Sunday, December 16, 2012

3rd Sunday of Advent: Rejoice!

Happy Gaudete Sunday!  Now is the time to rejoice, for the Savior of the World is coming soon!

As the priest at our local parish said, now is the time to prepare for Christ with renewed vigor, to make an extra effort to spend time reflecting upon the Son of God and His approaching arrival.

And so, if your efforts to TRAIN!!! this Advent have been strained, or your schedule too busy to set aside a few minutes to get ready for God, this week is the time to amend that, to "trim the hearth and set the table" as the song says, to celebrate the birth of Christ.

Here are my baby steps for the third week of Advent.  I'd give myself a B- for last week, and though I have a whole slew of excuses to justify such a low grade, I'll spare you from them.  Instead, I'm going to focus on doing much better this week, considering that Christmas is only NINE DAYS away!!!

To continue with the Magnificat Morning Prayer and 15 minute Bible reading
Do one of the Meditations from St. Francis de Sales's Introduction to the Devout Life
20 minutes of daily reading and writing
To do three weight-lifting exercises and two aerobics exercises this week

Don't forget to start your Christmas novenas today!
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to you, oh Israel!
All images found through

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Word About the Election

November 6th was a sad day for Americans, for on this day President Barack Obama secured four more years of control over the formerly-free United States.  The thing that made this victory more painful than the 2008 results was the hope that the Republican party felt, the feeling that, this time, they actually had a chance, that it was finally their turn to call the shots.  Everyone held his breath as he watched the promising signs, and for good reason.  I live in a state that has a blue past, but this election the Romney stickers far outnumbered the Obama ones, and it seemed like there were not nearly as many Democrat yard signs as there were Republican signs.  After the HHS Mandate scandal, and the Fortnight for Freedom which brought Catholic bishops together across the nation, it seemed like Catholics had finally been awoken, and would go out and vote for the right man this time.  

And yet, here the country stands in a state of sad shock, shaking its head in disbelief over its inhabitants.  Those who have been fighting the wrongs committed for four years, truly feeling in their hearts that this country was still worth saving, are now left with an emptiness to replace their passion, wondering if America is really that lost.  Much like the Batman movies, where the great superhero fights to save a fallen world that never really proves that it deserves salvation, those who understand this country's dangerous situation and did their best to save it, fought-and are still fighting- holding onto the memories of what this country used to be.

Like Moses, the remaining faithful are left struggling to come up the necessary number of righteous souls to stop God's justice.  So now, they ask themselves, is it even worth it any more?  Has God really abandoned us?  Is our country truly beyond salvation?  And, if so, is there any point in fighting for it any more?

Despite the seemingly irreversible, soul-threatening, degradation that our culture has suffered, and despite the proof this past November that many Americans still refuse to acknowledge the danger that this president-turned-celebrity poses, there is still hope.  Many times, cultures have reached a point like this, where it seemed the only way left to go was down, and like there no way the people would ever wake up enough to crawl out of the hole they had dug for themselves in their sleep.  But, oftentimes it is at that moment when faith finally triumphs, and hope proves to be worth keeping.  Germany never thought that it would be free of Hitler and his atrocious "work camps", and yet, eventually, they were.  The American POWs, being brutally tortured in Japanese prisons as World War II raged on, never thought they would see their beloved families and countries again, yet they did.  Yes, in the process, countless men suffered and died, but not without believing that- one day- those who lived on after them would see better days.  

Here in America, we are both far from, and closer to, the horrors of Hitler and the threats of the Japanese, than we realize.  The daily massacre of infants in the womb and elderly in "professional care" is uncomfortably similar to Hitler's elimination of the "unnecessary" or "inconvenient" members of society.  Yet, we are still allowed to go to church and still allowed to pray.  As we put candles in the windows to decorate our houses for Christmas, let us not forget the first time candles were positioned that way was to signal to priests in hiding which houses were safe, and would welcome an outlawed priest to say Mass, and to stay for the night.  And in remembering that, let us thank God that our country has not yet come to such an extreme.

Though the "Happy Holidays" that will replace "Merry Christmas", and the missing, outlawed Nativity scenes are discouraging, do not forget that here, in the United States of America, the freedom of religion and freedom of speech have not yet been snuffed out, and that the fact that blogs like this can still exist is a testament to the fact that we have not yet lost all our freedom.  And as long as a cross can by openly displayed in the home, and an American flag fly on the porch, the faithful can hold on to these signs as promises of what is to come.  Hold out one more term, America.  Though Obama may make many horrible decisions, he is only a man, who is fallen just like the rest of us.  And just like each one of us, he deserves the benefit of the doubt, and a second chance.  Hating him, wishing ill upon him, or blaming him for all that has gone wrong is not only negative, but sinful.  Imagine all the men who hated Christ, spit on Him, killed Him.  Did He strike them, despise them, seek revenge upon them?  No.  He forgave them.  But, He also fought back, though not in the way the world expected.  And, guess what, He won.

This does not mean the population should agree with what Obama is doing, but it does mean that they-especially the Christians- should continue to defend the truth, while remembering that God is the only one who is all-powerful.  This does not ensure that everything will be all right, but it does guarantee that- no matter how hard the government, the culture, the movies, or the tabloids, try to derail God's children, they do not need to fear them.  Remember Christ's words: "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell," (Matthew 10:28).

America is a country full of fallen, human people- myself included.  And it is not yet time to give up, but now- more than ever- is the time to keep fighting, but in a different way.  The time has come to follow St. Francis, and stop seeking to be consoled, and start trying to console.  To stop seeking for love and attention, and to start giving it.  To light the darkness, to bring joy to the sorrowful, and- most importantly- to sow love in the place of hate.

For it is only when the world sees that, despite the stereotype, Christians are not here to judge and condemn, but to reach out, heal, and bring warmth to a world of cold hearts, that the lost sheep will be found, and this country moved to repentance.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn, and remembered today, pray for us!

And, dear Lord, have mercy on Your people, for they know not what they do.

Picture from
I do not recommend or support the above sites, they are simply listed as picture sources.

Monday, December 10, 2012

2nd Sunday of Advent: Baby Goals/Check-up

Happy (belated) Second Sunday of Advent!

Sorry about the lack of posts, a horrible thing called pre-calc a busy schedule has kept me away from the computer, but after my final exam!!!! tomorrow, I will have some of my free time back, and post about some ways to celebrate Advent, Catholic style! :)

Anyway, last week I'd give myself a B+ for keeping my goals.  I met the spiritual goal completely, half of the mental goal, and two-thirds of the physical goal.  Hopefully this week will be better!


To pray the Magnificat's Morning Prayer, and read the Bible for 15 min. daily
Fifteen minutes of daily reading and writing
To do two weight training work-outs and two aerobics work-outs this week.
I hope you all are TRAINING!!! this Advent, and preparing to receive Christ into your minds, homes, and hearts in the best way possible come Christmas.
God bless!
First image from
Second image from
Third image from

Sunday, December 2, 2012

First Sunday of Advent: Baby Steps

Happy First Sunday of Advent!

Here are my baby steps for the week.  Now, compared to my big goals, these are going to seem extremely small.  Keep in mind that the big goals are to be reached in a year, and the goal for this Christmas is to be well on the way to success.


To pray the Magnificat's Morning Prayer daily


Ten minutes of daily reading and writing


To do two weight training work-outs and one aerobics work-out this week.

By starting off small, implementing these things is less overwhelming, and hence one's chances of doing them are increased. 

What kind of baby steps are you taking this week?

First image from
Second image from
Third image from
I do not support or recommend the above sites, they are simply listed as picture sources.