was a really big one, the lights went out almost immediately after the intense aftershocks started. I did not know what was going on. All I knew was that I had to stay under the doorframe (or is it doorway?). I don't remember too many details about what happened during the shaking except that the statue of St. Jude fell as soon as we (my parents and I) reached the doorway and were safe from anything falling on us. I won't write much more about what happened during the earthquake because the images are still pretty vivid (and it's been nearly 14 years since) and it would take me a long time to write it out.

Anyhoo, I was talking to my mom about the statue of Santo Niño de Atocha and one of the St. Jude statues in my room. I knew they'd fallen during the earthquake -- they're still chipped -- and I very faintly remember (or think I remember) St. Jude's statue falling as soon as we got under the doorway and my mom confirmed it. Apparently, while all other things were falling around us there are three things that didn't fall: the statue of Santo Niño, the statue of St. Jude and the big framed picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe which was up on my bedroom wall. Now, the earthquake was a 6.7 on the richter scale, it was pretty intense. Windows shattered just by the shaking, yet the picture did not fall or get hurt in any way... My mom says they (saints and Our Lady) were all looking out for us... We haven't experienced an earthquake that intense since, thank God, but every time we have experienced smaller earthquake (and/or aftershocks from nearby earthquakes) my mom grabs the St. Jude statues without even thinking about it. My dad grabs the statue of Our Lady and my mom grabs St. Jude... if I don't get to him before she does."

By the way, we still own all three things mentioned: the St. Jude and Santo Niño de Atocha statues and the framed picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe has remained on my bedroom wall since I was about 7 years old.

During today's mini earthquake (which felt a bit stronger where I live because of how close to the epicenter we are) we did the same; mom grabbed the St. Jude statue while the shaking continued... and the shaking lasted longer than we expected. After all was said and done (and we took down other statues and crucifixes), we both mentioned how "appropriate" it was that we had an earthquake on his feast day.

I sadly can't attend Mass today (I've had horrible anxiety since about 3 in the morning and can't drive because of it) but this little thing reminded me that God is still looking out for us.

Oh, and if you're wondering about my reversion story (which you can read the gist of it if you click the link), I hope to one day expand on it because it's really something that defines me. I will say that I made promises to St. Jude that I've kept (graduating from the CINO college -- before I knew it was CINO -- was one of them) and intend to keep (I still have to go to Vatican City, as my own pilgrimage, to thank him for his intercession as well as God for never abandoning me) as soon as I can afford to. If you're wondering why I chose the Vatican (besides obvious reasons), it's because that is where the relics of St. Jude are. :)

So, thank you, St. Jude for everything you've done and continue to do for me. Though it's been a while since I've asked you to intercede for me, I know that if I ever need anything, you'll be there to help me. :D

Alright, I need to go eat because I'm having a combo bad anxiety and tummy troubles day. :)

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

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pre-Advent Mass Challenge

Here's a challenge to those who take their cell phones everywhere with them... and this picture applies to them.

From now until the beginning of Advent (December 2nd), turn your phones completely off or, better yet, leave them in your cars during Mass.

Out of curiosity, I posted this picture on twitter and asked if it applied to anyone. Surprising number of people said it did. It did for me (though I used my iPod touch for the iMissal app) but I stopped using it when an usher humiliated me for using it during Mass. I can see where priests and others may think that we're texting, even when we're not. I wouldn't dare disrespect God by using my iPod to use anything but one of the apps that contains prayers or the iMissal but it can be distracting.

If you were using a Missal app on your phone/iPod/tablet, why not buy yourself an actual Missal or a Missalette (they usually cost about $1 at the local parishes around L.A.) to use during Mass? If you have prayers that you recite after receiving communion, why not memorize them or write them down on a little index card?

Unless it's a special situation (i.e. a loved one is in the hospital, you are a doctor on call), keep your phone or other device off.

So... are any of you up for the challenge? btw, I'm going to play the "really? Can't you take ONE hour out of the day to focus on God?" card. Bam! ;)

Anyway, let me know if you're in. :D Everyone have a great weekend.

Thanks for reading and God bless. :D

Monday, October 22, 2012

Seven Priests Cause Abortion Mill To Close

I wasn't going to post anything today since I have a lot of work to do but I couldn't not share this powerful video. This was originally found on tumblr. (side note: Click on the link in case the video can't be played on this blog or if you have a tumblr and want to reblog it yourself.) I have to admit, I cried as I watched this video because it hurts to know that babies are being killed at places like this.

"Seven Priests Cause Abortion Mill To Close!
Last year seven Catholic Priests gathered around the Rockford abortion mill and prayed prayers of exorcism. On that day two mothers choose life; the number of abortions fell by two thirds, and the abortion mill landlord was so unsettled that he stayed outside his abortion mill while the Priests were praying.

This year the powers that be inside the mill were taking no chances. Instead of trying to remain open in the face of such spiritual power, they found it easier to close their doors for the day. Thanks be to God because of these seven Priests, the Poor Clare Nuns who in the Corpus Christi Monastery in Rockford where uniting their prayers with the Priests, and every Christian who prayed this morning, not one child was killed in Rockford today.

A small group of abortion supporters showed up, thinking the mill would be open. When they saw seven Priests and over forty pro-lifers deep in prayer and the abortion mill closed, the pro-aborts appeared even more dazed and confused than usual.

The abortion mill landlord Wayne Webster, who seems to have a pathological hatred for Catholic Priests and has a history of skulking away from the abortion mill grounds when Priests are praying prayers of exorcism outside his killing center, was nowhere to be seen. In his absence he did leave some quite vulgar signs in his abortion mill windows attacking Priests.

On this day in Rockford, the presence of Christ through His Priests and His people could be tangibly be felt and experienced outside the building where over 60,000 human beings have been murdered.

On this day in Rockford ,Satan fled; Christians stood united in faith and love, and no children had to face a brutal, vicious death inside the Rockford abortion mill."

The unborn can't speak for themselves but I give major props to those who stand outside abortion mills and pray. If you can't make it out to one of the many 40 Days for Life scheduled dates, don't think you can't do anything. Pray for those who stand outside and receive abuse from pro-abortion folks.

Last year, there were only three of us outside a Planned Parenthood in the San Fernando Valley part of Los Angeles and one man spewed more hatred, despite us not doing anything but praying and talking amongst each other, than I could've imagined. Just because we were there. So, please pray for those the unborn, their mothers, and those who bravely stand up for those who need protection.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Pope Benedict XVI Dream and Vocation Thoughts

The second part of the Catholicism in tumblr will come next week (asked someone to help me out with it). For now, I want to write something a little different as I want to reflect on the very powerful (well, for me) week that I've had.

If you read my FB page update last week (on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima), you know I had some very exciting news to share. Over the last couple of days, a few things have changed... but I feel like maybe it was for the best.

First, I know some of you are curious about my Pope Benedict XVI dream (as well as saint dreams). Not sure why people like hearing them but I don't mind sharing. :D Well, basically in the dream I spoke to Pope Benedict XVI three times. First time was inside the Apostolic Palace. There were a lot of people around but I do remember saying something about wanting to live in Vatican City but that I knew I couldn't. The second time I spoke to him, we were all outside in a courtyard with journalist-type people. I'm a bit vague about the details (I should really keep a dream journal, lol) but it was basically about my vocation and how I knew I wasn't meant to be a religious sister. The last time, I was able to talk and walk alone with him. He gave me advice on my vocation (as a lay person who wanted to write) and he mentioned that there was a way that I could live/work in Vatican City as a lay person. He led me through a door when he told me this and then excuse himself as he had to "go back and help the poor and needy." And that was my dream. Not the first Pope Benedict XVI dream (one of my favorites was when I knelt down and he heard my confession/gave me advice and a Rosary/golden crucifix) but it's always pleasant. I would rather dream of the Pope, saints, Our Blessed Mother and Jesus than have other kinds of dreams.

Second, I had other work-related news but I had to rethink things after a few things came up. I'm still freelance writing (and I'm tutoring a little gal for an hour during the weekdays) but I came to realize that I couldn't take on a new project that I had been excited about. Though I was terribly excited (especially since it was to be with local Knights of Columbus), God knows why it didn't work out. I still dream of working with a church, a Catholic organization, or (one of my grander dreams) to work with a publication that is directly connected with the Vatican but for now I will be continuing my non-Catholic freelance assignments. Baby steps (just like the picture above of the Bl. Mother Teresa with a child.)

All of these things, along with the improvement of my health, have made me very aware of a lot things that I hadn't really thought about. For the first time since I began my freelance writing career, I've felt myself pulled more and more towards writing about the Faith. This week I was asked what my goal was and, for the first time, I said I wanted to use my gifts to help evangelize to my generation as well as the younger generations. At the moment all I can think of doing is continuing this blog as well as finishing my young adult novel. I know God will present different opportunities to me when I am ready.

To say that I've had a burning desire to do something big for the Church is an understatement. I don't know why but I feel like there's something that I am meant to do that I have yet to figure out. I feel called to devote my life to doing something unique to help evangelization purposes but am stuck as to what I should actually do. I've had this feeling before but never this intense or persistent. And, for the record, I want to do these things in a way that won't attract much attention to me. I just want to do these things in a quiet and fruitful way.

If I may be honest, though my heart is still stuck on becoming a wife and mother some day, I feel like this desire is even bigger than any thoughts of marriage. I may still get married but right now I feel myself being pulled closer to God and to (at the risk of sounding dramatic) lose myself in Him. Again, I don't believe I have a religious vocation (and I've certainly been open to it for the past 6 years) but heart and my mind is focused on God and God alone. Who knows, I may become a consecrated virgin. It's a thought I've been had for quite a while now; one I was afraid to have before, due to fear of being alone, but one that I now feel at peace with if it's my vocation. Again, I still believe that my vocation is to be a wife and mother (and I certainly think this vocation would best suit me as it would help get rid of my selfish tendencies that would be harder to shake if I were to remain single) but I am open to whatever God wants me to do/be. Right now I am, thankfully, enamoured with the idea of being close to God and to let what may come come at its own time. Vocation can go either way at the moment. All of this could be in preparation for any of the three. ;)

Anyway, everything that's happened this week had led me to these realizations (first time I have the guts to properly think them through, let alone write it down). See what beginning to read St. Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle and having a Pope Benedict XVI dream have led me to think? lol. jk.

Sorry for such a long post; I just let it all spill out without a second thought.

I should really try to finish my last assignment for the week (yes, I am currently procrastinating :-P) so I can enjoy tomorrow. :D

I hope you all have a wonderful week. If you have any prayer requests, let me know. :D

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

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wait, Is That...? Chime In!

To see a bigger version, just click the picture.

I've always wondered about images that appear on things such as tree trunks (even on tree trunks in cemeteries), windows, etc. There are skeptics who try to explain them using reasonable explanation and others who believe that these images are sent to help remind us of God and/or Our Lady.

A friend from church sent me this picture. Not saying what/who the image is supposed to be. I'll just leave this here because I'm very curious to know what y'all think of this image and/or of the phenomena in general.

So, what do y'all think? A natural phenomena? Sent from above? Or are you more cautious about these things? Let me know because I'm very curious to see what the general attitude/thought towards this topic is.

Anyway, sorry this is so short but I have a little lady coming over for some English tutoring so I gotta jet. Don't forget to chime in. ;)

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

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Catholicism on Tumblr, Part One

(Side note: This is part one of the (planned) two part post on Catholicism on tumblr.)

I love tumblr. If you're following me on it, you know that I don't stick to one theme. If I like it, I will reblog it. A major of my posts contains gorgeous photos of cities, landscapes, flowers, books/libraries, whatever it is that I find funny/like, and, of course, Catholicism. In fact, on the last blog post I posted a picture I found on one of the Catholic tumblrs I'm following. There is good and bad in tumblr. I'd like to think that the good outweighs the bad but at times it seems like it's the opposite. While I am not focusing on the dark side of tumblr (that is for the next post), it exists... and those of us on the website have to find ways to combat it. However, due to deadlines (need to work since I have to start paying back my one and only loan in three weeks-ish), I'm going to start with the good.

There are so many wonderfully creative and witty people on tumblr. Some use it for evil (again, getting there next time) but many use it for good. Instead of describing them, I'm going to post some of my favorite Catholic-related pictures found on tumblr. If you're on the site and are interested in reblogging the items (and tagging them with a "Catholic" or "Catholicism" tag to bury the more pornographic and negative images), let me know and I'll send you the links. :)

Without further ado, here are some of my favorites in the last couple of weeks:

Anyway, this is just a small sample of what is to come. Sorry this is short but I'm pressed for time. Like I said, the next post will focus mostly on what we as Catholics should try to fight against when we're on tumblr but I will include some more awesome (and witty) pictures that I didn't get a chance to post this time around. :D

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a 500 word assignment to complete so I can (hopefully) have time to squeeze in a second assignment today. :D

Hope y'all had a great weekend and have a great week. :D

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

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Goal for the Year of Faith

Oh, the awesomeness you find on tumblr. You are never alone when you're forever with Rome. ;) I made that last part up. Can I trademark it? lol. jk. :-P

I was thinking about what I would do for the year of faith (besides reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church) and I couldn't decide on one simple thing I could do on my (occasional) limited free time. I could read more books that would make me more knowledgeable on my Faith... but I don't always have free time to do so. I could blog more... but sometimes I barely have enough time to complete writing assignments properly. It wasn't until Mandi replied to a tweet that I sent out this morning that it clicked for me.

One of my biggest weaknesses (if you can call it a weakness) is that I will try to keep everyone around me happy if I can... and that is virtually impossible. If I don't agree with someone, I will usually keep my mouth shut unless provoked. I outgrew some of it at my CINO alma mater but since graduation I found myself reverting to that little shy shell. I hate arguments and avoid them like the plague. Again, unless provoked I am usually "hey, let's just agree to disagree." I think this is because I saw and received a lot of verbal abuse growing up and I tend to shy away from anything that resembles it.

I've had confessors tell me not to sit idly if I feel so strongly about something. That is something I've always been advised to work on. I do get some of it out here on my blog and on twitter... but sometimes I don't say enough. I do cringe at some things certain people say (especially friends I've known for years) but let it go because they're not Christian or because of whatever excuse I come up with. It's not that I don't want to say something, I just don't want the drama that some of them get into. This is a big reason why I am in a current predicament where I am completely not in agreement of the actions of one of my friends and I inwardly hope he knows me well enough to know where I stand on the issue... but it looks like I'm going to have to be vocal and it's not going to end well.

With all of that being said, my self-given goal for the Year of Faith is to not be so afraid to say something when I feel so strongly about it. Like the tweet I sent out earlier (which lost me some followers), I know that some people will get upset and I know that some friendships may be lost but I just can't sit here and pretend that I'm okay with things. Abortion? Not okay, no exceptions.

As Patrick reminded me, "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me." (Matt 5:11) I cannot be afraid of what others may say to or about me. This is about me being a faithful Catholic who loves God and the Church above all else. Because, really, at the end of my life I don't want to stand in front of God and feel ashamed of not doing more when I could. I need to get over my fears and stand firmly in my beliefs. God gave me a gift and you better believe I will use it to honor Him.

Anyway, just wanted to post this so I can remind myself if needed; in case I ever feel like getting back into my little tortoise shell. It's a little late (9:16 p.m. PST) but better late than never.

I hope you all had a great start of the week and Year of Faith. :D

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

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Anxiety Chronicles: I'm Not Making It Up

First, I went to confession AND Mass for the first time in a month-ish this Saturday. SCORE!!! I seriously missed it. I cried when I received the Eucharist because I was SO happy to have the chance to do so. Having tummy issues for so long deprived me of this wonderful privilege we have as Catholics. I did feel a little faint but nothing too bad. :D

Second, I've been giving this some thought over the last couple of weeks and I feel like I should address is so that there is no miscommunication, any tension, or any hurt feelings... well, not anymore. 
I try to be open about my anxiety so that others who may go through similar things don't feel like they're the only ones, or that there's anything wrong with them. I went through the first couple of years without anyone to talk to about this so I know how horrible that feels. Having anxiety can make you feel like there's something wrong with you and that you can't be "normal" because of it. It sucks. Part of why I opened this blog was to help other Catholics with anxiety feel as if they were not alone. Thanks to God, I've been able to meet and help others in similar situations and for that I am very grateful. Sometimes they have medical conditions that trigger anxiety, sometimes it's a food allergy that brings it on (I just learned this), and other times it's past experiences that trigger the "fight or flight" response. Again, I share my experiences because I want others who may be experiencing something similar to take it in, think about it, and talk to their doctors about it. As of late, I've been wondering if I should just stop sharing my experiences... especially when people question me about whether some things are "all in my head." Let me give an example.

If you follow me on twitter or are a friend on my personal FB account, you know I will say "Oh, great... anxiety is back." What I don't say is "Oh, great... anxiety is back. Well, at least I know that my theory that *insert food* is the cause. I will try to not eat it again. At least the allergy is not worse." I already feel like I'm whiny for tweeting/posting about my anxiety but, again, if I can help others, I'm willing to turn the other cheek. In the past two months I've done experiments -- taking foods out of my diet and then reintroducing them to see if the anxiety comes back with it. I've found two foods that indeed aggravate the feelings of anxiety (including peanut butter -- one of the more common food allergies). The anxiety effect lasts for three days at most and then disappears. Can we say "Bingo!"? Same with medication. Some chemicals just do not agree with my body. My doctor since childhood (who, despite being a doctor and giving medicine when necessary) will tell me to avoid taking certain medications and to eat certain things when I'm ill because he's seen firsthand how meds and foods mess me up. (For those interested, I've also had the feeling like I couldn't breathe, have broken out in rashes, and a whole slew of other things when I've had an allergic reaction.)

Last night I took my first dose of a medication to help with my gastritis. It actually took me a couple of days to try it out because I wasn't sure if I had had an allergic reaction to a similar medication years ago (and they advised me not to take it if I had) or if I was given that similar medication but had not taken it. Since I still wasn't sure as of last night, I decided to try it out. Turns out, my first gut reaction that it was similar to one I'd had years ago might've been right because I woke up shaking and just not great. I took the second dose this morning and felt worse, complete with a shaking jaw. I mean, you could say it's anxiety but I know my body well enough to spot a reaction (however minor it may be). Countless trips to the emergency room due to food and medicine allergies have me prepared. Needless to say, I'm discontinuing it... at least until I can get a hold of my doctor and/or pharmacist tomorrow morning when I get my blood work done.

I share this because there might have been comments alluding that I'm making all of this up. I'm not naming names and I'm not attacking anyone in any way so please don't take it that way. This is just like a PSA to let you all know how I feel in these situations. As someone who is a little shy, a little self-conscience from years of bullying, and already feels like she's a huge burden on her family and friends because of this condition, I felt like those comments are discrediting what I feel (physically and otherwise). Not only that, but it makes me think that there is something seriously wrong with me and that no one wants to deal with me. Trust me, it was not my plan to get pale, feel as if I were going to faint, and worry my mother to the point where she couldn't sleep because it's "all in my head."

If you feel like I'm just being oversensitive or need a thicker skin, you may be right. Like I said, this is just how I feel. I am so sick and tired of having this condition. I didn't ask for it. I feel like (pardon my language) crap when I do get anxiety because my mom doesn't deserve that kind of worry. I don't enjoy getting sick. If I could make this go away, I would. And it hurts my feelings when people assume and/or discredit any illnesses or allergic reactions  as being anxiety and/or "all in my head." I'm not the only one who's had this problem lately either. I've noticed some other friends with allergies/anxiety having these same problems with some of their family and friends. We're not crazy or trying to get attention; our bodies just don't work the same way as others do. You try having anxiety for 12 years, and only now figuring out that a lot of the anxiety could've been controlled with proper food allergy tests (which I can't afford, btw). It sucks. Thankfully I've been pretty anxiety-free lately because I've taken certain foods out of my diet and I'm eating healthier. Any recent anxiety I might've mentioned has been as a result of my experiments to reintroduce the foods. As of right now, I am feeling some anxiety symptoms but those may because of a reaction to the meds (btw, my face and my jaw feel tight and odd... and my mom keeps checking in on me in case I get worse. Still think I'm making it up?)

In PSA fashion (which, again, I feel like this is): please be a little kinder when speaking to someone with anxiety... especially if you have no personal (you yourself) experience with it. Yes, I cry. Yes, I feel like poo when these things are mentioned. Yes, I can turn the other cheek... but I'm hope to bring a sort of awareness for the future. If you feel compelled to, then fine -- keep saying that I'm making it up. It'll hurt me but I'll pray for you and I'll move on quickly after. I'll take that kind of abuse but only if you agree not to do it to others. To those with anxiety, try to not let it get to you. I know it's easier said than done but try. Pray that St. Dymphna may intercede for you so that you know what it is that is causing your anxiety. And, BTW, a lot of my friends have had anxiety due to thyroid problems. Just putting it out there for future reference.

Anyway, I just wanted to get this off of my chest. Some of my more popular blog posts have gotten the traffic because people search for anxiety and Catholicism or anxiety and St. Dymphna. I hope some of this will help at least one person. :)

I'm going to go chug some water and try to do something productive while I wait to feel back to normal. :D Hope you all had a great weekend. :D

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

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride. Or Not.

Yes, I'm quoting this song from Lilo and Stitch. lol. Not my most creative blog title but I didn't know how else to title it and I'm not feeling 100% great so it'll do. ;)

Well, this and last week have indeed been a roller coaster ride. There have been more downs than ups but the ups have been amazing. I don't know where to start so I'll start with the bad and end with the good. :D

Well, as you might've read via my twitter or the blog's FB page, I was diagnosed with having gastritis and GERD yesterday. FUN. Not. lol. It did explain the stomach issues I've been having lately. I thought it was an ulcer but the doctor said it was just gastritis with some GERD problems, aggravated by the stress and anxiety I've been having. So that's two bouts of food poisoning, an allergic reaction to an antacid, and these two things in the span of two weeks. Oh yeah... life has been interesting. lol. I am hoping the meds the doctor gave me (Pepcid) will help... and that I don't have an allergic reaction to it. Today's been one of the harder days this week so that's been fun. lol. St. Charles Borromeo and St. Timothy, pray for me.

And speaking of St. Charles Borromeo, I had something very interesting happen yesterday. I spent an hour trying to get a doctor's appointment (well, the last try over the course of a week and a half) and then a while longer with my health insurance. They all said they could do nothing... and a nurse told me, very rudely, that if I was desperate and blah blah blah, to go to the Emergency Room since they could do squat for me. After I dejectedly hung up on them, I said aloud "St. Charles Borromeo, may you intercede for me while I wait for that doctor's appointment. May God show me what I need to do in the meantime" and then went back to a writing assignment I had. An hour later, I received a call on my cell phone. A man on the phone told me that there was a cancellation for 3 p.m. (the call was at 1 p.m.) and asked if I could make it. Well, of course. I just wanted to be seen because I felt horrible. I got there... and they had no record of my appointment. No one knew who called me (I didn't get his name and the fact that someone called me was strange enough to have both receptionists give each other the "what the...?" look). They looked into it but, from what I saw, it was a mystery. However, they indeed had a cancellation and I was there so... they squeezed me with an available doctor. Don't know who the man was, don't know what happened, but I am grateful for it. And huge thanks to St. Charles Borromeo for his incredible speedy intercession.

Ick. I can feel the symptoms getting worse soon... which means it's time to get something in my stomach  (eating something small and bland every 2-3 hours to alleviate symptoms). Before I go I also wanted to share something exciting. Well, exciting for me.

Some of you may remember that I alluded to a new writing project a few days ago. I can proudly announce that my first post for HR Block's Block Talk blog is up. My first post (New Grads, Move Back in with Your Parents. Really) covers 5 tips which I've seen help new graduates... especially those who are currently unemployed or underemployed. And before you ask, yes, that is my real name (as opposed to my pen name/nickname which I use on here and on twitter). I'm still Emmy to friends, and it's still my preferred name, but Melissa is my proper name. :) And before I move on, a huge "Thank you!" to Scott for giving me this great opportunity. :)

Alright, I have to go feed the gnawing feeling in my stomach before it makes me feel faint again. No worries, I will be fine with the help of the meds. Our Lord has my back, I can feel it. :D

I hope you are all having a great week thus far. :D

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

Monday, October 1, 2012

St. Therese of Lisieux, My CINO College Buddy

This is a picture of the St. Therese shirt that I wore throughout the two years I was at the CINO college. I made it (it's one of a kind ;D) because I needed a buddy whenever I had to face the wolves and I always found comfort having her image with me.

If you can't read the quote, it says: "For one pain endured with joy, we shall love the good God more forever." I knew my professors would read it while I gave my reports so... you know. ;) Appropriate, no? ;)

I won't make this blog post too long (I have work to do) but I will say that without her and Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, I don't think I would've made it out of the CINO college in one piece. Since it's her feast day today, I thought it would be appropriate to write about how she was there for me.

As most of you know, I had one heck of a bad time at the CINO college... especially during my first year there. I would often go to the chapel to pray either before or in between classes. I would be sad and frustrated and that made me crave some time with God. If I had the time (and the weather wasn't too hot, too rainy, or too cold), I would visit the St. Therese alcove set up near the chapel. The alcove is beautiful and one of my favorite places there. It's a bit rustic but you can see the city of Los Angeles in the background. Breathtaking scenery but heartbreaking problems with the professors caused many tears to be shed there.

I got into the habit of using her sacrifice beads while at that school. Every blasphemy and heresy the professors uttered (which I couldn't contest because either I wasn't given the chance or because I was so upset that I was having an anger induced panic attack) was offered up. On particularly bad days, I would count up to 50+ of them. I'm serious. Each time I would cringe (or cry; yes, I would cry in class on occasion), I remembered how much St. Therese silently suffered and that would give me some comfort.

Anyway, just wanted to share this with y'all. If you need a heavenly buddy when you're in a difficult situation (such as at a school or in a class with anti-Catholic teachings), St. Therese is wonderful. I learned a lot about how to handle those types of situations and my own spirituality grew as well. :D

Happy feast day, St. Therese of Lisieux... and thank you for all the flowers you've sent me during the last two years. :D