Thursday, September 20, 2007

Away for the weekend, Novena and Distractions

I'm going to a wedding this weekend, about 12 hours away. Since I'll be leaving Friday at the wedding on Saturday, coming back Sunday, and recovering Monday, I'll not be around to post or comment.

I was posting a novena for each day before 40 Days for Life began. I'm going to keep up the novena, but decided to post the rest of it in case someone else wanted to pray it as well.

It's actually a beautiful novena. These are wonderful meditation pieces, if I could spend more time in prayer I'm sure I'd benefit from it. Unfortunately I get so distracted that I inevitable cut my prayers short to lessen the wanderings.

I need to find a way to curb the distractions in my prayers. I've had so many suggestions, but none seem to work. What's worse, I'm not even stressing over some event in my life, it's over silliness, like the skirt I'm wearing, or what pizza I like more, or some joke my friend said earlier. I feel like my brain is buzzing full of bees and I can't even begin to contemplate God. I feel like my prayers are all worthless and empty because I've spent the entire time thinking about triffles.

I talked to my spiritual director about this and he suggested making a mental image of placing the distraction into a box and locking it. I've tried that before, I get caught up decorating the box, thinking about boxes I need to unpack, or the conversation I had with Sarah from last week about the boxes her cat loves to play in. You know how cute it is when cats play in boxes, they are adorable! I had a cat once who would stick his paws through the holes and....

You see!!

Does anyone happen to have some good suggestions on how to keep focused while praying?

Novena Days 4-9

Day 4 - Our Lady Will Help You


"How close we must keep to Our Lady who understood what depth of Divine Love was being revealed as she stood at the foot of the Cross and heard Jesus cry out: 'I thirst'"

Ask for the grace to learn from Our Lady how to quench Jesus' thirst as she did.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, you allowed the thirsting love of Jesus on the Cross to become a living flame within you, and so became the light of His love to all. Obtain from the Heart of Jesus blessings on this 40 Days for Life and an end to abortion in this country. Teach me to allow Jesus to penetrate and possess my whole being so completely that my life, too, may radiate His light and love to others. Amen.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cause of Our Joy, pray for us.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.


Day 5 - Trust Jesus Blindly

"Confidence in God can do all things. It is our emptiness and lowliness that God needs and not our plenitude."

Ask for the grace to have an unshakeable trust in God's power and love for you and for all.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, you allowed the thirsting love of Jesus on the Cross to become a living flame within you, and so became the light of His love to all. Obtain from the Heart of Jesus blessings on this 40 Days for Life and an end to abortion in this country. Teach me to allow Jesus to penetrate and possess my whole being so completely that my life, too, may radiate His light and love to others. Amen.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cause of Our Joy, pray for us.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.


Day 6 - True Love is Surrender

"Allow God to use you without consulting you."

Ask for the grace to surrender your whole life to God.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, you allowed the thirsting love of Jesus on the Cross to become a living flame within you, and so became the light of His love to all. Obtain from the Heart of Jesus blessings on this 40 Days for Life and an end to abortion in this country. Teach me to allow Jesus to penetrate and possess my whole being so completely that my life, too, may radiate His light and love to others. Amen.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cause of Our Joy, pray for us.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.

Day 7 - God Loves a Cheerful Giver

"Joy is the sign of union with God, of God's presence. Joy is love, the normal result of a heart burning with love."

Ask for the grace to find joy in loving and to share this joy with all you meet.


Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, you allowed the thirsting love of Jesus on the Cross to become a living flame within you, and so became the light of His love to all. Obtain from the Heart of Jesus blessings on this 40 Days for Life and an end to abortion in this country. Teach me to allow Jesus to penetrate and possess my whole being so completely that my life, too, may radiate His light and love to others. Amen.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cause of Our Joy, pray for us.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.


Day 8 - Jesus Made Himself the Bread of Life and the Hungry One

"Believe that He, Jesus, is in the appearance of Bread and that He, Jesus, is in the hungry, naked, sick, lonely, unloved, homeless, helpless, and hopeless."

Ask for the grace of a deep faith to see Jesus in the Bread of Life and to serve Him in the distressing disguise of the poor.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, you allowed the thirsting love of Jesus on the Cross to become a living flame within you, and so became the light of His love to all. Obtain from the Heart of Jesus blessings on this 40 Days for Life and an end to abortion in this country. Teach me to allow Jesus to penetrate and possess my whole being so completely that my life, too, may radiate His light and love to others. Amen.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cause of Our Joy, pray for us.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.


Day 9 - Holiness is Jesus Living and Acting in Me

"Charity for each other is the surest way to great holiness."

Ask for the grace to become a saint.


Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, you allowed the thirsting love of Jesus on the Cross to become a living flame within you, and so became the light of His love to all. Obtain from the Heart of Jesus blessings on this 40 Days for Life and an end to abortion in this country. Teach me to allow Jesus to penetrate and possess my whole being so completely that my life, too, may radiate His light and love to others. Amen.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cause of Our Joy, pray for us.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Novena Day 3 - Hear Him Say to You: "I Thirst"

"Just think! God is thirsting for you and me to come forward to satiate His thirst."

Ask for the grace to understand Jesus' cry of thirst

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, you allowed the thirsting love of Jesus on the Cross to become a living flame within you, and so became the light of His love to all. Obtain from the Heart of Jesus blessings on this 40 Days for Life and an end to abortion in this country. Teach me to allow Jesus to penetrate and possess my whole being so completely that my life, too, may radiate His light and love to others. Amen.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cause of Our Joy, pray for us.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.

Save the world one hat at a time



The Spirit of Vatican II community has this great idea for saving the planet. Mirrored hats! Yup, since global warming is causing the world to spontaneously combust, they decided to look "great" while it happens ;-)

Global warming is one of those hot button topics for me, although creation/evolution is usually hotter. There is something about the whole, "the world is going to end unless we stop using energy now!" idea that just gets under my skin. Probably because they make half baked claims that have no basis in reality...or Science for that matter.


Here are some I've heard recently:
The world is hotter now than it's ever been before!
But don't mention how it was actually a great deal warmer in the time of the dinosaurs.
The temperature is rising faster than it ever has before!
Only in "recorded history" (which they often leave out) and recorded history is actually only the last 100 years - not 3000+ that everyone assumes that it is ;)
Global warming will cause stronger storms!
See next item...
Global warming will cause droughts!
See previous item...
Driving our cars/trucks/suvs causes global warming!
but we must fly in our private jets to proclaim this truth, jets which eat up more fuel in one trip than - oh I forget, but a good deal of cars together.


I could go on and on, the list of items is just to numerous to count. I could also go into the scientific basis against global warming, considering I do have a degree in the field. However, I'm not a published scientist so it wouldn't matter.

Also, because I think global warming is bunk, the next claim is that I don't care at all about the planet. I actually care a great deal about the world the Lord blessed us with, and I feel we should be good stewards; however, I don't think this scare tactic method is going to work. Think about it, since this global warming craze started people are more likely to litter (at least according to my mom's memory of "back in the days") and they are more likely to scoff at anyone who thinks about helping the environment. Why?

Because they are all nuts who tell them to wear shiny hats to save the world. Then they say, what's there to loose? Well, only your dignity and the couple hundred it took to buy that hat which you needed for food.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Novena Day 2 - Jesus Loves You

"Do not be afraid - you are precious to Jesus. He loves you."

Ask for the grace to be convinced of Jesus' unconditional and personal love for you.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, you allowed the thirsting love of Jesus on the Cross to become a living flame within you, and so became the light of His love to all. Obtain from the Heart of Jesus blessings on this 40 Days for Life and an end to abortion in this country. Teach me to allow Jesus to penetrate and possess my whole being so completely that my life, too, may radiate His light and love to others. Amen.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cause of Our Joy, pray for us.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.

Monday, September 17, 2007

40 Days for Life

I'm a part of the 40 Days for Life Campaign taking place in my city. I'm just going to quote straight from their website to tell you about it:

This fall, 89 cities in 33 states across the nation will unite for a unique pro-life campaign called 40 Days for Life -- an intensive effort designed to raise awareness, save lives, bring healing, and prepare America for the beginning of the end of abortion.

The campaign will be conducted simultaneously in all locations from September 26 - November 4.

There are three components to 40 Days for Life...


  • Prayer and Fasting

  • Peaceful Vigil

  • Community Outreach



Read more about it on their website. Perhaps there is a city near you that could use your support!

I'll be doing a lot of prayer (since I'm REALLY not a people person). Today is the start of a Novena to Blessed Teresa of Calcutta for this effort. Please join me in this Novena :)
"Don't search for Jesus in far lands; He is not there. He is close to you; He is in you."

Ask for the grace of an intimate knowledge of Jesus

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, you allowed the thirsting love of Jesus on the Cross to become a living flame within you, and so became the light of His love to all. Obtain from the Heart of Jesus blessings on this 40 Days for Life and an end to abortion in this country. Teach me to allow Jesus to penetrate and possess my whole being so completely that my life, too, may radiate His light and love to others. Amen.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cause of Our Joy, pray for us.

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I am Pro-Choice...

...by Robert P. George.

I am personally opposed to killing abortionists. However, inasmuch as my personal opposition to this practice is rooted in a sectarian (Catholic) religious belief in the sanctity of human life, I am unwilling to impose it on others who may, as a matter of conscience, take a different view. Of course, I am entirely in favor of policies aimed at removing the root causes of violence against abortionists. Indeed, I would go so far as to support mandatory one-week waiting periods, and even nonjudgmental counseling, for people who are contemplating the choice of killing an abortionist. I believe in policies that reduce the urgent need some people feel to kill abortionists while, at the same time, respecting the rights of conscience of my fellow citizens who believe that the killing of abortionists is sometimes a tragic necessity-not a good, but a lesser evil. In short, I am moderately pro-choice.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Robert P. George is Professor of Politics at Princeton University and author, most recently, of Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Puppies and RCIA

The other day one of my friends asked me to draw her a picture using this scaled down version of MS Paint. The program had only a a round brush which changed sizes and varied in levels of transparent - not much else. To top it off I was using a mouse, not a pencil. Have you ever tried to draw a picture with a mouse? Well they don't obey you very well. Especially mine since it probably needs to be cleaned. At least I hope that's the reason it jumped all over the screen. It's almost like the mouse had a mind of it's own while I was drawing. Difficult, but I set out to draw a puppy for her, and eventually came up with a picture of a puppy.



I'm really shocked it turned out so well. She loves it, especially since she was just expecting a cartoon image. I was just expecting a cartoon image for that matter; I guess I got a little carried away. So, besides being pleased that she likes it, I'm also amazed that it turned out so well. I can't stop looking at it; it's like an obsession.

After staring at the picture for three days I noticed several small errors in the picture; like the the ears. I got so caught up in trying to control the mouse to do the fine detail in the ears that I didn't notice they were different sizes. How frustrating, if only I'd had better control over the cursor that mistake wouldn't have happened since, of course, I'm the greatest artist there is. Unrelated aside, I need to make sure I need to go to confession tomorrow... ;)

You're probably wondering what all this has to do with RCIA. Tonight was the second RCIA class and the topic was God and His First Revelations. The priest talked about how God had no need to create the Man, but freely choose to in order to bring us into union with him. Quoting the textbook, "By revealing himself God wishes to make [men] capable of responding to him, and of knowing him, and of loving him far beyond their own natural capacity." (CCC 52) God wasn't satisfied with just any old creation, he wanted a creation that would freely choose to glorify him.

I realized in class that God sees us as I see that picture. I'm so caught up with the fact that I have the talent to do something like that that I can't stop staring at it. God is so enamored with us, His creation, that He not only couldn't stop staring at us, He choose to become one of us.

While I'm sitting there enjoying how much God loves me another thought occurs to me...I am the dirty mouse. Yup. Filthy, annoying, bobbing all over the place and ruining the Great Artist's painting. I've decided that I know what's best for me and fight His Will. He's pulled out a small brush for detail work and I whip it across the screen in a broad stroke. And there is no undo feature in life.

So tonight, as I take apart my mouse to clean it out, I think about what I need to clean out of my life. What sins are keeping me from letting God do His work? In what ways am I fighting God, trying to get my will done on earth as it should be in heaven?

And as I put the pieces of the mouse back together, I ask God for the Grace to make a honest and full confession tomorrow, so that cleansed from my sins I will be able to give Him complete control over my life. For He is the Great Artist; from whom all my talents come, next to whom I'm nothing and in whom I'm loved.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Confession Time

Salve Regina posted this cool website where you can go to confession online. Ok, so it's not real confession, but it's still fun to play with!

It has these great drop down menus to choose from. Lets see, I've killed someone, premeditated, for the occult sacrifice of course, gluttony, and "borrowed" my roommates milk.

Venial Sins
Recite 184 Hail Marys and 8 Our Fathers.

Mortal Sins
Consider the implications of what you have done. You must take all steps possible to undo what has been done, and make right what you have done wrong.

You should fast for a total of 2 weeks. If this is too much to do at once due to the length of the fast, or infirmity, it is acceptable to break a fast into smaller sections. If you are unsure how long it is safe to fast for, consult a doctor.If your sin also broke the law of the land in which you live, you must confess to the authorities.

I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.


I'd better start praying and stop eating...

On a more serious note, even though this type of confession would never be approved by the church, because it's not valid. The "confessional" does have a pretty good examination of conscious - at least it's better than the ones they have available at the church. Also, they have a virtual rosary, which could be used as a teaching tool.

OH, and they also have this great poem to celebrate the election of his holiness Pope Benedict XVI. It brought tears to my eyes!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

RCIA

Yesterday I crashed the RCIA course at my parish. Even though I've been a Catholic my whole life, I only began learning about the faith five years ago. Even then I learned what I needed to defend the faith in a debate with a Bible Christian, there is so much more I've never heard about. Often I find that there is much to my faith that I just don't know, but others are completely familiar with. As an example, I had never been to adoration until last year, had no clue they even did something like that!

So I decided to crash RCIA and it looks like it's going to be a great course. All the candidates get several free books (the Bible, The Catechism, a missal, and several good apologetics books). Since I'm not a candidate, and in fact was harassed by the priests, I need to pay for any books I take. Over the years I've collected four different catechisms (Schreck, Hardon, Kreeft and a Compendium), but never owned the official catechism, so I decided that I would grab one of those. I was really excited to find cross references and bible references. I'm really excited about this!

The homework (yes there's homework, isn't that great?!) for this week is to read CCC 50-64, 200-227, Genesis 2-4; Exodus 2-4, 12; and Ezekiel 36. I need to find my bible so I can do that part of the homework, I think it's in the linen closet with the other books...sweet, I have three bibles in there!

So I'm off to study, leaving worries and doubts behind for another day.

Settled at last

It's done. The year long lease has been signed and I've finished moving into the apartment. There is enough furniture to get by (bed/desk/table) and I finally can relax. So, as I sit on my floor pillow, the thought comes to mind...

What have I done?

Yup, now that I am no longer concerned about where I'm going to be sleeping tomorrow or what needs to be done to set up the apartment, all the doubts I've been ignoring the past few months have come roaring in. So, now that I've notified the world that I'm completely crazy, I'm going to go to the church and remind the Lord that this is all His fault. He brought me to this place, I was only being obedient, as best I could be.

Well, crazy or not, I'm back online in the evenings now, so I can continue with my blog without having to sneak into computer labs after work. Hopefully you will hear more from me as continue to seek the Lord's Will.