Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Emerging out of the Darkness

"Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament. There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves on earth."

-J.R.R. Tolkien

I couldn't resist looking up a quote from my favorite author today, and was pleasantly suprised to find such beautiful lines about the Blessed Sacrament. I chose this one, which is from a letter Tolkien wrote to his son. This quote talks about the importance of centering your life on Christ first. Christ should be your greatest love, the One you answer to first, the One you live to please. He should fulfill all desires and be the One who determines your actions. This encompasses something I have been having trouble with lately. I have been so busy trying to find happiness in worldly things. I work-out to try to make my body more attractive, thinking that once I'm pretty THEN I'll be happy. When that doesn't work I double my efforts in school, thinking that once I'm a genius THEN I'll be happy. After that fails I daydream about falling in love, thinking that once I have a partner THEN I'll be happy. But, as you all have guessed, none of this fills that "God-shaped hole" in my heart, just crying out for spiritual food. And the greatest spiritual nourishment God could have ever provided for us is in the Eucharist. Once my first love is Christ then my life will fall into place. Is living for God always easy? No, but it can always be filled with joy. So I have decided to try even harder to put Christ in the center of my life- to fall in love with Him first. Then, as Tolkien says, I will find, "The true way of all your loves on Earth."

"And May God Hold You in the Palm of His Hand!"

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Persecution Continues...

The Story:
So, the royal wedding approaches. Yet, an end to Catholic prejudice in the U.K. is nowhere in sight. As some of you may know, there is currently a law in place preventing English monarchs from being or marrying Catholics. Now, this is a very old law that has been in existence since the 1700s. But recently, plans to abolish the law have been canceled due to objections from different people.

This is a "Cliff Notes" version of the story. For the full article, go to

My Opinion:
The priest whose blog contains this article gave this a sort of subtitle. He called it "The Last Acceptable Prejudice." I found this intriguing. Political correctness is rank in the world today. One cannot say anything against a certain person or group without being accused of racism and hate. Yet, when someone insults a Catholic, discriminates against Catholics, or is disrespectful to Catholic teachings, imagery, dogma, etc. it's ok. It flies under the radar without any protests or upheaval. And it's time this started to change. We as Catholics should be proud enough of our faith to stand up for it when it is being persecuted. Anti-Catholicism such as displayed in England should not still be practiced without serious and constant complaints. It's time for a Catholic Revolution against this "Last Acceptable Prejudice." I encourage all of you- fight for your faith. The one true faith! And when you see people, groups, organizations, cities, even countries attacking it- voice your disapproval and sorrow at such injustice. I know it's scary. It can even be hard. It's not considered "cool." But God would greatly appreciate it.

Maybe Catholics need to start planting trees everywhere in Britain, and then the Brits cut them down... Hey, THEN we would get some attention because HOW DARE a person cut down a TREE!!! (But go ahead, insult the oldest, most widespread faith in the world started by the Man who can crush the whole universe tomorrow if He feels like it!!! No one will get angry about that. Just don't start in on the trees...)

I just can't help myself... ;)

God Bless!

Photo courtesy of

Monday, April 25, 2011

I'm Ocean Blue...

Cerulean- The Ocean Blue


"This I call my sailboat, and these are all my friends," is the opening line of Breezing Up, the first song on this gentle CD full of upbeat tunes, smooth music, and light-hearted voices. This album is innocent and lovely, and its songs range from speaking of sailing, sunny days, and blue skies to being in love, confused, or sad. Yet, even when lamenting good times lost, The Ocean Blue still makes one feel care-free. The music is nothing complex, hard, or fast. It has the feeling of someone wandering through their day, in no hurry-without any stress. I love listening to this CD when I'm by the pool, on the way to the beach, or even just relaxing at home with the windows open. It will cure you of a bad mood or heavy heart in a flash, and will have you singing it's happy little rhythms the rest of the day. Once again, I can't help but recommend the whole album! It's something everyone can enjoy. David (the lead singer's) voice is clear and always on perfect key, and the instruments create the perfect aquatic melodies.

Possible Concerns:
None, once again! I hope you enjoy this beautiful CD!

Picture and lyrics from:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Reason for Our Hope

"Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song."
-Blessed Pope John Paul II

Christ is Risen!
Alleluia! Alleluia!
May All the World Rejoice!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Passion

The Passion of the Christ (2004)                                                    -R

I watched this movie last night for the second time, and it is one of the only movies that makes me cry every time. If you haven't watched this yet, I highly recommend watching it tonight. This movie is truly incredible. It starts at the Agony in the Garden, with our Lord in distress and the Devil close by, tempting Him. And it goes through a very well done, detailed, and gruesome march from the garden, from one Roman official to another, then to Calvary. The entire movie is cast exceptionally well. The actor (Jim Caviezel) plays my favorite movie Jesus by far. He has a wonderful character, which is seen in the flash backs throughout the movie as Jesus and Mary remember different times during His life before Good Friday- such as The Last Supper, some of His life at home (there are two heart-wrenching scenes of Jesus and Mary- one when He's a little boy and one with Him doing carpenter's work that show what a loving relationship the two of them had), and His ministry. The devil is truly disturbing, though there is nothing physically creepy about the devil himself, his actions are enough. He is cast so that you cannot tell what gender he is, his skin is very pale, he wears a black hooded cloak, and has still, cold eyes. Throughout the movie, demons are portrayed as children with old, wrinkled, or messed up faces, a beast with glowing yellow eyes, and (my least favorite) a baby with an old man's face and horrible, wretched, evil eyes. The demented baby is held by the devil as he gloats over Jesus during the scourging at the pillar- a very violent, horrific scene in the movie. But, these disturbing images are not throughout the whole movie, and during the carrying of the cross there are no devil appearances as the whole attention is on Jesus and Mary. Mary is also cast exceptionally, and is shown as being strong, caring, loving, and supportive of Jesus. When He starts to falter He looks at her and seeing her gives Him strength enough to persevere on His path. Two other truly captivating characters who are with Jesus through the whole movie are Mary Magdalene and John, the beloved disciple.

I could write pages about how wonderful this movie is, but I do not want to give anything away. So please, if you haven't seen this movie yet- and you think you are ready (the R rating is for the intense, bloody scenes of torture and crucifixion) - watch this. We become so desensitized to the great sacrifice God made for us, and this movie helps me to remember how much pain Jesus went through, how hard it was, and how grateful I should be that I have a God who loves me so much.

May you contemplate upon this movie as you prepare for Christ's resurrection...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday Reflection

After you have made a decision that is pleasing to God, the Devil may try to make you have second thoughts. Intensify your prayer time, meditation, and good deeds. For if Satan's temptations merely cause you to increase your efforts to grow in holiness, he'll have an incentive to leave you alone.

-- St. Ignatius of Loyola

(pic courtesy of, quote courtesy of

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"What Do I Know of Holy?" by Addison Road

Pay close attention to the lyrics, they teach a beautiful lesson...

Thank you C.S. Lewis!

"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell."

I know C.S. Lewis isn't a Catholic by name, but in his heart he must have been because he writes like one! I chose this quote because this is something I believe many people need to hear. At school, it seems that many Protestants feel that they are doing God a favor by worshipping Him, and I'm sure there are Catholics who have fallen into the same line of thought- perhaps by accident. The thought being that God is so lucky to have a great person like yourself as His disciple. C.S. Lewis does a great job of reminding us that God is indescribably amazing and powerful, and does NOT need any one of us to increase His status. God is the one who created EVERYTHING! You and I were nothing before God decided to create us. And, as Bill Cosby says when talking to his kids, "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it- then bring in someone else just like ya!" God does not need any one of us to make Him happy or to bring about a certain outcome. He could decide to destroy me now, then create another person to do the job He had assigned to me if He thought it would be best. Now, I do not say all of this because I don't think God loves us, cares about us, or wants us to follow Him. He does, because He would ultimately love it if each of His children could one day be united with Him forever. But we have to remember that, as Fr. Larry Richards says, "God is not Barney!" God demands respect! And I think part of the reason this new twisted philosophy is becoming more common is due to a lack of respect. In many Protestant churches- and even some (incorrect) Catholic Churches- the services aren't about worshipping God, they're all about being hip. It's all about the cool music, the coffee, and the testimonies where the "saved" person always cries. I do not say this to bash Protestants- but I can't help but think that they are making God to casual, to familiar! Any church service should always include kneeling before the King of Heaven, praying in fear and trembling that He will forgive you so that you might not be denied His light!
I ask all of you to prayfully consider your attitude toward God. Have you unintentionally made Him smaller? If you struggle with dumbing God down, I suggest two things. A song called "What Do I Know of Holy?" by Addison Road. This is a song by a Protestant group, but it's a group who knows God's real place. Second, I recommend An Introduction to a Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales. His meditations are perfect for realizing your place in this beautiful  and crazy world in relation to where God should be.
I hope this didn't sound harsh, but this is a problem I am surrounded by every day. And, it is something I struggle with also! I encourage all of you to keep this quote at the front of your mind as we approach the most sacred days in the Church calendar.
And may you worship our suffering Lord in awestruck reverance during this Holy Week!

One of the Live Action Videos...

Planned Parenthood Funding

The Story:
This may be old news to some of you, but I want to write about it anyway. I've been reading about the issue of Planned Parenthood's government funding as it has been up for a vote in the House and Senate lately. Well, unfortunately the Senate voted to continue funding Planned Parenthood- overruling the House's vote to stop funding it. According to Students for Life, EVERY SINGLE Democrat in the Senate voted for the funding of this horrible organization, along with a few Republicans.

For the full story go to

My Opinion:
During this voting process, Planned Parenthood has been under a lot of scrutinizing thanks to Live Action- the group that goes undercover into these facilities pretending to be people engaging in illegal sex trafficking or prostitution and asking for help. Now, the people who work in Planned Parenthood agree to cover up their illegal actions and offer to create fake papers so that the people can have abortions and get birth control pills (You can see more of these videos at With these videos getting a lot of attention as the government started the voting process, many people learned about the evils of Planned Parenthood and had their eyes opened to the truth. So, overall I am very disappointed that so much money is continuing to fund these Houses of Death disguised as helpful centers for women. But, I am hopeful that all of this negative attention will lead to Americans starting to take a stronger stand for life when they vote.

May God forgive this sinful nation...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fun Articles!!!

Hello Everyone!

Sorry I don't have anything inspirational for you today, but I was in need of a laugh- so I went on National Catholic Register's website and started browsing through Matt and Pat Archbold's posts. I found this one- which I find absolutely hilarious!

Now, I am not a parent-nor do I plan on being one for a LONG time- but being a child who lives in a house with parents made this hilarious! Especially since I have little siblings that I help with, so I experience some of the described circumstances myself.

Please enjoy!!!! :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Witty Wednesday: G.K. Chesterton!

"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered."

This one is for everyone struggling with complaining (including myself)! This is such an optimistic view of life! G.K. Chesterton is amazing at understanding the daily human struggle, and coming up with cool things to say to help us through it. In this quote, Chesterton takes a whole new look at something I know I find annoying- inconveniences. It's so easy for me to lose my cool because someone slows me down or messes up my plan for the day. But, Chesterton is challenging us to look beyond the initial impatience and see the possibilities our new circumstance could bring! Want an incredible example? How about the guy who had to stop at a pharmacy to get a Band-Aid for a blister on his foot before going to work. That man worked at the World Trade Center- and that Band-Aid saved his life on September 11, 2001. So, I challenge all of you, take an optimistic view of life! And, when you sleep past your alarm clock tomorrow, think of all the amazing adventures you could possibly encounter! :)

And May God Bless all of You!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tidings Tuesday: Catholic View of Homosexuality becoming More Lax?

The Story:
Today's news is quite sad. I was browsing through the National Catholic Register headlines and found an article titled, "What Does America Really Think about Homosexuality?" After reading about a fourth of the article, I was internally outraged! But, before I give you all my full opinion, let me fill you in on the details. A poll was held recently asking different Americans whether or not gay "marriage" is "always wrong," "almost always wrong," "wrong only sometimes," or "not wrong at all." The result? 51% of the Catholic said that gay "marriage" is "always wrong," but so did 69% of Protestants!!! Also, the younger the person filling out the survey was, the more likely he or she was to agree with gay "marriage." (Some of this is directly quoted from the article-which can be viewed by clicking on the link below).

Now, this is a very condensed version of the article. For the full story go to Same Sex "Marriage" Survey.

My Opinion:
I couldn't believe my eyes as I read this. If it weren't for the fact that it was on a trustworthy website- I might not have even given it any credibility! But it's true! American Catholics are losing their identity. Too many Catholics are so ready to go along with this nauseating "political correctness" mindset and throw doctrine, tradition, and faith out the window. Well, let me tell you something. Jesus was a radical. That's right. I know I've told you all about Matthew Kelly before, and this is a point he made in one of his talks. Jesus was not trying to create peace. He came to stir things up a bit, and when He left he commissioned the apostles to do the same. We are failing at this!!! One look in the Bible, and it is very obvious what God thinks about gay "marriage." It's all over the Old Testament AND the New Testament!!!! (Check out the Pentateuch, Romans, and Corinthians for specific references).

So, what's going on with the Americans? Why aren't these poll showing 100% agreement in the universal church? Because this world is full of sin. And too many people are ignorant in their faith and morals.
I challenge all of you to go look up gay "marriage" in the Catechism and in the Bible. Look up what God and His Church teach about this growing political issue. And challenge others to do the same! One of the spiritual works of mercy is instructing the ignorant. And I can assure you that their are plenty of ignorant Catholics in America- this poll is proof of it.
"It's time for Catholics to stand up and act like Catholics," as Matthew Kelly would say. Let us all pray that we can stop this immoral change in relationships, so that our nation can once again hold its head high-knowing we are following the God we say we are under- and are acting in ways that make biological, spiritual, and common sense.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Music Monday: Article One!!!

Colors and Sounds-Article One

This CD is totally awesome and uniquely beautiful! I actually saw these guys in concert two years ago at the Rock for Life Concert the night before the March for Life in DC. They are amazing! The best part? The violinist!!!! He dominates all of the songs and is freakishly good (he played a fast solo with the violin on top of his head without messing up)! Outside of the gorgeous sound, these guys have a genuine, godly messages in their lyrics. The hit song on the album, "Without You (I'm Not Alright)" talks about the need for God to keep you on the right track in life. Another one of my favorites, "If the World Gives Up," is all about God sticking with you through everything- he will not abandon you. Every single song has this kind of a message- relying on God for everything and through everything. I highly recommend buying this album, then going on and looking up the lyrics to the songs. Under every song, one of the band members explains the religious message they were trying to convey through their music. It's truly a one-of-a-kind group!

Possible Concerns:
None, unless you're allergic to out-of-this-world-awesome violin music!!!! :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The New Blog Schedule!

Hello All!

I've been looking at the poll results to see what everyone wants me to write about more often. And, after really thinking about how to incorporate everything, I made a new schedule for this blog. Here it is:

  • Music Mondays (This will be once every other week, and I will review a music album.)
  • Tidings Tuesdays (I will weigh in on a news event-tell the story and give my opinion. I would like this to be every week- but I'm going to have to ease into it first, so please be patient!)
  • Witty Wednesdays (I will find a really cool quote from a Catholic (most likely an author) and write a reflection on it. Again, I would like this to eventually be every week...)
  • Theater Thursdays (movie review every other week-the week I don't do a music review)
  • Free Fridays (My day off! No post!)
  • Worry-free Weekends (I will post anything I feel like- often encouragement like what I have been posting lately)
Now, like I said above, I would like to eventually do these as often as I planned. But, I'm going to need a little time and patience to get used to posting this often. So please bear with me!

I know the names sound cheesy, but I think this cool be really neat! I'm going to try it for a while, and then I'll hold a poll to see how everyone likes it!

I hope to have the first music album review tomorrow!

God Bless!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Comfort in Others

Hello everyone!

First, I want to ask all of you to vote in this month's poll! I would really like to see what you think of this blog, and I will work hard to incorporate whatever category ends up with the most votes. Thank you.

Today I want to talk about a way to find comfort. I know a lot of what I've been writing lately seems all about the "soft side" of the faith. Don't worry, my blogs won't always be this way. But, I was reading the book Waking Rose by Regina Doman (AMAZING author, I highly recommend any of The Fairy Tale Novels series) and a tragedy has just occurred. Two of the characters are very worried about their friend, and as one struggles silently with religious doubt, sorrow, and confusion, the other extends his hand and squeezes his shoulder reassuringly. They then continue praying their rosary.
Now, I know not everyone likes opening up to others. I myself am more of a closed person, preferring to keep doubt, fear, and occasionally anguish to myself and not wanting to share too many of my feelings with everyone. But I think there is a valuable lesson to be learned in the actions of these two characters. Even if you don't want to totally open your heart to someone, asking someone else to pray for you can really bring a special peace to a troubled mind.
God does not want his people to be alone. He wants us to help each other, always support each other. So always pay close attention to those around you. Watch their eyes, because even if they smile and say they're fine, their eyes will always reflect the truth. And do not be afraid to just tell someone how you're feeling. Even if you don't explain your situation, you could just say, "Hey, I've been feeling a little down lately, got any tricks for lifting one's spirits?" I'm sure your friend/parent will be happy to help- and will respect if you don't want to elaborate.
And, of course, do not forget confession. The wonderful sacrament of Reconciliation brings great comfort to any troubled soul.

And May God Bless All of You! :)