Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King

Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King
Thou art the King of Glory, O Lord Jesus Christ; when Thou didst take upon Thee to deliver man, Thou didst not abhor the Virgin's Womb

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Uncomfortable With God

Dear readers,

Sorry it's been so long since I last posted here. I wanted to and meant to, but was waiting until I had some awesome post that was insightful and uplifting and all that good stuff. Any time I had something really insightful to talk about I was just too busy or too tired of whatever. But I just feel like typing now even though I don't have anything amazing to say.

Anyways, right now I am feeling very cold and in the dark about a lot of things. I recently dropped out of college (last week actually) and moved down to Atlanta to try and work on some of the things that were preventing me from doing well in school. All these things I've done after prayer and wrestling with God (like the Holy Patriarch Jacob) and I feel deep down like I'm doing the right thing and that this is something that God wants, that my parents want, and that even I want even though I didn't want to admit it out of pride. But I did it and feel like I made the right the decision although I hate that things got so bad in the first place. So now I'm looking for a job which seems impossible.

I really hate being a Christian right now... Yes, I know it sounds so awful and I hate admitting that but that is how I feel as of late. I'm so upset that I cannot reach Jesus when I call on Him and that He doesn't seem to be seeking me out either. Any time I pray for anything anymore, it's like the opposite happens. So I'm frankly afraid to pray. Rather, I don't know what to pray for except for continuing to pray for others; He seems to really be working wonders (even in a hidden way) in others' lives. He's doing things for me too here and there, but the things that bother me the most He has turned His back on it feels like. I even hate being in church now. I used to find so much comfort being in church. I felt safe. I felt at home. I didn't want to leave. It was a mysteriously comforting encounter with the Blessed Trinity. Now, I feel like I'm literally trembling (in spirit) when I go into the Temple. I only used to feel like that approaching the Altar to receive our Risen Lord in Holy Communion, but just being in the church or contemplating a statue or an icon or the Scriptures is stressful.

Part of me feels like this is Satan trying to intercept something good from happening, but my anxious nature is wondering hard core if this is God sending me to Hell before death and if He's finally said "To Hell with you already, you thorn in my side." I just want to run away from all of this and not have to worry about it and just wash my hands of it like most people in the world have done with God. But I can't do that. The reality of Jesus and eternity and the state of the world are too apparent and I can't just toss it.

But no one can protect you from God's wrath. No one can make Him change His mind. Not even the Blessed Virgin who also seems to be somewhat scornful at me.. I know I'm not the best person, but I am not the worst creature this planet has seen. Others have done way worse than I have but they don't have this turmoil. Also I'm not excusing myself for anything.

Well that's basically all I have to share now.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Mystery of the Blessed Sacrament

I posted a status today on Facebook saying that I wanted to understand the Blessed Sacrament and judging from some of the comments, I think I should clarify what I meant.

The Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of the Catholic faith (I think this is from the Catechism, but it is definitely on the Vatican website and I've heard/seen it many times before) and as Roman Catholics, we believe that Jesus Christ becomes truly and mystically present in the sacred species during Holy Mass.  The Creator of the world is physically and truly present in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Holy Communion; not just mere symbols as Protestantism erroneously claims.

So if that's true, I want to know the power behind this Mystery of God.  What does this mean for pious Christians who approach the Holy Table to receive these beautiful Gifts?  I feel like this is something that is believed in theory among Catholics (although Orthodox seem to wholeheartedly believe in the True Presence), but to me, a lack of Faith seems to prevent us from experiencing the fullness of this amazing Truth.  It's so sad.  These are things that I notice:

People that attend Holy Mass and receive the Lord seem so hasty about it.  There is this crazy idea that we need as many Extraordinary 'Ministers' of Holy Communion so we can speed along the distribution.  And although the Second Vatican Council did not intend this at all, people seem to think this is another role to be filled like ushers, and greeters, and people who collect the offering, and what not.

Not to be judgmental, but the way in which a lot of people receive Holy Communion distressed me to the point where I just don't look (there are other reasons I don't look such as the fact that that is a very intimate encounter to have the personal visitation of our Lord and God and should not be disturbed by my eyes).  These really fast Signs of the Cross, the quick and hurried bows (or nods of the head)...if people even remember to do them (technically, if you're going to bow, it has to be three bows...not just one...).  People walking while receiving Holy Communion.  And also not many people offer prayers of thanksgiving for the Heavenly Food, the Bread of Angels, which they just received.  Even more, many leave the church while processing away from the Communion line before Mass even ends!

What in the world?!  This is just unacceptable and I just want to scream every time I witness these at Holy Mass.  I've never seen anything like this in the Eastern Orthodox Divine Liturgy (actually I love how they receive Holy Communion).  How Communion is received in the Extraordinary Form is more acceptable, but still sometimes seems like a lack of piety.  As judgmental as that sounds, this is what I've observed.

But I think the reason that I'm seeing this (and maybe you all have noticed it as well) is because we don't take the time to ponder what we have in the Blessed Sacrament.  Another thing that bothers me is no one likes to talk about it either (although I can almost always get a conversation about the glories of the Blessed Sacrament from a lot of Orthodox...*cough* Catholics, we need to step it up).  Why wouldn't we want to share and give thanks together (not just as Holy Mass) about these things?

Since we are all trying to get to Heaven and should be trying to encourage each other towards our Heavenly Home, why not speak of these Mysteries and help each other to receive them more reverently?  I can't tell you how many texts I've sent to Catholics trying to engage them to talk about these things to not get an answer back...

Now, about the comments on my status.  Both were from two Christians (one Catholic and one Orthodox) whose piety I greatly admire and thank God for how prayerful they both are and both are very spiritual although the Catholic has a hard time expressing it in words but I know it's there.  Well, he missed the point I was trying to make, and she (Orthodox and very much on fire with the Holy Ghost, Deo gratias..and she has really been accompanying me on this journey and it's always great to hear from her because she gives me much good things to think and consider and sends me some great sermons too) wanted to emphasize the "mystery" part of the Sacrament and just have Faith to accept it which is not exactly where I was going, but she did tell me that no matter what we feel or know or do not know, we must trust that the Lord is working on us and purifying us with His Grace through the Sacraments even if we cannot tell.

I think this is key because I do not really feel "changed" or anything after receiving the Sacraments and it sometimes makes me wonder if I 1) received them unworthily or if I 2) wasn't good enough or something and I would get frustrated because these holy means of Grace are supposed to guard us from sin and despair   yet that only seems to last for maybe hours at best...  And I kinda think to myself, "God must be stronger than that, so maybe the problem is me..." but there's like no help to correct this.  Priests don't seem to take me seriously when I ask.  My knees are probably all crusty from trying to pray for answers on this so much.  Other Catholics don't really know what to say through lack of catechesis (or indifference...I've noticed a lot of traditional Catholic men (I don't know many women) seem pretty indifferent to my spiritual life probably because I don't know as much as they do and as with most guys, you have to show yourself worthy of them ugh), and if I talk to Orthodox men, I'm going to get beaten over the head with the "You need to leave that heretical church and join the True Church so you can get True Sacraments and you won't have this problem!"

Is God torturing me, again, this is another desire that I have that He, for whatever reason, is withholding from me, and what spiritual good is it really doing?  I cannot tell at the moment, but maybe something good will come of it.

So I'm going to be in the Scriptures and in the Catechisms again trying to soak in all these words and maybe read some Fathers along the way about the Holy Eucharist and see if that helps a little more.

I just want to run to my Lord and have Him welcome me with open arms and cast away all my doubts and fears and just be wrapped in His Love and have Him keep me there safe from all the spiritual trauma that I feel I go through (internally) on a daily basis.  Somehow, I'm still in the game!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Just Hoping to Do It Right

Father delivered his sermon at Holy Mass today on homosexuality and it was really good.  Praise God for his priestly wisdom and for the Holy Ghost giving him the words to say!  It wasn't the easiest sermon for me to listen to, but it was still really good.

I'm going to be starting a book study with my friend and it's called "Beginning to Pray" and I'm looking forward to it.  Prayer is difficult, even though it's something I've been doing my whole life, I still feel like I hardly know how to do it even though there have been times when I would pray for very lengthy periods of time.  I'm not quite sure how orthodox or pious this is, but I'm trying a new thing where when I pray to God (unless I'm reading a prayer), I just talk to Him normally like He's sitting right in front of my face and like He's a guidance counselor or something.  I try to talk to Him as normally as I would talk to them and tell Him EVERYTHING that is on my mind and exactly how I'm feeling, but that's still kinda hard because I'm so used to addressing the Most Holy Trinity very formally and like I'm trying to impress Him with my words.

Father recently told me in Confession that I need to be praying constantly.  This is from the Holy Scriptures after all, so maybe anytime I am having idle thoughts, I should just direct them towards God and tell Him those thoughts.  My goal is to be in constant communication with the Lord and involve Him in everything.  Now, if I'm doing something sinful or thinking about doing something sinful, I don't know how much I will be just talking to Him because that would feel really awkward...  Hopefully if I talk to Him often enough and truthfully enough, I can avoid those occasions of sin and this won't be an issue.  Priests have often told me to pray when undergoing temptation, but if I'm already experiencing the temptation and a strong pull towards it, what good would a prayer really do then?  I have prayed during temptation before and it did not really diminish the temptation at all and in the process I felt embarrassed to even think about God.  It was agonizing because I remember how guilty I felt, but also how angry I felt because I've prayed for Him to protect me from those moments.  In fact, in every Mass offered in the Extraordinary Form, there is a prayer that asks God to deliver us from all sin, past, present, and to come by the Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus Christ, and through the intercession of our Blessed Mother, the Holy Apostles Peter, Paul, and Andrew and all the Saints.  Also, I've said my St. Michael the Archangel prayers (after all Masses and recitations of the Holy Rosary), so I'm confused as to why I even get tempted.  Do we not pray in the Lord's Prayer (aka, the most perfect prayer) for God to lead us not into temptation??  All these prayers against sin and temptation (even the Ordinary Form prays against these things), and they still happen.

I'll even add that when I pray these specific prayers, that I kick into high gear and really beg God to answer these specific prayers.

Then there is the issue that I do not receive Holy Communion very often, so one could argue that that is why I don't experience this divine protection because I don't taste of the Holy Mysteries often enough and with enough faith...  I don't think people understand how much I have to go to Confession to receive Holy Communion and although I love the Sacrament of Penance (it's healing, it gives Sanctifying Grace, it frees me from the bonds of death), but it is tiring and repetitive and the guilt is stronger with each Confession (but also the liberation more meaningful...) and it just makes Holy Communion not seem worth it...  Also, I'm so used to not receiving Holy Communion that it feels awkward to receive and I always worry if I'm doing it right and if I've prayed enough or fasted with a good enough intensity and read enough Scriptures.  It's like an Olympic sport trying to receive the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, yet the Church encourages her children to receive daily?!  I know that our Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters do not share this belief (except for those in monasteries or under the advice of a spiritual father).  But it makes me wonder that since the Sacrament of Penance also confers Sanctifying Grace to save the soul from Hell if that should be my Sacrament and not Holy Communion.  What do you guys think about that?

I spent much time reading the Courage website this evening and meditation on chapter 7 of St. Paul the Apostle's Epistle to the Romans, verses 19-23 (from the Propers of the Seventh Sunday After Pentecost) and thinking about how the wages of sin is death and that I don't want to die (spiritually) and how that frightens me, especially since I reflected (with the aid of a few Saints' writings) on the pains and torments of Hell and how easy it is to find oneself in that horrible abyss of torment, hatred, foul odors, demons, and the loss of God.  And the intensity of the fires...

Lastly, I realize that one of my biggest hurdles in overcoming sin is the anger and bitterness that I have that I will never have a family or a husband or anyone who really loves me and that I'm going to have to live my life alone.  I am afraid I won't be strong enough to emotionally support myself through times when people usually count on their spouse to lean on.  I do plan on being able to support myself financially, but it would be such a beautiful thing to share a family vacation or go to my son or daughter's symphony concert or hockey game or participate in a charity with my husband and have someone to pray every single day with and grow closer to God and help me receive the Sacraments and save my soul.  It's not even just about sex or anything, but more of having a companion and I am trying very hard to just be at peace with the fact that God does not want that for me and that He will bless me something better if I'm obedient to Him, but I cannot see what could possibly be better than that :/

Night y'all

Friday, July 6, 2012

Am I Meant to Hate Life? (serious)

The Lord is good and kind and merciful even to those of us who really do not deserve it. Why does He keep taking me back after I betray Him again and again? One thing that I wish I had was the strength to be what God wants me to be and I'm still looking for that strength. I know I can find it in the Sacraments so maybe it's time to step up my game with the help of God's Grace of course.

I've been going over things in my head lately and things that are keeping me from holiness are thoughts that I may never really enjoy life if I don't have certain things. That's so immature, though and I just want so badly to look past that because nothing in this life lasts forever.

I'm not going to lie, I feel very cheated by life when it comes to a lot of things and I find it hard to come up with a reason why God would let me desire something sooo badly if it was 1) wrong and 2) something I'll never likely have anyways. It's like my whole life tortures me and I've prayed to find relief from those feelings, but it's like the more I pray for them to go away, the more they haunt me. Why is that do you think?

It just seems like basic things that most people around me have or experience, I either hardly have it if at all or don't get to experience them and it makes me have thoughts of env and that makes me think badly of others and then I feel like I'm in a pit alone and perpetually upset.

Couldn't God just make me happy with Himself? I've seen so many people who don't care that they are missing out on this or that but are so at peace and motivated in the Faith or just otherwise content, and I've begged God for that but those "nice" feelings only last a short time. All it takes is stepping out in public and boom I'm back to where I started and it seems that way no matter how hard I pray or try to think positively.

So that makes me wonder about some things: Does God want me to be happy at all? What would the point of "useless" suffering be? Is there anything I can do that I haven't tried already? I just want answers...

I'm not going to make an elaborate list of all these things that I want but I'll talk about one in particular for this post: feeling like I'm part of a church family.

I'm sick of going to Holy Mass or Adoration or any function and being by myself while others are with their families or friends (my friends visit Mass with me but wouldn't attend regularly and they only go for me; not because they want to). I feel like I'm invisible everywhere!! Which is funny because I try to make myself standout a lot while I'm so conscious of other peoples' presence and definitely notice them.

There are a few people at some churches that I attend who do converse with me shortly or see how I'm doing but I've never had the opportunity to get close with them or become friends. I thought Catholics were supposed to fellowship.

I even tried getting involved but that doesn't seem to fruitful either. How does God expect me to have consistent Faith and holiness if I can't even make friends with holy people? I've begged Him for close Catholic friends that would be my primary group of friends and with whom I could offer Mass, pray the Rosary, study the doctrine, and talk about spiritual things and so far they've been with people that I've met in Facebook groups and forums but not people with whom I could hang out.

I don't want to be tempted by sin everywhere but I also don't want to stay cooped up in my room staring at the wall because the alternative is hanging out with Godless people.

Then a lot of people have their Catholic religion-obsessed friends and take them for granted. What?! I love my friends so I'm not going to throw them away because they aren't believers especially when they've been so much more charitable and caring to me than most Catholics (Catholics seem to either just be acquaintances (girls) or they don't like me (guys)) so can you blame me for having such a struggle? It's so bizarre and contradictory.

So am I supposed to hate everything about life because I seem to not be able to enjoy the perks of being Catholic or a heathen, but only get the inconveniences of both. What is that...
When will this end???

Thursday, July 5, 2012


So I was reading the Responsorial Psalm from the Mass of today and this verse struck me:

“Why do you recite my statutes, and profess my covenant with your mouth, Though you hate discipline and cast my words behind you?” Psalm L

It seems that the Lord isn't happy that we talk like we're pious believers but then don't act like it in our hearts especially when He was very serious when He gave His Law to us. It is kinda easy to "say the right things," but we have to ask Him to help us discipline ourselves to live His Law.

It's so important for us to ask for and make use of His Grace so that we can have hearts and words be in union with each other. It's so hard though because feelings get in the way and the "end" (aka holiness) seems so far away so it's like what's the point but I hope that God helps me to understand more so I can be at better peace with things.

Just thought I'd share that <3

The Beach!

Happy 4th of July to all my readers!

Today was absolutely amazing. I went to the beach with my father, grandma, little brother, and best friend and I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend this day. Wish Mommy was here too, but I did get to talk to her this morning!

I hadn't gone to the beach in years and it was great to experience God's beautiful creation this way. Normally I hate being wet but the water felt so good and refreshing! It was just breathtaking. Warn and Corey really enjoyed the water and the weather was nice, although very hot ): we were at Tybee Island, GA.

Also, we jet skied and that was such a rush!

At night we went to downtown Savannah to see the fireworks which were kinda lame but it was good to be with people that I really care about and who really care about me.

I was very moved thinking about how God created all this which the Word and it all came into being. And as the Father created all things through and for His Son, He did an incredible job to show how much He cares for Him. Everything was just so nice today.

I just want to thank God for everything I have that the Lord has blessed me with. He is gracious and kind and I hope to be able to thank Him and show Him how much it means. Shouldn't be complaining all the time.

Just wanted to share that with you guys.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Grandpa's Salvation

This morning I was fortunate enough to pray the 5 Joyous Mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the Virgin with my grandfather.  I recited the prayers, and he listened, probably praying in his heart.  Afterwards, we chanted some Psalms together (followed by him repeatedly asking me if I was interested in the priesthood and me repeatedly saying, "No, Grandpa, that's not my vocation."...repeat).

I've been wanting and meaning to recite the Rosary with him for some time now as I wonder how much he continues to be able to participate in Catholicism since my parents aren't Catholic and who would take him to Mass and to Confession?  Every time I ask him if he'd like to go to Confession, he says he just went (which isn't true but he believes it to be so because of the Alzheimer's) and I think that I should just pick him up and tell him we're going and that way he'll be more likely to do it.

What I'm concerned about is Christian death here.  Will my grandfather have a Christian burial with the Sacrament of Extreme Unction and Requiem (Mass for the Dead)?  The thought that he may not receive these Sacraments is very concerning to me and I'm to the point where I'm going to call around and see if any priest knows how to offer the Sacrament of Extreme Unction in the Extraordinary Form.  I do not want him to pass from this life without being helped by the Sacraments...  I know that my family wouldn't bother too much about this because they are either not Catholic or are no longer practicing, or are "hardly" practicing and if anything, this would just be a "formality."

How sad that the very means by which our gracious and loving Lord gives His superabundant Grace to us are merely considered formalities now.  How many people receive the Sacrament of Christian Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Communion) and never see church again until (if even) they receive the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony or are being buried?  How often do priests administer the Sacrament of Extreme Unction (or Last Rites as they are commonly called)?

Death is a very peculiar time for the demons which torment us throughout our lives and influence us to sin flock to our souls to snatch it to Hell before we have a chance to repent and be saved.  Therefore, the aid of the Sacrament of Extreme Unction is extremely necessary.

As his grandson and a fellow Catholic, I am concerned about this and feel alone because who can I really talk to in my family about this?  What do I do?  I feel urged to do something so that he has the best chances for salvation that a man of his state and age and with that illness has.