A Catholic Journey...

Welcome! I invite you to follow and share my spiritual journey into the Catholic Faith. I am using this blog to share my studies and musings on converting to Catholicism.

Follow by Email

Monday, July 14, 2014

Lord of All Hopefulness (Slane) — Choir of Ely Cathedral

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Why I love Mary...even more

Today's  "Saint of the Day" email was for the Annunciation of the Lord.  These 2 paragraphs really speak to me.  I understand that some people believe that we worship Mary, I personally had no idea who she was before I became Catholic.  But as I have said before, and remind myself of often (maybe not enough), that being a mother is tough and she is the best role model to have.  It is important when you are a mother, to have high standards for yourself.  I get into a rut and start acting like a child...like my child...and I have to tell myself to forgive, love and calm the heck down.   That's what Mary helps me to remember.

Together with Jesus, the privileged and graced Mary is the link between heaven and earth. She is the human being who best, after Jesus, exemplifies the possibilities of human existence. She received into her lowliness the infinite love of God. She shows how an ordinary human being can reflect God in the ordinary circumstances of life. She exemplifies what the Church and every member of the Church is meant to become. She is the ultimate product of the creative and redemptive power of God. She manifests what the Incarnation is meant to accomplish for all of us.
COMMENT:
Sometimes spiritual writers are accused of putting Mary on a pedestal and thereby discouraging ordinary humans from imitating her. Perhaps such an observation is misguided. God did put Mary on a pedestal and has put all human beings on a pedestal. We have scarcely begun to realize the magnificence of divine grace, the wonder of God’s freely given love. The marvel of Mary—even in the midst of her very ordinary life—is God’s shout to us to wake up to the marvelous creatures that we all are by divine design.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

In These Days of Lenten Journey

As I listen to this hymn to practice for my 1st effort of cantoring (is that a word...), I saw this post and had to laugh.  It's a prayer for today.  It's really not funny at all, but it just makes me want to eat the pre-lenten, 1/2 eaten box of girl scout cookies in my fridge.
http://huff.to/O3m232
God of our fasting, show us how our hunger unites us with those in need of bread, how letting go of life’s comforts can aid those lacking necessities for life. Amen.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Pop Tarts for Dinner

Happy Ash Wednesday...or whatever you say to someone today (still haven't figured that one out).
So what am I "doing" for Lent this year?
Well, my husband is REALLY going into the desert this year.  He is giving up TV, junk food, meat and sleep (in order to wake up earlier and workout).
I, on the other hand, choose to be a little more vague.  My lent this year will consist of no C's...Cookies, cakes, candy, chocolate etc.  I am also going to have more "self control".  This means that I will try not to argue with Alex, yell at Serena or eat/drink/gossip excessively.  It seems like the easy way out, at least to Alex it does.  For me though, I feel like this will make me ACTUALLY change my heart.  40 days of hard-core discipline will only make me rush back to it quicker.  I admit I am a sinner.  I do not think that I will be a brand new person after these 40 days...but I do hope and pray that Lent 2014 will make me a more relaxed and better adjusted person.  Sometimes we all just need to simplify our lives.

I came across this article Why I'm Giving Up Giving Up Things this Year when I google searched "Lent".  It kind of pissed me off.  I feel like I am making the same point as the author of the article, but I agree with people's decisions to really dive deep, like Alex.  It's just not for me, at this time in my life.  But as this guy scoffs and makes jokes about giving up trivial things, it just comes across as arrogant.  He can't be Catholic.
 He's just not sure he "see's the value"....are you kidding me?  It's just so sad that in our culture, we feel like we are exempt from trying to make ourselves better...more Christ-like.
 His joke about "bringing about the kingdom of God by not eating Pop Tarts" is really rude.  There are some people out there who probably have a Pop Tart problem.  Maybe if more people stopped eating Pop Tarts to make themselves feel better, and in turn, prayed or opened the bible and worked on their faith...then they would be happier and healthier.  Like I said, I am giving up the "C" sweets.  What do I have to gain by doing that?  More self-control.  I know I have a problem with sweets.  When I see a cupcake I justify why I DESERVE one.  People, we don't DESERVE anything.  That is what God is trying to tell us...we don't need these earthly desires to bind us...we don't need Pop Tarts to be happy.
If I take a step back and say "No Renee, you don't NEED a fatty delicious cupcake.  What you do need is more faith.  More trust in God's plan for me".  I think I am meant to have more self-control.  We all are.  We are not animals.  We are one big family of beautiful humans...who do not need to eat an abundance of Pop Tarts to be happy.
It seems that the point he is making is that we are not changing the world by these little things.  This kind of thinking though, is what makes us feel so defeated all the time.  We eat the damn Pop Tarts because we don't realize that each one of us, each "small" thing we do, is affecting our lives and the lives of others.  Each moment we have is special to God.  It should be special to us.  Not eating the Pop Tarts is choosing to control our impulse to indulge is something that we do not need, something that tries to fill the God shaped hole.
I guess I just want to remind myself and others that Lent is important, that the things you choose to give up or add to your life ARE going to bring about the kingdom of God...at least within ourselves.  That is a good start.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Judgement

Man, sometimes the daily readings are just what you need to hear.  I was feeling bad last night and this morning about judging others.  One of my many sins, one that bothers me the most, is gossip.  It's so hard to not talk about people.  Sometimes I feel like it's the only thing to talk about, besides my kids.    I have had this conversation with a lot of my friends...if it's not necessarily something bad, then is it still gossip?
My deal last night was that I worked a Junior League shift at an upscale fundraising event and I encountered some people who really irritated me.  The event had ended and I was cleaning up the tables.  A few of the couples that were still lingering were pissed because I was clearing their tables before they wanted me to.  I got a lot of dirty sneers and a few of them made jokes or were angry about me cleaning up their drinks...which they had had too many of in my opinion.  I guess I just felt inferior, even though I could have just as easily been on the other side of the fence.  It just made me angry.  I didn't know why I couldn't let it go, just laugh off their idiocy.
I shouldn't be judging them for judging me.
Judgement.
It's the #1 reason non-christians say they hate christians.
Christian or non-christian...no one has the right to judge others.
As I tell my almost 4 year old, "worry about yourself".
Read these while thinking about the last time you judged someone.
These are the readings for today, don't they just fit????:


Reading 1LV 19:1-2, 17-18

The LORD said to Moses,
“Speak to the whole Israelite community and tell them:
Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.

“You shall not bear hatred for your brother or sister in your heart.
Though you may have to reprove your fellow citizen,
do not incur sin because of him.
Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against any of your people.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
I am the LORD.”

Reading 2 1 COR 3:16-23

Brothers and sisters:
Do you not know that you are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person;
for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.

Let no one deceive himself.
If any one among you considers himself wise in this age,
let him become a fool, so as to become wise.
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God,
for it is written:
God catches the wise in their own ruses
and again:
The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise,
that they are vain.


So let no one boast about human beings, for everything belongs to you, 
Paul or Apollos or Cephas,
or the world or life or death,
or the present or the future:
all belong to you, and you to Christ, and Christ to God.





Thursday, August 15, 2013

Assumption

I have to admit that I didn't know it was a feast day until Alex mentioned mass this morning. #BadCatholic. But we made it to mass and I also managed to get my 3 year old to discuss it with me.  On the way home from mass I saw this beautiful ray of light coming out of the clouds, even though the pic sucks, it was really beautiful. 
I am reminded today of all the times I prayed to Mary during my pregnancy, to have a safe delivery.  It was about the best one a woman could have...short of blacking out and waking up with baby in hand.
  I feel very close to our blessed mother and she has been very good to me!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Prayer in Defense of Marriage


 

Prayer In Defense Of Marriage

 
God our Father, we give you thanks
for the gift of marriage: the bond of life and love,
and the font of the family. 
The love of husband and wife enriches your Church with children,
fills the world with a multitude of spiritual fruitfulness and service,
and is the sign of the love of your Son, Jesus Christ, for his Church.
The grace of Jesus flowed forth at Cana at the
request of the Blessed Mother. May your Son,
through the intercession of Mary, pour out upon us
a new measure of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
as we join with all people of good will
to promote and protect the unique beauty of marriage.
May your Holy Spirit enlighten our society
to treasure the heroic love of husband and wife,
and guide our leaders to sustain and protect
the singular place of mothers and fathers
in the lives of their children.
Father, we ask that our prayers
be joined to those of the Virgin Mary,
that your Word may transform our service
so as to safeguard the incomparable splendor of marriage.
We ask all these things through Christ our Lord,
Amen.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

Friday, May 17, 2013

St. Gerard Majella - Saints & Angels - Catholic Online

St. Gerard Majella - Saints & Angels - Catholic Online

I am due on tuesday and this baby cannot come soon enough!  Alex is annoyed that I am in a hurry, but he isn't carrying an extra 40 lbs...as well as experiencing back pain, contractions, fatigue, severe gas and heartburn.  So fun.  I have a lot of people praying for me and Lord knows I need it!  I keep telling people, I would be fine to just sit around and wait for baby Cecilia to come, but taking care of a 3 year old and cleaning and cooking are not easy to do right now.  Put me on bed rest and I would be happy to incubate another week.  I am trying to enjoy these last days with just Serena...and I know I want a happy healthy baby, so I am trying to stay positive.  Plus, I really don't WANT to give birth, I just want to be done with pregnancy.  I know that every woman in their last week of pregnancy is miserable, I'm not special, but complaining is all I have people.
So like the song goes....say a little prayer for me.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

EWTN.com - Pope: If We Can Resist Gossip, We Make Big Step Forward

EWTN.com - Pope: If We Can Resist Gossip, We Make Big Step Forward

Gossip is such a big sin of mine.  I feel like since I don't have a job, I don't watch TV or listen to news on the radio all day, since I am home with a 3 year old...I have nothing to talk about except other people.  It's usually not bad, it's mostly just what I consider "the truth", but I know that it's gossip either way.  I think my ability to be interesting to other adults has dramatically plummeted in the last 3 years.  What time I do spend on myself is usually not time spent enriching my brain with useful knowledge...it's taking my brain off any thing, especially since I have been pregnant.  I know that gossip sucks.  I realize as I am doing it, that I am being ridiculous...but it's so hard to stop.  Pray for me that I can find a way to stick to my own business and stay positive.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Great Podcast

A friend of mine told me about this podcast, I subscribed to it on itunes...Catholic Stuff You Should Know.  It's really fun and informative...and catholic!
 Check it out.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A prayer for family and friends

Here is a Prayer I wanted to share with you: Thanks for Family & Friends Blessed are You, loving Father, For all your gifts to us. Blessed are You for giving us family and friends To be with us in times of joy and sorrow, To help us in days of need, And to rejoice with us in moments of celebration.. Father, We praise You for Your Son Jesus, Who knew the happiness of family and friends, And in the love of Your Holy Spirit. Blessed are you for ever and ever. Amen. Sent via iMissal http://www.imissal.com/markets.html

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Citizens - Made Alive

Cool Tunes

Citizens

Above is a link to an album on itunes, this band rocks!  It's so hard to get into any current christian music, people are always telling me of good songs and bands but they all sound the same to me.  I got lucky today and heard this band...and I actually like it!  It's probably not for everyone, it's very indie,  but I bet those of you who don't care for christian rock, will like this.  Anyway, check it out.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

God's Guidance

God's Guidance

God knows the things that give us great joy and delight. God knows the people who we need to come into our path that will help form us and shape us.

— from Finding My Voice

******
Wow, how true is this quote.  I am constantly reminded on a daily basis, how lucky I am to have such special people in my life.  Since moving to Tallahassee a couple of years ago, I have made such awesome friendships, and they keep on coming!  I meet people all the time that inspire me...as a mother, a christian and a community volunteer.  I miss Orlando sometimes, because I still have so many people that I love there, but moving to a different city has really challenged me socially.  I feel like I am open to meeting new people and because of that, I have an amazing support system.  There is no shortage of people to complain to...lol.  God truly knows what we need.  He knew that I needed a great support system to help me to stay sane and positive as a stay-at-home mom.  It's a tough job, especially emotionally....especially pregnant!  So, thank you God for the people you give me and thank you friends and family for being there!