Saturday, November 24, 2018

2018 Magnificat Advent Companion App Giveaway!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's that time of the year once again! The awesome folks at Magnificat Magazine have sent me 2 iOS and 2 Android Advent companion apps to give away to the lovely readers of this blog! That's the app, not the physical booklet.

No, I don't get paid for any of this and, no, I don't gain anything out of this. This is simply a giveaway for you faithful readers.

Normally, I'd use Rafflecopter for these giveaways but there was some shady business that happened last time I used them so we're going to do this a bit old school.

Here are the instructions:

  1. To enter, leave me a comment on this blog (with a way to contact you if you win), send me a tweet (@MelissaCeciliaG), or leave me a comment on the blog's FB page.
  2. You can enter once a day from now until November 30th at 8 a.m. PT.
  3. If you want additional entries, tweet the link to this giveaway (and be sure to include me -- @MelissaCeciliaG -- so I can see the tweet) or share the link from the blog's FB page onto your page (make sure the privacy setting for the shared link is public). I'll give you two additional entries per day (per social media platform) if you do this. That's 4 more entries per day if you share them on both.

That's it.

I'll be putting all the entries in two little jars -- one for the iOS app entries and the other for the Android app entries -- and I'll randomly select the winner in the afternoon of November 30th. I'll even post a video of the process so you guys can see that I did it fair and square.

And, that's it for now. I have two blog posts coming up that aren't giveaway OR article related that I really want to share. I'll schedule those for next week so there's no post overload for y'all. It's been a while since I've shared anything of substance and there are two amazing things that have happened lately that have been too good not to share. 😉

I hope you're all having a lovely Thanksgiving Day weekend!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway by the 30th!

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! 😊

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Written Wednesday #6: Favorite Saints and Millennial Debt

Hello, everyone!

I have a deadline to meet in a couple of hours so I will make this a quick post. Don't worry, I hope to have at least two (yes, you read that correctly) more posts by next week... including a giveaway! Intrigued? Stay tuned...

First, there were only two articles published this week: one for EpicPew and another for Verily Magazine, both posted on the same day.

For EpicPew:

For Verily Magazine:

  • In Overcoming Debt, There's Motivation in Numbers (November 20, 2018)
    In this article, I introduce you to the #debtfreecommunity which gives everyone (especially Millennials) in debt some hope and resources to eliminating debt and stay debt-free!
That's it!

I'll give you guys two hints about the giveaway that begins on Friday:
1) It's Advent related
2) It's now become an annual tradition on this blog.

Any guesses? 😉

Okay, now I must get back to my writing frenzy. Three more articles to finish this week and I have my novel to (still) finish editing.

I hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving Day weekend! Come back on Friday if you want to enter the giveaway! ;)

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! 😊

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Written Wednesday #5: Thursday Edition

Um... oops. I'm a day late but I have a good excuse: I've been busier than usual. I'm actually slightly behind on a couple of things; it's been so crazy hectic.

I'm in currently in a season of life when I have more on my plate than I have time for. God has blessed me with more work but sometimes the work and the deadlines are short notice with an even shorter turnaround time. All of that stresses me out because it messes up my schedule. That's the nature of the freelance work, I'm afraid. I'm learning how to deal with the stress of having to modify plans on such short notice and with a lot on my plate, which I know I'll need to get used to if and when God blesses me with a family.

After helping take care of my father those 7 years between his initial cancer diagnosis and his death, I feel as if God gave me some time to really get to know myself and have a little bit of selfish independence. I was 17 through 24 years old when my father had cancer and a lot of that time was spent helping him, especially towards the end. Then I had a couple of years to focus on degrees and career paths that led me to where I am now. Now I feel like God is preparing me for whatever is coming next. It's exciting... and a bit of work because it means challenges that take me out of my comfort zone and undoing years worth of habits and routines I'd fallen into. I know it's all for the best so I welcome them... and all the naps I can manage to smuggle in on particularly exhausting days. lol.

Because of the lack of time, I dropped the ball reminding people of day 12 of the 54-day Rosary novena (we're on day 15 today!) and now I'm a day late on the blog post. Oh well. The important thing is I'm catching up now so... here we are. Verso l'alto, right?

Although I've been busy with work, only two articles were published this past week. (reminder: I have no say on what is published when but I share what is published during that particular week.)

For EpicPew:

For Verily Magazine:
And that is it for now. I have two new articles I write, a third article to edit, the third novel to edit, and other things to do. I hope to blog about something wonderful that happened the last time I attended a low Mass (I'm attending only Latin Masses nowadays) in the near future. It has a lot to do with what's been going on with me lately. That's all I'm saying! 😉

I hope you're all having a lovely week thus far! 😊

As always, thank you for reading and God bless! 😊

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Written Wednesday #4: Cemeteries and Charities

Hello, everyone! This is going to be a quick post because I'm in the middle of a crazy month that's full of work... and NaNoWriMo... and more work... and the third novel deadline coming up in 2 weeks... and other stuff. I have to remind myself that I need to breathe, drink water, and basically practice fundamental self-care. I'm currently in this sort-of stress-cocoon that is not healthy and will make me forget to eat and rest if I get a little too into my writing zone. I'm trying to carve out some non-work reading and lots of prayer time two hours before I drift off to sleep because it's the only way I will not burn myself out.

Anyway, down to business...

There are only two links to share with y'all this week, both from EpicPew:

I'm not sure when CatholicChemistry and Verily Magazine will post the rest of my articles but I'll keep y'all updated. As far as I know, the third novel publishing date is still set for November 22 (the feast of St. Cecilia!), unless something happens and it needs to be pushed back once again. We shall see.

And that is it. Seriously. I told you I was crazy busy. I hope to blog again by the weekend... if I manage to find the time amidst the chaos. 

Also, if you make a drinking game out of the number of times I wrote "crazy" in this post, please use tea or something that won't get you drunk. Thanks! 😄

I hope you are all doing well.

For those of you doing the 54-day Rosary novena with us, you've got this! We're already a week into it (how?!) and only two days away from being a third of the way done with the first half of the novena. We can do it!

Have a lovely rest of the week!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Step-By-Step Guide to Praying the 54-day Rosary Novena

One of my many rosaries. 

Hello, lovely readers! Happy All Saints' Day and happy first day of the annual 54-day Rosary novena.

I decided to post a step-by-step guide on how to pray the 54-day Rosary novena after I had a couple of people -- my mother included (she forgot how to do it) -- ask how to pray it. The instructions on the website can be a bit confusing -- been there, felt that -- so I'm here to help you out.

Before I start I want to tell you the most commonly asked question is about what days you pray which mysteries. It doesn't matter if the Rosary novena mysteries for whatever day you're on doesn't match up with the order of the regular Rosary.

Here's an example: this upcoming Tuesday (Day 6 of petition) you'll either pray the Glorious Mysteries (if you're doing the traditional order) or the Luminous Mysteries (if you're doing the updated version). Those are the mysteries you do for the novena, not the Sorrowful Mysteries which are normally done on Tuesdays. You'll be praying whatever mysteries are assigned for whatever day you're on during the novena.

Step 1: Do the Sign of the Cross and say: "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen."

Step 2: Pray one Hail Mary.

Step 3: Pray the prayer that follows the Hail Mary assigned for that specific day on the website: "Hail Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, my Mother Mary, Hail! At thy feet..."  (side note: this prayer's words will be different every day; it'll depend on which day you're on and which mysteries you're meditating on.)

Step 4: Pray the Apostle's Creed

Step 5: Pray one Our Father, three Hail Mary's, one Glory Be, and one Fatima Prayer ("Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins...") in that order.

Step 6: Go to the first mystery of the day, pray the prayer under the mystery, and pray the Rosary as you normally would (one Our Father, ten Hail Marys, one Glory Be, and the Fatima Prayer).

Step 7: Pray whatever prayer is under the Fatima Prayer, which begins: "I bind these..."

Step 8: Go onto the next mystery and repeat Steps 6 and 7 until you reach the end of that mystery.

You repeat steps 6-8 until you reach the end of the 5th mystery of the day.

Step 9: Pray the Spiritual Communion prayer.

Step 10: Pray the Prayer in Petition and the prayer that follows under it. (Side note: if you pray the Rosary during the day, you will say "... thy blessings give to us this day" and if you pray it at night you'll say, "... thy blessings give to us this night.")

Step 11: Pray the Hail, Holy Queen.

Step 12: Pray the Memorare

Step 13: Pray the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

Step 14: Do the Sign of the Cross.

Step 15: Kiss the Crucifix.

Step 16: Do a happy dance because you've done the prayers for the day (optional, lol).

Important: During the second half of the 54-day Rosary novena -- the 27 days of Thanksgiving -- it's basically the same order, except the prayers in Steps 3 and 10 (which will become Prayer in Thanksgiving) will have the biggest changes because we're no longer asking for something but thanking Mama Mary for her intercession, even if we've yet to see the petitions answered.

I cannot tell you which days you'll be doing what because some people opt to do the traditional order (Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious) while others will do the updated version (Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, and Luminous). That choice is up to you and you'll have to keep pray of it for yourself; I can just tell you "we're on day 1/4/8/23/etc on petition (or thanksgiving)." I highly recommend marking a calendar or keeping track of what day/mystery you're on somewhere you can easily access.

I hope I haven't confusing y'all even more! If you need the link to the prayers, you can always go back to this link and click on whatever set of mysteries you're doing for the day. Bookmark this blog post and visit it as often as you have to until you get the hang of it.

If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to ask; that's what I'm here for!

Alright, y'all, I'm going to go say my prayers (and I'm including all of y'all!).

As always, thank you for reading and God bless! :D