Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I think there are more than just one miracle at every Mass. First of all, God lets a human sinful man call on him to make himself fully present to us. The priest acts as Christ! Only Jesus himself would allow this, for on the surface it seems blasphemous. Next, we are to eat him! Just the idea of consuming him isn’t a miracle, but that fact we survive it is. And above everything else, how it is, that people can do this, and may not believe, may not be in the right state (as far as mortal sins are concerned), and still walk away unharmed physically (their soul is another question)? I absolutely love going to communion, but it is terrifying.
Another thing that always happens to me is, sitting there just before we get up to get in line, I think, “maybe he isn’t there”. It’s always a slight, passing thought. The devil, perhaps, lurking around. But then I go and say “AMEN!” and right then, I know I was wrong. Right after communion is when I feel at complete peace, full and have not a need in the world. The Eucharist has been my comfort so many times, and I may write about my history with it. But Jesus is there, and somehow enters my sad self and brings no harm, but instead everything I’ve ever needed.
Pray for all the priests that bring Jesus to our dying souls!
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sometimes I feel like the world is just so fake. Quick hi’s on campus, facebook comments, even dumb small talk, it all has elements of being really fake with people. Most of life is set up to where we must have these incredibly fake encounters with people, just so that the day goes on smoothly. Maybe its necessary, but I find it rude (even though its mostly subconscious) and a waste of time. If I feel the need to put on a show for you, how good of friends are we? How well do we really know each other?
I receive glimmers of realness from few people, and that’s who I call friends. But even then, sometimes, it is fake. It’s not my main thought in my head but I think sometimes: I don’t want to hurt their feelings, I don’t want to seem upset, I don’t really want to show them who I truly am, because, most of the time, I don‘t have the time or energy that that requires. And it works the same for them interacting with me. The few moments of authenticity (if they should even occur) mean so much to me, because so many of my encounters are very staged. The main motives behind the encounters are not, but the actions, the lines, are so contrived. Maybe this is why I don’t care to have many more “friends”. I don’t feel very close to the ones I have. I don’t want to put myself in more situations where I feel like the only appropriate thing to do is to just be fake. Granted, my brand of “fake”, as I’ve been told, is quite different than other people, so I guess I trick them into thinking that is really who I am. I’m fake and trick people. Highly desirable qualities in anyone, really.
And what's worse, is this idea that people have of me, is one they say they really like. “She’s so funny. She’s crazy. She’s so fun to be around” (all these statements also need to be checked for fakeness). It bothers me, because what they just witnessed is hardly anything of who I really am. And I like it when people have good impressions of me, and say nice things or whatever. But in truth, that’s not really me, just the person I decided to show you today. Am I scared to reveal my true self, knowing that others hardly ever reveal theirs? Is it more of not wanting anyone to see me, truly me, and instead hiding it away so that only I can enjoy it?
I admit, I do it freely. But maybe it’s because I don’t know any other way, all the while my face veils it all.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
We are not meant to hide ourselves from others. In keeping to ourselves (especially the love God shows us) we remain isolated from man and divide the church. In being with one another, listening to joys and struggles, and most importantly, sharing the miracles, we set down our aloneness. We give hope, even if its not defined or immediate. We must not and cannot keep God’s love to ourselves, it is meant to be proclaimed. And only through God can we feel close to another person.
When we get to heaven, what will be revealed to us? I wonder about this all the time. Especially when I read about a mystery (like a crime) or when we didn’t know about so-and-so’s life. I like to think that in heaven, anything you want to know will be known. So everything I failed to learn (or couldn’t learn) on earth, I’ll know in heaven. It makes me feel less frustrated. But if this is true, then it’ll be true for the others in heaven too. So they may know of my whole life, for example, and maybe if I’ve prayed for them or whatever. But I also wonder that when I do (if I do) get to heaven, if I won’t care about knowing the great, and small, mysteries of the world, because they won't matter anymore. On one hand, if this is the case, I’m sure I’ll be fine with it, because God will me perfect joy (so I won’t think about such things). But I also think I may be disappointed (because all these years I thought getting to heaven would instantly let me know everything I’ve ever wanted to know). So that line of thinking leads me to believe I will know all the mysteries I wonder about now. But I think this is kind of circular logic. Anyway, I hope we do know of all things in heaven, cause that would be awesome!!
So stumbling across a site that gives advice to “keep relationships strong” (which, by the way, are really entertaining to read), I read this question and the subsequent answers from “experts”:
11. Love Conquers All?
Barbara De Angelis, personal-development expert:
Unfortunately, this is not true. Love is a big part of a lasting relationship, but shared values and commitment are still required.
Pepper Schwartz, sociologist: Sadly, it’s a myth. Love won’t conquer poverty, addiction, or abuse.
My first thought: Well, they have never read that part of the Bible. Although, I’m almost positive they have. Do many people really think that love can’t conquer all? Maybe it’s a matter of having the wrong idea of love, that love has to be butterflies and sunshine and isn’t hard if it’s real love. However, love is quite the opposite. Love gets dirty, rides through storms, is the only thing left when everything else crumbles and blows away, and is only strengthened by hardships. That is why God allows us to suffer so much: so that our love for Him may increase! Love is the only thing that can overcome poverty, addiction and abuse, otherwise you aren’t talking about real love, just some made up idea about making you feel good. No love I’ve encountered in life has been easy, and that is why, in part, love conquers all. So what kind of love are they talking about?
Friday, October 16, 2009
Well, gentlemen of the world, here is what I say: Hold the door open. As often as you can, especially for women. It’s true, we are quite able to open a door, but that’s not the point. The point is to show you recognize us as women and that you want to help us out in any way you can (“Oh, look, there’s a closed door, and it looks like she’s going to be going through it soon.”) and make our day that much easier and better. The simple act of holding open a door says a lot more than “I don’t think you can open this door by yourself.” It says that women deserve good treatment and that men are in a position that is able to provide that. It says that I will do something nice for you, even though I may not even know who you are, and sacrifice a little of my time for you. Overall, it says that women are special and that merits special actions.
I know that being in the South this door-holding thing can be more of a habit than anything else, but that still doesn’t take much away from what it means. If a guy holds a door open out of habit, then a genuine smile and thank you may make him realize what it is he is doing and why. If he is just doing it from “fake politeness”, well that is his problem, and nothing the woman should be concerned about.
We, as women, need to respond to their kindness. It is so important for women to appreciate what men do for us. Men are confused (as my professor is) as to what to do. Saying “thank you” and not “I can open the door myself”, gives approval and they are more likely to do it again. They also may be more likely to do other nice things for women because he’ll think, maybe women actually like it when people do nice things for them (which is true).
I have a friend who is constantly opening doors, and doing other “chivalrous” things. It used to bug me, a lot. I remember one night as he was dropping me and my friend off, he insisted on walking us to our dorm, which was a good 100 yards away. I said, “thanks for the offer, but we got it. It’s well-lit and there are police around. We will be fine.” He didn’t take no for an answer and the entire walk there, we were complaining about how he really didn’t need to do this. I realized later that this (along with everything else he does) is his way of showing us love, and that we were blocking that love by telling him we didn’t want it. Women need to be just as mindful of their actions as men.
It doesn’t take much. Men being aware of the needs (yes, needs. I think a women needs to be shown kindness from men) of the women he’s around, and acting on it. Women responding with gratitude for anything a man does for us. It’s the simple things that can change a society and I think this is a good place to start.
Thank you for holding the door open for me.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
And while all these things enrich our faith and represent meaning, both spiritual and physical, everything leads back to the Trinity. It all leads back to God. A Catholic doesn’t need to worship inside St. Peter’s Basilica, or read the Catechism, or even own a rosary, to be led to God. But at the same time, the Church offers many paths that lead to Him, so we may never lose our way. All these things have the same purpose: to show the glory of God. All the senses are represented. The mind can find answers and infinite mysteries. The eyes have magnificent churches, scared paintings and statues, icons and numerous symbols to praise God and also attempt to convey His greatness. The tongue has Jesus Christ Himself as he gives Himself in what seems to be bread and wine. Yes indeed, we know even the taste of Jesus! The ears have the Word, Scared Scripture, and entrancing music of heavenly levels. We also have a holy language, Latin, that allows us to approach God in a way different than how we approach everything else in our life. The nose has holy incense that delivers our minds out of the church and into heaven itself, and when the scent of roses fills the air, there is the Holy Spirit. Our hands have each other, the water, the ashes, the cloth, the beads, all connecting our physical selves to the spiritual.
We have doctrines, rules of faith, and an undeniable tradition. With every new chapter of life, the Church offers new ways to pray, new ways to dedicate oneself to God, and forms of spiritually to connect back to God. Beyond the sacraments, we have Mary, the great Mother of God, who will never let us wander far from her Son. She is the ultimate one who will reveal Jesus, who then will reveal the Father.
I know this is the one true church because it speaks to all of us. God wants us all, and will give us the tools to be able to reach us all. In the Catholic Church, you can find what you seek, discover what you like, and do what brings you peace and joy. And that may be a daily rosary, the Latin Mass, Eucharistic adoration, fasting, missions, novenas, Stations of the Cross, infusing your culture’s customs into the Church, or so many other things. God gave us all these things, in addition to the rest of creation, so we may rediscover Him over and over again, and never tire of Him. The church God gave us will never leave a believer to figure it out for themselves. Instead, it will show them all the resources they need, and thus allowing God to work through them, as He also gave them to us. We humans love to see how it all comes together, and in the Catholic Church, just as God Himself, it does, and isn’t that beautiful?
Peace and Love!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
And it’s not as simple as saying, “turn to God”. I do, and then he does what he always does: sends a flat-out miracle to me right in the middle of my day. It makes me feel so unworthy and awful for being this needy, unloving sinner that simply can’t be totally satisfied with God. What is wrong with me?
I wish for once God gave me what I deserve instead of showing me so much grace and love that my poor decayed heart can’t take. He has proven over and over that he alone is enough, but I still hold on. And I’m holding on to what? To “friendships” (when I can’t even really love others the way they love me)? To my dreams (when I see how God has much better plans for me)? To wanting approval from others (when I know they don’t even know who I really am)? Why do I think these things will be better than God? That they will be better than my Jesus, who listens to my every pleading and act of desperation, and responds by doing things that scream “I WANT YOU” to me?
I am not a good person. I take God for granted, and waste his love by prancing off hoping to find something that I think God can’t give me. I wish he would just take them away for me (but I really don’t mean that).
Jesus deserves better.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
This just proves that we have a huge problem with race and we are very preoccupied with it. Ok, so you’re white, or black, or Puerto Rican. Good for you. Be proud of your heritage, keep your traditions and customs, but don’t look down on others for not sharing that with you. Besides, if everyone was the same race, would it mean as much to you?
Other countries don’t run extensive stories on racial statistics. I wonder if they look at Americans with confusion as to why we constantly talk about race. Just like other factors of life, race sometimes says if you are more likely to be poor, go to jail, have certain health problems. But talking about it like that’s the sole reason for these things is ignorant. Blacks and Hispanics make up 60% of the prison population. Now that is what we should be talking about. The mere fact that the Hispanic population is increasing (and taking over (?)) is not.
Maybe it does interest some people. I would like to know that people are overcoming racial stereotypes, but stories like these help (in a way) to continue them, by pointing them out, talking and analyzing them, and then looking to debunk it. It seems easy to lose that last step. Maybe it’s just me, but I hope one day our country would be concerned with others things besides who is the majority.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
In every need let me come to You with humble trust, saying:
Jesus, help me!
In all my doubts, perplexities, and temptations:
Jesus, help me!
In hours of loneliness, weariness and trials:
Jesus, help me!
In the failure of my plans and hopes, in disappointments, troubles and sorrows:
Jesus, help me!
When others fail me, and Your Grace alone can assist me:
Jesus, help me!
When I throw myself on Your tender Love as Savior:
Jesus, help me!
When my heart is cast down by failure, at seeing no good come from my efforts:
Jesus, help me!
When I feel impatient, and my cross irritates me:
Jesus, help me!
When I am ill, and my head and hands cannot work and I am lonely:
Jesus, help me!
Always, always, in spite of weakness, falls and shortcomings of every kind:
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, help me and never forsake me.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Fall is the most interesting time of year. It’s a gloomier time, with less sun and more rain, but it’s also energizing. I really like nighttime, and fall is the season of night. With the leaves falling and it getting colder, it makes me think of my childhood. Raking leaves, going on long bike rides through the woods, starting the fireplace. I really like fall. It’s always been a lot of fun for me.
One thing that has changed is my living arrangements. Most notably I’m not living at home anymore, and for the past two years, I lived with one other person and it was very easy to avoid them (strangely enough).
It’s been interesting living with really close friends this year. I can’t hide anything from the three of them, and I can’t decide if that’s a good thing. When I was younger I had some pretty rough days, but instead of sharing my struggles with anyone else, I would lock myself in my room, stare at a mirror and talk to myself for hours until I had figured everything out. Some nights were impossible, but I made it through.
Now that I can’t simply run into my room and pretend to be sleeping, my whole approach to dealing with things has been forced to change. Even if I try to keep it to myself that never lasts long. Within the hour all my roommates hear the whole thing and attempt to help. Sometimes it does help, sometimes it only makes me feel even more overwhelmed. I like letting others into my life, but it had consequences.
For one, I’m not used to people analyzing me. They aren’t mean but I’d sometimes rather not have to completely explain and defend myself. I also think I scare them sometimes. But if they saw how I was when I was younger I don’t think they would be so concerned for me now. I am a lot better now.
Having them witness and know of every little bump in my life makes it seem like I’m having more bad days, more struggles than before. But I don’t think this is the case. It’s just that before the only person who knew was me, and if I forgot about it, or didn’t see it as a big deal anymore, then there was no one else around to remind me.
I like living with them. We have a lot of fun, and they can handle my breakdowns. And maybe it’s just because it’s fall, but living with them makes me feel like I’m living with my family.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Recently I’ve felt very non-social as I’ve had to hang out with people I’ve known for a few years now, but just never quite got to know (some of whom I’ve never actually talked too). It’s really weird and slightly painful for me to be sitting there, in silence, trying to think of something to say to someone that I’ve “known” for a while, and that we have a lot in common (on the surface as well as under it, down there somewhere, I‘m sure…). And after about 10 seconds or so of awkward, I have nothing to say to you, silence, all chance of a conversation have been pulverized and incinerated in my over-packed mind that can’t force myself to speak. I feel like a failure.
On the upside, they in turn, never say anything to me, and possibly have a similar self-torturing experience. I blame it on myself, but really, it’s their fault too.
I’ve become worse and worse at small talk, to the point of where now I can’t even bring myself to point out something obvious for the sake of keeping myself from sounding lame. But isn’t silence even lamer? I’m not sure. I guess I’ve never fully learned how to start getting to know someone when it isn’t obvious what to talk about.
Even if I haven’t semi-avoided you for years, it’s hard for me to keep up a conversation past the “How are you” and “What classes are you taking?” I run out of things to say or ask and then I feel trapped which only makes me want to literally run away. I know this sounds pathetic and probably troubling, but I really don’t like small talk. Small talk hardly helps you get to know someone anyway. Idle time around people drives me crazy.