Tuesday, November 29, 2016

On Advent

This Advent, as Christmas approaches, I’ve realized that I am so thankful for so many things.  I know that Thanksgiving is over, but it’s never too late to be thankful for something!  Here are a few things I’m grateful for:

1. 33 Days to Morning Glory
This daily meditation and preparation for consecration to Jesus through Mary is a wonderful and easy way to prepare one’s heart for Christmas.  What better way than through the heart of the one who said fiat to the LORD?  Fr. Michael Gaitley offers inspiration and meditative prayers through the eyes of some of the most influential and Marian-adoring saints, such as Sts.
Louis de Montfort, Maximilian Kolbe, and more!
The consecration is on December 8th; please pray I may find my way deeper into the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

2. Confession
As a Catholic, I have the most amazing opportunity to go to confession.  As a sacrament of the Church, confession gives you the chance to recall all of your sins and being released from the heavy fetters that sin brings upon us.  Even though it may feel nerve-wracking at some points, God will forgive.  He loves you. Always.

3. Advent
I love Advent.  The candles, the purple (and rose) vestments, the music; all of it makes me incredibly happy.  It wasn’t until I became Catholic that I rediscovered the “magical” feeling that the anticipation of Christmas brings.  Singing Veni, Veni, Emmanuel gives me chills just thinking about the waiting for Christ to come as a babe for all of us. 

4. Chapel Time
Time in the chapel is always important, no matter if you’re feeling down or ecstatic.  There’s something about my college’s chapel; the always-lingering smell of incense, the communion rails to pray at in front of the Sanctuary, the creaky, old pews, and the stained-glass windows of Christ, Mary, and the Saints.
Even if your parish isn’t open 24 hours, take some time in the adoration chapel.
Don’t’ have one? Look for the nearest one—it will make a difference.

5. Family and Friends Who Pray for You

As someone who’s struggled with depression, it’s easy to fall down the path of darkness and doubt.  That’s why it’s wonderful to have family and friends who are there to pray for you, to hug you, or to talk to you over Skype.  It can be especially difficult during the holiday seasons, so make sure you find someone if you’re struggling, or talk to someone who is. It will make their day, maybe even their year or life better!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Light In the Darkness

Life in this world is not going very well right now.
 With bombings, murders, wars, and more coming up just about everywhere, it's extremely difficult to remember that there is also goodness in this world. 
Today, I want to share some reminders that even though this world is full of sorrows, 
we can be assured and confident that we can still be and shed light into this world.

© Carissima Keatley

There is some good in this world, and it's worth fighting for.” 

"And of what should we be afraid? Our captain on this battlefield is Christ Jesus. We have discovered what we have to do. Christ has bound our enemies for us and weakened them that they cannot overcome us unless we so choose to let them. So we must fight courageously and mark ourselves with the sign of the most Holy Cross.” 
– St. Catherine of Sienna

“The favors of the LORD are not exhausted, his mercies are not spent; They are renewed each morning, so great is his faithfulness.” 
– Lamentations 3:22-23

“Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.”
– 1 Peter 5:7

“Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” 
– Joshua 1:9

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be in dread of them: for it is the LORD your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.” 
– Deuteronomy 31:6

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” 
– John 1:5

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 
 Philippians 4:4-7

“It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. 
Even darkness must pass.” 


"Do not be afraid, for I am with you; do not be alarmed, for I am your God. I give you strength, truly I help you, truly I hold you firm with my saving right hand." 
 Isaiah 41:10

Friday, May 27, 2016

Helping Those In Need

My parents are awesome.
I mean, they've given me life, raised me to be respectful, caring, and loving.
They also have to struggle with really hard stuff every single day, yet they continue to show me and my siblings nothing but love and support.

Today, I'm asking for your help.
See, my mom struggles from Meniere's Disease, and my dad from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
It sucks.
Mom has days where she can barely get out of bed, and Dad has his good and bad days, but lately bad.
They also live in a 104 year-old farmhouse that, that while I love it, it needs a lot of help.
Especially the bathroom.
That's why I'm writing this post on both my blogs.
I need your help.
My siblings and I need your help, both prayerfully and financially.
We only need a small amount, but as we are all in college, it's hard to have any amount over $20.
We need to make our bathroom safe for our mom, as we are away 9 months out of the year.
Having a remodeled bathroom will not only help mom, but it will also help our dad, too.
Please consider donating, and you can do so by clicking below:

Thank you for reading this, and may God bless you abundantly!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

You Are Dust, and to Dust You Shall Return...

"Lent is a season of intense prayer, fasting and concern for those in need. It offers all Christians an opportunity to prepare for Easter by serious discernment about their lives, with particular attention to the word of God which enlightens the daily journey of all who believe.

There are many different ways of giving up things you love and trying harder to maintain things that you need to keep."
-Pope St. John Paul II, Lent 2003

Lent is the perfect season for that; it is the time to truly reflect on who we are in God, and what he wants for us in our lives. One of the best-and simplest-ways to do this is through prayer.
As St. Therese of Lisieux once wrote:
“For me prayer is an aspiration of the heart, it is a simple glance directed toward heaven, it is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy”
Lent can be a tough time for people, and I am no exception. I usually give up small things, such as sweets, but it is also the time for me to stop procrastinating or just being purely lazy. There are a lot of ways I can think of when it comes to participating in this Lenten sacrificial journey, so here's some ideas that you might want to use, too:
>>Praying a Rosary every day.
>>Donating time to a local pregnancy center or homeless shelter.
>>Going through your closet and donating the many things you never/hardly wear
>>Having a Mass said for someone.
>>Praying the Divine Office, even just Morning & Night Prayer.
>>Abstaining from something you would normally use everyday, like a microwave or blow dryer. Taking the time to slow down gives you more opportunities to review and reflect.
>>Say hello to the homeless person you walk by everyday. If they ask for money, offer to get them coffee and/or food instead. They'll usually be shocked and grateful.
>>Go to daily Mass. This one makes a BIG difference, which is something I noticed when I started going at school every day.
>>Smile more. This one seems hard, but smiling not only makes you happier, it also makes others happy when they see you!
>>Make a gratitude journal, and write about one thing you are grateful for. You will be able to look back and remember everything you have to be thankful for!
These are just a few, simple ideas, 
but they are things that may inspire you to try out your own!
Have a blessed Lenten Season!

Photo: lifeteen.com

Friday, January 29, 2016

Thankfulness and Snow

It has been a crazy and long week, with a blizzard bringing over 3 feet of snow, a 5-day weekend (which I was sad about, though I think people thought me a bit crazy), and many things to be thankful for.

Things to be thankful for this Week
•Warmth and safety through the Snowmageddon.
•Nights of nail painting parties and laughter.
•Sunshine coming to melt the snow.
•Awesome kitchen crews willing to sleep in classrooms during the storm.
•Friends to comfort and encourage me.
•A chapel which is open until 1am.
•Guys (and girls) taking their study-and-stay-warm-inside days shoveling snow to make paths.
•Wifi so I can talk to my parents.
•A Welcome Home Dance to keep our cabin fever down.
•Rain boots with good traction.

There may be times of frustration, hardships, loneliness, even sadness. But when you stop and look at the beautiful sunset over the library, or gaze with the many wonders snow can bring, you begin to realize that there is so much around you to be happy and thankful for. As St. Anthony of Padua once wrote,
"Consider every day that you are for the first time,as it were, beginning anew; and always act with the same fervor as on the first day you began."
Begin every day with things that make you realize that life is a wonderful thing, that it is great to be alive! When you can do that, it will make you thankful for this life which you have been given.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Home for a Holiday

Photo from capturedmiracles.com
During this holiday season, there have been ups and downs, but in the end, I realize and remember just what this season is about. 
The birth of our Savior is such an important reminder of the true love that is unavailable on this earth. Feeling love like that is an incredible feeling which I am nothing but astounded by every single moment of my life. 

Coming home for holiday is an interesting event. There's so many people to see, events to attend, and food to eat (especially with my Italian-Irish family). There's also the wonderful chance to sing in my parish choir, work at my old job (money is always good), and enjoy the sights of the town where I've grown up. 
Coming home for Christmas is a great reminder of the past moulding me into the person I've become today, and future experiences that can help mould me in days to come.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Power of Some Beads

O My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love thee, and I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love thee. St. Joseph, pray for us! St. Michael, protect us!

Have you prayed your Rosary today? Our Lady not only encourages us to do so, but also loves when we ask for her intercession. Many wonderful and powerful things can happen when you do so! There's many a saint who give great examples on this powerful and wonderful form of prayer:

"The Rosary is the ‘weapon’ for these times.” St. Padre Pio

"The holy Rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you’ll be amazed at the results.” -St. Josemaria Escriva

 “Say the Holy Rosary. Blessed be that monotony of Hail Mary’s which purifies the monotony of your sins!” -St. Josemaria Escriva

"The Rosary is a powerful weapon to put the demons to flight and to keep oneself from sin…If you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, and in your country, assemble each evening to recite the Rosary. Let not even one day pass without saying it, no matter how burdened you may be with many cares and labors.” – Pope Pius XI

"The Rosary is the most excellent form of prayer and the most efficacious means of attaining eternal life. It is the remedy for all our evils, the root of all our blessings. There is no more excellent way of praying." Pope Leo XIII

So today, pick up those holy beads and pray; saying these wonderful prayers will give you peace and many, many blessings.