Monday, May 29, 2006

The Beauty of the Eucharist

Yesterday was my brother's first reception of Holy Communion. He and one of his friends, a girl, received during our 9 am Mass. White ribbons marked the front pews where they sat with their families and Godparents. A special announcement was made for them, names and all, at the beginning of the homily. The entire church applauded them after our priest extended a 'Congratulations' to them on the sacrament. Everyone took pictures and hugged and smiled and we all went home to cake and food.

What struck me the most was how radiant these kids were -- and not for any of the aforementioned things! Both Joseph and the other munchkin were so very excited to be receiving CHRIST for the first time. Neither one of them could wipe the smile from their face - and who would want them to?

Last week my brother ran up to the loft after Mass and said, "Laura! This was my last Mass to not get Jesus!" I smiled. He was so very excited to come back the next week (since he goes to school elsewhere) and receive Christ. He was a little nervous but mostly he was excited.

I choked back tears several times yesterday. The image of their truly radiant faces are etched in my mind. How appreciative they were of this sacrament! They saw so much in it that we sometimes don't see! How I prayed that I might always receive with that same joy!

+Lord, help me to see you as a child does, purely and joyfully!

Goodness... they were so radiant.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Happy Catholic's Got It All

Is it normal to use a blog to promote another? If not, we'll make an exception for at least another week. I just started my new job and training is going to kill me. Pulling all-nighters and a couple of 16 hour shifts... yeah. Anyway, head over to Happy Catholic this weekend for a good joke and a dose of good prayer.

Pray for my brother. This weekend is not only the first weekend of training but also my brothers first holy communion. His godparents are in town (I had forgotten how much fun they were!) and everyone is ready. The Mass is tomorrow morning. So please remember my brother and the other little girl receiving tomorrow. Thanks!

God bless and Mary protect now and always! Be holy!

Seventh Sunday of Easter

Time changed in order to keep above post... above. Actually posted 8:05 p.m. CST on Saturday, May 27, 2006.
Reading 1
Acts 1:15-17, 20a, 20c-26

Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers
-- there was a group of about one hundred and twenty persons
in the one place .-.
He said, “My brothers,
the Scripture had to be fulfilled
which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand
through the mouth of David, concerning Judas,
who was the guide for those who arrested Jesus.
He was numbered among us
and was allotted a share in this ministry.

“For it is written in the Book of Psalms:
May another take his office.

“Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men
who accompanied us the whole time
the Lord Jesus came and went among us,
beginning from the baptism of John
until the day on which he was taken up from us,
become with us a witness to his resurrection.”
So they proposed two, Judas called Barsabbas,
who was also known as Justus, and Matthias.
Then they prayed,
“You, Lord, who know the hearts of all,
show which one of these two you have chosen
to take the place in this apostolic ministry
from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.”
Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias,
and he was counted with the eleven apostles.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20

R. (19a) The Lord has set his throne in heaven.
R. Alleluia.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord has set his throne in heaven.
R. Alleluia.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
R. The Lord has set his throne in heaven.
R. Alleluia.
The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the LORD, all you his angels,
you mighty in strength, who do his bidding.
R. The Lord has set his throne in heaven.
R. Alleluia.

Reading II
1 Jn 4:11-16

Beloved, if God so loved us,
we also must love one another.
No one has ever seen God.
Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us,
and his love is brought to perfection in us.

This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us,
that he has given us of his Spirit.
Moreover, we have seen and testify
that the Father sent his Son as savior of the world.
Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,
God remains in him and he in God.
We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.

God is love, and whoever remains in love
remains in God and God in him.

Jn 17:11b-19

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
“Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me,
so that they may be one just as we are one.
When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me,
and I guarded them, and none of them was lost
except the son of destruction,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
But now I am coming to you.
I speak this in the world
so that they may share my joy completely.
I gave them your word, and the world hated them,
because they do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world
but that you keep them from the evil one.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
so I sent them into the world.
And I consecrate myself for them,
so that they also may be consecrated in truth.”
I agonize over my ignorance right now. I so wish I could describe the beauty my heart sees in these passages. Perhaps I am not meant to speak of them but simply to meditate and reflect on them in private. As I do not wish to push something which the Holy Spirit is not calling me to, I will not write any more about this.

+Lord, teach me humility!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Happy Birthday, Julie D!

Because I like Julie, I though I'd make her an e-card for her birthday.

Pulled from the comments box...

Julie D,
The world was truly blessed by your birth. We have all been so blessed to know you and I pray that many more will benefit from your kindness, your intelligence, and your enthusiasm for the faith. Most of all, I pray that God blesses you even more abundantly on this day and showers you with graces for all of time. I pray this year will be even better and more successful than the last and that you discover Christ in an even more intimate way than I know you already have. Have a wonderful day, Julie! You deserve it!

with affection,
Laura H

Don't forget to drop by and tell her "Happy Birthday"!


I installed a counter on my blog in order to keep track of the number of visitors I was receiving daily. It was pretty neat and I was really enjoying it. I had passed 111 visitors and was really excited to watch my line graph grow and shrink. (Hey, you need a little variance!) I had no idea that the website was going to convert so quickly. They said we had two weeks to switch over before our counters would stop working. Four days later, mine stopped. Now I'm back at one. Should I be upset? Probably not. But I am. I'm not a fan of nasty grams but it really bothers me when someone says they're going to do something and then they don't. Ugh.

+Lord, grant me patience. Open my eyes to what is truly important. Help me to love you better.

Today's Letter: G

Via Julie D.

The rules of this game:
  1. Comment on this entry and I will give you a letter.
  2. Write ten words beginning with that letter in your journal, including an explanation of what the word means to you and why.
  3. Pass out letters to those who want to play along.
Julie gave me "G" which I am thinking will be a bit challenging. The first is easy but let's see how the others go.
  1. God
    Is it possible to describe what God means to me? Simply stated: my life.
  2. Gabriel
    Messenger - beginning of the story of Christ in this world. The announcement that would spur Mary's fiat. +St. Gabriel, the Archangel, pray for us!
  3. Galilee
    The land of our Lord. The place where he began gathered his apostles, began his ministry, and performed many of his works. A place that, should I have the opportunity, I would like to visit one day.
  4. Gethsemane
    The Passion of Christ took place here. This is where His ministry would come to its climax. The time and place that comes to mind in that word is something I meditate on often. Oh the sufferings of Christ in that time and place. How often do we cause Him great agony!
  5. Guadalupe
    Blessed Virgin. Our Lady of Guadalupe. My Mother. (The cathedral downtown?).
  6. Gifts
    Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, Fear of the Lord. The Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Confirmation. All of these things - incredible blessings to us.
  7. Grace
    The graces I receive in the sacraments that help me to live out each day with a head held high. The graces which we receive in marching onward in the face of defeat. The graces which are poured out on the whole Church each day. How abundantly have I been blessed!
  8. Guardian
    +Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God's love commits me here. Ever this day be at my side to light, to guard, to rule, to guide. Amen. - My angel, my protector.
  9. Gospel
    The Good News. The hope for all who live. Beautiful words which record the life, death, and ressurection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The thing which I strive to make the core of myself and of my life and of all that I do.
  10. Grenadine
    What? I did well with 9 religious words! Now it's time for grenadine. The only thing I can add to my drinks without getting in trouble! If you don't add too much, it's actually pretty good. Shirley Temple anyone?
Well that was definitely challenging but also a great deal of fun. Now... any volunteers?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


I have recently picked up an old journal which has many unfilled pages. I have used it in the past few days to quickly jot down things I have learned and insights I have been given from above. The last entry, "Soak Up the Son", was one of about three things I learned or realized in a two day period. God has blessed my work and has given me many gifts.

As I hold this book in my hands I know that it will be filled in time with things that are important to me in my life. The cover is smooth and cool. It is nice to hold and feel. It has an attractive mix of colors and the front is printed with a beautiful poem by Karen Raven. It reads:
Only as high as I reach can I grow,
Only as far as I seek can I go,
Only as deep as I look can I see,
Only as much as I dream can I be.
I received this beautiful journal many years ago from a good friend of the family, also one of my teachers in second grade. It has always been special to me, mostly because of that small poem which really inspires me.

The first entry is dated March 28, 2001 and is my recording of my confirmation. The last entry is scribbled notes which will soon become an entry here. The in-betweens are few and far between but helpful none-the-less in knowing just how far I have come in the past five years. The difference in maturity is astounding and the depth of faith, mind-boggling.

I pray for continued inspiration to always strive for holiness. +Lord, I love you. Make me a saint.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Soak Up the Son

During the homily on Sunday I found myself wandering downstairs. I ended up planting myself in the very back of the sanctuary - very near the doors so that I could race back up to the loft when it was time. I found, though, that my escape plan had not been as successful as I had hoped.

The decision to move downstairs was made shortly after the homily began. As it is most Sundays, when the homily began, the instrumentalists sat down (a couple directly behind me) and other members rearranged so that they might sit by their friends. Then, after all were settled, the chatter began. About what? Anything. Anything and everything. The homily was nearly drowned out in the loft by the sounds of rustling papers, crying babies, and most obviously, chatter.

In an attempt to rid myself of all unnecessary distraction, I moved downstairs. My first thought was to stand in the vestibule. There are speakers there in the ceiling so I would be able to hear and I wouldn't be a distraction to others. Very little time went by, however, before I decided that it would be best for me to simply enter the sanctuary. Though there was only one child in the vestibule, adults were talking near the gift shop and others were coming in and out of restrooms. Too much noise - too much distraction.

As I entered the sanctuary I felt relieved. I knew I would be able to more fully immerse myself in the Gospel now without distraction. I couldn't have been more wrong. The back of the church is of course the baby section and as such, is probably the most noisy section. Babies were whining, talking, crying. Parents were talking to their children, reading them books, shushing them. A little girl ran down the aisle. Dad swooped in behind her just before she got to the fifth pew. Another little girl threw her goldfish into the pew behind her. An usher, pushing her stroller, passed in front of me.

Why was this happening?!

I couldn't believe I could not find a single place to stand where there were not such annoyances. I went from gabby adults to whining children. Worst of all, I couldn't make my way to the front of the church. I didn't have the time and I couldn't become one of those distractions.

Then it hit me: This is life.

There is not a single moment, not a single place in life when there are no distractions. Our desire must be to focus on Christ and our actions must work in a positive way to make our desire a reality. Knowing that Christ is and should be the very core of our being, of our lives, of our complete and total existence, we must make the commitment to keep our eyes fixed on Him in all that we do, despite distraction. We can run from one distraction but we cannot hide from all. At some point we must stop and realize that if we allow Him, He will help us to make Him our first priority and main focus. At that same time we must also take the necessary steps to let it happen. We must give up all control and in complete humility ask Him to hold us close to His Sacred Heart. We can't do this only once, however. We must give up our pride and ask this of Him each and every day - in each hour, minute, and second of our life.

+Lord, help me to always keep my gaze on You and You alone. Amen.

Have faith. You won't regret it.

Originally intended for posting on Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 11:21 pm.

A serious topic on a web phorum had this response which made me think...
This despair that you're feeling must be quite intense indeed and you're probably being pulled in so many directions that its hard to feel as though you're not going to be torn to ribbons. But the opposite is true Cathurian, the opposite is true. Even though the road ahead seems so shrouded in darkness that even if you could make the first step without feeling as though a thousand hands are holding you back--and they probably are--it seems far too scary to start along the path. You're afraid that you're going to be swallowed up by that thick cloud of unknowing aren't you? You fear that if you submit and throw yourself forward that whats waiting on the other side of the mist because its so foreign, so uncharted that you cannot help but fearing. Your right this religion of ours is tough and by human standards its impossible but as St Athanasius reminds us "God became man that man might be made God", by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit even the utterly unimaginable is no longer beyond our limits. Simply by exercising human virtues there is no way we can stand upon the precipice of faith, hope and love but if we make the first step Divine Grace will do the rest. But you've got to make that first step no matter how hard it seems.

I know you dont really want to quit, if you did you wouldn't be talking about it, you'd just walk away. So follow your heart: don't let it be troubled and do not be afraid. God will not allow you to fall from His arms if you jump into them with absolute dependence and humility. If you feel yourself falling short now its because you're not putting your all into the jump and I think deep down you know that too. You've got to face up to whats holding you back, you've got to look it in the eye, scream, shout, wait and bellow, cry blue murder and just take a leap of faith. All that raw emotion must be channelled into that one single solitary second where you make the choice for Jesus and start off down the path laid out before you. More than likely you wont get much further than you've currently got but thats ok cos if you stretch out your hands and say 'Jesus I trust you' you will know the Divine Mercy. God has only allowed you to fail so that you would know that no matter how many times you do He would be there for you, looking for you, hungry for your love. He still is and He always will be. No matter how many times you show Him your back He'll always reach out for you encase you change your mind. Renounce your pride and open your heart to this reality, to reality of the wholly transcendent God who humbles Himself on your account to make light of the infinite debts incurred by our sins so as to hold you close to Him and make a home for Himself within your heart.

Let go. Surrender doesn't always have to be demeaning. Amongst men disordered as we are by the concupisence we've inherited from our first parents it usually equates to little more than enslavement but with God the Son of Man its not so. For with Christ the first becomes the last and the last first. You dont need to hold onto your dignity to protect it rather self-realisation, self-actualisation comes in self-giving and the outpouring of interpersonal love between persons. In this case, the person of Christ in whom we encounter YHWH signofcross.gif and your own person. Frightening as it might be brush aside your doubts and go for it, you've nothing to loose and everything to gain. Dont think, just do, all your doubts, all that fear, allow a burst of sudden feeling to overwhelm them and use that as the fuel for your fire to just break free from yourself and into the Light of Christ. The minute you start mulling it over you're going to start wondering whether or not God is going to let you down, the second you start pondering your position in your mind you're going to start weighing up whether or not you're just setting yourself up to get smacked back down. So dont. Find that split second of absolute mindlessness and place your heart entirely upon the Cross.

Have faith, you wont regret it.
The last night strikes me. Have faith. You won't regret it. If we allow it, the love of Christ will so consume us that we will never be the same - but we have to have faith in His mercy and love. Too many times I have held back. I extend my heart to Him with firm grip and God, though all-powerful, was not going to play with me like that. Either I was going to submit myself to Him, His perfect will, and His love, or I wasn't. A lot of times, I wasn't. If I could just have faith, I would not regret what God would give to me. Is it scary? Yes. The capacity of the love that God has for His children is beyond measure and unable to comprehend that, it becomes something scary for us as humans. Is it worth it to trust in His goodness? Yes. I know of nothing more worthy of our trust.

Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Miss me.. I'll miss you

My brother's 'First Holy Communion' is next Sunday. In preparation for the big day (which includes a party at our house), the kitchen and dining room are being redone (on top of other various things). With Godparents coming in on Wednesday or Thursday (the moved to Chicago a few years ago), we have very little time to get everything finished. My mom and I stayed up working until past midnight tonight. I'm exhausted. As I type, I'm leaning against a dining room chair, head tilted in the direction I'm leaning, eyes barely staying open. Needless to say the rest of the weekend and the better half of next week will be spent finishing the remodel and cleaning up and getting ready. It is a big day!

I am so very happy for my brother. I will be singing a solo during his first reception of Christ. He really likes the song I'm singing too (he picked it) so I hope it's special for him. Originally I was going to be down at the rail with him, the family, and the Godparents but I like it this way too.

For anyone in the area (anyone who knows my family and goes to my church?), he will be receiving on May 28th at the 9 am Mass. I'm sure no one will show up for it that wasn't already planning on it, but hey, it never hurts to try, right?

Now time for some much needed sleep! God bless and Mary protect now and always! Be holy!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Da Vinci Code - How It Doesn't Work

Yes, I too have caved. But I actually liked this! Via a phriend of the phamily.
Since its 2003 publication, "The Da Vinci Code" has caused quite a stir. Since its debut to glowing reviews, it has sold more than 40 million copies in at least 44 languages [ref]. In addition to being a bestseller, it's sparked a lot of controversy. It's a work of fiction, but it presents itself as based in fact, and many critics have raised questions about whether those facts are accurate.
It's no secret that the HowStuffWorks staff likes to take things apart and see what makes them tick. Some of us are also the kind of sticklers who point out science and technology mistakes in TV shows and movies, much to the chagrin of the people listening. But when we heard about the controversy surrounding "The Da Vinci Code," we couldn't resist picking it apart.

In this article, you'll learn what happened when we took a close, hard look at "The Da Vinci Code" and how it uses science, technology, art and history.
There's the tease. Read the full article! (This ends my talk about this subject. Ugh!)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Vocations are a touchy subject - but why?

In response to a recent post (more appropriately the first comment to that post) at The Holy Vocations Blog, I said these things:
I was afraid a comment like the previous would be made. It is often a great debate among people in the Church. Quite frankly, those being called to serve in the priesthood or religious life do in fact have the higher calling. It is not meant to be demeaning however. I have often discussed this issue with people, finding that many would gloat about their higher calling. Fact is, when you get down to it, if it weren't for people called to marriage we would not have priests, deacons, brothers or sisters. Each of us has a holy vocation because God makes it holy. However, in the way of chastity, those called to religious life do in fact have the higher calling.

There really is no good way to say that.


Being called to a 'higher' vocation does not make a person any more holy than one called to married life. It is like so many have said before: "It's true. If you wouldn't make a good wife and mother, you wouldn't make a good sister, because that is precisely what a sister is: Bride of Jesus and Mother of souls. By the same token, a good mother and wife would be a good sister." (All vocations complement each other.) That specific quote was from a friend, now Sr. Lauren, and I guarantee she would be a great mother to biological children! :)

There is nothing having to do with holiness which seperates us. It is merely one person's call to chastity. Some are called to only be intimate with Christ. None of us are worthy of our vocations - we are made worthy through Christ. We should clarify though that while neither is holier, the religious vocation is indeed a higher vocation than either the married or the single vocation, precisely because the latter are perfect expressions of the natural order (that is, how God made us in creation) while religious life is an expression of the supernatural order (that is, how we will be in the New Creation).

I guess the hard part in all of this is distinguishing between the recognition of certain vocations as 'better' and the recognition of some vocations as more supernatural but equally as important as others. The latter is the way it should be understood whereas the former is how it is more often (mistakenly) understood.

Vocations are given us by God and we receive and give back out of love. Therefore, because vocations are lived out in love of and service to God, no calling 'trumps' (if you will) another despite it being 'objectively greater'. When we act in response to our call out of love for our Creator, we are following a road to holiness for this is what He has called us to be.
Did that make sense? I will expound upon these thoughts tomorrow.

May God bless you even more abundantly than He already has! Be holy. Love your vocation.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

If I could wish for each of you one thing...

If I could wish for each of you one thing it would be that you find yourself as blessed in friendship as I do. I have two of the greatest friends - friends I could never have asked to be given. They embody everything a friend should be and that is only more and more apparent. Every time I see them or think of them I am more aware of their beautiful nature and of how much they really mean to me. I hate being a mush (I really do) but every time I think of these people I become one! They are helping me each and every day (whether we speak or not) to become more and more like Christ. They are helping me to achieve sainthood.

What more is there in friendship than that?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Prayer Request

My little sister is ill and home from school today. She rarely stays home from school (she really hates missing) so when she does, you know something is really wrong. She's pukey and has no appetite so we'll see what happens. Please keep her in your prayers. Thanks in advance and God bless! Be holy!

Friday, May 12, 2006

WOW: Saint Edition

Omnia possibilia sunt credenti. Everything is possible for anyone who has faith. The words are Christ's. How is it that you don't say to him with the Apostles: 'Increase my faith' ?
St. Josemaría Escrivá, On faith

If it is daily bread, why do you take it once a year, as the Greeks in the east are accustomed to do? Take daily what is to profit you daily. So live that you may deserve to receive it daily. He who does not deserve to receive it daily does not deserve to receive it once a year.
--St. Ambrose, On the Sacraments

The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists, it does great things. But when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist.
-- St. Gregory the Great, On love

WOW (Words Of Wisdom) will likely become a regular thing. We have so much to learn from the Saints!

More By Bouguereau

Artist Spotlight: William Bouguereau

I would dare say William Bouguereau is my favorite artist, and if not favorite then no less than one of my top three. He painted so many beautiful images of our Blessed Mother. She is portrayed in his paintings in such a way that I have seen no others comparable. The above is just one example of the many beautiful works in his extensive portfolio. I looked for a short biography of this incredibly talented artist but to no avail. I did however find a link which I think is worth the time. Their galleries are beyond anything I expected. I was truly overwhelmed! So, all art enthusiasts, check this out: William Bouguereau by ARC

Pretty Not Provocative

Fashion continually amazes me. Shorter skirts, lower skirts, anything to show more skin. "Make them see-through!" "Make the mini skirt jagged - we'll see more leg that way!" "Cut off the bottom of that shirt! They don't need that!" ... Excuse me? Why is it that women are made to believe that in order to be pretty, the must also be provocative? Here's my line of thinking:
Undergarments should not become outer-garments; clothing should not reveal what should be concealed; and it’s possible to be pretty without being provocative.
I only wish more young women (and young girls) understood that. I'm always shocked to walk into church for Mass and see a girl in a too-tight tube top and mini-skirt. It's not only that she is dressed that way in the Lord's house but that she would dress that way at all. She is a temple of the Holy Spirit and she is dressing like that? Something must be wrong with her conscience. And there is. Or she doesn't care. But the fashion world is going to convince her that it's okay and that she's cooler for doing it.

I was relieved, however, to hear that fashion this season has taken a turn for the better.
The fashions at all of the major international shows took a noticeable turn toward covering up this season, with longer hemlines, higher necklines and more voluminous clothing on the runways in Paris, Milan, New York and London.
Are the designers thinking modesty? I think probably not, but at least this time they aren't promoting immodesty.

Even outside of mini-skirts and plunging necklines, there are offenders of immodesty in dress that people often overlook these days. Girls run around in shirts that conform exactly to their figure. Shirts reveal bras and low-cut (or too-tight) pants show panty lines. I have seen way too many girls who claim to want to be pure and modest wear shirts without tanks underneath and skirts without slips that needed them.

I could honestly go on and on about modesty nightmares in fashion today but quite frankly, I'd rather not be a bummer on a Friday. Instead I will point you to the article which got me going on this today. It is a good article and has even sparked my curiosity enough that I think I'll be searching to find this fashion show (which is supposedly held in Dallas).

Read "Bootylycious Backlash" here.

Guidelines for the fashion show which should be guidelines for always:
Shirt necklines should be no lower than four fingers below the collarbone, no thin or sheer material, no strappy backs or halters, and no tank tops without overlaid shirt or jacket; pants should not be too tight, and the appropriate length for shorts is determined by putting arms straight at the side and measuring no higher than your longest finger; skirts should be no shorter than four fingers above the kneecap; and no exposed bra straps.

God bless and Mary protect! Be modest - Be holy!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

If I believe, why am I crying?

Ever catch yourself crying or upset over something you know will work out in time? If you know God has His hand in things and will do with it as He knows fit, why do you then fuss over it? Why must you be overwhelmed with guilt and grief? Sometimes I want to blame it on my youth. Other times I blame it on immuaturity. Perhaps it is stubbornness or pride. Whatever it is, I wish to believe in God's mercy. We all have to trust in Him and trust openly. I believe that whatever should come of this will come of this. Now it's time for my emotional side to catch up. It's been a long evening.

+Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!

Prayer Request

Busy day again. I actually have two prayer resquests. The first is for a successful meeting tonight. I have an important meeting and I pray it goes well. I pray that I am willing to accept whatever comes of the meeting and trust that God will watch out for His children. The second is for my job search. I have an interview Thursday. Please pray that I will be able to accept whatever decision is made with this as well. +Lord, lead me where you would have me.

Monday, May 08, 2006

A little more about yours truly...

... because I'm way too exhausted to do much else. Two quizzes via Happy Catholic.

You're Texas!

A dyed-in-the-wool cowboy, you believe you have everything bigger and
better. While you'll admit that you have more wackos than average and a fair number of
gun-toters, you believe in a liberal application of the death penalty to compensate.
Despite your tough exterior, you have an even tougher interior, keeping yourself running
on a diet of raw beef and crude oil. Unfortunately, most outsiders see you as
representative of not only yourself, but everyone around you. You use the word "y'all"
in every sentence.

Take the State Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Do y'all think that's accurate? I'd say it's close.

I'm a Mandarin!

You're an intellectual, and you've worked hard to get where you are now. You're a strong believer in education, and you think many of the world's problems could be solved if people were more informed and more rational. You have no tolerance for sloppy or lazy thinking. It frustrates you when people who are ignorant or dishonest rise to positions of power. You believe that people can make a difference in the world, and you're determined to try.

Talent: 54%
Lifer: 36%
Mandarin: 64%

Take the Talent, Lifer, or Mandarin quiz.

Well I didn't see that coming. The last line is close but I have to say.. there is no "try". You do or you don't.

There is no try.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

O Father, raise up among Christians
numerous and holy vocations to the priesthood,
to keep the faith alive
and guard the gracious memory of your Son Jesus
through the preaching of his word
and the administration of the Sacraments,
with which you continually renew your faithful.
Give us holy ministers of your altar,
who are careful and fervent guardians of the Eucharist,
the sacrament of the supreme gift of Christ
for the redemption of the world.
Call ministers of your mercy,
who, through the sacrament of Reconciliation,
spread the joy of your forgiveness.
Grant, O Father, that the Church may welcome with joy
numerous inspirations of the Spirit of your Son
and, docile to His teachings,
may she care for vocations to the ministerial priesthood
and to the consecrated life.
Sustain the Bishops, priests and deacons,
consecrated men and women, and all the baptized in Christ,
so that they may faithfully fulfil their mission
at the service of the Gospel.
This we pray You through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Mary, Queen of Apostles, pray for us.
-From the Vatican, 5th March 2006.
Benedict XVI


As the Church prepares to celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Vacations, due to be held in May, the Holy Father is stressing that although many corners of the world currently face a priestly shortage, God continues to call men to “take care of his people” through the priesthood.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Message for the 43rd annual prayer day, which falls on May 7th. Has as it’s theme this year “Vocation in the Mystery of the Church.”

In his message, the Pope writes that "The weight of two millennia of history makes it difficult to perceive the novelty of the fascinating mystery of divine adoption which lies at the centre of St. Paul's teaching."

He added that "We are called to live as brothers and sisters of Christ, to consider ourselves as sons and daughters of the same Father. This a gift that overturns all exclusively human ideas and projects."

In this light, the Pope asked "What, then, must we say of the temptation, so strongly felt in our own time, to think ourselves so self-sufficient as to shut ourselves off from the mysterious plan God has for us? The love of the Father, revealed in the person of Christ, calls out to us."

Benedict pointed out that through the centuries, men and women, "transformed by divine love, have consecrated their lives to the cause of the Kingdom," and "through Christ have known the mystery of the Father's love."

These people, he said, "represent the multiplicity of vocations that have always been present in the Church."

The Holy Father went on to describe the Second Vatican Council's universal call to sanctity. In each generation, he said, Christ "calls individuals to take care of His people; in particular He calls men to the priestly ministry to exercise a paternal function.“

He stressed that “The priest's mission in the Church is irreplaceable. Therefore, even though some areas suffer a shortage of clergy, we must not lose the conviction that Christ continues to call men" to the priesthood.”

He added that "Another special vocation occupying a place of honour in the Church is the call to consecrated life.”

Although these men and women “undertake various forms of service in the field of human formation and care for the poor, in education and in assistance to the sick, [consecrated people],” the Pope said, “do not consider these activities as the principle aim of their lives because, as the Code of Canon Law says: 'Contemplation of divine things and assiduous union with God in prayer is to be the first and foremost duty of all religious'."

As he concluded his message, Pope Benedict issued a call to pray "for vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life,” saying that “The Church's sanctity depends essentially on her union with Christ and her openness to the mystery of grace at work in the hearts of believers.”

“For this reason,” he said, “I would like to invite all the faithful to cultivate an intimate relationship with Christ, Master and Pastor of His people, imitating Mary who guarded the divine mysteries in her heart and contemplated them assiduously."


Inspire all our actions, oh Lord, and assist us by your grace
so that every work of ours may begin with you
and in you find its completion. Amen.

Please keep in mind my vocation and all vocations, especially those in your own parish communities. May God bless you abundantly and Mary keep you always. Be holy!

UPDATE: Read the complete message of Pope Benedict XVI for the Annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations courtesy of Fr. Stephanos at Me monk. Me meander.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Book Meme Answered - For Brad

This is for Brad at Defensor Veritatis:

The book I quoted in my book meme was... *drumroll*
Theology for Beginners by Frank J. Sheed!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Shop-aholics Beware!

With North Park's expansion now complete I had to remind myself constantly today, "Material things will not make you happy. Material things will not make you happy." But who's to say I can't still browse in my long-time favorite mall in the Big D, now also the largest in Texas?

Check out this report from WFAA!!

And a picture from the report with the caption: "With the 1.4-acre Center Park in the middle, NorthPark becomes the only mall in the nation with a sizeable outdoor area for eating, playing or relaxing."

Oh how my little shopper heart longs to be there right now! As I cruised through the mall with my mom only a short time ago I could feel my heart beating faster the further along we got. New stores, old stores, so many stores! Northpark is an experience unlike any other. Dim lighting aside, the place is wonderful. Forgive me for the unusual order but really... it's the sounds, then the smells, and most obviously - the sights!

NorthPark has to be experience in person to understand and gain true appreciation... but I'll share some more photos anyway.

NorthPark is great...
........ during the day .................... or at night ........

........ for a show .................... or for food ........

and hey! The kids love it too!

So before I get myself too excited I suppose I should wrap by sharing my favorite spots. Bath and Body Works is a pleasure for any girl - any age. Foley's and Dillard's always have great sales. You're sure never to leave empty-handed or unsatisfied. I have to promote the Clinique in Dillard's too: the women are great. I've never gone to the counter and been unsatisfied. They're friendly, helpful, and very relaxed - no pressure! And hello! Could they have a better spot in the store? Right across from the fabulous shoe department! Ooo.. getting excited again. If you want to grab a bite, I suggest Le Madeleine and Godiva for desert! Nordstrom's is fun to look through when you can laugh about being poor. Then be amazed at how many people around you aren't - and are actually buying new wardrobes! (Yes, I'm amazed every time.) If it's jewelry you need, James Avery Craftsman is your place. Love that store! That makes for a pretty good trip and if you poke your head into too many more, I can tell you from experience that you might just see them all.

Visit the NorthPark Homepage and don't forget to peep the history!

NorthPark - Opening Day - 1965

Book Meme

Saw this on phatmass and again at Happy Catholic... took it as a hint.
  1. Grab the nearest book.
  2. Open it to page 161.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the text of the sentence along with these instructions.
  5. Don’t search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Do what’s actually next to you.
"To see ourselves merely as spectators at Mass is to miss the opportunity to take part in the highest action done upon earth."

Now for the fun part: Name that book! Heh...

I've never felt so misunderstood in my life...

You're One Hundred Years of Solitude!

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Lonely and struggling, you've been around for a very long time.
Conflict has filled most of your life and torn apart nearly everyone you know. Yet there
is something majestic and even epic about your presence in the world. You love life all
the more for having seen its decimation. After all, it takes a village.

Take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid.

Honestly, is this because I said I liked Oprah? I have a feeling it is. Whatever....

Thursday, May 04, 2006

NO, I did NOT get that memo!

Since when have Thursdays been hump days? I thought Thursday was the start of a gentle downward slide into the weekend. Someone forgot to pass the memo on to me stating otherwise. Lord, have mercy!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Price of Being A Good Friend

As obnoxiously cliche as it is, sometimes being a good friend is the hardest thing in the world to do. I think though, that if you make that sacrifice, it is also one of the most rewarding.

Recently I spoke with two friends, one at a time, having a real heart to heart. I spoke with them about things that concerned me and tried to just be completely open with them. I received two different responses and I know why. It had very little to do with the fact that one was male and the other female. It also had very little to do with the subject matter. It all came down to the history behind it.

Female friend has been a good friend of mine for years. We talked a lot and we knew a lot about each other. I knew her family pretty well and she knew mine. We shared a lot of 'secrets' and had grown to love each other as true friends. For a couple of years, however, I was not completely honest with her. I beat around the bush with things that bothered me, tried to smile even when she was breaking my heart, and bit my tongue when I felt like being "preachy". Knowing that, I look back and know that although she may have been a true friend to me, I was not to her. I didn't watch out for her like I wanted to. I just tried to keep things easy.

Recently I went to her and confessed all of these feelings and reservations I had been hanging on to since she left for college. I put it all out on the table and apologized for not having said any of this before. As was expected, she was very hurt. She didn't want to talk to me afterward and two weeks later, I still haven't heard from her except for one thing. She wrote me the next day to tell me that she didn't hate me (I had warned her that she might) but that she was hurting. She said that she respected me for coming clean and she wanted to talk to me in person when she got home from school. That was it. I was relieved to see it but at the same time, felt even worse - if that was possible. I'm glad she could at least respect that I was telling her these things out of love, but I was so ashamed to not have done that from the beginning.

Male friend, on the other hand, was quite the opposite. After an hour and a half of openness and honesty we could still laugh as we hung up the phone. He was receptive to me and my concerns and assured me that he, too, was aware. He assured me in a very kind, gentle, and non-demeaning way that he knew what he was doing. We talked like real friends, shared real concerns, bonded over mutual feelings. It was one of the most productive chats we've had in a while. There was no anxiety to be rid of, no anger or frustration. There was no jealousy, no hard feelings - just a whole lot of honesty. I could feel the love the entire time we were speaking and I knew hanging up the phone that we had both grown so much since we first started talking. Our relationship jumped after that to a whole new level of maturity and respect. I benefited from being gutsy and honest, knowing and understanding that the consequences could be less than desirable. He could have been short with me, told me to mind my own business, flat out ignored me. But he didn't... and it was because of the history. I don't hide my feelings or mask my anxiety when it comes to him and his decisions. I let him know when things bother me and show my admiration when he takes a step in the right direction. As odd as all of that sounds, it's healthy. We are true friends.

So I say it again, sometimes being a good friend is the hardest thing in the world to do. I think though, that if you make that sacrifice, it is also one of the most rewarding. I certainly have learned this lesson and look forward to growing in love with each of my friends by being as open and honest as possible and sharing with each other the love that comes from those things. + Lord, bless my friendships and make them holy.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Gone Fishin'

Reminder that I'll be out of town until at least Monday. My previous suggestion was to read Happy Catholic while I am gone. I'll be safe (since I know that's what y'all want to say haha). God bless!

REVISION: I'm not going after all. Bah humbug.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Be Where You Should Be

Exactly what I needed read: An amazing post by an amazing person. READ IT. Note the last lines.

May is for Mary

"The Blessed Mary's Land"
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The following beautiful words on Our Lady are excerpted from Henry Wordsworth Longfellow's work Christus: A Mystery.

This is indeed the blessed Mary's land,
Virgin and mother of our dear redeemer!
All hearts are touched and softened at her name,
Alike the bandit, with the bloody hand,
The priest, the prince, the scholar, and the peasant,
The man of deeds, the visionary dreamer,
Pay homage to her as one ever present!
And even as children, who have much offended
A too indulgent father, in great shame,
Penitent, and yet not daring unattended
To go into his presence, at the gate
Speak with their sister, and confiding wait
Till she goes in before and intercedes;
So men, repenting of their evil deeds,
And yet not venturing rashly to draw near
With their requests an angry father's ear,
Offer to her their prayers and their confession,
And she for them in heaven makes intercession.
And if our faith had given us nothing more
Than this example of all womanhood,
So mild, so merciful, so strong, so good,
So patient, peaceful, loyal, loving, pure,
This were enough to prove it higher and truer
Than all the creeds the world had known before.


Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!