This is a repost from 3/6/2014. I thought it was a good refresher, though, since folks are already starting to warn others about the "sinfulness" of showin' ash. ;)
Yesterday found Twitter aflutter with some of the most amusing Catholic hashtags I'd ever seen. Things like #Ashtag and #ShowYourAsh. It was so much fun seeing these #CatholicSelfies, because each ashen forehead was a reminder that we are ALL united in our humanity. More than that, however, we all belong to Christ, and as such, are marked by the sign of His ransom.
Thus, I LOVED seeing these!
However, alongside this bubbling evangelism, a parallel sentiment was trying to stifle the conversation.
Folks were commenting on these posts in condemnation, suggesting that those who were posting them were doing so for arrogant purposes.
C'mon now. Seems a little bit arrogant to take the time to make a post implying the original posters were too stupid, lazy or prideful to understand the "meaning behind the Lenten readings."
To me, that screamed "Look at me and my super-humble-but-not-overly-super-because-I'm-still-humble humilty!"
Annoying. Very, very annoying.
The Ash Wednesday marking is a communal prayer - an outward expression of an inward faith. Much like saying Grace at meals in public. Much like making the Sign of the Cross as a pitcher when you take the mound at a baseball game.
We NEED more public witness, and I'm glad folks found unity - and joy - in sharing these photos. After all, Lent isn't just about sadness, misery and self-flagellation. It's about the joy of knowing we have been called by Christ to join Him in Eternity.
After all, this is the same mark used by the unnamed prophet in Ezekiel who runs through Jerusalem putting the "tau" on the foreheads of the righteous. "Tau" is the Hebrew letter "T." Anyone not marked with this letter was slaughered while those with the mark (much like during Passover) were extended mercy by God.
That's right, folks. The forehead mark in Ezekiel 9 was a cross, and it marked them as belonging to the Most High God. Sound familiar?
So I applaud those joyously wore their ashen crosses. We SHOULD be joyful. This mark is the mark of salvation... the mark of mercy.
For, indeed, ours is a Merciful God.
Working for the Church means I get to use words like "absolution," "seminary," "liturgical," and "Divine Providence" on a routine basis. I write them, edit them, add them, and speak them all the time.
While helping a co-worker draft a letter meant for a parish, I began editing things in a way that surprised her. I capitalized the words "body" and "blood," for example, because in the letter, they pertained to the Body and Blood of Christ. I also capitalized any "he" referring to Jesus. I definitely added "Divine Providence" in lieu of a sentence that implied it but somehow stopped short of just saying it, and I suggested that she adjust her language to embrace Catholicism rather than hide it.
She was confused by what I meant. I explained:
It just seems like you're writing a Catholic letter to a Catholic population while trying not to sound like a Catholic.
She laughed and said that was exactly what she was trying to do. I huffed in frustration because I knew precisely why she was practicing self-censorship. I pushed again saying:
Catholics sound different because we ARE different. We have different vestments, different rituals, different social action and yes, even different language and grammar because we are called to be different.
Just like the Jews were instructed to do things differently from the rest of the world in the Old Testament, Catholics were tasked with setting themselves apart as well so that we could easily be identified as followers of Christ. Our differences are what highlight our unique call to others that there is, in fact, a different way - THE Way - Jesus Christ.
So it follows that Catholic-speak is and should be different. That's okay!!!
I hate that there are Catholics who run around trying to dumb down their Catholic language in an effort to broaden the appeal of their message to those who aren't as entrenched in the Faith.
A hungry person isn't going to turn away from a banquet table because there are too many items to choose from! He's not going to turn away because he's not sure what a turkducken is! He's going to be drawn in by the delicious smells, the savory sight and, ultimately, the satisfaction of tasting the sumptuous spread before him.
Use your language as a sumptuous feast, Catholics! Do not be afraid to use words that convey the richness of our Faith! Don't scrub the Catholicity from your speech as if that will somehow draw more people to your message.
Your message IS your Catholicity. Proclaim it with everything you have - glorious diction included! If language is a staff, Catholic words are the gems and gilding that turn it into a crozier. People aren't going to be put off by that which is beautiful, even if they don't wholly understand it! Allow the language of Mother Church to draw Her children in. Don't shirk them in the hopes that, eventually, lost and hungry souls somehow stumble upon Her wisdom. Don't worry that you will turn people away with words that hint at deeper spiritual truths.
The Holy Spirit will gently call out to those willing to hear; allow Him to reach into their souls with the poetic patois of Catholic Faith.
So I completely forgot about my own anniversary last week. Whoops!
It was three years last Saturday that I've been sharing my life with you fine people. That means it's been three years since many of you have begun sharing your lives with me as well.
I'm incredibly blessed by each and every one of you (silent and not so silent). You have validated my desire to chase after God, and you've supported me and shown me such compassion and understanding. You've shared prayer with me, allowed me to share prayer with you, and you've been willing participants on this adventure.
My thanks. Know my prayers are said with you tonight. I'll be soliciting St. Germaine Cousin's intercession. In case you forgot, she's my favorite saint and the one I entrusted this blog to three years ago.
This has been on my heart for a while, and I honestly don't even know where to begin.
Like many of my fellow bloggers, I've been debating closing shop and stepping away from the blogging world indefinitely. A well-timed award from the lovely Anabelle Hazard (thank you, my love!) gave me pause, but after the dust-up over on Simcha Fisher's Facebook page that turned a large group of Catholics against one another, I really felt the need to take a step back and reflect on what is happening amongst my family.
'Cause that's what you guys are. You're my family. And whether you, Simcha Fisher, the folks at LifeSiteNews, or even my Protestant buddy whom I lovingly refer to as a "heathen" (he retorts just as lovingly with "papist") realize it, we are ALL members of the Body of Christ. We're all Children of God and we're all offered the inheritance of eternal life.
However, just as we're all offered this awesome and divine gift, we're also called to not be total jerks to one another. All this in-fighting is caused by arrogance, pure and simple.
And yes, we can all succumb to arrogance. Lord knows I struggle with that one hardcore. Point is, we need to really reflect on this particular brand of arrogance, because it's arrogance disguised as theological elucidation.
It is not charitable direction; it is arrogance.
We must stop using our words to cut down one another. We are brothers and sisters in Christ, and it's time we start acting like it.
This in-fighting over Vatican II, over Pope Francis' legitimacy, over Communion in-hand or on the tongue, over every other contrived differences that folks are getting bent out of shape over needs to STOP.
And it stops with you. It stops with me. It stops with anyone who writes blogs, comments on blogs, reads blogs, moderates threads / forums, speaks about the Faith.
STOP attacking your brothers and sisters. STOP hurling accusations, insinuations, and snide comments at one another, especially in such a public fashion. Don't allow comments like this to appear on platforms you moderate. Do not allow comments like this to slide.
You have the power to delete. You have the power to privately admonish. Exercise them!
You also have the power to set the example for others to follow. I, for one, will do my best to use this blog to further the unity of Christians under the banner of Truth. Why? Because one day, we know that every single one of us will be together again under the same banner, and if we're not working towards that end, we're obviously doing something inherently wrong.
Thus, before you press the "Publish," "Respond," "Send," or "Detonate" button, ask yourself if your words seek to unify rather than divide... to comfort rather than condemn... to shine Christ's light or to snuff it out.
I'm not saying you should accept that which cannot be accepted (women priests, homosexual marriage, abortion, Black Masses), but I am saying that you need to reflect if your response to these things is aimed at guiding a lost soul back to Christ or lording your knowledge of doctrine over someone in an attempt to paint yourself as pure and saintly.
We are called to evangelize. This onslaught of in-fighting is not what Mother Church had in mind.
Anabelle of Written by the Finger of God has graciously nominated My Broken Fiat for a series of blog awards. I spent a few days mulling over how to go about accepting them. I felt a little silly posting them here. My blog is so small and I'm not entirely sure why I'd deserve any of them. However, I really appreciated that someone felt my sharing of life, struggle and prayer was worth sharing with others. It absolutely made my day.
So thank you, Anabelle.
Per award rules, you link to the person who awarded you and then dole out the awards to bloggers you feel meet the criteria for the selections. Instead of lumping everyone together, I want to break them up to pass along to individual bloggers who, in my mind, exemplify each award (and notify via combox).
I'll also list ten things about myself in the comments, and post the awards here:
The Awardees are:
For sharing stories that always leave me feeling refreshed and happy, and for never failing to see the silver lining of God's testing grounds, I'd like to pass along the Sunshine Award to CatholicIcing.com.
In all fairness, CatholicIcing.com is a very well-traveled blog because of Lacy's incredible creativity and willingness to share what's worked with her family, but I still want to pass this along in recognition of all her hard work that NEVER fails to put a smile on my face and some seeds in my head for future projects with my CCD class. I stalk her regularly. I suggest you guys do the same, especially all you wonderful homeschooling families.
This award is getting split between the two hosts of Real Catholic Love and Sex, a blog dedicated to giving a unique, honest and insightful forum to those who wish to live a fulfilled, Catholic marriage and enjoy sex in the way it was meant to be enjoyed.
They both share such incredible resources, and I am not shy about forwarding their "Honeymoon" series to folks. It contains a plethora of information that is beneficial even to those who haven't lived a super-chaste lifestyle and are seeking to "begin again."
Really - huge kudos to Kate and James. This blog is such a fantastic (and necessary) idea, and I routinely find myself enlightened and appreciative of what they have to offer.
I love this award. "May you never howl alone."
I just love that.
I'm passing this along to Deo Volente of Traditional Latin Mass in Maryland.
Why? Because he embodies what I think this award seeks to acknowledge - a desire to see joined a multitude of clear and moral voices.
That's exactly what his blog, TLM, does. He pulls together bloggers from all over the internet and posts them in one place with frequent daily updates. I can't even tell you how often I've come across some of my favorite entries / reflections because of the work he does in uniting strong Catholic voices.
Thank you for all the work you do, D.V. I appreciate it so much.
For someone who hates math as much as I do, my favorite artist is a mathematical genius.
Truthfully, his symmetry and creative outlook on the impossible are what originally drew me to him. Also, he has an uncanny way of making the impossible seem true... of causing two diametrically opposed objects to work together as if they were always intrinsically the same.
So when I think about the dichotomy of secrets, I think of an MC Escher piece.
Because secrets contain a built-in paradox. Half the horses in your mind want nothing more than to keep that secret private. They're content in their stalls, munching on their hay and reflecting on what amounts to be a very personal, intimate matter.
Those other horses, however... they're chomping at the bit and pawing at the stall doors to escape and spread the secret to anyone and everyone who will listen.
My secret? Myla Therese.
Today, Remembrance Day, made me keenly aware of this inner dichotomy. Myla's existence is still mostly unknown. My mother, my SD, you folks and a tiny handful of friends (6 or 7 maybe?) are even aware of what happened. No one else on either side of the family knows, and I don't bring her up to anyone but the closest to me. It's those pesky horses... the half that wants to keep her private and mine - all mine - they're content to sit in their stalls and keep her memory there.
Those other horses, though... sometimes they get creative and find ways of slipping out. A few days ago, I commented on a Facebook thread that was far away from anything my group of friends would ever stumble across. It was a bunch of Catholic moms talking about babies. My friends and family would steer so far away from "Catholic" "mom" and "baby" that they'd be happily on their ways to China so as not to accidentally find themselves in a spot that combined them.
However, what I wasn't aware of was the fact that Facebook doesn't care about that. Facebook took a personal comment on a wall of a group that is "no man's land" to my friends and put it in the newsfeed. In the NEWSFEED.
Everyone then had the chance to see my comment of comfort. It was originally meant to reach out to another mother who had lost her child an felt secluded in her grief. I wanted her to know she wasn't alone, so I said something along the lines of, "I'm the mother of a baby in Heaven, too. Our little saints are playing together on the lap of Our Lady, I bet!"
Several minutes later, I got a private message from a friend of mine. She asked me about the comment and I immediately felt like someone had walked in on me in the shower.
My mind began racing...
If she saw it, who else saw it? Is John going to get these questions from our friends? Is John going to be MAD that I posted this on Facebook? Oh God... did anyone of his family see it? Will anyone else send me questions? What am I supposed to say to this one? And why does Facebook have to notify her that I'd already read the dang question?!
Before bothering to respond to her e-mail, I called John. I explained the situation and asked how he wanted me to handle it. After all, this was a mutual friend. What I said to her had the capacity to reverberate through our friends and back to him. He might not be able to push the situation out of his mind so easily.
His response surprised me. He said, "Answer her however you want to. Whatever makes you feel better because you're the one handling it. I really don't care how you respond."
Now try not to bristle at "I don't care how you respond." I don't think he meant that in a harsh or demeaning way.
I repeated that his family might find out... his Mom. I didn't think she would from that basic exchange, but it was a possibility, and if he still said that he didn't care what I did after thinking about it in those terms (moms tend to paint a black and white picture for us better than most things), I could trust he really meant it.
Apparently he did, because he still gave his stamp of approval even then.
I went back to my computer. How do I respond to her? I didn't know. On the one hand, I wanted so much to tell someone else about Myla's existence, but on the other, I didn't want to share something so personal. I honestly didn't know what to do, so instead of answering her, I went through my newsfeed to clear out any possible reference to miscarriage I could find.
Finally, I went back to her message. I was back in control of my feelings, so I could respond logically. I trusted this particular friend, so I explained in very simple terms that yes, John and I had been expecting in July and I had miscarried around the 5th or 6th week. I also explained that we weren't really making that information public, but I thanked her for sending me the message. It really did mean a lot.
She quickly responded with love and support. I felt better that another person was pulled into the circle that knew Myla existed. She was such a blessing, and I sometimes ache that more people aren't aware of her. However, I do fear what knowledge of her existence would bring.
Questions that I'm ill-equipped to handle. Questions that would make me cry. Questions that would tear me apart and leave me pounding my fists into the floor.
Disbelief that she was real. At 5 or 6 weeks, she's nothing, after all, right? Society tells us she's nothing. Society assures us that my sweet little baby is completely inconsequential.
And the list drags on.
So for today, I reposted a few things and commented on a few others, but I kept my tone ambiguous. Instead of posting Myla's story, I posted things "in solidarity with" or "together with" others who have shouldered this cross. Folks seeing my posts could easily think they were akin to wearing pink in support of breast cancer awareness though I never had it myself. It was my safe way of publicly spreading awareness without opening the door to something I'm not ready to handle.
Again, I know this might come as a surprise to you readers who see my most personal thoughts on a routine basis, but I am just not this forthcoming with many people. Behind the safety of my monitor, I can vent with the knowledge that none of you will ever be able to treat me differently or judge me harshly because of what you read here.
Truth be told, in real life, I'm scared. Very, very scared. I like being in control... in charge... even-keeled. Being upfront about things so sensitive and emotional for me... it's just not something I'm good at. And for as much as those horses want to call out Myla's name from the rooftops and share my experience with other women who might be going through (or will go through) miscarriage, I am not strong enough to handle it at this point. I feel selfish and weak for admitting that, but it's the truth.
I do hope to one day be able to tell other people about Myla. She is a blessing, and I want to share her with others - especially family and friends.
I just don't know when (or if) I'll ever be ready to do so.
For those of you who have endured miscarriage, did you ever tell family/friends? If you did, when and how did you go about doing it?
I’m not sure where to begin with this entry, so I guess I’ll just start at the beginning.
Many of you are aware that Vincent was practically deaf for the first two years of his life. I had to fight long and hard to get him approved for the surgery that would finally allow him to hear the world around him clearly.
That surgery was completed the day after his 2nd birthday.
Since that time, he’s seen both occupational and speech therapists to help him “catch up” to the verbal / comprehension level of his peers. Test after test has proven Vincent is intellectually at level (or above) for things like reading / math, but when it comes to actually speaking and following directions, he’s still lagging significantly behind other kids his age.
Well, about a year ago, his case worker decided that he needed to be tested for Autism. I immediately rebelled. I’ve taught plenty of children on the spectrum. Vincent doesn’t “fit” on the spectrum. Plus, I knew that if he was tested by the district, they would be obliged to share those results with every public school in the area, and I absolutely refused to allow my not-yet-3 year old son to be labeled.
They argued that they wouldn’t continue services without the test, so I showed them the door. I was so angry. I remember that final meeting clearly. I told them in no uncertain terms that they could take their theories and shove them. I would NEVER allow testing of my 2 ½ year old son for autism given they hadn’t even taken into consideration the 2 years he spent in a mostly soundless world. I was so sure they wanted to slap a label on him and be done with it that I could’ve torn their heads off.
So I not-so-charitably told them to find the door and let it smack ‘em on the way out. Children should never be so carelessly categorized.
I explained the situation to my mother and best friend (mom’s a kindergarten teacher and Mary has her Masters in psychology). I asked if I was just being a blind parent. Were they seeing something that I was just refusing to?
They assured me I wasn’t being blind and they, too, were surprised the district was pushing so hard for such testing.
Fast forward a few months. I noticed that he was still having difficulties with eye-contact and comprehension. Speech had gotten significantly better, but comprehension was still lagging. I was consistently finding him off by himself as opposed to playing with his peers.
I admit, flags were going up, but I still didn’t believe Autism was the answer.
As the months progressed, and signs of Vince being slightly “off” piled up, I began to have doubts about my read. Was I too close to him to really be objective? Was I allowing some sort of fear to inoculate myself against the prospect of Autism?
I again brought the issues forth to Mary and my mother. Both of them assured me – again- that I wasn’t ignoring anything and I wasn’t trying to convince myself that he was perfect. However, both of them agreed there might be some underlying issue that none of us could put our fingers on.
So that brought us to his first day of preschool I’ve been excited about for the last two years.
After speaking with the principal (and the teacher - both of whom, by the way, are complete rock stars), I decided it would be best to come in to observe Vincent, myself. I took the day off and just watched him. Sure enough, everything they said was spot on. He was defiant, aggressive, and he screamed at both his teacher and the aid. I was dumbfounded.
The principal, his old daycare teacher, and myself had a bit of a pow-wow to discuss what was happening. His old teacher was just as surprised as I was to hear about the extreme change in Vincent. He was, after all, one of her favorites. She’s pregnant, and she noted Vincent was always very careful with both her and the baby he knew was inside her. He was friendly with the other children, and he never screamed or acted defiant.
Hearing this, I think, made the principal hopeful that Vince was just in the middle of transitioning to a new place. As a result of this conversation, she agreed to give me two weeks to help him make the transition. I agreed that, if at the end of the two weeks he was still a handful, we would make other arrangements.
Well, here we are two weeks later and Vincent is in a new school.
This was a very difficult experience for John and I. It was especially difficult for Vincent. I still feel terrible that we put him through such stress. I feel terrible that we put his teacher and classmates under such stress.
However, I’m grateful to God that we endured it because without it, I don’t think we’d finally be on the right track with getting him the help he so desperately needs.
You see, in my quest to deal with Vincent’s sudden changes in behavior, I reached out to everyone and anyone for help. In my search, I began getting suggestions for Autism testing again. My friend suggested he was oppositional defiant. My mom suggested Autism testing for Asperger’s.
I still refused to entertain the notion because my experience with teaching Autistic children shouted at me “No.”
There was something else, and I couldn’t figure out what it was. So I kept looking. I kept asking. I kept praying.
That’s when I ran into Cam’s post entitled “Mae’s Journey.”
Suddenly, the last two weeks of chaos and confusion began to come into crystalline focus.
You see, Cam did something incredibly brave. This isn’t surprising given that she’s been known to tackle some pretty big issues. However, this particular topic is different in that she publicly acknowledged that her precious little girl might not be “perfect” by society’s standards. Of course she’s perfect in God’s eyes, because she is exactly as He wished her to be, but no parent likes to paint anything but the rosiest picture of their darling children.
I’m the same way. I think most parents are.
Cam, however, took the incredibly brave step of noting the struggle she’s had trying to help Mae grow and learn. She, too, heard talk of Autism. However, she also heard talk of something called Sensory Processing Disorder or “SPD.”
Those three little letters jarred something within me.
I quickly grabbed his therapy notes off the shelf and combed through them. Sure enough, I noted the various “SPD” notes littered throughout. I remember asking his therapist what those letters meant. She, at the time, explained them as activities they did or techniques she used (weighted vest, hand combing, etc). I just accepted that the “SPD” was a code or something that they used to help keep track of the various exercises they did.
So once I realized “SPD” actually stood for something, I reached out to his therapist. We’re still friends via Facebook because she wanted to be able to keep up with Vincent even though he was no longer in her care.
I confronted her with the notes.
She admitted to me she had always been believed Vince to be a Sensory Seeker (a type of SPD). She wasn’t legally able to tell me because I guess she’s not a psychologist. Point is, she agreed to come over and observe him, herself, now that he was older.
She came and observed, confirming she believed him to have SPD.
The next few nights found me pouring through material online. The more I read, the more Vincent’s behavior made sense. I finally felt like my confusion was being answered.
This might sound weird, but it’s that feeling you get when you try on “the dress” for your wedding, I guess. Everyone who suggested something to “fit” Vince felt wrong. Autism, Asperger’s, ADD, ADHD, ODD… none of them felt right.
As soon as I read up on SPD and compared my research to Vincent’s erratic behavior, all the pieces of the puzzle lined up and I began to see my baby in a new light.
I’m currently waiting to hear back from the child-psychologist on when we can start therapy for him, but in the meantime, I’ve been doing my best to research ways to help him cope with new environments. Unsurprisingly, the various techniques I’ve learned via Pinterest and Google really have helped tremendously, even in such a short span of time. This just highlights for me that I’m on the right track.
Thank God! And thank you, Cam, for being such a brave mom to post such a personal struggle online. Without that entry, I don’t think I would’ve been able to put the pieces together for my own son.
Stuff I Found Helpful:
Free online seminars, webisodes, classes, etc. GREAT library on SPD-specific information.
Great jumping off points for folks curious to know how Autism is related to SPD.
Hugely helpful, this article is a blog entry by a mom with an SPD son who is very similar to Vincent.
SUPER helpful because it's written by a woman who, herself, struggled throughout childhood with SPD and has learned to cope as an adult. She, too, shares many similarities to Vincent.
Long night. Really long night. Productive night, though, so yay for that.
A good neighbor-friend of mine left the house after a few hours discussing a project we're working on. We talked for a while beyond project goals, and it got messy.
Truth be told, it was also good. I had been harboring guilt over my miscarriage and she called me out on it. I didn't realize she'd had a miscarriage, herself, many years ago. When she asked me who I'd talked to - really talked to - about this, she practically smacked me over the head when I said, "I've got my blog."
She asked, "Blogs can't talk back to you."
I said, "But readers can! They've been great!"
She replied, "E-mails and comments do not a real conversation make."
Realizing I was about to be pulled over a barrel, I weakly countered, "But I can control those."
Oh dang. Fellow bloggers, you know as well as I do that sometimes it's just easier "talking" when you're typing on a keyboard. Feeling each word bounce off your fingers and into the internet is like celebrating a thousand small victories. There really is something therapeutic about venting in such a controlled (and physical) manner. I LIKE this method. It works for me, and it works in a way that allows me to avoid emotional confrontations that I'm relatively ill-equipped to handle.
"Grandma Fro" doesn't' seem to approve. In fact, I know she thinks I'm a lunatic for "shooting off my mouth" to what she deems are "strangers."
She asked me, "Don't you have any women friends to talk to about this?"
I said, "I do, but who really wants to talk about any of this? *I* don't even want to talk about it. I'm not going to make them do it."
She countered, "Friends who know you can't keep that bottled up in you want to talk about it. At least they should. It's not healthy to run around pretending to be okay when all you want to do is scream. You can scream. I won't stop you. I'll get you a bullhorn, and all your friends should be getting them, too."
I laughed. I said, "Really. I'm okay. I think I've come to terms with things, and now that I've talked to John, I really feel okay."
She said, "So you don't feel guilty at all?"
GUILTY?! That word stopped me dead in my tracks. GUILTY?!
I didn't even know what to say.
I never once uttered that word to anyone. I never once even hinted that I felt even the least bit responsible for what had happened. How did she know that? How did she even think to GUESS at that?!
She saw my dumbfounded look and simply responded, "Yes. I know you feel guilty. That's probably the worst of it. There's a part of you, deep down, that thinks you did or didn't do something right that caused that baby of yours to fly off to Heaven."
I couldn't even bother trying to hide my own shame. I cried. Dear God, I cried. How could anyone know that? I almost felt like this was God pointing a finger at me or something... letting me know that I really was to blame for all of this.
But no. She went on and said, "Gina, I know because I've been there. I miscarried three of mine. Three. And for every single one I felt that guilt eating away at me. I never wanted to tell anyone, but that guilt weighed me down to hell. All the way to hell. It'll weigh you down, too. You gotta let it go."
I was confused. I felt really angry (because anger is typically my first defense mechanism). I felt emotionally undressed, and given how good I am at keeping my emotions in stylish Victorian garb, I was none too happy about looking like a Housewife of Orange County in the middle of an Elizabethan Tea Party. My anger, however, was tempered by my sorrow at her own three miscarriages. No one should have to suffer one let alone three. My heart ached for her. Finally, my own confusion as to how to proceed kept my mouth fused shut while my tears did the talking.
Seeing I had no capacity for verbally defending myself, she kept on going.
"What is it that you feel guilty for? My first, I believed, was because I didn't eat right. It was a tough time, so when I lost him, I thought it was because I wasn't getting enough food in me. The second was because I didn't take the vitamins every day like I should have. In my mind that's what it was, anyway. Finally, my last one was lost because I thought I stayed out in the sun too much. Really. I thought I stayed out in the sun too much and my body couldn't withstand all the heat."
I looked at her. Her reasons sounded about as good as mine. For me, I was afraid I'd had too much caffeine. In fact, as soon as I figured out I was pregnant, I stopped drinking my normal two cups of coffee and immediately switched to one cup of decaf. I'm STILL drinking decaf. Also, the last time I was at the OB, she warned me to keep taking folic acid because of my age. I didn't take her advice, and I was afraid that my lack of folic acid had somehow contributed to my baby's development. Finally, I haven't been the most healthy eater as of late, so I was worried that maybe something I ate triggered my miscarriage.
Uuuugh - I just can't help it. A million times a day my mind runs through various scenarios of what I could've done differently to either prevent or fix whatever mistake I'd made. I can't help but feel responsible. Growing her a healthy little body was my ONLY responsibility, and I'd somehow messed it up. How do I NOT hold myself accountable for that??? How am I NOT guilty of losing her?
And no matter how much logic tries to butt itself into this conversation, I just haven't been able to accept that "these things sometimes happen."
I know it, I believe it, and I trust that God's Will is God's Will, but my mind will still wander backwards and try to manipulate events into making sense, and the only way they make sense is if I somehow messed something up.
No matter how untrue I logically know this to be, my heart scourges itself day after day with each new "What if I only..." scenario.
And she understood it. She understood it without me having to say anything. She understood it because she lived it. She lived it three times. And maybe she lived it three times because one day, she'd be sent to pull the guilt out of a deeply saddened neighbor who couldn't bring herself to admit to anyone that this was her reality. And maybe she's done this a hundred times before. Maybe she'll do it a hundred times more. Tonight, though, she was my bit of Divine Providence, and I thank God that she came and stymied the river of guilt that bathed my heart.
She reaffirmed that all is His Will and that my read on miscarried children is correct. These angelic little souls make the choice at conception to lay down their lives for their families. This way, they can intercede fully for us as saints in the Church Triumphant. For this, I cannot carry guilt. For this, I can only carry love and gratitude.
Little Myla, Mommy loves you very much. I know that when Daddy meets you in Heaven, he's going to love you just as much as me. Pray for us, little one. Help Vincent grow up to be strong and loving. Help Mommy be the best Mommy she can be, and help Daddy be the best Daddy he can be. I wish I could kiss you, honey. I'll send my guardian angel to yours so you can get angelic ones in the meantime. Love you, munch. Goodnight. <3
I've come across a few great articles / bloggers that I wanted to share with everyone!
1) Twisted Mystics: This blog is written by a musician who searches for God in all sorts of music. The way he keeps his heart (and ears) open to the love of God is just brilliant. Some of his reflections have given me real pause. Be prepared, though... you really won't be able to listen to music the same way again!
Special thanks to my friend, Joe, for turning me on to this blog!
2) The New Scarlet Letter: Written by a contributor to Catholic Dads, this entry deals with a parent's inner workings regarding his son with Asperger's. I was really blown away by his honest reflections. This hit home for me (having a nephew and cousin with the disorder and having taught children on the spectrum). He does a beautiful job giving a voice (or voices!) to parents.
3) Theme Thursday: Statues: This is going to be a double link because I originally found out about it from Cam over at A Woman's Place. I couldn't figure out Cam's, but I thought the idea was a lot of fun. As such, I spent quite a bit of time on my little treasure hunt seeing all the fun statues! Be warned that you might spend more time looking at the entries than you normally would on ICanHazCheezburger.
4) This image. Seriously. I must've looked at it a dozen times today, and I laughed every single time.
5) For all you gamers out there, you'll get a kick out of this one as much (if not more!) than I did. You're welcome! (Hat tip to Katherine over at Having Left the Altar for this one!)
6) And of course, the super awesome giveaway yours truly still has going on for another week! Get your entries in while you've got a chance! I can't wait to give these prizes away!
Totally feeling like this right now.
So I've been doing an incredibly bad job of resisting temptation recently.
About three seconds ago, I decided that instead of giving in completely, I should try to go "half-sies" and see if that doesn't work out better.
I had posted a quote up on my FB page last week that I found through a Tumblr (brought to my attention via Deo volente when he posted it to Dymphna's wall). A brief conversation followed which had me at my religious blackboard for a few moments and all has been mostly silent (likely because by this point, most of my friends have me on "hidden" so they aren't forced to suffer through my conservative ramblings).
Anywho, this is what the conversation looked like:
Me: No one ever said following Christ would be easy. He didn’t say, “Come pick up your pillow and follow me.” - Sister Karen of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George
I think this may be my new favorite quote. *Giggle*
Friend K: Did you see the new thing on the news? Now they are questioning if Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene.
Me: Yeah, I saw this and it's the same argument they've been attempting to make forever. *grump grump grump*
We've got ancient papyrus that mentions Jesus shooting angry laser beams at other kids who made fun of Him when He was a child, too. LoL. I'm not kidding.
There's a reason certain things were left out of the Bible. Not everything was written with the guidance of the Spirit. This would be a good example.
Unless, of course, we're talking about Christ's Bride being the Church (which we're not).
So while I've heard of this on the news recently, I haven't paid it any attention because it's the same tired song that's been sung for a long, long time. No matter how much folks want to believe that Christ was married to Mary M, the truth will always be that He was, from all eternity, married to the Church. It's why He came specifically to lay down His Life for Her.
Which, BTW, was the complete reversion of Adam's refusal to lay down his life for his wife, Eve (which subsequently got them booted out of the garden).
But I digress (as I'm prone to do when theological topics tickle my fancy).
Friend T: well i understand that not everything written down is true but if something wasn't written with the guidance of the spirit, does that make it not true? jesus shooting laser beams is sort of far fetched...but...come on...if you think about the things catholics believe in (water into wine, walking on water, raising from the dead, virgin birth) that's a little harder to believe but we still believe it. then we find ancient text saying a man from the middle east 2000 years ago had a wife and you say its the same old crazy story.
i reread one of those sentences and it has some structural issues but u get the point
Me: Structural issues aside (*grin*), I'm not asking anyone non-Catholic to believe or disbelieve in the papyrus. I'm simply pointing out that no matter how many various scrolls are found that say Jesus was married to Mary, faithful Catholics will never believe it because we know through the 3 Pillars that Jesus - from all eternity - was and is united to the Church. He never married during His stint on earth, and anyone who said so (today or 2,000 years ago) got their information wrong (either intentionally as in the case of heretics, or unintentionally as sometimes happens through human nature). This is why we Catholics believe so strongly in the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
He makes sure that heretical / misguided information stays out of our Scriptures because He's got the foresight to see that this issue will keep cropping up every few decades.
And an interesting tidbit for anyone who cares:
The most utilized analogy in the Bible as a whole (this included the OT and the NT) of Christ to His Church is that of the Bridegroom and His Bride.
Not the Good Shepherd leading His Flock, and not the King and His subjects. God, throughout Salvation History, has highlighted the idea that we are not only His Family, but His INTIMATE family. He wishes to know us and love us as two people so closely united that they become one.
This, my friends, is why Catholics hold the Sacrament of Matrimony to be so incredibly sacred... it is humanity's call to emulate God. THIS is why we will fight tooth and nail to ensure that this Sacrament remains faithful to the truth of Divine Nature.
See? There I go digressing again...
That was the end of the conversation. I've even been relatively silent on updating statues and such on account of the focus on Vince's birthday this weekend.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I find this message in my message box this morning:
Friend S: I saw your post about gay marrage and still dont see why everything has to boil down to two men getting married in a church for you catholics. live and let live already. and while your at it, acknowledge that your story book contains just as much fact as my grimms fairytails.
I'll be honest. After reading it, I was HIGHLY confused (and I admit, HIGHLY irritated). "Gay marriage" post? WHAT gay marriage post? I was trying really hard to remember if I'd spoken about marriage at all let along gay marriage last week. The second sentence was my only clue to what post this person was talking about.
Instead of writing back one of my normal fire-brandishing messages, I resisted. I actually typed a terrible response that was more reactionary than I care to admit. I smartly deleted it upon further reflection. However, I can't say I successfully bucked Satan on this one. I half-gave in and simply wrote back that considering my original topic had nothing to do with gay marriage, and almost NONE of the subsequent follow-up had to do with gay marriage, the only one who can rightly be accused of boiling anything down would be him.
I need to go read Shalimar's entry on forgiving and letting go, because I'm all sortsa "I want to punch things" right now...
I loathe having my words twisted into something unrecognizable. I really, really do.
I recently came across a fascinating group of fired-up Catholics who are dedicated to educating others about the truth of Catholic doctrine.
And when I say "fired-up" I truly mean fired-up. In reading their messages and watching their videos, you can't help but acknowledge that these blessed folks are on fire with the love of Christ.
Intrigued, I reached out the this group in the hopes to learn more about them. They were kind enough to allow me an interview. I'm sharing it for your benefit. Get to know this intrepid group! They aim to set fire to the hearts of all they meet!
What is the Archangelati?
The Archangelati is an online coalition of faithful Catholics seeking to educate and clarify the true doctrine and beliefs of our beautiful Catholic and Apostolic Church. Often, this is achieved by our works involving the refutation of age-old heresies and attempts to convert the hearts of all people through New Evangelical and Apologetic means.
This means that we work to not only convert non-Catholics but also to strengthen the faith and devotions of our fellow Catholic brethren.
Why the name "Archangelati" and not something like "Angels of Evangelization?"
The personal devotions of the co-founders to the seven Archangels (particularly St. Michael) was highly influential upon our decision. We wanted to counter the anti-Catholic sentiments that many faithful Catholics are aware of. We chose to parody the famous anti-Catholic conspiracy group called the Illuminati.
Like the Archangels, we seek to bring the True Faith and all its messages to the common people, as well as promote respect and a true understanding of Catholicism. It seemed natural to combine our sentiments int a single, new word with ancient roots - much like our group, we are "new" but our message of Faith is not.
Did you begin as a loose collective of YouTube friends or blogging partners? How did the idea of an Archangelati spring forth?
Many of us were responding to the call of Christ (as well as Pope Benedict XVI) to evangelize and spread Christ's love, patience and understanding where the Holy Spirit directs us. In these increasingly secular times, there is a deep need for a return to tradition, a return to the Church, and a return to God.
There were many individuals seeking to fill this need independently. After exchanging tips and working alongside these faithful Catholics, we began to develop a bond and decided to create a supportive community for online Catholics.
What was your vision for the Archangelati when you first began? Has it changed since membership began growing?
We are always changing and growing in order to meet the needs of God's children. For some of us, that means keeping open dialogues with obstinate Protestants, for others that means attempting to bring back lukewarm and "former" Catholics, and for some it may simply mean supporting and praying for our other members.
Can you explain something of the formation process?
We allow each member to respond to God's call and enter provided that they are actually Roman Catholic and in full communion with the Holy Mother Church. After a few slightly comical misunderstandings, a few heretical infiltrations, and much deliberations between the co-founders, we decided that it was necessary that each new member fully understand and openly profess a true Apostolic and Catholic faith.
Something I found absolutely fascinating about your intro video is your decisive call to action. You specifically challenge Roman Catholics to "Reclaim Catholicism." Can you expound on this?
The media has demeaned and demonized Catholicism - everything from accusation of being a cult and having "sexy nuns" to the possibility of "Pro-choice Catholics" and unbalanced reports regarding the priest scandals. There are so many misunderstandings about what Catholicism truly is. We want all Catholics to live faithfully in perfect union with Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium of the Church. We want all Catholics to be unafraid to openly label themselves as Catholics. We want the next generation of Catholics to inherit an environment of tolerance and to be proud of our True Church and all its teachings.
In your Wiki description, you cite your adherence to a more "traditional" approach to Catholicism, rejecting more "progressive" interpretations. Can you tell me more about your ideas on traditional vs. progressive Catholicism?
Since our One True Church is based on Holy Scriptures, Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium, it is only in the preservation of these teachings that we can truly find communion with the Godhead. As a group, we tend to hold that progressive Catholicism tends to take away the importance of the sacraments and the spirituality that derives from it. In the attempt to "modernize" the faith, some have fallen into the trap of "Protestantizing" their understanding of Catholicism. This is not true Catholicism. You cannot be pro-choice and Catholic. You cannot reject the Immaculate Conception or Papal Infallibility and still be Catholic. Tradition is at the heart and core of Catholicism as even the Bible instructs us to "hold fast to Tradition." (2Thess 2:15)
Being that you're a traditional group of younger Catholics, do you feel a calling to engage youthful Catholics through media that are more in-tune with their experiences and comfort levels?
Like the Catholic Church, our members are extremely varied and diverse. We are nuns, we are priests, we are newly-weds, we are middle-aged and grandparents, we are high-school kids and college students. We come from all backgrounds of life, from many different countries, but we are all united by our love of God and His One True Church. Through the blessings of new technology, we are able to communicate with many more people throughout the world. We try to use this to our advantage.
What has thus far been your most successful medium? Do you ever physically meet together, or do you rely solely on cyberspace to hold information sessions with the members of your Archangelatum?
Overall, YouTube remains our most successful medium. However, many of our members have chosen to enhance their friendships with each other through other forms such as blogs, e-mail and Facebook. There are several members that are siblings with one another (such as two of the co-founders). This enables even easier lines of communication to remain open. There have been a few instances of several members meeting together and there have been proposals for larger meetings; however, the large distances between each member complicates any gathering of significant size.
For more information (or if you're itching to join!) you can learn more by following this link to their blog. Or, you can check out their website here! Keep them in your prayers, folks!
Sorry I haven't been keeping up with posting. Vince caught pink eye so I've sorta been chasing him down since I can't exactly leave him go off to daycare like that.
I promise I'll get around to the Miracle Prophesy post shortly. Until I do, enjoy a little video of Vince enjoying the car mat his Uncle Ray gave him for Christmas.
It's the little things... :)
Alrighty, I've caved. I registered MyBrokenFiat with Twitter. All the cool kids were doing it.
Help me out by getting my following started! I intend to amass an army that will take over the world.
I mean, I intend to amass a following of like-minded, respectable folks who enjoy sharing tips and anecdotes on religion, raising a family, and other relevant morsels.
Follow, share and tweet. Thanks, all! :)
Also be sure to let me know what your Twitter handle is so I can follow you as well. I'm still not entirely sure how all this works, but eventually I'll figure it out, I promise!
Judge a tree by it's fruits, man!
I got an e-mail last night from a friend of mine. We had been discussing the current LCWR review. He was under the impression (as so many are) that the Vatican was trying to stamp out the personal freedoms of poor, innocent nuns just trying to live our their vocation serving their communities.
I admit I got rather heated at the thought of these women being pitied as a result of the media's false stories of heroism in the face of the big, bad Vatican. These women should never - EVER - be held up as the gold standard for Catholicism. The women in question shouldn't even be held up as a bad example of Catholicism. Many have given up being Catholic long, long ago and just haven't 'fessed up to it yet. Thus, use them as a bad example of Protestantism. Please leave the word "Catholic" out of their mess.
Anyway, this friend chided me for my harsh words. He quoted the oft repeated (and incredibly misunderstood) line from Matthew 7: "Judge not lest you be judged."
I've already sent this friend an e-mail detailing my feelings on the matter (candidly as I'm apt to do). However, I felt this a topic very necessary to broach with the general population as this quote is so often used by people in an attempt to bow out to political correctness.
In my opinion, it's nothing more than an excuse to hide one's insecurities behind a veil of false nicety.
Let's say my mother is driving a car. We're about to take a curve too harshly. Considering there's a canyon to the left of us, if she continues speeding, we're likely to tumble into the abyss.
Do I refrain from telling her to slow down because I'm afraid I might hurt her feelings for criticizing her driving?
No. I like my life.
Instead, I'd say, "Hey Mom, you need to apply the brakes because if you don't, we're likely to take a tumble neither one of us will enjoy."
Would I be judging my mother to be a bad driver? No.
Would I be judging her behavior to be bad? Yes.
Might she feel as though I'd judged her to be a bad driver? Yes, it's a possibility.
If she feels as though I've passed a negative judgement on her, does that mean I have? No.
Even knowing that she might have her feelings hurt as a result of my criticism, should I refrain from suggesting she slow down? NO.
As I've said in previous entries, I simply do not have the personality to sit on the sidelines while someone is acting in a way that is either harmful to self or others. I can't. I automatically put a familiar face on these folks and my decision is made - political correctness be damned.
That is exactly what we are asked to do as Catholics. The quote "Judge not, lest ye be judged" is often given as a means to stifle this responsibility. However, if we read juuust a little bit further, we'll come to understand that this misrepresented quote (found on everything from billboards to memes to T-shirts) means something much different than the sound byte it's utilized as.
Here is the quote in its entirety (from the New American Bible, so the wording is slightly changed):
Jesus said to His disciples: “Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.” Matt 7:1-5
In other words, use your God-given intellect to discern judgement. It isn't necessarily meaning we should condemn, but it's certainly charging us with the responsibility of properly judging all things with equality.
In fact, there are quotes all over the Bible specifically commanding this of us.
In the gospels, Luke echoes Matthew in Chapter 6 with "Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven... For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you."
John (7:24) relays Jesus saying "Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteously."
In Proverbs (3:21), "Preserve sound judgement and discernment."
In the Letter of St. Paul to the Phillipians (1:9-11), "And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God."
And my favorite (also from Luke 6) stating, "A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For people do not pick figs from thorn bushes, nor do they gather grapes from brambles. A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks."
"See the good that we do and give glory to God."
That being said, we have a Christian responsibility to judge that which is presented to us in this world... ESPECIALLY when that which is presented wreaks of evil. We must not allow such evil to continue spreading as a cancer. The Body of Christ - OUR spiritual body - must be protected. If we remain silent as these "religious" continue to misinform, polarize and confuse the general population, we commit a sin of commission. We allow a greater evil to exist both within our ranks, and within ourselves through our silence.
This is exactly how the atrocities of WWII were accomplished. Sure there were plenty of folks who disagreed with the Nazi ideals. However, too many were silent for too long.
First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
I, for one, cannot endure such silence. I cannot wither away behind a false veil of "live and let live" when that includes allowing misinformation to fester and spread to my friends, family and children. No. It is my duty as a Christian to call evil out where it is and shed the light of truth upon the dishonesty and willful desecration of the Faith.
And those Christians among you who read this (be you Catholic or otherwise), this is your duty as well. We must work together to bring the light of Truth to others. We must not allow the lies, the half-truths, the confusion to tear souls away from Christ.
My Broken Fiat is a full year old today! I'm glad that lands me squarely on both the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (nothing like unwrapping a plenary indulgence as a shiny new present) and the Feast of St. Germaine Cousin (my most favorite saint of all time)!
In looking back over this past year, I'm amazed by how much I've learned and how many wonderful people I've come to know through MBF. Thank you all for making this experience so rich, educational and blessed. You are all in my prayers!
My friend, Christina, said something to me that has been bouncing around in my head for the last few days:
There's something about a fire that doesn't seem to burn you. [This] issue had fire written all over it and you just jumped on in like it was a bubble bath.
Ah... the story of my life.
Last week, when I wrote that "Alone" entry, I got several follow-up messages from the person the entry was originally about. He gave me permission to post his story here, because I honestly think it's something that folks should be aware of, especially those of us who are active on Christian blogs / forums.
While I was chatting with some folks on a Christian forum, a young man timidly asked for advice with an issue he'd been struggling with. We happily agreed to hear him out. He identifies himself as homosexual, he's 19, and he still lives home with his "strict Christian parents." He loves his parents dearly, but he hasn't "come out" to them, yet. He was looking for advice on how to best do it without having them disown him.
Within minutes the thread was lighting up with comments like:
"It's a phase." "Keep that to yourself until you get it fixed."
"You'll go to hell!" "You SHOULD be disowned."
"Homosexuality is a disease." ETC...
Seriously. I was absolutely FLOORED. I immediately jumped in to dispel the notion that his sexuality was a one-way ticket to hell that needed to be exchanged through a one-night stand with a woman (suggested by a particularly vulgar member who, until that point, had been the most proper one of the bunch!). I then pointed out that the various responses were less than Christian in content.
You'd think I stumbled upon a hellmouth or something. Not only was I trying to defend this person against attacks, I was on the receiving end, myself, with no hope of respite. To say anything contrary to "Gays are evil, hell-bound freaks of nature" was tantamount to painting yourself with a bulls-eye and handing out arrows during open season. I felt HORRIBLE because all that viciousness simply caused this young man to pull away, completely embarrassed, ashamed and hurt by the torrent of verbal abuse. Worse, he assumed that response was a unanimously Christian one because no one took a stand against it!!! Heaven forbid!
For the record:
Condemning a person is NOT CHRISTIAN CHARITY.
Suggesting that they commit a mortal sin in order to "reverse" another perceived mortal sin is NOT CHRISTIAN CHARITY.
Responding to a plea for help with vitriol and wishes for the emotional distress of family abandonment is NOT CHRISTIAN CHARITY.
This gentle young man and I have been blessed to have several discussions on this now. He now understands that regardless of his sexuality, he is a body and soul created and loved by God. He understands Catholic teaching on homosexuality, and though he doesn't agree with it, at least he doesn't believe Catholicism teaches he's got a sure-ticket to hell just for being attracted to other men. He also feels better about talking to his parents about this. After all, a parent's duty is to love above all else. Heck, our job as humans is to love above all else. Loving doesn't mean accepting the sins of another, but it DOES mean accepting the person for who they're made as and helping them carry the crosses uniquely granted by God to help them on their path towards Heaven.
Keep folks like this in your prayers. It takes a lot of courage to be upfront about your deepest struggles, especially when you've got the whole world ready to rip into you.
And this is why I tend to step into the fire with seemingly little regard for the flames. On the other end of the verbal assault, someone is feeling the effects. On the other side of the computer screen, someone is being made to feel subhuman. When these hot-button conversations ignite, there is someone, somewhere being given a very incorrect view of Christianity through the poor examples of those who laud themselves as being the epitome of Christian practice. I can't help but feel my own heart break for them.
So yes. I frequently involve myself in these types of conversations and threads because if I don't, who will? Be the change you wish to see, right? If I had kept my mouth shut and just allowed them to steamroll this person, what type of image would he have of Christianity? Would there be no nugget of hope regarding coming out to his parents?
And what of the people who could easily have offered their own "Likes" or commentary to mine? Instead of private messaging, they could have helped this young man feel something of the love of God. Instead, he was left with a very bitter taste in his mouth, spoon-fed by supposedly loving Christians.
Our duty is not to stand by and allow such ill-feelings to spread. Our duty as Christians is to love God by loving one another - not silently... not ashamedly... not timidly. We are called to live our love out loud.
If that means dancing in the fire, bring on the flames.
Motto of my life
Ever get embroiled in controversy in a public setting (be it classroom, social networking thread, or even the office) because you're the lone voice offering a different perspective that challenges the paradigm of others?
That's me like all of the time.
Honestly, I'm typically fine with this. It's not that I go gunning for controversy (though a few of my friends would probably beg to differ), but I don't shy away from it, either. When something confuses me, or I don't agree with something, I'll press the issue.
This happened today, and as usual, I'm the lone voice that offered a different perspective. I didn't understand a few comments and asked for clarification, but instead of being given a proper explanation, I was written off. That isn't what bothered me (that's normal MO for folks who toss out a random statement and have nothing to backup their argument).
What bothered me is the five private messages I got saying, "I totally agree with you!"
Why are you private messaging me??? Why can't you just publicly agree with me? Why do I continuously have to be the only jackass trying to plead a case?
GEEZ - that's so frustrating. Yeah, I'm glad I'm giving you a voice and all, but why not help me amplify it a bit?
I get that not everyone handles controversy well. That's fine. But for goodness' sake - if you believe strongly enough to message me that you agree with my ideas, why not take it a step further and post a simple "Agreed" or "She's not a total idiot for posting this" ?
And for the record, this isn't a passive-aggressive post on my part. I've already written the same thing back to them. But seriously!
There is a woman on Facebook who has taken my Darkest Secret entry into over-the-top territory. I just found her posting the below questions on yet ANOTHER wall. Granted, she's driving traffic to my site, but I'm really wondering at what cost.
The insinuations she's making and the threads they then spawn (based on how she words her questions) have ended up turning this discussion very ugly. These are the threads in which people end up accusing John of being the spawn of satan or me being an inept child stuck in slavery caused by my blind zeal for religion.
She did end up asking a really great question at the end, though.
Anyway, a priest ended up answering one of her pointed comments. I felt the need to redirect a bit of that conversation (so that others didn't fall into erroneous thinking), so I responded. I'm going to post that here because apparently answering them in the commentary repeated times did absolutely nothing to satiate her curiosity.
I'll bold her commentary and leave as normal my responses. For the love of all that's fluffy and golden in the world, if you still have questions, direct them to me.
Please answer this as no one else seems to give a satisfactory answer.
The Catholic woman in the blog below is being forced to remain childless because her non-Catholic husband refuses to have more kids. A bunch of women have written in to comment and many - MANY - of them are struggling with a similar situation (myself included). I think you should do a segment that deals with how to answer this question from a Catholic standpoint.
1 - Is she committing a mortal sin by allowing him to do use birth control?
I'm NOT in the state of mortal sin. I'm not in the state of sin at all by being forced into a contraceptive union. My illustration is thus: Mike hits Jane. While Jane feels the pain incurred by Mike's slap, Jane is not at fault for his sin. Jane is blameless. So while I feel the emotional pain caused by John's decision to do this, I will not be held accountable in God's eyes because I'm not the one contracepting.
2 - Should she refrain from having sex if he's going to continue to use bc against her will?
To refrain from sex in order to "punish" my husband or guilt him into children is akin to breaking my wedding vows, so dear Father, I must disagree with you on this.
Sex is not just for procreation and it is not just for pleasure. It is also an important renewal of my wedding vows which serve to strengthen our relationship as husband and wife. He is already using one barrier to our union through his choice to use contraception. I will not be a party to creating another barrier through refusing to unite myself more closely to him through the act of sex.
That would be akin to Christ refusing me in the Sacrament of Holy Communion because I consistently fail adhering to His Will as we're called to do. I still lie, I still struggle with pride, and I don't accept the crosses He gives me with charity. I'm failing to uphold my end of the Catholic deal, right? Would Jesus ever refuse me (barring mortal sins) in the Eucharist? No. Thus, how can I place myself above His example and react to my husband in such a way?
No - it is better to leave this in God's Hands and continue to be the best wife I can be to him. Maybe through my example of love, he will come to know something of God's Love.
3 - Is she a candidate for an annulment since he's breaking one of his marriage vows?
I'm NOT a candidate for annulment as John changed his mind after marriage. Also, we're not LOOKING to separate as we still love one another and wish to remain a family. As Father stated, if John had lied during our vows and never had any intention of creating children, that'd be different. The fact remains that his mind changed and regardless, we still love one another.
4 - Since her husband is refusing, if he remains obstinate, would she be allowed to go to an IVF facility and "adopt" an embryo without facing a moral dilemma?
I'm actually on the fence with IVF. That's actually a REALLY interesting point that I never thought of.
Father is correct - IVF itself is morally objectionable due to the fact that science is not how God decreed life to initiate, but if an infertile married couple chose to "adopt" a life that was already made through the sin of another, wouldn't this be kinda like adopting the child of a rape victim? Or adopting a forgotten / abandoned child from an orphanage?
Since these embryos remain in a state of frozen suspension, a loving, infertile couple who are open to life but simply unable to conceive may have been created infertile by God specifically so they could be the Hand of Divine Providence for those forgotten lives.
I honestly have no idea about that one, but it's definitely something to think about. Anyone else have opinions on this one, 'cause it's actually a really interesting point.
Vince and I - he was about 8 months!
Katherine over at Having Left the Altar has tagged me with a list of questions - and you very well might be next!
I remember doing these on MySpace at one point, so forgive me if I cheat and use that for my 11. *Grin*
Post these rules.
Post a photo of yourself, then write 11 things about your life.
Answer the questions for you set in the original post.
Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you have tagged them.
11 Surprising Things about Gina
1. I was kidnapped and spent 2 hours in the trunk of my own car, completely calm due to the fact that hyperventilation would have smothered me. This happened about... eight years ago. Wow - time flies!
2. My favorite prayer is a toss up between the Memorare and the Purgatory Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great.
3. I'm extremely ommatophobic (eyes) and extremely carpophobic (wrists). I even get irked when I hear that latter word. I honestly think it has something to do with the stories of Christ's crucifixion as a kid... some theories of Him being nailed through... well... you know. Ugh.
4. I used to pretend I was Amy Jo Johnson (Kimberly, the Pink Ranger from the Original Power Ranger series) and instead of falling for the Green / White Ranger, I fell completely in love with Austin St. John (Jason, original Red Ranger).
5. I used to collect crack vials with Mary as a kid (5th grade) because I thought they were the capsules for those "Put your Name on a Grain of Rice" necklaces that were so popular way back when. Our D.A.R.E. Officer's reaction was priceless. Ha!
6. I once tried to save the life of a mouse that was stuck to a glue-trap. I was unsuccessful (mainly because my Dad stopped me and disposed of the poor little critter himself), but when a bird became trapped on one a year later, I reigned victorious.
7. I was never one of the "popular" kids, but everyone always knew who I was, regardless of my societal place value.
8. I was voted Most Theatrical back in HS due to the fact that I was a lead role in every play from Freshman Year to Senior Year. Everyone thought I'd end up on-stage someday... kinda gave it up after the Footloose Fiasco in college, though. Ha ha ha.
9. I "borrowed indefinitely" There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom (Louis Sachar) from my older sister's library collection in 4th grade because the title sounded funny. It was the first book I ever actually read and it opened the world of reading up to me.
10. I (along with my mother, two younger sisters, and a priest) were witnesses to a double homicide. The priest's response to the shootings shaped my awe-filled respect for the priesthood. I think I'll be blogging about him later.
11. I still cry while watching Mufasa's death scene in The Lion King. Wanna fight about it?
My Answers to Katherine's Questions:
1. Favorite movie genre? I'm a nerd - documentary.
2. Ideal date? Dinner at my favorite place and then home to snuggle with a show on the couch.
3. Favorite painting? This one. As an ex-dancer, I can't help but find myself drawn to the passion that this dance solicits. The colors are electrifying, the shoes make me want to pry them off her feet, and this painting is actually a "sequel" to another McDowell painting called "The Last Tango."
4. If you had/have a garden, what would you plant? I'm horrible with growing things. I've tried everything and nothing has stayed alive. Weeds die on my watch. I'd love to grow veggies or a fruit tree, though!
5. Mountain person or beach person? Beach, but I spent every summer in the Pocono Mountains as a kid.
6. Favorite type of restaurant? My favorite is Bonefish, but Olive Garden is a close second.
7. Do you play video games and if so, what is your favorite? Streets of Rage II. As I kid, I used to take all my frustrations out on that game. I purchased it as an adult and I can say that it still works like a charm. I'm able to defeat the game (on the hardest setting) with plenty of lives to spare. Plus, it's one of the rare games from my childhood that included a female protagonist.
8. You won the lottery. What's the first thing you'd do with your winnings? Bills. Technically I guess I'm supposed to tithe it, but I'd totally be paying down bills. Mine, John's, my family's, etc.
9. Ideal vacation? For John and I, I want to go back to the Caribbean. For the family, weekends at the beach are always perfect.
10. Beverage of choice? Dr. Pepper (unless Mr. Pibb or Dr. Thunder are somehow available). LoL
11. Favorite childhood toy? Glo-worm. I took him everywhere with me straight through college until some jerk kidnapped him while he was hitching a ride in my souvenir bag on a trip back from Disney. I cried the whole way home.
My Questions for Catherine, Shalimar and Michelle. Actually, I'd love it if anyone who stumbled onto this page would answer these. I love finding out about people!!!
What is a book that you read (whether for school, work, etc) that you thought you'd hate but ended up enjoying?
If someone were to write a story about your life, what would the title be?
If you chose your own saint for Confirmation, who did you choose and why?
What is your favorite image of the Blessed Mother?
What is your favorite go-to prayer?
Do you wear perfume on a regular basis?
If space and money abounded, how many pairs of shoes do you think you'd have?
Favorite farm animal?
Best advice for a child who wants something he or she cannot have?
Most embarrassing parenting moment?
Proudest parenting moment?
Now I'm gonna break from the rules a little bit. If you don't want to repost your own entry to answer these, feel free to comment or message me. Also, feel free to tell me you refuse to answer because you gave this sorta stuff up when MySpace got swallowed up by Facebook. Ha ha!
Father Z (WDTPRS) brought to my attention to a recent statement by the US Bishops regarding the importance of Catholic bloggers and the role we play in the current "struggle for religious liberty." As Father Z highlights, they specifically request us to join them in the front lines.
That's an incredibly welcome sign, in my opinion, sing it trumpets that our Church is mobilizing in a big way. I think folks are finally waking up to the battle we are on the cusp of, and our bishops are rightly calling on us to ready ourselves for it.
There is so much disinformation regarding faith, theology and politics that it's important to have trusted, well-reasoned folks fighting back with with the truth. That's where bloggers come in.
For many of us, we hopped on-line to utilize the blogosphere for a variety of reasons. Some of us needed a creative outlet, some of us wanted to share our secrets of parenthood. Some wanted a way to document their struggles with infertility or adoption, and others wanted to find a soapbox with which to decry the evils of Mets fans (I kid, I kid). Still others were looking for feedback on recipes and more realized they could network with other like-minded individuals who agreed that needlepoint is cooler than crocheting.
Point is, all of us came here for different reasons, but in the end, we all share information with one another. We all write and most (if not all) read the content of others. Information travels ridiculously fast through Catholic circles, and much of the credit is due to Catholic bloggers.
I can't even tell you how many times I've come across gems from folks like Father Z, Cam over at A Woman's Place, or Devin over at St. Joseph's Vanguard. The Deacon's Bench is like a revolving door of news, and places like Spirit Daily summarize all sorts of interesting tid-bits.
This is all highly important work (though it may not seem like it at first glance). Education is key to winning this battle because we need to be fully aware of the situation at hand. Being kept abreast of the various bills floating around, the sentiments being publicized by our politicians, and the calls to action being made by our Church leaders all need to be in the forefront of our mind.
Bloggers from all over the world are able to give very unique insights to these issues. They're also able to alert others to what's going on in different parts of the country / world - things that very rarely make the highly secular news networks.
However, our call to blog (as Catholics) should be tempered by the teachings of the Church, and a summit / council / whatever would be a great way to not only give a voice, but guidance, to those of us who want to answer the call. So consider this my vote of support for Father Z's petition. Please spread the word to other bloggers! Write to your bishops and see if we can't get others involved.
Or, you can do what Diane over at Te Deum Laudamus did (which I find to be absolutely hilarious): Start a Rumor! Ha ha!
Over on my buddy's blog, Philliedelphia, an interesting article began the thread you see below (through Facebook, though).
The idea of there being "much bigger things" to complain about is a valid one. Typically when folks (myself included) start whining about X, Y, or Z, there are at least a zillion other things more important that we could be sniveling about. That being said, I take issue with the "much bigger things" argument being used to allow moral decay (via lack of responsibility, accountability and common decency) to take root. Thus, I chose that moment to enter the thread.
*Sigh* (Sorry, Mar... I know you hate my sighs.)
Barring the fact that I could easily turn the argument around and say, "I, too, am a paying customer and I don't appreciate that garbage being spewed across loudspeakers to my children... I didn't realize it was perfectly OK for me to sacrifice MY enjoyment - and subsequently, my children's - so you could enjoy some anti-women screamo," and the ridiculous allusion to the idea that parents who refuse to be a party to this foolishness are simply "wasting... 'teachable' moment[s]," I responded incredulously with:
Notice how, for pointing out the lack of logic behind her argument, I'm the one immediately thrown under the bus. I actually did laugh out loud when I read that.
Anyway, instead of registering that I'm simply demanding accountability from the ballpark for the music they control in what they bill as a family-friendly venue, she attempts broadening the argument to include every person in the ballpark, as if I even remotely alluded to an obligation on their part to manipulate the crowd into being saintly.
This is a common tactic that folks use without even realizing it. This is what's known as blowing smoke in the face of real issues. If we alter the perception of an argument juuuuust slightly (in this case, making it appear that my beef is with society in general as opposed to the duty of the proprietors upholding their image as family-friendly), you can have an entirely different set of rules with which to attempt dismantling your opponent (since the real issue is no longer in focus). Lucky for me and all those communication classes I've taken, this is something I avoid like the plague.
Again, she's going for that whole blowing smoke in the face of the real issue. Now, instead of focusing on the problem of the ballpark failing to uphold its dedication to family-friendly entertainment, my words are warped into a personal attack, somehow devolving into calling her "dumb." Instead of this remaining a civil discourse that has nothing to do with how we feel about one another as individuals (and rather, our opinions of the corporate decisions of a ballpark), it become as "Yeah, well... whatever. You're just mean."
For the record, I very much like Beth on a personal level. The two of us went to school together, I'm a huge fan of her family, and she's proven herself to be very intelligent, witty and compassionate. This discussion doesn't call any of that into question. Somehow, she thinks it does.
Which leads me to the point of this post.
I honestly can't help but make the connection between this conversation and darn near every other one I've had regarding Catholicism, the HHS mandate, or even politics lately. It seems that folks immediately get threatened when you don't fall in line with their beliefs. Worse, they get REALLY snippy when you call them out on fallacious statements. Instead of accepting that the argument has nothing to do with personal feelings, any challenge to their ideology / opinion / belief becomes a personal attack against their integrity as human beings.
And yet I'm the one who somehow gets accused of being constantly offended or agitated by these conversations.
I seriously can't help but shake my head and laugh at that. Typically, while panties are in a bunch across the internet, I'm calmly typing out my thoughts, researching points, or asking for clarification on something. Now of course there are certain things that'll rattle me (like spiteful things said about the Blessed Mother or remaining obstinate in one's proven folly). There have been times where I've let my sharp tongue get the better of my charity. But truth be told, I very rarely get upset about discussions (even "heated" ones) because I view them as opportunities to learn, teach and share.
Folks think I'm attempting to convert or force my beliefs on others. That's never the case. I know better than to attempt converting someone through intellectual conversation. Ha ha. I simply can't accept half-assed logic. If you've got an argument for or against something (and it's something that piques my interest), I expect you to be intelligent enough to explain yourself properly. Many times, though, especially online, people aren't able to do that. They've got very superficial ideas about things (which they love to spout), but the second someone probes a bit, tempers flare and panties get all sorts of bunched.
As someone who has studied the psychology of communication, this is a particularly interesting thing for me. However, it's very concerning that this has become relatively normal, and I really believe this is due to the internet.
But I digress... (don't I always?)
The Garlands of Grace saga ended in much the same fashion (though a few of us are still plugging away).
I wonder what one can do to combat this sort of thing. I enjoy open discussions and having my ideas challenged (as it forces me to really understand my own conclusions better), but I don't enjoy the inevitable fallout that seems to happen so much anymore.
I admit it. I'm a McDonald's girl. Always have been, and probably always will be. I once went through an entire semester eating nothing but #2's (their two cheeseburger meal which, after a couple years of hibernation, now seems to be their #4 in S. Jersey).
I could drench my fries in Sweet-n-Sour sauce all night long and never once think to myself, Gina, maybe you're overdoing it a little bit.
Nope. I'd give people directions using McDonalds' as landmarks. Friends would get me McDonald's gift certificates for holidays. I even bonded with my future-husband over McDonald's history and lore. Apparently it's what cemented his love for me...
But I digress.
In all my years as a McDonald's girl, I've scoffed at those who preferred Chick-Fil-A. One of my best friends, Frank (you can check out his Phillies Blog here), swears by it. I'd religiously pass it up in favor of McDonald's. If I'm gonna have fast food, I may as well have the good stuff, right?
Well, ladies and gentlemen, over the last year or so, I've heard an increasing amount of arguments in favor of Chick-Fil-A. My husband always liked their stuff (he didn't have loyalties like I did), but he could never convince me to give them a fair shot. It took a troupe of Mommy Bloggers to finally pave the way for me to give them a real go.
Thus, when John asked "Where do you want to take Vince to lunch?" while we were out last weekend, I surprised him with "Chick-Fil-A." I seriously think he had a minor heart attack.
Anyway, we made our way to the one down the street from us. John was in his glories (he loves their nuggets), and I was in the playroom with Vince. I had already eaten (since I wasn't expecting to like anything - chicken sandwiches never appealed to me), but John got me a sandwich anyway. "It's for later" he said.
Anyway, the restaurant was just what all the Mommy Bloggers had talked about. It was clean, the staff was extremely friendly, they were very obviously "kid-friendly," and as a result, their customers seemed very much like us... young families looking to capitalize on a good deal.
I was amazed!
The playroom was perfect. It had several activities and kept Vince thoroughly entertained for about 45 minutes. When we finally pulled him away for food, he enjoyed that, too! John had gotten him nuggets and waffle fries with an apple juice to drink.
I tried one of the nuggets because they looked homemade. I don't like nuggets, but since these looked so (for lack of a better word) natural, I took a nibble and was thoroughly surprised when I liked that, too!
The real test came a few minutes later when I had to change Vince in the bathroom. Imagine my surprise when the bathroom not only had a changing station, but a clean one at that! It was even stocked with little baggies to toss away diapers, and extra wipes in case a mom forgot her own!
And as we were leaving the bathroom, I spotted a little step stool for Vince to use to wash his hands. I didn't have to help him levitate (which inevitably leaves him soapy and covered in water)!!!
Okay, Chick-Fil-A... I think you may be on to something!
So I decided to go back again today. I wanted to see if I'd just gotten lucky and saw them on the best day they'd ever had. Today's trip was even BETTER!
The staff was in full force today, giving balloons to all the kids, asking parents if they wanted free "toys / books" for them, making sure every one had all the condiments / drinks they wanted.
The playroom was still pristine (with the exception of a tiny Purell packet on the floor which immediately got swept up by one of the staff members), and yes, the bathroom was STILL stocked with extra wipes!
Alright, alright... I can admit defeat. Chick-Fil-A, you have a new raving fan. Now I fully believe what all the other Mommy Bloggers were saying when they swore by this place. Now I can go back to Frank and say, "Alrighty, I apologize... you're not entirely wrong in your opinion of Chick-Fil-A." And John... John can be super happy that Chick-Fil-A has become a possibility for the family again!
So yes... for any of you folks wondering if Chick-Fil-A might be for you, give it a whirl. I wish I had done it a lot sooner!
So this happened yesterday. I'd been holding off on blogging about it because I was hoping for a clarification / apology from them, but no luck (at least not yet). They've been quiet little church mice since this thread spiraled out of control.
To date, there have been almost 240 comments. I did a quick "stick tally" and found that an overwhelming majority of respondents were Catholic women who were very hurt by such an arrogant and thoughtless comment. Their customer base immediately began shrinking as folks not only removed themselves from the page, but cited their refusal to purchase from them and their refusal to advertise for them through blogs and personal references.
I immediately wondered if Garlands of Grace realized they had so many Catholic customers. If they didn't before, they most certainly do now!
Seriously, though... this comment was completely unnecessary. A simple "We're not Catholic, but we do espouse Christian beliefs" would have sufficed. Instead, they had to go and take it a step further with "I am burdened for all who stand with the Catholic Church and would plead with you to come out and believe the Word of God."
I do believe this business just accused me of not believing in the Word of God.
I also believe Garlands of Grace attempted emotionally martyring itself for my benefit.
Let me go ahead and pull the emergency brake on that one.
First of all, as I mentioned in the GoG thread that spawned on FB, not only do Catholics fully believe in the Word of God, we fully believe that Jesus Christ IS the Word of God incarnated.
As such, being the Church that Christ founded and all, we don't need a Protestant denomination martyring itself for our salvation. Thanks for your concern for my immortal soul and all, but as a faithful, fully-vested Catholic, I've got that covered. I don't need your condescending pity for my supposed ignorance to save me from hellfire.
That being said, I've made the decision to stop patronizing this business (which breaks my heart because all my favorite veils are from them!). Until they rectify their stance (which has successfully alienated about 100+ of their previous customers) I simply cannot reconcile supporting a business that views my faith as a burden.
And for the record, I was purchasing from them knowing full well they weren't Catholic. I didn't care one way or the other about their religious beliefs. I still don't. I do, however, care about being belittled and and being condescended to simply because I'm Catholic.
From my experiences in dealing with the women of GoG (they're sisters), they seem to be wonderful, loving and highly talented individuals. They have families, friends, and trials the same as the rest of us. They are dedicated to their mission of spreading love of God through veiling, and that's great. I wish them all the best. However, I cannot - at this time - be a party to what I see as a sad and hurtful attack on some of their best customers simply on the basis of our faith.
I sincerely hope and pray these women come to their senses and retract what was obviously a hurtful and ignorant comment.
*** Blog Responses ***
I read two blog responses yesterday that I really loved - posting them here for your benefit!
Liturgical Time (She makes beautiful head coverings as well)
A Woman's Place (Eh, you guys know I'm a huge Cam fan)
Joann Jordan is the founder of Garlands of Grace Ministry, a separate organization that goes by the same name as the sisters who create head coverings.
These are not the same groups, so please don't confuse them. Garlands of Grace Ministry is a cross-faith women's Bible study program.
In this particular entry, I'm specifically referring to the Garlands of Grace company that creates head coverings.
I attended a bridal shower this weekend with some gal pals of mine. We were happily telling ridiculous stories and sharing anecdotes when something caught me completely off-guard.
While sharing a story about Vince, one of my friends said "I was reading about [his sensory issues] on your blog."
I remember doing a double take and saying, "I'm sorry. What was that?"
I thought I'd heard her wrong. Only a few of my friends know I blog, and given the subject matter, of those that know, maybe half would care to read. So imagine my surprise when she reiterated,
"On your blog. I read about the stuff with Vince on your blog."
I don't know how long it seemed to her or anyone else at the table, but the next few seconds felt like 10 minutes to me. I would say "So many things were running through my head!" but in all reality, only one thing was spinning crazy circles: She knows about Myla.
I didn't want to appear as if I was freaked out, so I did a mental exercise of "Stuff-the-dirty-laundry-into-a-closet-and-your-guests-won't-realize-you-live-in-a-pigsty" and continued the conversation as if I didn't just have a minor panic attack. In truth, though, I was rattled. Given how silent I've been about Myla to friends and family, I felt emotionally undressed when I realized someone else knew my secret.
And yet, to protect that secret, I needed to immediately act as if nothing was amiss. Had I acted on the impulse to hyperventilate, I would've gotten questions, and questions would've been ugly. No one wants that sorta drama at a bridal shower (or anywhere, really), so I mentally ticked off a prayer to God and said, "Welp, I hope You're amused."
This incident has been banging around in my head the last few days. I finally asked the friend how she found out about the blog. After all, it's not like I post it to my personal page or anything like that. Apparently she'd found out the same way (and about the same time) my other friend had a few months back (I posted about it here).
*Shakes fist at Facebook*
At least I know I fixed the problem already, but still... having her unknowingly confront me with this in a completely unexpected situation has made me really skittish. How many other friends / family are reading this?
It's just a surprising notion. I thought I was just talking to other Catholic moms and the students googling Christian tradition.
I share this blog with very, VERY specific friends. Obviously it's open to whoever, but I am just surprised when folks beyond the "Catholic Mom" group are interested to stop by.
Just a quick tally of a few links I found particularly interesting / edifying today. Hope you enjoy! :)
Canonical info regarding Father Guarnizo and Barbara Johnson by Edward Peters, an actual Canonical lawyer.
***NEW*** Here's an awesome response from Phil Lawler to the horrible letter written to appease Johnson from the Archdiocese. Spot on. Evil has permeated our ranks. May God save us.
A great "advice" letter written by Supertradmum that was originally meant for seminarians, but can really be utilized by anyone looking to advance in holiness and charity.
A super nerdy look into the size and scope of the universe both big and small, and how we fit into it. Our God is an incredible God!
Incredible music / art video with extraordinarily powerful lyrics that young women everywhere need to hear.
Here's the video so you don't even have to go clicking anywhere! :)
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