Sunday, March 31, 2013

Divine Mercy Novena, Day Three

Third Day
"Today bring to Me all Devout and Faithful Souls,

and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were a drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness."

Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this grace of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Divine Mercy Novena, Day Two

Second Day
"Today bring to Me the Souls of Priests and Religious,

and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave me strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them as through channels My mercy flows out upon mankind."

Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service,* that they may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard -- upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.

* In the original text, Saint Faustina uses the pronoun "us" since she was offering this prayer as a consecrated religious sister. The wording adapted here is intended to make the prayer suitable for universal use.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Divine Mercy Novena, Day One

First Day
"Today bring to Me all mankind, especially all sinners,

and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me."

Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

What I Learned Wednesday (On a Thursday) #13

Been really busy and sick (which explains the lack of posts) but I finally have a chance to write so... here's my list of things learned on Wednesday...

This week I'm tackling myths that many people (especially Hispanics and Filipinos from what I've seen) have regarding Holy Week and especially Good Friday. This post was inspired by my mother's insistence on doing everything today because it's "bad luck" to do things tomorrow. This is also a taste of a bigger series on Catholicism and myths surrounding it that I will be starting after Lent.

1) You can't bathe, wash clothing, or (really) do anything on Good Friday: superstition. As I said, my mom brought this up last night. She said she was doing the laundry today because we're not supposed to wash clothing tomorrow. I Googled it (just to make sure that I wasn't missing some legit custom) but it seems to be as bogus as the Twitter question I tweeted earlier this week (whether it was true that you couldn't cut your hair during Holy Week). I asked about other Good Friday superstitions and she mentioned that we shouldn't bathe tomorrow because it was like bathing in Christ's blood. I have never heard of that and some Google searching came up as more superstitious bunk. I don't think I need to remind y'all that we shouldn't be superstitious (and, in fact, it's one of the items on my iConfess app before I head into the confessional).
which is being written on Holy Thursday.

Growing up with lukewarm Catholic parents (one of whom was very superstitious; seriously, getting dad to break his superstitions at the end of his life took a lot of prayer), I had to break a lot of my superstitious beliefs when I returned to the Church and learnt this. If you're saying that superstitions are harmless, I will remind you (and you should really check out this New Advent article for a more thorough explanation) that to believe in superstition is believing that YOU can control the outcome of something by doing something you believe will bring out your desired outcome instead of trusting God and doing His will. Dangerous territory, y'all. I know it's hard when our (in my case, Hispanic) cultures are saturated with these beliefs but it's worth keep your souls safe to break them.

2) Things that make sense to not do on Good Friday: listen to music, have any type of big celebration, and, of course, eating meat. These are more common sense and out of respect for the day. We're in mourning. I will admit that I did listen to music during our mourning period right after my father died but music is how I express myself when I can't use words... and it's also comforting for me. I didn't do it the day he died or the day after but the following week I did. I didn't even think about how I wasn't supposed to because, like I said, it made me feel less depressed but I definitely won't be doing from tonight until Sunday. Music is/was my first love (St. Cecilia would be proud; there's a reason why I took her name as a middle name) but this is the exception. Jesus suffered and died for our sins and to not honor his sacrifice by giving up these little things is just one little way to pay our respects for what he did for us. Obviously, not eating meat (which, I can now thankfully abstain from since my stomach has been on the mend) is another but I think we all know that tomorrow is a day of fasting and abstinence. I can't fast (genetic hypoglycemic thing I inherited from my mom) but I am abstaining from meat, sweets, and other things. I'll also be wearing my black mantilla (chapel veil) when I attend the Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross) tomorrow.

3) Friendly reminder that the Divine Mercy novena starts tomorrow. As I did 2 years ago, I will post the novena prayer for the day on a daily basis during the 9 days for those who wish to pray along. Either check out this blog directly, check out my Twitter feed (or the FB page feed), or subscribe to get emails of new blog posts so you don't miss a single day. I'm going to schedule them so they post around noon PST (3 p.m. EST) every day. If you're in the middle of another novena (like I am; St. Thomas Aquinas for grad school), you can still begin the Divine Mercy novena, no problem. :D

And that is it for now. So that there isn't any post overload, if I end up writing during the 9 days the novena post will be posted early and whatever I write in addition will be posted late at night. :D

I hope you all have a prayerful and fruitful (you would be surprised how much a person can grow spiritually during these next couple of days) Paschal Triduum.

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

Friday, March 22, 2013

And Then the World Got Quiet...

*sounds of laptop keys being hit*

*heavy sigh*

*more sounds of laptop keys being hit*

Repeat for the majority of the day.

That is how my last couple of days have been. No, I am not slaving over a hard assignment that requires all my attention (although I do have work to do). No, I did not give up anything up during Lent (except social media networks -- for a couple of hours -- during the week because I can't afford not to eat chicken on Fridays; I need the calories) that would have me sit in silence for hours at a time. No. I simply got rid of cable TV and that has made me life a lot more quiet.

Mom and I finally came to the realization that we were paying way too much for cable and a land line that we hardly used. I usually had the TV on for background noise during the day but didn't really watch it that much. As soon as Time Warner upped the price, we decided to cut it completely. It was either food or cable and I'm rather fond of eating so it was a no-brainer. :-P It took us a while to get the courage to cut cable but when we finally got rid of the services, it was a spur of the moment decision. Roku boxes were on sale and we had time to cancel the service before the next billing cycle started so we went ahead and did it on Wednesday. That evening, after I got both TVs hooked up and started a Hulu Plus subscription for mom (she works hard; she deserves her Spanish language shows), I noticed that it was quiet all of a sudden... and it was weird.

For the first time since I was about 5 years old, we don't have cable. I don't have an excuse to procrastinate on a number of things. Sure, I have books but TV and movies are bigger procrastination tools than books. Okay, we have Hulu Plus and we're going to try out Netflix for a month but even then, I'm not glued to the TV or laptop, watching movies and shows, as much as I was when we had cable. It's weird for me not to have the TV on. I mean, I still remember the first show I watched when we got cable (Inspector Gadget on Nickelodeon back when cartoons were still good). In a way, having the TV on (even if I wasn't watching it) was sort of a safety blanket. An expensive one.

This quietness will take some getting used to but I truly believe it's for the best. My day starts off very quietly. I'm no longer tempted to have the TV on for background noise. I can do it via Hulu or Netflix but I don't. I've been watching episodes of shows while I have breakfast or during a break (I work from home, remember?) but I don't sit on the couch or my bed and go through marathons. I only watch for a little while and then my world gets quiet again. The only noises I hear are the clicking of my laptop keys when I'm on it or the sounds from the outside world. By 9 p.m., I'm ready for some reading and prayers and then I'm ready for bed at 10. No time is wasted on watching the same episode of the same show for the billionth time. No channel surfing and trying to find something (anything!) in the 900 channels on digital cable to help me get over my "boredom." Just more quiet (perfect for my nighttime prayers) and then a restful sleep. 

Have you ever experienced the Quiet Place Project? If so, it's kind of like that. (disclaimer: while I do love the Quiet Place Project and recommend it on particularly stressful days, I have to let y'all know that they used a four letter word that is used instead of the word "poop". That's the only curse word they use and it's only once.) Everything is quiet. I am alone with my thoughts. I am not overstimulated by everything happening at once. My attention is focused on a single thing (whatever it is that I have to do). It's wonderful and refreshing since, let's face it, most of us are so overstimulated with everything. Our attention span is quite small and if we get the smallest bit of quiet, most of us go a little cuckoo bananas. tl;dr crowd, I'm looking at you.

While I do live in the "urban suburbs" (seriously, I still don't get this term), I would imagine that how I've been living (and will be living) is as close to my dream of living in the English or Irish countryside as I will get. I am not stressed out over missing this or that on TV. While I do sorely miss my futbol matches (I am currently feeling the gaping void with international matches being played today), I appreciate being free from all the noise and chaos. I am going to find ways of (legally) watching futbol matches but for the mean time, I'm okay. Our ancestors didn't need to be distracted 24/7 by entertainment so if it was good enough for my Nana, it's good enough for me! I really think that, in the long run, this will be the best decision we've made as a family (yes, mama and I by ourselves still counts as a family). No more distractions.

Anyway, just wanted to blog and this has been on my mind lately. I will update y'all on the quiet. I have a feeling something really good will come from it. God has a plan for me and I feel like it's slowly unraveling... and that this is part of it. I can just feel it in my bones.

Alright, I'm off to read. I have My Brother, the Pope on loan from the L.A. Public Library for only 4 more days so I want to go finish it while on a work break. :D

If you have a prayer request, send it my way. :D

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

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Change is Gonna Come

Yes, I had the Sam Cooke song in my head when I thought of the title. ;) While the change is not the same one that Sam Cooke was singing about, I am going through a number of changes and I am optimistic that it will be for the best in the end.

I'm going to start off with the bad changes first. You guys know how I have been having stomach problems since late July-early August of last year? Well, thankfully, I've been able to eat more foods, like fries and fried chicken, though I still can't tolerate many acidic foods. The bad news is that I somehow managed to lose an extra pound so I'm unfortunately underweight at this point. I just found out yesterday (I hadn't been weighed in days). My first reaction was to cry and freak out, but I didn't. I looked at the positive: at least it took 2 months to lose a single pound instead of a week or two like it was two months ago AND all I have to do is just snack more often. I know it's because I hadn't been eating enough calories due to lack of appetite and feeling fullness in my stomach. The good news in all of this is that 1) my pre-stomach problems appetite has been back this past week (which means I'm always hungry and snacking) and 2) yesterday was the first time that I was able to get enough calories (that I counted, anyway) to hopefully start gaining weight. It's going to be a slow progress but I have to be patient. I can do this, no matter how exaggerated some people's comments may be. Seriously, just don't say anything if it's not comforting or supportive. I know God will help me along the way and that's all I need.

Okay, now the good changes. I've been reading this great book called Interior Freedom by Fr. Jacques Philippe (which my good friend, Kerri, sent me for Lent). Though it's a short book (only 134 pages), I'm taking my time reading it because there are a lot of great things that have spoken to me and have made me want to slow down and really think. A lot of what's in the book relates to having anxieties, worries, etc. As I read it, I make notes and reflect on how it'll help me with my anxiety. You know how I wrote that I wanted to cry and freak out over my weight yesterday, but didn't? That's because I took what was in the book and applied it to the situation. Instead of worrying about it and having a full blown panic attack, I just said "Okay, this is happening now. This can be fixed. I have full faith in God that He will help me get out of this situation" and then I let it go. Just like that. Sure, anxiety wanted to creep up on me for the rest of the day but I would say the same thing and then shift my attention elsewhere.

The biggest change within me these past couple of weeks has been growing to trust God more than I have in the past (which is completely necessary in order to grow spiritually) and letting go of my fears. Fears are the driving force behind my anxiety and PTSD. Fear that I won't do a good job on an assignment. Fear that I will lose my mother like I did my father. Fear that I will get hurt somehow. Fear of this. Fear of that. That's absolutely no way to live. Of course, I've gone through traumatic experiences (which resulted in my having a PTSD diagnosis) but I am not going to let it slow me down or define me. I know I'm going to have some off days in which I want to lock myself in my room and not come out but I'm not going to do that. I haven't been doing that. If something gives me anxiety, I still go ahead and do it. I shake as I do it (shaking comes from fear/anxiety) but I still do it. I place all my trust in God and I go forward. And all of this courage comes from the reflections I make while reading the book. (btw, if you suffer from anxiety, depression, stress, worries, etc, I HIGHLY recommend reading the book.)

In the nicest, most charitable way I can think of, I'm going to say that my therapist has not been the right fit for me. I am sure she helps other patients with her methods but we just don't mesh so I haven't been able to get anything out of the sessions. I have gotten more out of the book than I do the sessions (which are ending next week). My faith is the biggest part of who I am. I chose this. When I am asked to identify myself, I say I'm first Catholic and Mexican-Spanish (possibly Irish) American second. I truly believe that the answer to my getting better (both physically and mentally) is in the Lord. I'm not saying "doctors and therapists can't do nothing for me" or anything like that. They are here on earth to help us in whatever way they can help but, if I am given a choice of trusting someone who uses my faith or morals against me or trusting that the Lord will guide me while I find the right person to help me (if it's not something I can do on my own), I'm going to trust Him and place all my worries with Him. And this realization has been huge for me because I'm a worrier by nature and I have often thought that some of my problems just needed concrete evidence as an explanation.  No more. More trusting and letting go and less worrying.

This blog post has gone in a different direction than I intended but, what can you do? Sometimes you just need to write things out without having a clear idea of what you want to share.

Anyway, I need to go pick up my mom from work (poor mom has been having problems with one foot and can barely walk at the end of the day). Sorry for the long post. ;)

If you have any prayer requests, please send them my way. If you're celebrating St. Patrick's Day tomorrow, remember not to go too crazy as we're still in Lent. ;) Have a great weekend, everyone!

As always, thanks for reading and God bless!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What I Learned Wednesday #12: Habemus Papam Edition

What a day! I had a nightmare that the world was ending but that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was in my house, hold the hands of my mother, my late father, and myself before he absolved me from any and all sins I had between my last confession and now. I woke up, had a terrible nap (but a curious dream that I was in Spain when I saw the white smoke and heard the announcement of a new Pope), and then woke up in time to pray, have breakfast, and then park myself in front of my laptop and TV (yes, both were on).

As we awaited to see whether we had a new Pope or not, my heart raced and I was shaking with nerves/excitement. When we finally saw the white smoke, my ugly crying face came out and then I alternated between crying, thanking God, and laughing. Yeah, I was an emotional mess. lol. I was surprised when Pope Francis was announced as our new Pope because, honestly, I thought it was either going to be Cardinal Scola or a North American Cardinal. I don't know much about Pope Francis but here are a few things I have learned thus far.

1) First off, it's Pope Francis, not Pope Francis I. Yes, he's the first Pope Francis (and first Pope from the Americas... and first Jesuit Pope) but we won't use the number one. If you don't believe me, check the Vatican's website. I made this mistake early on (tweeting "Pope Francis I" before a twitter friend in seminary corrected it) and I have seen many fellow Catholics do the same. It makes sense. There is no reason to add the number if he's the first and there hasn't been a second. Maybe we're just used to using numbers (i.e. Bl. John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI). Anyone around the time of Pope John Paul I remember whether they had this same problem? I was born when Bl. JPII was Pope so *shrugs*.

2) I learned this before the conclave but I tweeted it for those who didn't know; you earn a plenary indulgence by watching or listening to the Pope's first blessing. When I learnt this, I saw that it counted even if you watched it on TV or heard it on the radio. This time around it was extended to those who were watching online, a first! I thought it was very telling that he asked us to bless him before he blessed us. That's a first as well, right? And if you're wondering, the first televised Papal conclave happened in August 1978. I'm so glad that they included "new media" outlets (Vatican's YouTube live feed, EWTN, CatholicTV, various internet sources) because that's where most of us get our news. Not only that, Catholic New Media evangelization efforts are fruitful online and it's great that the Vatican recognizes this fact. (Side note: Reminds me of my Senior Thesis on Catholic New Media which I may or may not post sometime this year).

3) I think it's safe to say that the majority of us don't (or didn't) know squat about Pope Francis prior to his becoming Pope. After reading the latest Canterbury Tales blog post by Dr. Marshall, I learned a bit more. Some of my favorite facts include: "In Argentina, he has been accused by anti-clericalists as being 'medieval'", "was concurrently named ordinary for Eastern Catholics in Argentina, who lacked their own prelate. So he can, presumably, celebrate the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom", and "has been critical of liberation theology." That last one reminded me of how liberation theology is taught at my CINO alma mater... and how they'll more than likely have issues with Pope Francis. To quote Montgomery Burns, "excellent."

Anyway, that's it for now. It's 90+ degrees in my part of L.A. and all I want to do is cool down and relax after all the excitement from today.

Don't forget to pray for Pope Francis, the Holy Church, and, well, everyone. May his Papacy be fruitful and everything that is in God's will for us as a holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church. ;)

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

Monday, March 11, 2013

Music Monday: The Great Music Purge

It only took me a year and a half but it's done. The Great Music Purge of 2013 is in the history books. If you haven't read my blog enough (nor want to click the link), I will explain why I did this.

Basically, I wasn't comfortable listening to a lot of songs that I had acquired over the years (including prior to my reversion). I used to pay attention to the melody and some of the words but when I stopped and actually listened to the lyrics I was surprised. A lot of songs had those double entendres that I hadn't picked up but, when I did, I was disturbed. My mind is still very innocent in that way. What the heck was I listening to at 12? I was listening to WHAT just a few weeks ago? *shudder*

Since it was Lent (and I had been putting off for far too long), I thought it was a good idea to just get it done. I started off with 2000+ songs and I ended up with (as you can see the screencap) 770 songs. That doesn't include songs on physical CDs or songs on my laptop that belong to my mom or were my dad's. That means that I wasted a ton of money on songs (since I legally paid for all my music). Once I took out songs I wasn't particularly interested in listening to these days (like Christmas music) and songs that I can't listen to because of "Alleluia" or "Hallelujah" (which should be avoided during Lent), I ended up with 310 songs.

Even though I had to give up a lot of songs I "loved" (I got rid of anything that had a negative message as well; i.e. "I will seek revenge on you for xyz..." or "if this person doesn't come back to me, I will plunge into a deep depressive hole..."), I knew it was for the best. Call me a prude and/or call me a puritan for getting rid of certain songs but I felt like I needed to do it for myself. In my experience, if you surround yourself with negativity and/or sinful thoughts and things, you'll most likely get acclimated to it and the easier it'll be for you to accept them... which can lead you astray more easily. You may disagree (and that's fine) but I would rather not risk it. Trust me, I had to go into the confessional a couple of times and confess some thoughts and words that were a result of singing along or thinking about certain songs. Yeah, not going back for that. For being an impatient snark when I'm driving, maybe, but not for that! lol.

I wish someone had curved my iTunes addiction between 2004 and 2008 (when I went a little crazy, ahem) but what's done is done. All of this has actually made me even more aware of my spending (not just on physical and virtual items but also with my time). There's been a lot of wasted money and time that I won't get back. However, I can make sure I don't make the same mistake twice. Not that I will now with the uber frugal budget I've given myself but, you know, better to take precautions. ;)

FYI, No, all the songs are not Perry Como. lol. It's a mix of classical, jazz/swing/big band, country, pop, classic rock, etc etc. My tastes vary and I have a soundtrack for everything. Everything. Music nerd, party of one. ;)

Anyway, just wanted to write this quick update because I know some of you were wondering about it... or some wanted to know what I'm currently listening to because I seem to have music on almost 24/7 (yes, I even have it on while I sleep some nights). My account will show y'all more if you're interested... but remember that I have a lot of pre-reversion music on it. ;)

Since today is my day off (I give myself Sundays and Mondays off), I'm going to try to relax before I go back to work on my novel and whatever assignments I can find (work is unfortunately nonexistent these days).

I hope you all had a great weekend and a have a fantastic week. :D

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

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What I Learned Wednesday #11

Wow, I've really dropped the ball on this over the past two weeks. My apologies; busy weeks. Anyway, I have time now (oh, do I have time) so What I Learned Wednesdays are back. :)

1) When you go through a vocation crisis and you ask God for help, He will send you some awesome help. I don't think I've written about this but I'd been having a sort of vocation/career crisis over the last couple of weeks. I just feel like I've been stuck in my life with both my vocation and my career with no real sense of direction because I'm, once again, at a crossroads. On top of that, I sometimes I feel like I'm not all there when I pray; like I can't concentrate no matter how hard I try (though I fight hard during these times). The last days of the 54 day Rosary novena were hard because of this. It has added to the "What is my vocation? Did I discern it properly? Where is my career going? What should I pursue in grad school?" stress.

As I said on Monday, I had a moment when I felt that the Holy Spirit made my vocation clear so at least that is one less thing to worry about. I went to Sacred Heart, took pictures, and then sat down in front of the tabernacle (after I knelt and made some quick prayers). I was determined just to sit, be quiet, and focus on having some solo time with Jesus. I kid you not, the second I thought the word "vocation" I felt like something within me yelling "marriage! marriage! marriage!" followed by a feeling of happiness, relief, stability and firmness that I had never experienced before. Like "quit asking, child, it's this. Be happy." lol. It was weird but a good weird. lol. So I'm taking it as being told what it is so I can move forward... if I can move forward. That's a whole 'nother conversation I won't get into. lol.

2) As many of you have heard, Aquinas and More began having a clearance sale and they soon saw outpouring support from past customers. Because of it, they decided to have a fundraiser to keep the business going. They were the first Catholic company that I personally bought my items from when I reverted and have even been an affiliate of theirs practically from the inception of this blog. (side note: if you check out the left hand side bar, you'll see where you can search for items through this blog so that I get some credit -- not that I've ever used the credit from past purchases because I'm just happy to send them business). If you haven't already donated and can spare a bit, please do so. No, I'm not getting paid to say this nor do I get anything out of it except continuing to see a faithful Catholic store continue. Seriously, they don't care items that are not orthodox and/or made in China. I've already seen one local family run Catholic bookstore close (St. Peter's Pier in Woodland Hills... you are still missed), I would hate to see another close as well.

3) I don't know if y'all have seen this but there is a great video series that covers many Catholic topics, including the Bible. This video is just the "in a nutshell" introduction to the Bible.

Videos by this team range from covering to the Catechism to a variety of other Catholic topics. While the videos aren't new, they are to me and I am sure to many of you. It's videos like this and programs like The Bible that make me want to go back and read the Bible more thoroughly than previous times. Credit to finding this video goes to XT3 (yes, I'm still a member) who posted the link recently. :)

And that is it for this round of WILW. I am dealing with the aftermath of eating Ritz crackers (which made me feel sick yesterday) and grape juice (which I drank last night) so I want to rest a bit before I attempt to finish cleaning the house. No, my stomach still can't handle all that acid... and it's all made me very dizzy and just blah today. Meh. :( I've already received a couple of prayer requests/intentions so I am offering up this horrid discomfort/sickness up for them. Hey, gotta do something positive with it. :)

I hope to post something by Friday since work has currently dried up (and my brother left for Texas on Sunday) and I have more than enough free time to write. :)

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

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

Monday, March 4, 2013

Picture Post: Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church

Now and then I like to explore random churches in neighborhoods I'm not normally in. My fascination started with the Mission San Fernando (I even wrote two posts on it). I just love visiting churches and California Missions. I love the history and I love seeing how, though they're all different, I still feel God's love in them all. Sometimes I take pictures and sometimes I don't. Today, I went nuts because it's been the prettiest church I've seen in L.A. thus far.

Long story short: I went to visit my baptism and first communion Godmothers (whom are also mother and daughter) at their workplace closer to the city (I live in the urban 'burbs). Since we had time to kill (and I had seen on Google Maps that there was a church in the area), I decided to explore it... and I'm so glad I did. I'll talk about my experience in there (seriously, the word "marriage" was practically yelled within me when I sat in front of the tabernacle and started thinking about vocations) when I have enough concentration to do so. ;)

For past picture posts check out this post and this post for pictures of Mission San Fernando, this post for pictures of Mission Santa Barbara (2 hours north of L.A.), and this post for pictures of Christ the King Church near Hollywood. I am sure I have some pictures of the Cathedral and other churches but I'm too exhausted to look but you get the gist. ;)

Anyway, because I am too exhausted (running on 4 hours of sleep; darn nightmares) to focus on what I'm writing so I'm just going to make this a picture post.

Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church from up the street.

Beautiful statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe at side entrance of church.

Front of church.

Statues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Sacred Heart of Mary, and St. Lucy on left side of altar.

This church was dedicated in 1887. Yeah. Wow.

View from the back of the parish. It came out much lighter than I anticipated. #win

Beautiful stain glass windows on side of church.

Close up of the window of the Third Joyful Mystery. Taken on a Monday. #CatholicWin

Statues of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, St. Therese of Lisieux, and St. Anthony of Padua.

Altar/communion rails! lol.

Close up of altar.

I didn't get enough pictures since I really wanted to spend time in front of the beautiful tabernacle you see in the picture above. These pictures certainly didn't do the beauty of the church any justice. I hope to maybe write about my experience tomorrow when I'm less sleepy and loopy from the lack of sleep. I'll be blogging more regularly as I have a lot to write about and time to do it. :D

I hope you all had a great weekend and have a great start of week. If you have any prayer requests, send them my way. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless!