Gotta collect them all!

A.M.D.G.
J.M.J.
A.T.C.

Laudetur Iesus Christus!
Nunc et in æternum! Amen.

Yes. I did mean that as a play on the Pokemon slogan saying thing. No. I don’t have Pokemon Go on my phone but I know plenty of people who do and make fun of it all you want but it’s gotten more people on their feet walking than Michelle Obama’s multi million/billion dollar fitness program has. God bless America. Though I do have Pokemon Red, Blue, Yellow, and Silver (I know, kick it old school, Ms. Allie!).

But let’s get onto our topic.

Take a wild guess.

Yup, we’re going to talk about one of my fave topics!

Veiling!

When I resumed veiling about four years ago, I got an ivory classic D-shaped mantilla and from then on kinda stuck to the standard ivory, white, and black. I thought myself adventurous when I got a silver one once. I know, what a brazen hussy I was!

Well, if a silver veil indicates a brazen hussy then now I must be the mother of harlots or something.

Why?

Because, as of about a week ago, I am now the owner of a set of mantillas (95 percent being Spanish style mantillas) in every liturgical color.

Green? Got it.

Violet? Got it.

Red? Got it. It’s the one non-Spanish mantilla I have but I have got a store credit from Veils by Lily so that will soon be amended.

White? Got it in ivory. White doesn’t quite work with my skin tone.

Rose? Yes, even that color. And it is rose. Not pink.

Heck, I even have gold! And it was blessed by Archbishop Vigneron and touched to a relic of Saint Anne (the patroness of the AOD) on her feast day at the mother church of the AOD, Sainte Anne de Detroit (the second oldest continuously running Catholic parish in the United States).

Don’t believe me?

Here’s photographic proof!

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I’ve also got silver and blue infinity veils.

 

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Selfie with Saint Therese wearing my fave mantilla

And a royal blue mantilla that is my favorite of them all. It’s such a perfection Marian blue.

I’ll be ordering a red Spanish mantilla soon. Just waiting for another sale to pop up on those.

But yes, I have a complete collection including velvet bags that are mostly coordinated to the color of the veil they contain.

 

Looking back at the four years since I resumed veiling, I am glad I did and I am glad I got past the nay-sayers. There weren’t many but there were some. I probably posted about that at some point.

It’s been quite wonderful to see the gradual resurgence of the devotion of women covering their heads in the Real Presence of the Lord in the Eucharist.

I mean, not that long ago, one would have never seen something like this …

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Young women covering their heads/veiling

Some persons much more trad than me think that all women should cover their heads. Period. They use 1 Corinthians 11:3-11 as their biblical basis (and it’s a good one I even use) and some of them with a pretty rusty understanding of how Canon Law works will cite c. 1262 from the 1917 CIC (mulieres autem, capite cooperto (covered head) et modeste vestitae, maxime cum ad mensam Dominicam accedunt (approaching the table of the Lord)) but then they tend to forget c. 6 of the 1983 CIC that states “When this Code takes force [First Sunday of Advent 1983], the following are abrogated: the Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1917”

Does that mean that veiling has been banned? Cast into the fiery furnace like all those blasted felt banners and UGLY vestments ought to be?

Heck no! It’s just not mandated anymore. A woman can walk into a church today with her head uncovered (and attend Mass in BOTH Forms) and not have to worry about being in violation of any ecclesiastical law. At least, that’s the understanding I got from my Canon Law prof at the Seminary.

What do we learn from all this?

That it is a matter of devotion. That’s it. A woman can just as freely choose to veil as she can choose not to. A woman should never be pressured to veil nor should ever she be pressured to not veil. I got the latter when I resumed and I gave into it for a while (about a year) but then I picked it up again remembering that it wasn’t for them that I was veiling, it is for God and to honor Him and His Holy Mother that I veil.

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Check out Veils by Lily for some real beauties!

One thing connected to veiling that bugs the crap out of me is then generalizations that can go with it. Some will stereotype veiling women as being “holier than thou” while some more hardcore (borderline “Who is the Pope right now?” or “Is there a Pope right now?”) will look at women who don’t as less devout.

And I guess that is all rooted in our fallen human nature and our desire for self-affirmation even if it comes at the cost of unjustly belittling others.

We have to work on that. I know I do.

Just like how some are into Praise and Worship and others tend to like the more traditional stuff (some even like both!), some women derive a great deal of good from the practice of veiling while others might not find it to fit their personality or their spirituality.

One is not objectively better than another. Liking one and not the other is not wrong nor is it indicative of some spiritual ill nor superiority.

Now does that mean I am not going to encourage the practice of veiling?

Nope. Because much like our love and relationship with Jesus Christ, which He told us not to hide, when we have discovered something beautiful that can be very helpful to ourselves, we share it.

I have found the devotion of veiling in the Presence of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament to be very grace-filled therefore I want to share it with anyone and everyone.

Some have found certain prayer styles to be helpful to their spiritual lives so what do they do? They tell others! They teach others how to do it so that perhaps then the Lord can work in their hearts and lives as He has through theirs.

So true promotion of a particular devotion or practice should never be to the detriment of another perfectly valid devotion or practice. Nor should the practice of or the lack of practice of a particular devotion or spirituality be seen as detracting from the fidelity of another person, provided they remain faithful to Christ and His Church in the fundamentals (don’t go denying the Incarnation, the Theotokos, the Real Presence, the validity and infallibility of the Papacy, etc.).

All right. I think I have written enough so far. But if you or anyone you know is interested in veiling or learning more about it, check out the “Thinking About Veiling” tab at the top or click here.

 

Posted in Church Lady Stuff, Fun with Canon Law, Liturgy and Prayer, veiling | Leave a comment

Wow. It’s been a while …

A.M.D.G.
J.M.J.
A.T.C.

Laudetur Iesus Christus!
Nunc et in æternum!  Amen.

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Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord

So … long time no post. Like almost three years to the day since my last post.

Where to begin? Where to begin?

Well, the last time I posted, I had not even begun grad school at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. I hadn’t even bought most of my textbooks yet!

Little did I know then what those two years would hold for me intellectually, personally, and spiritually.

A lot has happened in the time since August 2013.

Needless to say, I have since completed my Masters. I can honestly say that I could have NEVER asked for a better experience. I was not just intellectually formed but my heart and soul were fed and sustained there as well. The students, faculty, and staff there are really on fire for Christ and for helping others encounter Him. The programs the courses are great (I can take courses there now with a sizable alumni discount) and one never has to question the solidity of the content or the professors teaching; they are all top top top shelf.

I took courses for three semesters full time. I would get to the Sem by 10 in the morning and be there sometimes until 10 at night. Once thesis time rolled around, I would be there six days a week. Needless to say, it became a second home for me (and still is) and everyone there became an extended family for me (and they still are).

While I was taking courses during the Fall 2014 semester, I began to research my approved thesis topic: Mary as Woman of the Eucharist in the Theology of Pope Saint John Paul II. By the beginning of the Winter Term 2015 (my last semester), I had come up with a schedule wherein I would write a chapter of my thesis every week (7-10 pages) in time for my defense at the beginning of April. Oh, and I was taking Trinity and Christology in addition to thesis work. NBD.

And you can bet your blessed beads I LOVED every second of it. I really believe that I thrive in the midst of academia.

Well, my defense got delayed a little bit because the priest-prof I wanted to be my reader (an MA Thesis has a director and a reader) couldn’t do it Winter Term so I ended up defending in June of 2015. It went very well and my dear Best Priest Friend (BPF) drove ALL THE WAY from the northern outer reaches of the AOD to come to my defense (he must have ran out of morning Mass to make it).

With the thesis defended, I was officially graduated magna cum laude on the eve of my Name Day (Saint Aloysius’ Day 21 June) on 20 June 2015.

Now, I have a nicely bound (in blue, of course) edition of my 70 page thesis

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Oh, and I also have this very very very nice piece of paper which is basically the consummation of a dream I have had since I was in seventh grade.

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During that time, I also applied to the PhD programs at Notre Dame and CUA for Systematics and Liturgical Theology. It wasn’t God’s will … at least at that point.

After I graduated, I embarked on the journey that all grads enter into: the harrowing world outside of the warm womb of academia and into the job market.

I applied to some positions: some parish jobs but mostly high school theology teaching positions. One of them popped out to me: an all girls Catholic high school that happened to be the cross town rival of my high school alma mater.

I applied, sent in my resume, three letters of recommendation (a couple profs among them), transcripts, etc..

I got a call back for an interview!

I went to one interview with the head of the department (my immediate superior nowadays) and the Dean of Studies.

They asked if I could stay for a second interview with the Head of School (think Principal).

Ummmmmmmm, yeah. I can.

I went to that interview (both went pretty well, I think) and was told that I would know within a week or so.

I am in my car driving back home and my phone rings. It’s the school. It’s the Dean of Studies.

She says she would like to offer me the position.

I ask her to hold for a moment.

I mute my phone. Roll my window down and shout a very happy (and grateful) YAY into space as I sit stuck in rush hour traffic back into the city.

I unmute the phone and calmly accept the position.

I immediately call my parents, my BPF, a couple other priest-friends, and some other friends.

Then I prepared to begin the new journey of teaching high school Theology.

I was nervous as heck and I had a few hiccups, some missteps, and some “what was I thinking” experiences and I am sure I will have others in the future but I was offered a contract for this coming school year.

My first year, I taught sophs and juniors.

Sophs studied Soteriology and Ecclesiology. Juniors studied Sacramental Theology and Moral Theology. They weren’t expressly called those things per say but those were the theology topics they covered.

I loved it. I wish I could have had this stuff when I was in high school. Instead, I had feelings up the wazoo and my senior year, I learned how to use different forms of contraception (you know, just so I know, not that they were endorsing or encouraging their use). Maybe, if I was actually being fed, I would not have needed to sneak Ratzinger into class to read it on my lap during class. (I got good grades in religion all four years btw)

This year, I am teaching frosh and sophs.

The frosh will be learning Biblical Theology first semester and Christology second semester. I have to get the teacher’s guides for each of those so I can start lesson planning for first semester.

Since the school is college prep, I have tried to make it as much like a college class as I can while keeping it age appropriate. I am still working on that but it seems to have worked pretty well last year with how my students did. And I am not an easy grader. Nor do I believe in substantial extra credit. They might get a couple points added to the 50 point participation grade but that’s usually about it unless they really dazzle me.

I think one of the most amusing requests for extra credit was when one student asked if they could summarize a part of my thesis.

I looked at her incredulously and said, “You do realize that I wrote that thing so you can’t make anything up. It’s neigh on impossible to BS this one.”

She looked at me kind of defeated, “Oh. okay.”

Besides, if I would have consented, I would have given her the Patristics chapter because … Patristics.

So now, I am getting things ready to start a new school year. The summer went by quickly and I didn’t get done what I had hoped I would but it will work out according to God’s will no matter what.

Oh, and I am going to polish up my resume, write out a nice letter of intent and drop it off at the Seminary.

Why?

Because my dream of dreams would be to be a professor there one day. I figure it can’t hurt to get my foot in the door with a possible adjunct instructor position for undergrad courses. I need to earn my doctorate or something like that.

But that opens up a whole other can of questions: Where? Will I get accepted? If I get accepted, will I get funding? What area of theology will I study? That’s all in God’s hands no matter how much I would like to have control.

This post has gotten long but I wanted to give you all an update of what has happened in the last three years. I would say I summarized it pretty well.

What led to my coming back out of the binary ethers of the Interwebz? I was at an EF Mass at Old Saint Mary’s in Detroit last night and I was talking afterward with one of the other attendants of the Holy Mass. When we were introducing ourselves, he told me that my blog was somewhat well-known for its articles (and I thought only a few friends were reading my rants). That was kinda the last straw for something that had been popping into my head for a while: bring the blog back. So here I am.

Now, please, don’t expect frequent updates, especially once school starts kicking into gear in a few weeks but I will try my best to post more often than I have in the last three years (I can’t fail that one if I post at least once!). Once school starts, I will be back to waking up before God (4:45 in the morning) and being out the door by 6 to beat traffic so I can be at school by 7.

I already went through and cleaned up the links and updated the veiling page that is along top. But as I get time, I will go through and clean other things up so please forgive any dead/broken links.

Well, I hope y’all have a great day!

-Allison

Posted in Grad school, Musings, Update | Leave a comment

Veiled Inconsistencies

A.M.D.G.
J.M.J.
A.T.C.

Laudetur Iesus Christus!
Nunc et in æternum!  Amen.

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Memorial of Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (aka Edith Stein) (readings for today)

Well, we’re in the homestretch!  Less than a month until classes start!  I am all registered for classes (taking 11 credits this semester) and all I have to wait for now is what I have gotten in grants (no biggie … *gulp*).  I compiled a list of all the books I need for classes and even bought one because the prof had given us a reading assignment to have done before the first day of class.  I got that book today so I hope to read it at least once or twice before classes begin.  It’s only 41 pages so it’s no biggie.

My main worry is about grants and money.  Come Hell or high water, I am going to start grad school.  Even if I have to indenture myself to the Church (I was planning on dedicating my life to her anyway … lol).  I have been waiting a very long time for this and I do not believe that God would have led me this far (less than a month before classes begin and almost everything is in place) just to ditch me right before everything really starts.  My priests keep telling me to trust so every time the worry comes to mind (I worry a lot), I give it to God.  I pray about it twice a day and I have just resigned myself to whatever God wants, hoping we want the same thing.

Anywho …

In the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to partake in some traddy events or events that were attended by persons of a traddy bent to varying degrees. (I’m probably going to tick off some people but w/e, I have no specific people in mind herein, just speaking generally).  It was also fun to see the looks of scandal when some found out that I was an MC at Masses with the Archbishop of Detroit.  lolz!  Oh please.  lol

There are different degrees of trads … three, really.  At least as my padawan observations have gleaned (don’t consider these terms to be objective, they are just labels I use … I know, should use labels but … they are for the sake of differentiation):

Novus Ordo Trads (like me), who love the traditional things associated with Catholicism (smells, bells, Latin, and lace) and while they love the TLM, also attend the Novus Ordo.  In my case, it’s my principal form but when I can attend a TLM, I do because I love it and it helps my spiritual life.  Traddy persons believe that the Novus Ordo is a perfectly valid and that it is the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite and thus should have primacy (Holy Mother Church knows best) over the Extraordinary Form.

Trads are those persons who acknowledge the validity of the Novus Ordo but have a preference for the TLM to the point that it is their preferred form of the Holy Mass and they assist at that form frequently or exclusively.  Totally fine.  Totally legit.

Now, we’re getting into the murky waters … the holy water that needs to be changed.

Rad Trads are those persons who either flat-out say that the Novus Ordo is invalid/objectively inferior to the TLM and that it needs to be abrogated ASAP or they hint at it by remarks, attitudes, etc..  They usually refuse to attend the Novus Ordo and they speak very negatively of anything that came out of the Church after about 1962/1965 (take a guess why).

There are many times when I encounter these types of trads that I wonder if they acknowledge Pope Francis as the valid Pope or if they believe we are still in sede vacante or if some anti-pope like “Pope” Michael is the (un)gloriously reigning pseudo-Pontiff.  They also tend to have very antiquated views on women (like they make the miniscule feminist in me grind my teeth with their BS).

The thing that gets me about some types of trads is their attitude toward those of us who have the tenacity to attend the Novus Ordo.  I mean, I will be the first to confess my personal sin of liturgical snobbery.  There are things that are done at Mass that makes my skin crawl but it’s not a full crawl … more of a shuddering crawl.  Some tend to have the mentality that the Novus Ordo, while validis inferior because of how it is offered.

I can understand the beefs that many (including myself) have with how the Novus Ordo is offered in some places however, just because some people/priests decide that the Mass is their personal liturgical canvas does not mean that the Mass in the Ordinary Form itself is some perversion of the real Mass.  I have been to Novus Ordo Masses offered in Latin and English (the vernacular) that have been beautiful, prayerful, and reverent.  It’s not the Mass itself that is reprehensible, it’s how the people treat the Mass that can be the source of pain and suffering.

I had to get all that off my chest because that is one thing about persons of a traddier bent that I have noted: there are some who pretty much alienate themselves to varying degrees by their attitude toward those who may not be attracted to those traddier things of Holy Mother Church.  Fidelity to the Lord and Holy Church is all that matters.  If the vernacular Novus Ordo helps you in achieving that goal: all the more power to you.  If the TLM helps you in achieving that goal: go for it.  If participating in both help you: thanks be to God.  The worst thing we can do as Catholics is to compartmentalize our fellow Catholics to the point that there are persons who, being otherwise faithful to the Church, are inferior because of their liturgical preferences.

Now, moving onto my title: “Veiled Inconsistencies.”

This won’t be nearly as long but rather just another observation of mine.

As some of you may know, I am one of those Catholic women who veils in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament.

When I first started veiling, I was a sophomore in college and I veiled consistently but I did not veil when I came home to my home parish because a.) I served Mass a lot (*scandalgasp*) and wearing that veil would have been a fire hazard and b.) I knew that I would face a lot of trouble and unnecessary rigmarole.

When I graduated, I dropped the practice until I started going to TLM again.  Then I realized how inconsistent I was being.  Is the Blessed Sacrament only present at the TLM?  How about the Novus Ordo?

Anyone who knows me knows that I cannot stand inconsistency and here I am being inconsistent.  I only veiled at TLM basically for fear of reprisal.

The first time I tried to veil at Novus Ordo at my home parish, I got the riot act read to me and I dropped it out of some kind of fear.

One year passed.

I got sick of feeling like a hypocrite.

So I said, “Forget it.  I am doing this.”

Luckily, when I decided this, it was just before the beginning of Lent so I could at least segue into the practice under the guise of one of my Lenten practices.

Come Ash Wednesday of this year, I did it.  I started veiling consistently.

I faced some flak but those persons who were spewing flak eventually realized that they were not going to change my mind again on this.

And I am glad that I stuck to my guns.  Is the Novus Ordo less holy than the TLM?  Is it less Catholic?  Is the Real Presence confected less real that it would not be necessary for me to veil under the standard that if I were in the Real Presence that it would be necessary for me to do so?

No.  The Real Presence is the Real Presence.  No matter what liturgical form is used.

I feel called to veil in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament ergo I veil whenever I am in a Catholic church.  Whenever I at Mass, no matter what form.  Whenever I am at Adoration, etc..

One thing that gets me about veiling is how some view it.

For me, I veil out of deference to the Blessed Sacrament.  A woman’s hair is her glory.  A woman’s glory is not to try to compete with the inestimable glory of the Real Presence.

Not to sound like a progressive but I don’t buy the whole “female submission” thing as some rad trads put it.  Yes, I seek to submit myself to God like the Virgin Mary did, but in one form or another, are not both men and women called to that since we are not above God but rather His creatures who are completely dependent on His Providence?

Also, some are scandalized that I wear jeans to Mass and veil.  I do that mostly because when I have to walk home, it can be a bit brisk and I like to keep my legs warm.  That, and no one needs to see how pale my legs are.  And I have one long skirt and my wardrobe does not have many articles that match with brown and I am 25 years old, I don’t do full length skirts 24/7 but that’s just a preference of mine.

How was that for an abrupt end?  lol  I have to do a couple things and then I am going to dive into my reading.  41 pages is no big deal.  I would really appreciate your prayers as I hope to begin my academic career anew.  I don’t think the Lord would have allowed me to get this far to ditch me this close that I can smell the old book smell of the library and feel the thrill of homework building in my being.  Yes, I am a nerd.  Don’t judge me.  lol

Have a great day, everyone!

 

Posted in Church Lady Stuff, Contemplations, Grad school, Liturgy and Prayer, Musings, Trad Catholicism | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Providentia Providebit!

A.M.D.G.
J.M.J.
A.T.C.

Laudetur Iesus Christus!
Nunc et in æternum! Amen.

Saint Bridget of Sweden

Optional Memorial of Saint Bridget of Sweden, religious (readings for today)

Before I get into today’s post, when I was at Mass this morning, the priest offered Mass for the feast day so he used the proper Collect (along with prayers from the common of religious):

O God, Who guided Saint Bridget of Sweden along different paths of life and wondrously taught her the wisdom of the Cross as she contemplated the Passion of Your Son, grant us, we pray, that, walking worthily in our vocation, we may seek You in all things. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

And then the Gospel from Saint Matthew:

While Jesus was speaking to the crowds,
His mother and His brothers appeared outside,
wishing to speak with Him.
Someone told Him, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside,
asking to speak with You.”
But He said in reply to the one who told Him,
“Who is My mother? Who are My brothers?”
And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said,
“Here are My mother and My brothers.
For whoever does the will of My heavenly Father
is My brother, and sister, and mother.”

And then, this Gospel itself also reminded me of the part of Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen’s The World’s First Love that I had read as part of my spiritual reading before Mass.

In the section I read, he defends the Virgin Birth of Christ as part of the teaching of the Church.  He spoke of those who say that the Gospels can be used to prove the fact that Mary had other children in that there are mentions of Jesus’ “brethren.”  Archbishop Sheen says that the Church’s teaching on the Virgin Birth was part of the Church’s tradition  from the beginning and before the Gospels were recorded.  He called the Gospels “secretarial reports of what was already believed.”  He even mentions that even the early heretics did not touch the doctrine of the Virgin Birth because it was seen as an obvious reality.

But we’ll go back to the whole thing about vocation and following Christ.  In the Collect, the priest prays that we “[walk] worthily in our vocation,[that] we may seek You in all things” and Christ Himself says in today’s Gospel that “whoever does the will of My heavenly Father is My brother, and sister, and mother.”

What Providence that this theme be so reinforced by both the Collect for the feast (which was purely on the whim of the priest) and the Gospel for the day.

It is in living our vocation, whatever it may be, that we grow in our relationship with Christ.  When we do the will of God, our relationship with God is such that we become His “brother, sister, and mother.”  That is, we become more perfectly members of the family of God since we are striving for uniting our wills and lives to the perfect will and life of God.

Walking worthily in our vocation.

Seeking Christ in all things.

Being the sister, brother, and mother of Christ.

I really, honest to God, do not believe in coincidences.  I believe with every fiber of my being that everything is part of either the active or permissive will of God.  Everything that happens to us, happens for a reason and it happens for our betterment.

No matter how hard and humiliating it may be.

I came to believe in that all the more last week.

As some of you who have been following my blog for the past couple years may recall, I, for some reason known only to God (not even I, in retrospect, am able to come up with a valid reason), did not have my driver’s license (awkward turtle).  I knew how to drive but I had not taken my test.  Correction: I took it in 2011 but I failed it because being the cocky child of God that I can be, I thought I would be fine and I wasn’t.

I had not taken it again until last Monday.

Basically from the day I came home from the convent, I was determined to start grad school.  I had everything in place: I took the GRE (did much better on it that I had anticipated), had all the forms and recommendations in, I had been admitted … all I had to do was meet with my adviser and sign up for classes.

But there was one heckuva wall I had to scale: that blasted driving test.

So I began to pray constantly to the Infant of Prague that I would start grad school when He wanted me to and that I would have my license soon.

Fall 2012 semester began.  No classes.

Okay, maybe He wants me to wait until Winter term.

Winter 2013 term.  Nope.

Okay, Lord, I know this is on me but please help me.

All right, by 21 June (Saint Aloysiusmas) I will have my license.

Things were looking REALLY GOOD.

Nope.  *mutters stuff under breath*

Then I just became a stubborn pain in the butt.  I was going to start grad school in the Fall.  I am sick of waiting.

So, I took the leap and signed up for my road test a few days later.  My father took me out practicing and I had it down pretty well.

I was still freaking out.  I went to Mass pretty much every day for the intention (along with others).  I prayed my daily Rosary for it.  I was offering two different novenas to the Infant of Prague for the intention for seven months.

There were times when I was really psyching myself out (I have this uncanny ability to do this quite effectively) and I would hear in my heart, “I am going to take care of you and everything.  Be calm.” or something like that, then a feeling of peace would come over me.

So, I went to Mass that Monday morning and got ready to take my test.  My father picked me up, we did some last minute practice, and then we headed over to the testing place.

I took my test (which took less time that I thought it would) and I passed.

I passed!

We didn’t have time to go to the Secretary of State (my mother and I went the next day) so my father dropped me off at home and he went back to work (I know, I am very blessed).

I spent the next hour calling people.  I called one of my priests at my parish who had been keeping me accountable (lol) and I called my spiritual director (because the email would have taken up his whole inbox with the egregious abuse of caps lock and exclamation points).  I wasted minutes of their lives that they will never get back.  I could not wipe the doofy grin off my face.  I couldn’t stop going “Yay!!!!!”

And then, after I was done phone harassing people, I went and got the mail.

What was in the mailbox that day, you ask!?

The course offerings flier for the Fall Term at the Seminary (where I am going to grad school)!  PROVIDENTIA PROVIDEBIT!!!

I took that as a little sign from the Lord that I would be starting grad school this Fall.  The third time is the charm!

Now, all I have to do is get a car (which is going to be taken care of very soon (before the middle of August), meet with my adviser to plan my classes (and prove to him that I do, in fact, exist), and … START classes!

I am hoping that I can continue to teach Catechism this year (it all depends on my Monday class schedule) since I really enjoyed it last year.  I actually did it last year to qualify for the 20 percent off my grad tuition for those who actively participate in the catechetical work of one’s parish (as a catechist, DRE, youth minister, young adult minister, etc..)  If I can’t, I can still get the grant since I am part of the leadership of our vicariate young adult group.  I am just sad that the lady with whom I taught last year is not returning.  That made me sad.  She was a really kind person and the kids loved her!

I can’t even tell you how good it feels to have that load taken off my shoulders.  For the longest time, that whole situation with my license absorbed so much mental and emotional energy that I was drained internally though I may not have seemed as such on the outside.  It was also a source of much embarrassment to me.  Now that’s all gone.  And it feels sooo good.

This whole situation has taught me how important it is to simply trust God in all things and it also showed me how much I do not trust Him though I may think I do.

Now, I have a promise to keep.

I made a promise to the Infant of Prague a little over a year ago that once I got my license, that I would offer the next nine TLMs I attended as a novena of thanksgiving for the favor granted.  I also promised that I would promote devotion to Him as the Infant of Prague whenever I could.  I have a little plastic statue of the Infant of Prague that is going on the dash of my car along with a mini plastic statue of Our Lady of Grace.  One of my priests (the one I called and harassed when I passed my test) got me a visor clip with Saint Christopher and Our Lady of Good Help (the first approved Marian apparition in the United States) from her shrine where he made a pilgrimage recently (it was my present for passing my test).

My car will be so Catholic, even the Pope will have to respect.  I have been told to have my new car blessed using the form in the Rituale Romanum (of course … Book of Blessings … pah) and I shall be working on getting a “drive to school” playlist ready (though my commute when traffic is favorable will only be about 15 minutes by freeway … the perks of living in an inner-ring suburb).

I hope to still attend daily Mass if not at my home parish but then at the Seminary (I think their morning Mass is open to commuter students, I will have to look into that) and hopefully maintain my habit of a daily holy hour.

I am looking forward to doing something that I have wanted to do since I was in seventh grade (yes, that long ago).  I estimate that it will take me about 2.5 years to earn my degree if I take a whole semester to write my thesis.

I ask for your prayers for me as I begin this new chapter in my life.  I am looking forward to this and I taking everything one step at a time.

I write all of this to remind you all (and myself) that while it can be the hardest thing to do (“the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”) to submit oneself totally to the Providence of God, it can be the most freeing and joy-bestowing thing one can do.

I am so glad I can move on now with my discernment after feeling like it was on ice for the longest time.  This new freedom will allow me to do things pertaining to my discernment (go on retreat, go to Adoration when I want to/am able to, etc.).  I will actually be meeting with a woman from the Archdiocese about consecrated virginity in September.

I just have to keep my eyes on the prize.  As my SD says (paraphrasing): “Keep moving and ignore the distractions.”  And yes, some of the distractions are very niiiiiice.  Some of these distractions make me think “angst muffins!!!!!”  But I have gotten off the fence and am walking toward a goal/vocation.  If the Lord doesn’t want me there, He has a way of picking me up and putting me where I need, even if I am kicking and resisting.

God is just awesome like that.

So I thank you all for your prayers and support!  I continue to need them and be ever so grateful for them!

And, of course …

Infant of Prague

Thank You, Infant of Prague!

Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Thank you, Mother Mary!

Saint Joseph

Thank you, Saint Joseph!

Thank you, Saint Therese!

Thank you, Saint Aloysius!

Thank you, Father Solanus!  I had one of his relic badges in my pocket when I took my test and one will be in my car when I get it.

 

Posted in Contemplations, Grad school, Help me!, Musings, Our Lady, Prayer, Prayer Requests, Saints, The Divine Child/Infant of Prague, Update, Vocation and Discernment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Random and totally unoriginal thoughts …

A.M.D.G.
J.M.J.
A.T.C.

Laudetur Iesus Christus!
Nunc et in æternum!  Amen.

Saint Thomas the Apostle

Feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle

Yes, yes, yes.  I know it’s been a little over a month since I last posted.  Yes, I know that I didn’t post anything for Saint Aloysius’ Day aka Aloysiusmas.  I celebrated it.  Just not on the blog.  I’ve been in a blogging funk and I am hoping that it goes away eventually.  Like I have been saying of late, I get an idea for a post but it never comes out the way I want it to ergo, it enters the limbo that is the drafts box.  When I signed into WordPress today, I saw the drafts and just deleted them, you can’t revive momentary inspirations.  It’s like trying to relive a specific emotion from a specific moment in one’s life, you can try to imitate it but you won’t get it just as it was.  Such is the nature of time.

Anywho …

Tomorrow is Independence Day in the United States aka “The Fourth of July.”  For those who are not from the US or who didn’t do so great in their US History classes in school, Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by members of the Continental Congress.

As I was following the proper prayers for the feast day today, it just happened that on the facing page were the liturgical prayers for Independence Day and this though popped into my head: The guys who signed the Declaration of Independence had major cajones.  They had to have realized that by their signing that document, they were literally putting their necks (and the necks of their families) on the line.  In the eyes of the British Crown, they were traitors.  Back then, traitors to the realm were subjected to the most nasty and inhumane form of torture and execution: hanging, drawing, and quartering.

Hang, draw, quarter

One cannot find a “nice” picture of execution but I wanted to include this to show what would have happened to them had things not worked out as they did.

Could you imagine what went through their minds and hearts as they dipped their quills into the ink pot and basically signed what was not only a declaration of independence from the Crown but also their own death warrants?!

Declaration of Independence

Imagine signing your own death warrant.
Imagine the courage it took to sign this wonderful document.
Click for the National Archives page on this document.

What cajones and, of course, by “cajones” I mean “courage.”  It took a mess of courage to do that.

Then I thought: these guys were willing to put their lives and livelihoods (including those of their loved ones) on the line for the belief that they ought to be free from the tyrannical control of a foreign power and that all persons are endowed by the Creator (not the King) with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (an alteration from John Locke’s “life, liberty, and property”), how much more willing should we be to stand up for our holy Faith?

One of the reasons our Founding Fathers decided that they needed to separate from the British was for religious freedom.  Under the Crown, the throne and the altar were intimately connected.  How connected?  The monarch of Britain is the Head of the Church of England.  The monarch = the Pope of the Anglican Church.  Can’t get much more connected than that.

While the Founding Fathers did not expressly mention separation of church and state (“separation of church and state” is mentioned in some letters sent between some of the Fathers), they did think that the state had no place in the establishment of a state religion as was the case in Britain.

However, contrary to what some will try to tell you, the American government was not meant to be exclusively secular.  It just can’t have a state religion and mandate the practice of that religion in its citizenry.  One of the things that made America so different for the time was the fact that one could practice any faith one wanted (or not practice, I guess) without worrying about being maltreated by the government

Oh how times have changed.

These guys fought a tyrannical totalitarian government whose leader ruled by divine right (the monarch was the monarch because God willed it to be so) by establishing a government who got their power from the people.  Instead of the people fearing the government, the government was to fear the people whose most powerful ability was to vote in free and open elections (the sphere of suffrage widened from male property owners only to including black men, to including women … 1920 FTW).

Now, we’re dealing with a government that is trying to put down the very freedoms it was established to honor and defend in the name of more control over the lives of the citizenry.

Nice.

Think about it …

If these guys were willing to put their lives on the line for a philosophy, how much more should we be willing to stand up for the Truth as is found in the teachings of the Church Christ Himself founded?

These guys were willing to die for the independence of the colonies from Crown control.

Are we willing to die for the proclamation of the Truth in the face of adversity that we haven’t had to deal with before?

Or will we just “sit down and shut up” for the sake of being accepted or to save one’s own interests?  Or will we keep quiet for the sake of “not causing trouble” or “not being divisive?”

Because we all know Christ was the great peacemaking milquetoast of milquetoasts (what would that be in Latin?).

Yeah, He would want us to keep quiet, right?

“Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” (Luke 12:51-53)

Yeah … ’bout that … right.

We have to remember that we aren’t supposed to be chummy with the world.  The world is going to hate us who are faithful to Christ.  The world hates us.  Just like it hated Him

He said the world was going to hate us like it hated Him?!  Where?!

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.  Remember the word that I said to you, `A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also.  But all this they will do to you on My account, because they do not know him who sent Me.” (Saint John 15:18-21)

Oh.  Right.

So we can’t really be surprised that so many persons and groups (including whole governments) hate the Catholic Church and all that she stands with.

And the desire of some within the Church to not be “divisive,” “tolerant,” and “pastoral” (in the wrong sense of the word) has done us absolutely no good whatsoever.

But I won’t get into that rant.

We need to accept the fact that the world isn’t going to like us.  They are going to do anything they can to undermine us and even eliminate us and our influence in favor of its egocentric relativism.

We believe that life begins at conception and therefore deserves to be defended from that point onward from all undermining: abortion, contraception, euthanasia, etc..

The world believes that life is only valuable if it fulfills certain subjective criteria and can be disposed of when seen as being an “unnecessary burden.”

We believe that marriage is between one man and one woman and is meant for the unity of the spouses and the procreation of children.  If one or both of those is missing, it is not an authentic marriage but some perversion of it.  It is also an indissoluble covenant between the spouses and God.

The world thinks that marriage is just a commitment based in love (its sense of love … which is really based in unreliable feeling)  between two consenting individuals. (We won’t get into the logical slippery slope that that is).  That commitment can be dissolved when it ceases to be convenient for one or more parties.  It is merely a contract.  Not a covenant.

The government is trying to make Catholics pay for and condone things and actions that are intrinsically wrong.  By their very nature, they are wrong.  They are going to penalize faithful Catholics for practicing their Faith.  If that’s not a violation of religious liberty, I don’t know what is.

And then you get some who are all, “Well, who are the Catholics to be pushing their morality on others?”

Really?  This is coming from the persons who condemn Catholics because they do not believe that gay “marriage” is morally permissible.  They are trying to force the Church to change her ages old timeless teachings in the name of some prevailing societal norm.

I guess you’re only a bigot if you have the nerve to disagree with them but if the tables were turned, then they would still be the ones being oppressed by the big bad Church.

But now I am getting into a tangent.

If our Founding Fathers will willing to put their lives in jeopardy for a worldly ideal, how much more should we be willing to offer our lives and livelihoods for the defense and promotion of eternal Truth?

Now is not the time for being a milquestoast.  We have to follow Our Lord in carrying His Cross, in being spit on and reject, and in being crucified out of love for those who hate us.  Being a faithful Catholic was never meant to be easy.

Sure there were times when it was more laudable and acceptable but it has never been easy because from the get-go, the world has hated the Church.  The only difference now is that it has become all the more acceptable and apparent.  Anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice in America.

But remember, if the world is angry at us and does everything it can to undermine us, then we are doing something right.  It’s when the world embraces us or vice versa that we have to worry.  The world rejected Christ.  It’s going to reject us too.  We’re are in no way exceptions to that rule.

Christ the King

May Christ the King reign in our land, our homes, and our hearts!

May we never lose zeal for our Faith and the Truth it proclaims.  The very Truth that came from Truth Himself, Jesus Christ.  Christ has conquered death and the world, we have only to persevere through this vale of tears and vitriol to receive our eternal reward that no worldly power can take away.

Keep in mind that many many persons have died for the Faith in the past.  Our time is no exception.  In fact, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago said  in 2010 on how much religious liberties are endangered in the Western world and the US specifically:

“I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.  His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.”

Some say he was being extreme but I think he makes a point.  We are in very dark times when it comes to the protection and advancement of holy Truth.  But our defending the Truth will only reap a greater harvest in eternity.  The days when being Catholic was easy are long gone, people.  Time to put on the combat boots and pray and offer penances like we have never done before.

But do take time to read the Declaration of Independence.  I am kinda disgusted at how many Americans have never read it (and the Constitution).  In order to be informed Americans, we need to have an awareness of our history.  So many times, people tend to be in the bubble of their own time without any reference to the past.  We need to read the documents that outline and symbolize all that is good about our country and try to realign ourselves more with the true spirit of this country under God.

Have a blessed and safe Independence Day!

God bless America!

Immaculate Conception
Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception, pray for and protect our country!

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