Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hope Does Not Disappoint

Hello Everyone!

I loved the Second Reading today. For those of you who don't remember, or haven't been to Church yet, the second reading was Romans 5:1-2, 5-8.

The priest chose to focus on the second reading during his homily. He pulled out the verse that said, "And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." He talked about how God does not desert us, and how even when our lives seem beyond repair, we need to endure in hope- and God will deliver.

This made me think about my favorite movies, The Lord of the Rings, and all other well-written fantasy stories. The good guys are always virtuous people, striving to do the right thing and improve the world around them. The bad guys are selfish, ugly things (I say things because often they aren't human) that want to wipe all that is beautiful from the world. And a battle ensues between these two groups. The fight is hard and tiring, and the good guys are doing everything they can to keep up the morale, to persevere to the end. Then, night falls. Rain drills the earth. But the battle does not stop. And just when it seems all hope is lost, when the good guys are at the point of exhaustion and don't know if they can last any longer, the sun rises. Dawn breaks through the clouds, and the hero comes riding in with the warmth of the sun behind him. And goodness triumphs (I've basically just described the Battle of Helm's Deep from the second Lord of the Rings movie, I encourage you all to watch it- and the rest of the other movies- because they are truly incredible).

Where is this in the Bible? Look at Christ. The disciples thought it was all over, their Savior had been killed. They buried Him at night, left him in the stone tomb as darkness fell. Three days later, they came back at sunrise, and Christ had resurrected.

So, hold to truth and hope. God will not leave you alone. Instead, suffer as Christ suffered, unite your pain to His, and offer it up for yourself- or those you love. And trust that your Lord will not disappoint you.

"Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer," (Romans 12:12 RSV) and God will be with you.

And may you all have a wonderful week!

(I apologize for how long it's been since my last post. I hope this will not happen again!)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Couple CDs for Lent

I hope everyone is doing well today!

I've got a couple suggestions for all of you if you are looking for some nice, quiet or reflective music to listen to during Lent.

First, if you want something without words,

The Mystical Chants of Carmel-Carmelite Monks of Wyoming

This CD is very beautiful. The monks all have such melodious voices and sing in perfect harmony. The songs include different Mass hymns, such as the offertory, communion, and response songs, along with antiphons and prayers. The CD comes with the translations of all of the music. Please take the time to read these, for they are absolutely lovely prayers. There is also a video called "First Novice Clothing" on the CD. Put this on while you're reading the Bible, praying your rosary, or doing a Lenten Reflection. You could even use the prayers as your reflection. Track 9, the Stabat Mater, is a very good choice for Lent, because it dwells on the Seven Sorrows of Mary, beginning with
The sorrowful Mother stood
Beside the Cross in tears while her Son
Whose sighing, sorrowful and lamenting
soul, a sword pierced through.
O how sad and afflicted was that
Blessed Mother of the Only-begotten!

Possible Concerns:
Of course, there are none. Enjoy the calming effect this CD will have on you at any time of day.

Second, for something with words,

The House You're Building 
 The House You're Building-Audrey Assad

This CD is very nice. The lyrics all have heartfelt messages and meanings, and even sound like prayers. These are a perfect for listening to while you get ready in the morning or drive to school. Or you could use them as a kind of morning devotional starter. Listen to a song before your morning prayer to get your mind in a quiet, prayerful state. The songs range from lively to soothing, but all have an underlying peaceful pace. I know you will enjoy this CD, and hopefully the songs will help you to really look within yourself and seek to perfect your spiritual life.

Possible Concerns:
Once again, none to be found! Enjoy Audrey's touching words, and the religious insight in every song.

I hope you enjoy these! And continue to stick to those Lenten resolutions! :)

God Bless!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Hello everyone!

So, the second week of Lent has started. Now, if you're like me, you are struggling to stay true to your Lenten Sacrifices and Additions (things you add to your schedule for Lent- such as Bible readings or volunteering at soup kitchens). Why am I having trouble? Because I made quite a few goals, then tried to reach them all by myself.

If you all are having trouble balancing life and Lent, I have a few tips to possibly make your lives a little less stressful...
  1. Ask God for help. You can't just start reading the Bible, praying the rosary, and going to adoration every night (and all without any sweets to help you survive) without someone's help! Yes, I know that example is a little extreme, but many of us set goals and expect ourselves to be strong enough to acheive them. And we are, if we have our Lord's strenghth within us. But, apart from him, we can do nothing (I think that might be a Bible verse...).
  2. Set some things aside. If your goal is to read the Bible everyday, you are going to have to give up one of your daily activites to make room for this. When you have jam-packed days already, don't expect to squeeze one more thing in without temporarily setting something aside first.
  3. Don't fall behind. If you make a goal, stick to it. Don't let Bible readings or daily devotions be forgotten or lost in the shuffle, because the promise that you will get to it tomorrow is one you won't keep. When Friday comes and you have to pray four Rosaries, you are much less likely to pray them but if you only had your standard daily Rosary, keeping your promise will be much easier.
I hope this is helpful; I've learned from experience. Please remember my last post and perservere in virtue! And may God bless your efforts to grow closer to Him during this Lenten season.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fight the Good Fight...

So, this afternoon I've come home from school in a terrible mood. Let me tell you why.

I am (obviously) a Catholic- and I love apologetics. Since eighth grade I've had many people question my beliefs and put me down for being devout. Now, this has had quite a positive effect on me. Not only did it make me really look into the Church's teachings and better educate myself, but it also helped me develop a real love for the Catholic Church.

Today, I had a run-in with a friend of mine. Our discussion upset me quite a bit. But, as I was sitting here thinking about it and trying to come up with something to post, it occurred to me that this tussle makes the perfect subject.

I know that when you feel belittled or judged by others for your faith, it is hard to persevere and continue to fight. But I encourage you not to give up, never back down!!! We have something that no other church can claim. We have the fullness of truth! We have a Pope who can trace his "lineage" right back to Peter- who was appointed by Jesus himself! We have the presence of Christ in the Eucharist! We have the same universal beliefs worldwide! And, we have over 2000 years of tradition!

So take up your cross, brothers and sisters, and follow Christ! There is a song by Breaking Benjamin with a really awesome chorus. It goes:

All is lost again,
but I'm not giving in.
I will not bow,
I will not break,
I will shove the world away.
I will not fall,
I will not fade,
I will take your breath away.

This is my battle hymn, and my encouragement to all of you. It may seem like "all is lost" but do not give in! Shove the world and all of its deceit away and hold to what you know is true! Do not fall or fade, because some of the most courageous stories in history are those of the saints who fought to the death, like Joan of Arc. And these stories truly take my breath away!

Reflect on this during Lent, and may you all use this time to fall in love with Christ and his Church in a whole new way!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Happy Lent?

Happy first day of Lent!

Now, as some of you sit here and read this, you may be thinking, "Lent isn't happy!" So let me clarify...

Yes, the thought of Jesus suffering in the desert without food and water for 40 days may sound sad. And, the thoughts of the suffering Christ endures for us later in his life may also sober your mood. But, there is joy in all of this! Why? Because Christ faced all of this for you! As we celebrate Lent, we suffer a little- giving up our time or something we enjoy as a constant reminder of Christ's suffering for us. And the thought that the God of the entire UNIVERSE loves us, walking dust, so much that he suffered and DIED for us is indeed something to celebrate!

So, wash your faces and smile- as today's gospel reminds us- and look ahead at the remaining 39 days as the perfect opportunity to renew your spiritual practices and strive toward a more perfect love and unity with Christ!


P.S. Need a good book to help start this process? I highly suggest An Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales. It is very easy to read and is full of beautiful spiritual advice, guidelines, and prayers that will surely give you the needed encouragement and inspiration!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Leave me comments!

Good Afternoon Everyone!

It's great to see that you all are participating in the poll!

I would really like it if you would leave me some comments after reading a post. Even if it's just to say you liked it, or maybe you have a suggestion, didn't like it, or want to see me review/ talk about something different. Anything!

Feedback is greatly appreciated, so please do comment!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

The First Music Album is... Until We Have Faces!!!!

Until We Have Faces-Red
Hard Rock

Don't judge this album by its cover. Despite the screaming face, the songs on this album are relatively beautiful and deep as opposed to Red's normal intense and loud style. Yet, this Christian band has not disappointed, but surprised me. I had about three songs of theirs before this album was released; I'm not a big fan of frequent screaming. But, after listening to the song clips, I found that I really enjoyed listening to all but the first one. This album is named after a C.S. Lewis book (no, I haven't read this one yet either, but wait and I'll review it also) and is full of motivating messages, cries to God for help, and the desire for spiritual growth. These guys are not content to sit and let their lives fall into ruin, instead they sing songs, begging God to help them come back to Him- or encouraging others to do the same. I definitely recommend this album to all of you, just give it a chance, I think you'll be surprised!

If you want to read the lyrics to all the songs on this album, go to ttp:// This is a Christian website that posts lyrics from all sorts of Christian bands. All of the lyrics on this album are good, wholesome, and clean.

Possible Concerns:
None! Enjoy!