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As ProLife as The Annunciation

The Annunciation as well as the Visitation are two mysteries of the rosary that reinforce my pro-life beliefs. These two mysteries demonstrate the importance of a child before the child is born. They also demonstrate the immense love God has for these children, before they are born...the significance of these children, the purpose of these children, and the potential for these children.. They also demonstrate the immense love that these women have for their children.  In the Annunciation, the mother-to-be is Mary and in the Visitation, the mother-to-be is Elizabeth. In the annunciation, Mary is greeted by an angel of God, Gabriel...and accepts the role that God had intended for her long before she was ever born. She accepts the role of MOTHER. Mother of God and mother of all sinners that ever were and will be. She accepts the child long before the child is born as an act of trust, love, humility...and yes, even obedience.

I can only imagine if this moment in the history of salvation took place today. As a single, pregnant mother, she would be expected to get an abortion. As a single pregnant mother, she would be told that Christ was not a child, but a choice. She would be expected to consider herself more important than the life of her child...and to put herself first. It would not be for health reasons. It would not be out of compassion for the child who would have to one day be born in a manger. It would be out of convenience...the reason for most (if not all) abortions committed today. Had Mary been alive today, I still know she would have still chosen her unknown, future child over the easier alternative. She would have still faced uncertainty and fear for the sake of her child and the salvation of countless other children she adopted the moment she said "Thy will be done." She would have still put God's will before her own, and she would have still done so out of love, obedience, humility, and COMPLETE TRUST in God. 

For all you rosary praying folk out there prepping for tomorrow's Joyful mysteries, I give you my latest work of art... The Annunciation. 

The Annunciation
Sharpie marker and colored pencil on paper
Pax Vobiscum

Who is Like God?, Strength of God, God has Healed

Guess what day it is?
(The title of this post should be a clue.)

Today is the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. Alas, I have yet to draw or paint anything that is worthy of celebrating these three angels that sit before the throne of God and serve as His messengers. Maybe one day, I will have the time to get to it. In the meantime, I should probably use whatever few minutes I have in between incubation times to memorize the Angelus. As I am still in the lab on this somewhat gray and cloudy Saturday with no lights on (as I am using fluorescent compounds...not because I am feeling like Smeagol the recluse), I may just have to try it. Traditionally, it is prayed at 6am and 12pm, so I still have some time. A partial indulgence is granted for devout recitation of this prayer daily and according to protocol (sorry, in a lab and this is the only word that fits at the moment). For more information on this prayer (and much more), please visit Catholic In the meantime, the Angelus:

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of
our death. Amen.

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word.

Hail Mary . . .

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary . . .

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 
Let us pray:
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen. 

The Angelus by Jean-François Millet (1857–59)
For a more in depth description of this Feast Day and the patronages of Sts. Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel...please check out this pretty informative post by Catholic Culture.

It was so informative, I learned that Saint Gabriel is the patron Saint of Portugal. I always figured it was Saint Michael...but I guess that may only be for the village my mom was from.

I've already commemorated this day by praying through each angel, placing one of my three biggest intentions under each angel's care.

Prayer Guide
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

O Blessed Archangel Gabriel,
we beseech thee,
do thou intercede for us at the throne of divine Mercy in our present necessities,
that as thou didst announce to Mary the mystery of the Incarnation,
so through thy prayers and patronage in heaven we may obtain the benefits of the same,
and sing the praise of Godforever in the land of the living.

Blessed Saint Raphael, Archangel,
We beseech thee to help us in all our needs and trials of this life,
as thou, through the power of God, didst restore sight and give guidance to young Tobit.
We humbly seek thine aid and intercession,
that our souls may be healed,
our bodies protected from all ills,
and that through divine grace we may be made fit
to dwell in the eternal Glory of God in heaven. 

Pax Vobiscum

One of those days

I still find it hard to believe the morning I had today. Everything started okay. The Fool (aka much loved sibling) had gotten the brand new coffee pot going this morning as she got started for work. She has to leave crazy early these days, as she is now a theology teacher at a Catholic school in one of the surrounding towns. My first sensation this morning was dreamily breathing in the ethereal aroma of coffee percolating. I was half-asleep when the Fool left and nodded back to sleep after mumbling a goodbye.

I was rudely awakened by someone calling me soon after...a strange number I had never seen before. Contrary to my usual habit, I actually picked up. It was The Fool. My car had broken down and she was stranded at a gas station sans phone (she had left it at home by accident). She was on the phone with me for a few moments as I scrambled to look up a taxi service for her...but she had to go right after I gave her a number...that turned out to not be a taxi place. I panicked for a good 10 minutes and found myself praying for The Fool, thoroughly convinced that I would never hear from her again and that she would be stranded at some unknown parking lot for the rest of her life. I tried calling her back at the strange number, only to have a cranky individual refuse to help me and asking that I not call their business phone again. As charitable as I want to be, I cannot help but consider this guy a jerk for dissing a maiden in distress...WHO DOES THAT?!? My worry was relieved a few minutes later when another number called me. It was The Fool...and she had been able to find a phone at a CVS across the street.

I got an address from her, called a taxi and had the taxi drive me to the parking deck where the car she'd been using was parked. In case you are wondering, she had been driving to school in another car until the end of last week when she had gotten her second parking ticket within a few days. She had gone to our town's parking authority to get a pass for street parking and they had given her a pass that was good until the end of March. The problem was, it's no good until September 30. Rather than get another ticket, we decided it would be best to put that car in a parking garage for a week and let her borrow my car (Gandalf the White).

So I only have laundry money with me because I had gone to the bank to get laundry money this weekend. I tend to charge, so I never carry cash...especially since I go into the city every day. The taxi driver drops me off and the fare turned out to be $20. All I had was $20 in quarters, so I gave him that with many apologies. Fortunately, he took it well. He had a good sense of humor...thank God. I get the car and realize that The Fool had taken the parking deck ticket with I have to go to the ticket office and tell them that I was ticketless. They always make it seem like it's the end of the world whenever you lose a ticket, so I fully expected to pay a hefty fine. Fortunately, it turned out to be $6 and the attendant was also very was the woman at the intersection that gave me right of way as I desperately tried to get to The Fool ASAP.

I make it to the parking lot and call my roadside assistance company after sending the Fool off to school so she would not be late. This is after removing all the crap I had in Gandalf's trunk. We always buy bulk when there's a good deal going on, so you can only imagine what it looked like when we piled on huge box after huge box of toilet paper, milk cartons, etc. The tow truck comes and hour later and I tell them where to take me. The guy driving the tow truck turns out to be riot. I was laughing the whole way to the mechanic...even if I secretly didn't approve of him smoking in the truck. However, I was not going to bother him about anything AT ALL. I don't mess with anyone with a bunch of skull tattoos on their arms, especially if they swear like a sailor.

I am dropped off at the mechanic...and they also turn out to have a good sense of well as a picture of JPII hanging up in the office (anyone with JPII on their walls are okay by me). After settling everything with them, I call up the taxi company again. Only this time, I realize that I had lost my sister's phone in the first cab. The guy driving me this time turns out to be a gentleman and ends up calling the company for me about the phone as he drives. He tells me about how devastated he was when he lost his phone years ago. It had had pictures of his daughter's kindergarted graduation. I start telling him about my day and he tells me about his. I turns out his day is not going too well either...He had gotten to work late and one of the other cab drivers had taken his car, leaving him a car that was not running too well. When he drops me off, I realize that all I have is $20 bills on me (that The Fool had passed off to me right before she left...just in case).

I didn't get a chance to tip the other cab driver well, so I gave the guy an extra $20 for tip. He was reluctant to take it, reminding me that I am having such a terrible monday morning...but I made him take it. I figured it would cheer up his day and maybe, somehow, make up for the two rolls of quarters (and no tip) earlier.  I told him that somehow everything would even out for today. And you know what? It did. I put my trust in God and let Him take control of the situation as He saw fit. I may have made it to work late, but I got everything prepared for the class I needed to TA. Also, He sent all the nicest people that could have been sent to me when I needed them most.

God will figure out a way for us to handle any situation we're given, as long as we trust in Him. He always does. And you know what? I think He more than listened to the silent prayers I sent to him as I worried about my sister between the first and second call this morning. He listened to me and He did all he could to keep The Fool safe...and to keep me sane. I dealt with quite a few people today and they all ended up being more than friendly and helpful. He sent me two kind taxi drivers, one kind parking deck attendant, two nice mechanics, and a nice truck driver who had me doubled over with laughter. Also, Gandalf's repairs were nowhere near as expensive as I expected them to be. We had $200-odd worth of work that needed to be done on Gandalf and I fully expected this, a new battery, and at least $400 more worth in repairs before the end of the day (or whenever else the car would get looked at).

The repairs are going to come to $85 and even though that mechanic is usually backed up with work, they had time to look at Gandalf right away (this never happens). Furthermore, the repairs were finished by the end of the day and The Fool was able to pick up Gandalf and put the other car back in the garage. Her card didn't go through, but the mechanics were kind enough to let her take the car anyway and let her pay the bill tomorrow (this, too,  never happens these days). According to The Fool, the mechanic was surprised she was even able to drive the car and make it into a parking lot, considering what had needed to be fixed. All in all, it looks like everything good that could have happened, did end up happening. This whole mess of a situation could have certainly been a lot worse...but it wasn't. The car is fine, I never burst into tears today, everyone is safe and okay, the repairs were more than affordable, the penalty for losing the ticket was nowhere near as high as it could have been...and (according to The Fool) Gandalf is running a lot better than he had been before the whole situation. Needless to say, I have a lot to be thankful for it.

Image Credit Louie's Corner

Deo Gratias!

Salt of the Earth

G.K. Chesterton...the wittiest of apologetics..and
certainly one of the most well-reasoned
I thought I was hooked on G.K. Chesterton back when I read his work on Saint Francis. Little did I know that this appreciation of G.K. Chesterton would end up paling in comparison to my appreciation of G.K. Chesterton upon listening to the Father Brown series. These audiobooks have been a joy to listen to on the train to/from school. I've liked them so much that I have started replacing music with them as I work in the lab. He writes intelligently, has a sense of humor, and is probably as witty (or even more so) than Mark Twain. For the record, I LOVE Mark Twain's for me to compare Chesterton to Twain is a sign of the greatest honor. I have grown to love Chesterton so much, that I follow the American Chesterton Society on Twitter, shared his quotes on Facebook (before I quit), Twitter, and maybe even on this blog (though I am too pressed for time to sift through my posts for Chesterton at the moment...mass is in less than half an hour).

The American Chesterton Society tweeted a link to a Chesterton excerpt this morning from his Saint Thomas Aquinas and I was hooked. I will now have to get the book and read it...because the following excerpt was LITERARY GOLD that may have earned Chesterton a round of drinks with Saint Thomas of Aquinas himself...because I assume there's pubs in heaven.

For your enjoyment (and to get you hooked on my new friend Chesterton)...the excerpt!
“THE Saint is a medicine because he is an antidote. Indeed that is why the saint is often a martyr; he is mistaken for a poison because he is an antidote. He will generally be found restoring the world to sanity by exaggerating whatever the…world neglects, which is by no means always the same element in every age. Yet each generation seeks its saint by instinct; and he is not what the people want, but rather what the people need. This is surely the very much mistaken meaning of those words to the first saints, “Ye are the salt of the earth,” which caused the Ex-Kaiser to remark with all solemnity that his beefy Germans were the salt of the earth; meaning thereby merely that they were the earth’s beefiest and therefore best. But salt seasons and preserves beef, not because it is like beef; but because it is very unlike it. Christ did not tell his apostles that they were only the excellent people, or the only excellent people, but that they were the exceptional people; the permanently incongruous and incompatible people; and the text about the salt of the earth is really as sharp and shrewd and tart as the taste of salt. It is because they were the exceptional people, that they must not lose their exceptional quality. “If salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted?” is a much more pointed question than any mere lament over the price of the best beef. If the world grows too worldly, it can be rebuked by the Church; but if the Church grows too worldly, it cannot be adequately rebuked for worldliness by the world.”
G.K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas
 HOW AWESOME IS THIS EXCERPT?!?! A good number of his works are free in pdf. versions online and even Kindle-friendly formats on you have no excuse to NOT check out his stuff.

Pax Vobiscum

Things I would rather be doing...

I really don't feel like working on my quals right now and feel like I've wasted an entire day. I have the bad habit of setting very high goals for myself when it comes to planning work out for the weekend. My Wednesday self was thoroughly convinced that I would have finished writing one of my qualifying exam grant applications by this evening. Yeah, that never happened. What I did do was go grocery shopping, run errands, procrastinate, go window shopping, procrastinate, eat at my favorite French place (now that I finally got paid!!), procrastinate, drop someone off at the train station, procrastinate...well, you get the idea. I then spent some time looking up the perfect Father/Daughter dance song...because it seemed like a good idea at the time. This is such a bad habit for me... Every time I want to get started on work, a million distractions pop out of nowhere. Next thing you know, I'm wondering where all the time went.

I go on Twitter for a moment and see on of Bad Catholic's tweets... and next thing you know, I am led to one of the most hysterical (and Catholic) tumblrs of all time. (I apologize in advance to all of my fellow procrastinators...) Well, here it is...I give you "What Should Catholicism Call Me?" Thankfully, it seems like it's a relatively new you only have to go back 10 pages to see all of the hysterical gifs. Below is a screenshot of one of my favorite ones thus far...just so you get an idea of what you're in for. 
I think it goes without saying that all you Harry Potter (and Doctor Who, Merlin, Sherlock, Lord of the Rings, Downton Abbey, etc.) geeks out there are really going to appreciate most of the gifs. 

Okay, here's one more: 

Happy procrastinating!

Pax Vobiscum


I bring you another great way to procrastinate: CHECK OUT THE TRAILERS FOR THE HOBBIT!!!
Thank you to to my Wandering Friend for sharing!

There's always time for a quick prayer...and Lord of the Rings

In the case of Gollum, it proves to be quite fruitful. Another soon-to-be-classic from  Catholic memes.

I am not on Facebook right now ...but Catholic Memes also has a pretty awesome Facebook page. I may return to the Facebook post-election once the "tolerant-as-long-as-you-agree-with-me" fools start settling down...or I may return once my qualifying exams are over...or I may never return at all. Time will tell. However, whether you ever feel like pulling a St. Anthony with some "hammer of the heretics" responses to anti-Catholic trolls...or if you just want to laugh with every new meme...Catholic Memes is a pretty good Facebook page for you follow.

Catholic Lord of the Rings memes aside, I got some pretty great news to share. It's official, as in written-in-the-church's-wedding-calendar official. The Fiancé and I are going to get married at 10am on October 5th, 2013. He picked the date as well as time, and I am super-excited that this date falls on the Feast Day of Saint Faustina Kowalska. As you all may know, I have a devotion to the Divine Mercy chaplet and I have read Saint Faustina's diaries...which were very this is a pretty great date as far as I am concerned.

For all of you Tolkien nuts out there, October 5th also happens to be a not-so-awesome date in Lord of the Rings history. It marks the day that Isildur is slain by orcs after having lost the ONE RING. With that said, I may have to get 8 more companions for the ring-bearer at my wedding....just in case. Or I may just leave it to Saint Anthony's intercession if the rings have a tough time making it to the altar.

In any event, I will keep you posted.

Pax Vobiscum


Thanks to Pandora, that addictive online radio, I have discovered yet ANOTHER Christian group that has made me eat my words. One day while listening to music as I was typing along, an ethereal tune caught my attention. It was a simple but extremely powerful song and even though I was unable to catch the lyrics right away...the voice was hauntingly beautiful. I may have closed out of Pandora before I had the chance to "thumbs up" the I was unable to get the information right away. Without any leads in sight, I stopped trying to find the song and simply told myself that I would catch it the next time. I kept listening to the station I had heard it on (Mediaeval Baebes, for the record...they're stuff is awesome too if you ever want to check out some pretty good female voices singing in Old English).

The illuminated manuscript design should have been a clue...
 Fast forward to a few days ago. I was doing things around the house with my jams playing...when all of a sudden, there it was....THE SONG. I stopped what I was doing, clicked the "thumbs up" and made a station out of this "IONA" group. I figured I would check out their music for the rest of the day, and so I left it on the Iona station. My sister comes in hours later and asks me why I am listening to one of her contemporary Christian bands (the song was by some band called Starfield)...and I tell her that I have no idea what she's talking about. It turns out that Iona is a Christian progressive rock band. Scrolling back through the songs I had listened to, I realized that I had been listening to deceptively subtle Christian music all day. 

The original song that got me hooked on Iona was no exception. Upon further inspection, the song turned out to be "Kells Opening theme" from their album "Book of Kells" (this album name should have been a clue). Closer inspection of the lyrics revealed some pretty Christian themes as well. The video....even more Christian imagery. If you want to hear how good the song is, click on the video below and simply listen as you type away at something or get some errands done around the house. If you are anything like me, you will not immediately hear how Christian it is. Once you finish hearing, scroll down to the beautiful lyrics below.

I stand on ground I've walked before,
To seek the way

And watch the moon rise into night,
Illuminating with its light

My thoughts they turn in time and place,
Illuminated Word of grace
Where I will find the way divine

A throne in sight that blazes like eternal dawn
The mystery of Father, Spirit and the Son,
The Three in One

And precious stones of colours bright
Eagle and calf, lion and man,
Do meet around the throne of light

In colours rich that last through time
In patterns of the Spirit's mind
Illuminated Word divine

I stand on ground I've walked before,
To seek the way

Don't these lyrics just make you want to quit what you're doing now and join a monastery/convent? I know I am tempted to do so. That, or I may have to just keep listening to their music.... 

Pax Vobiscum

A Call to Arms

As I was washing one of the mugs that have been lying around the apartment lately (I have a bad habit of just forgetting about them), a thought came to me. Now, I don't know about you all...but it seems to me that this present day and age is not the best. One example of how much we've come to really suck as a society was something that happened a few weeks ago. I was simply walking onto the subway when I was assaulted by a group of loud, raucous ruffians with bright signs reminiscent of the same radical, BS thinking as the Westboro Baptist Church. I think, to a degree, I would have preferred dealing with the WBC versus the sheer stupidity and "empty barrels make the loudest noise" personalities of these ruffians. The ruffians were none other than a group of pro-abortion feminazis (not my favorite term, but it is probably the most appropriate to describe these ruffians) advocating access to pornography, abortion, and masturbation as being the pinnacle of women's advancement in society. I am sure Susan B. Anthony would be turning in her grave if she saw half of what I saw plastered on these girls' clothing and signs. One of them even had the audacity to shove some filthy propaganda in my face as I tried to hurry by. I took one look at her, pointed to myself, emphatically stated "PRO LIFE," and continued on my way to the subway. As I stood on the platform waiting for the train, I noticed a middle-aged woman reading one of the neon-colored flyers in her hand. She wasn't all of a sudden liberated as the feminazis hoped, but shaking her head in disgust before crumpling up the flyer and tossing it. So much for women's liberation (/sarcasm*).
Guilty? Yes. No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; But oh, thrice guilty is he who drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime! -Susan B. Anthony...a true revolutionary and pro-woman feminist

As I walked onto the subway, I had seen a large banner that they had laid out on the sidewalk that blamed a bunch of people, organizations, etc. for women's oppression and every problem imaginable in the world...and among the things they mentioned I saw the word "church." Unfortunately, and no thanks to an arrogant president and an extremely biased media, this seems to be one of the popular thoughts these days....especially among left-wing (and even some right-wing) extremists. I have a pretty good idea of what these feminazi folk think of people like me...that I am a sheep incapable of independent thought. They think that I am oppressed even if I don't feel like I am oppressed. However, I have a crazy idea. Perhaps it is these extremists that are the oppressed. Perhaps they are the slaves of the ideals they treasure so much.

Perhaps they see abortion as a solution to the problem when, in reality, it has the efficacy of putting a band-aid on a cancerous growth. Perhaps instead of focusing on abortion, they should turn their attention to the issues that often lead women to abortion. They should focus their attention on education, job creation, and charities that aid pregnant women...instead of defending abortions committed for economic reasons. They should focus their attention on the things that are directly or even indirectly behind the attitudes that ultimately lead to rape. Rapists, to some degree, carry some level of disrespect towards the people they violate. This disrespect could stem from mass availability of pornography that depicts women as objects versus fellow human beings. This disrespect could stem from the viewing of women as mere sexual attitude that runs rampant in today's media where sexual appeal is used to sell merchandise and movies that have little in terms of plot or actual beauty.

This disrespect could originate from a broken family structure where parents and children lack respect for themselves and each other. It could originate from the existence of strip clubs where sexuality is bought rather than respected. Perhaps instead of focusing on abortions resulting from poor choices, they could focus their money and attention on empowering women with a sense of respect for themselves and their own bodies so they no longer find themselves depending on dead-beats or manipulative men...or abusive men. Abortion, to me, is not a solution to...but a consequence of all of these things. It solves nothing, but only serves to make these women the mothers of dead idea that is far too painful and inherently evil for me to ever consider a mercy.

As far as masturbation, sex on demand, pornography, etc. go, well I'd sooner not be a slave to these. In a sense, I have too much respect for myself to ever find myself allowing these to be the center of my life. These, to me at least, are not the pinnacle of womanhood. Animals in the wild have sex...and I think if we turn sexual liberation into the center of our lives...well, that makes us no better than animals. Therefore, when I walked past these crazy pro-abortion females (who were probably too young to ever know real responsibility) was like walking past a zoo. They had debased themselves to promoting and living lives that emulated the same urges that are felt by wild animals. I saw chaos where they advertised organization. I saw lies and bias where they advertised truth. I saw slavery where they advertised freedom.

Call me crazy, but I think there is far more to life than sex. There is far more to human beings than the pursuit of sex and physical pleasure. It is for these reasons, therefore, that I am considered an oppressor, a bigot, a fool, an elitist, anti-woman, and quite a few other derogatory terms.In short, my views aren't very popular among these pitiable fools....and they certainly aren't popular in a world where these pitiable fools are put on pedestals and considered the epitome of womanhood. If pro-abortion lunatics is the epitome of true womanhood, we are in a world of trouble.

With that said, I don't want to be a part of this world and its negative attitudes towards life, dignity, and freedom. If you have been following the campaigns, the conventions, and the partisan screaming matches that have taken probably are in the same boat as I am. I, for one, have grown tired of being labelled as a *insert unpleasant adjective here* Republican for refusing to support a certain incompetent clown. Please  pardon my name-calling. I am sure I am doing a terrible job of loving my neighbor whenever I call my neighbor names...but I am trying my hardest to keep the name-calling civil. I will try to keep it as PG here as possible, but it will be hard considering that I have lost all respect for this guy and his "change." To put it simply, I have no tolerance for those who center on eugenics, supporting self-interest group, blaming everything on their predecessor, attacks on basic freedoms, dreaming up scare tactics to divide the country in order to win elections, and campaigning when they should be running a country that's falling apart at the seams. I don't like the other alternatives very much...but I'd sooner join their cause than a cause that violates many of the beliefs that I refuse to compromise in the name of free stuff, big government, and self-interests.

And so I quit Facebook for the time being. Some of the statuses I've been seeing are making me question the intelligence of quite a few acquaintances...and other statuses have been outright offensive. In order to stay sane and maintain friendships, I have simply given up on reading rubbish that is advertised as truth and truth that is advertised as rubbish. There is no sense even trying to talk reason with some people who are so blinded by their own confusion, bias, and twisted ideas of "tolerance" and "understanding." I've simply gotten tired of being attacked for supporting a candidate (if you can even call it I am mostly voting against someone than I am voting FOR someone). I've gotten tired of spending time on replies and reasons that fall on deaf I try to clarify why I simply cannot support their candidate or their causes. Instead of wasting my time getting offended by Facebook statuses, I will focus on other things until the election is over. If I do decide to respond to something propagated by one candidate or another, I will do so here. Who knows, maybe I may have more success here than I will being interrupted every other second by someone who simply refuses to listen to something that may inconvenience them...even if it is true.

I will also stop posting statuses that remind acquaintances why there are people out there that refuse to vote for their particular candidate. I have become an unpleasant reminder of just how many people outside of certain cultural circles absolutely refuse to vote for the fool in office now. Unfortunately for these "open-minded" campaigner-in-chief supporters, I also break a few stereotypes regarding members of the opposition...minus the churchgoing and bible-loving (thank you to UNiconoclast for sharing the vid and examples of Facebook status hypocrisy I've seen far too much of recently)

I have become a reminder about how that "other party" actually has reasons behind their votes. Contrary to what has been implied on Facebook, I am far too aware of what's going on to vote out of ignorance. Contrary to what is typically portrayed on the news, I simply love my freedoms too much to vote out of blind party adherence. I will vote to protect freedoms even if it means becoming a Republican after years of identifying myself as a Democrat. My conscience simply prevents me from voting for a popular candidate that threatens to endanger my freedoms even if this candidate promises freee unicorns and rainbows for all. I don't care about what they can give me. What I want is personal freedom to live a life that is in accordance with my views about the dignity of life. You mess with this freedom, you lose a vote...even if it makes me look like the Antichrist among my friends and family. Even if it leads to offensive posts directed at me or people like me.

I was thinking about the reasons why I've quit Facebook this morning as I was washing my mug...and I had a moment of clarity. As hated as I may be for my refusal to vote for a certain campaigner in chief, and as hated as I may be for my backwards/intolerant/anti-woman/anti-whatever views...I have a mission. As unpopular as my views are now, God made sure I was born during this time and not in a time where my views would have been popular. God, for whatever reason, felt that I was capable of fighting today's status quo. As much as I would have loved to be Joan of Arc, I wasn't meant to be a warrior in a time where people defended their faith with swords. Even though my baptismal and confirmation names are those of martyrs, perhaps I wasn't meant to be one of the early Christians that died for the faith (or even the modern martyrs that are still dying for their faith). Perhaps there is a reason why I did not live in Mexico during the Cristero war...or in anti-Catholic Spain during the time of Josemaria Escriva. God had other plans. I must have been born in this country and in this age for a reason....and I am starting to come to terms with this.

Perhaps God knew that I was best suited for the time of the New Evangelization....where the internet and new medias of communication would be my sword. Perhaps he placed me in such as liberal state, school, culture, etc. because He trusted in my abilities to spread His word in a fashion that could be heard by those so blinded by their own sense of right and wrong versus true RIGHT and true WRONG. Over and over, I keep hearing "speak to them in words they understand" playing in my head and echoing in my works through the years.  I may not have the eloquence or profound understanding of St. Thomas of Aquinas, but I have (in quite a few occasions) managed to at least explain why I hold such unpopular views. I have at least presented the other side in a somewhat understandable fashion even if I have not managed to get others to see everything through my eyes...even if I am unable to get them to see the error in their own thinking. I have also been born with the ability to make sense of science and faith in a way where one always seems to compliment the other...and this has served me well. It has trained me to question and then seek answers to many questions that people often have, but often refuse to explore. Even if some of them do end up exploring, they arrive at answers fed to them by the vox populi...a flawed and biased culture that breeds animal-like people (like the women mentioned above) more focused on temporal goods than virtues or dignity. Perhaps I am unable to get people to see reason at times, but at least they cannot say that I feel as I do just because I am Catholic or just because I am a scientist.

Time and time again, in my conversations with others, I have been deemed unreasonable even when I was able to articulate a stronger argument...simply because it was not a popular argument or because my arguments may have been too uncomfortable or hard to accept. It would, after all, be a lot easier for me to just sleep with my fiancé versus attempt a life of chastity. Yet, as hard as it is, I chose to follow chastity than become a slave to my physical desires. As a result of this, I have come to better appreciate sex as it is meant to be...and I have come to respect my body and that of the person I love. Sex, as pleasurable as it can be, can imprison us if we center our lives on it. It can become something purely animal-like in nature...something that is purely impulse and not centered on true mutual respect between two individuals that truly love and care about one another. Though the feminazis mentioned above are unable to see this, it is something that I have experienced and something that I will pursue even if it does mean going against cultural norms....even if it means taking a harder route.

 I have, time and time again, invested time and effort into responding to the questions of those who refuse to accept any answer I give them...simply because this answer does not agree with their own sentiment. As someone who used to listen to comfort and convenience over raw and uncomfortable realities of reason...I know how hard it is to have a change of heart. I know how often words can fall on deaf ears. Still, I am sure that I have planted seeds. God gave us all free will and because of this, I simply cannot force people to see reason. They must arrive at reason on their own even if it takes years before any of the seeds I planted actually start growing. If another 4 years of error, murdered children, stolen freedoms, overreaching government policies, debt, and lies is what it takes for these people to realize that they've been duped...then so be it.

The best we can do, in the meantime, is keep trying to serve God with whatever means we have at our disposal. If you can captivate an audience, use words. If you are musically inclined, use song. If you're an artist, use art. If you can articulate strong arguments,  use respectful debates. Whatever your skill and whatever your method of choice in spreading sure to arm yourself. The world, as you can see, has started favoring lie instead of truth and comfort instead of sacrifice. The best that we can do is arm ourselves and prepare ourselves for adversity. I don't suggest arming yourself with physical weapons...but weapons that strengthen your spirit. Put on your trust in God and ride into battle with your armor of truth, faith, charity, humility, prayer, and grace. As long as you are good with God and put all of your trust in Him...nothing can stop you and nothing can hinder you...regardless of how much the world will to hate you.
"For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places."
                                                                                                                     Ephesians 6:12
Pax Vobiscum and Saint Michael defend us!


If you have a few seconds to spare, please click ON THIS LINK, vote 5 stars (or whatever amount of stars you feel I deserve), and share as many times as you possibly can! (I will return the favor with prayer intentions!) If the aforementioned link does not work, please click here and look for my entry ("Sting" by "Barbara of Gondor").

I know this is shameless self-promotion...but you probably all know by now that I LOVE Lord of the Rings...and anything remotely Tolkien. If you haven't clicked the link yet...the Hobbit movie has an art contest going on...and I submitted an entry. It looks like one of my entries was accepted and the voting has begun.

The prize? Lord of the Rings weapon replicas.

The entry? A sketched version of Sting. (please see below)

Please, please, please help this geek out!!! (AND HELP SPREAD THE WORD!!!)

Pax Vobiscum!

Another one of my entries was accepted for the "Creatures" category! Please check this one out too!

Thanks again!!!
*******************UPDATE PART II!!!!!*************************

There was a formatting issue with one of the other entries I submitted...that has now been approved. I give you The Halls of Erebor! Please click on this link to vote!