7 Quick Takes Friday ~ Vol 6

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Myth #1 Busted:  This week’s post is the first of 7 explaining the Myths That Singles Must Resist.  I pray it blesses you in your walk with the Lord!

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Next Week’s Guest Post:  Guest blogger Amanda from worthyofAgape.com will share her gorgeous ‘God chases all of us’ story.  Have your tissues ready!

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Health:  I have been sick since the day before Thanksgiving and finally went to the doctors on Monday.   Thank you, God for the blessing of antibiotics and Inhaler medication.

Antibiotics: My grandmother died at a young age of pneumonia because antibiotics were not readily available at the time.  So, I have a deep respect and appreciation for the availability of this medication.  I also feel passionate about (that is code for when someone has “issues”) the inevitable Superbug that we are creating with the over use of the medicine and hand soaps/sanitizers. 

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Solemnity of Christ The King:  Because I was sick, I did not attend Mass Sunday, The Solemnity of Christ The King.  My husband, of course, went to Mass and when he came home his wool dress coat smelled divine from the beautiful incense at Mass.  Ahhhhh………

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Dr. Alice von Hildebrand
She looks very sweet but she is a firecracker! Love her!

Alice von Hildebrand:  Being ill this week has given me the opportunity to research one of my favorite people, Alice von Hildebrand. Since I was home alone, I watched this entire one-hour video without interruption!   Here are some highlights, some of which come during the Q&A at the end:

  • As a result of the Fall of Man, the relationship between our body and our soul is in constant tension.  Our struggle is to find harmony and the only way to do this is through Christ.
  • Because Man revolted against God, the body started to revolt against the soul.  Now, the body no longer obeys the dictates of the soul.
  • Marriages are going to pieces and collapsing because unless there is harmony between our body and our soul, it is almost impossible for us to properly relate to the opposite sex.
  • Addiction is when you find that you are deprived of your freedom.
  • “The main goal of education is to train a child to achieve victory over pleasure” Plato
  • The most important virtue is Reverence which is a response to what is noble.  The response is a feeling of trembling awe.  Learn reverence and simultaneously you will be a happier human being because it is beautiful.
  • The dignity of the mystery of the female body.
  • If you want to change the world, change yourself.
  • Protest abortion with a spirit of sorrow.

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Sweet Marcus Grodi

Leah Darrow and The Journey Home: After watching this episode of The Journey Home, I am now a huge fan of Leah Darrow.  I had heard of her but never knew her story.  Wow!  Very, very powerful and beautiful conversion from the lies of the world to the Truth of Chastity. 

Oh, and is Marcus Grodi the sweetest Man ever or what?  When Leah shows her beautiful tears of remorse, he went to a special commercial break in order to get her some tissues. 

— 7 —

Wisdom:  Dorothy Cummings blogs over at Seraphic Singles and she wrote the book, “The Closet’s All Mine.”  She had a very wise blog post explaining why it is never wise for the female to say “I Love You” first.  Here are some highlights: 

“…it is more important than ever for men to travel uninterrupted through the great adventure called Winning the Girl…” 

“…I think it very important for a boy, especially one who generally acts like he owns the universe, to have to take the big huge risk of laying his heart before a woman, not being quite sure if she will pick it up, or just give it back, or even stomp on it. This kind of action makes a boy into a man, no matter what happens….”

 “…And it is awful for a man to be 100% sure a woman thinks she loves him when he isn’t sure if he loves her. His natural reaction is very likely to be running away and pondering things in his cave, like Grendel. There he thinks thinks like “How badly do I want to get married?” and “Do I really want to get married?” and “Do I perhaps have a vocation to the priesthood instead?” and “Does love feel like this?” and “Why am I sweating like a pig?”  How tragic if all he needed was just some time….”

 “…Above all, don’t tell a guy you love him just to make him say “I love you.” Tempting, very tempting, but a bad idea in the long run….”

My Summary:  If a guy does not tell you he loves you, then assuming he doesn’t is a safe and wise assumption.  If he does, then what would prevent him from telling you?  Oh, yes, it is risky.  Is he waiting for you to say it first?  Trouble, trouble!

The Veil:  The One that God intends for you to marry will love you, will tell you that he loves you and he will be willing to take the risk of saying it first.

If you have enjoyed my blog, please “like” my Facebook Page, The Veil and sign up to receive my blog posts automatically by clicking the rectangular “Follow” button.  Thank you and God Bless!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Myths Singles Must Resist: Myth #1 Others Are Getting Away With Sin

Last week I set the stage in this post for the remaining 7 posts in this series.  Each of the 7 posts will address a myth that singles must resist.  As you read each myth, keep in mind that Satan is real, the Fall of Man is real, you are in a Spiritual battle for your mind, your body and your perspective, and you must use your weapons!  The take away from today’s post:  God is Perfect Justice.  Okay, here we go!

Myth #1:  Other people are getting away with sin/sex is Consequence-free.

In my book, the chapter that addresses this myth is called “No One Is Getting Away With Anything.”  In this chapter, I share the statistics of sexual sin, cohabitation and contraception as well as the fallout of those sins on society. I share overall trends that I have noticed over time.  And, I share specific stories but change the details enough to protect the good reputation of others. 

What I have noticed is that the suffering from cohabitation, fornication and contraception does not always happen right away.  Sin is tricky that way.  It looks all fine and dandy at first in order to lure us in.  The goal is to make us think we are not doing anything wrong and that there will be no consequences.  But, sins’ purpose is to destroy us and make us suffer.  It takes its sweet time but you can depend upon it.

But, what about those of you who are waiting patiently and chastely?  Why does it seem that others are going about their business, fornicating, living together, getting big diamond rings, getting married, contracepting and then having babies on demand without any consequences?  Well, I want to reassure you that no one is getting away with anything. Give it time. It is a natural spiritual law.  We go against our design, we suffer.  In order to be redeemed, we suffer.

Not So Fine And Dandy

What you, young reader, are observing is the “fine and dandy” part and it may be leading you to believe that other people are getting away with these sins.  But, rest assured, the destruction and suffering will come.  I don’t say that in a way that takes delight in their future suffering.  I say it as a truth that I would encourage you to meditate on as you make your decisions in the future regarding chastity.

If you are tempted to move in with your boyfriend, fornicate or contracept before or after marriage and if you falsely believe there will be no consequences, this myth-buster is for you. 

The Benefit Of Age

In my book I share stories of situations where people seem to be getting away with sin.  I also share the ‘here is what happened later’ details. I have this insight and perspective because I have 10, 15, maybe even 20 years on most of you reading this blog. 

But, instead of giving you those ‘here is what happened to those sinners’ details, let’s instead go through this truth logically by acknowledging God’s character:  God is perfectly just, patient, merciful and determined to have us with Him in heaven. 

The Character of God

God’s perfect justice is the good news and the bad news.  It is good because we can count on Him to sort it all out and ensure the no one gets away with anything.  It is bad because we are also subject to His perfect justice.  God set up laws that we must follow.  But, like any loving Father, He ensures that with disobedience comes consequences and with obedience comes reward.

God is the very definition of Perfect Justice.  He set up laws and each one has a purpose.  He then lovingly enforces the laws and allows for the consequences to manifest themselves.  But, we do not know ahead of time how He will enforce the law or the timing of the consequences of our sins. So, our limited perspective leads us to believe that others are getting away with sin.  But, we must remember, His ways are not our ways. 

God’s patience is what keeps Him from enacting harsh consequences on us immediately upon our sin.  His mercy gives us a chance to repent.  But, His determination prevents Him from letting us get away with our sin.  So, God set up a system that kicks in when we go against our design.  This system, or natural law, when violated, is often revealed in suffering and destruction.

We are not designed to cohabitate, fornicate or contracept.  When we do, His system of loving consequences kicks in.

Loving Consequences

There are other laws you might recognize such as the scientific laws of gravity, physics and thermodynamics. For example, if you jump off of a bridge, the law of gravity automatically kicks in.  It doesn’t matter if you are a good person or a bad person.  You will fall toward the earth. It is a negative consequence that results from going against the physical law of gravity. 

The natural spiritual laws and the consequences of what we do with our bodies are also automatic.  There is no need for God to “manage” the affairs in this area and dole out punishment.  He already set up the system to protect us from going against our design and this same system results in negative consequences when we do go against our design. 

Again, these natural spiritual laws were put in place to protect us when we start to creep toward danger.  The same laws teach us through negative consequences when we violate them. 

But, most importantly, these laws allow us to be holy and therefore happy, when we obey them.  Because we are working within our design rather than constantly suffering from consequences, we are happy and content.  We are ‘at one’ with our bodies and ‘at one’ with our Maker Who loves us and allows us to suffer the consequences when we separate ourselves from Him through sin.

Unlike the laws of gravity, the consequences of violating these natural laws don’t always kick in immediately.  So, for a time, people may appear to be getting away with sin. 

Where Is My Reward?

I wish I could guarantee you that your obedience is going to result in a reward designed by you.  But, I can’t.  God is not a vending machine.  We cannot drop in our coins of obedience and then select the reward buttons we desire expecting them to drop to the bottom for us to grab.

I also cannot guarantee that you will witness God’s perfect justice played out in consequences for those that cohabitate, fornicate and contracept.  Their life here on earth may appear to be completely consequence-free.  But, remind yourself that you do not have the inside scoop nor do you know the end of the story. Don’t let pride and conceit enter your heart.  Humbly take your eyes off of them.  It is not your business.  Close your eyes and remind yourself of God’s perfect justice and that thankfully, He chases all of us.

 The Blessing Or The Curse

“Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse.  The blessing if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you this day; And the curse if you will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you this day to go after other gods, which you have not known.”   Deuteronomy 11:26-28

 I know a holy Jewish man who always says with a smile, “Your reward will be your lack of punishment.”   I have the type of personality which thinks that is a pretty good deal.  I don’t want punishment.  I want to know what is expected of me by my Loving Father.  And, I can accept that the blessing that comes from doing what is expected of me will be my reward. The reward will be that I will be in a loving relationship, rather than a rebellious relationship with my Maker and my body.  I can choose this blessing.

I don’t want to mislead you.  Chastity and my Veil theory are not a formula for getting what you want. Instead, the concept is offered as a way of encouraging you to stay in His will.  He wants you there. It matters to Him.  You matter to Him.  He has a plan for you that can only be manifested by your obedience.  Are you not curious to see what He has for you?  Apply your God-given gift of free will and choose obedience.  Choose the blessing and not the curse. 

Yes, others are going to cohabitate, fornicate and contracept.  I had to learn to take my eyes off them.  I had to trust that God loves them too and that His perfect justice will prevail. I had to learn that, sometimes, their story of repentance and redemption is just as beautiful as a life of obedience.

None of us are designed to cohabitate, fornicate or contracept and none of us will get away with unrepented sin.  Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.  Do not look around and wonder why others seem to be getting away with sin.  Keep your mind bathed in the truth of Sacred Scripture.  And, keep your body holy through Chastity and the grace of a Sacramental life.

God bless!

**  In two weeks I will present the Myth#2God has forgotten about me

**  Next Week:  Guest blogger Amanda from worthyofAgape.com will share her gorgeous ‘God chases all of us’ story.  Have your tissues ready!

If you have enjoyed my blog, please “like” my Facebook Page, The Veil and sign up to receive my blog posts automatically by clicking the rectangular “Follow” button. Thank you!

7 Quick Takes Friday ~ Vol 5

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This week’s 7 Quick Takes will have a Thanksgiving theme.  I will focus on the beautiful aspects of life for which I am grateful.

Truth:  This week’s blog post sets up the foundation for the myths that singles must fight against.  I will share 7 myths over the next several weeks and will combat them with the truth.  Truth is beautiful!

— 2 —

The Thirsting:  Check out this beautiful song by Catholic artists The Thirsting.  The song is called My Soul.

— 3 —

Jackie Francios: She. Is. Fantastic! Check out this amazing video of Jackie Francios.  It starts out slow but builds to….WOW.  It is 43 minutes long but you won’t regret watching it.

— 4 —

Divine Mercy Chaplet:   Each Sunday evening as I fold the laundry, I play this CD and pray for all the people and petitions placed on my heart.  For those of you that have written to me on my blog, I have added you to my weekly devotion.

— 5 —

Switchfoot:  Check out this beautiful song by the Christian band Switchfoot.  The song is called Your Love is a Song.

— 6 —

Suffering:  How in the world is suffering beautiful you might ask? Check out this episode of The Choices We Face.  It features Father John Riccardo.  I feel so blessed to be Catholic.

 — 7 —

Generation Life:  If I had a million dollars, I would ensure that each diocese had a Generation Life missionary team sharing the dignity of the human person and the beauty of the virtue of Chastity!!! 

Here is their Company Mission Statement:  Generation Life is a movement of young people committed to building a Culture of Life by educating our peers on the pro-life and chastity messages and developing new leaders for the pro-life movement. We believe that by spreading the message of chastity, we can end abortion at the root cause.  

Yes, Yes, Yes!!!  Check them out here               And here

Like them on Facebook here!

If you have enjoyed my blog, please “like” my Facebook Page, The Veil and sign up to receive my blog posts automatically by clicking the rectangular “Follow” button.  Thank you and God Bless!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Myths Singles Must Resist: Setting the Stage

I remember when I was single and how easy it was for me to believe ideas that were simply untrue.  But, because I didn’t have the benefit of hindsight, I wasn’t able to put these false ideas and myths into perspective.  I now have the benefit of hindsight and my hope is that by sharing this perspective with you, it will help you fight against some of the common myths which can vex the single life.

I will be expanding on 1 myth per week but first I want to set the stage for you and build a foundation to help you resist and understand the root of these myths.

Yes, Satan Is Real

Again, I am setting the stage for you so that each of these myths will make sense in light of its origin.  The father of all lies, Satan, wants you to believe these myths because they make God, our Holy Loving Father, look like an unjust, stingy and uncaring God who has left us to fend for ourselves.

“The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God’s reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries – of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature ~ to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but “we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church #395

The Old and New Eve

Yes, The Fall of Mankind Is Real

Because of the Fall of Mankind, we are wounded, weak and subject to ignorance, suffering, sin and death.  We need to be protected from Satan’s lies and we need to be healed by God.  We need to choose the way of the New Eve.

“Although it is proper to each individual, original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam’s descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin – an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence“.  Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ’s grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle

                                                     Catechism of the Catholic Church#405

You are in a spiritual battle so use your weapons! 

In her book, Passion and Purity, Elisabeth Elliot writes:

If there is an Enemy of Souls (and I have not the slightest doubt that there is), one thing he cannot abide (put up with) is the desire for purity.  Hence a man or woman’s passions become his battleground.  The Lover of Souls does not prevent this.  I was perplexed because it seemed to me He should prevent it, but He doesn’t.  He wants us to use our weapons.”

A Three-Pronged Attack

There are 3 main ways that Satan attacks us when we are single:  Through our minds, our bodies and our eyes.

Our Minds:  Our minds are very powerful. If Satan can influence us through our thought life, then he can gain a foothold. If Satan can convince us that God doesn’t care about us and that sin doesn’t matter, then we are more prone to following our sinful inclinations to cohabitate, fornicate and contracept.  If he can convince us that God is distant, unjust and stingy, we will surely fall into despair.      

Our Bodies:  Our bodies are made to glorify God.  When you cohabitate, fornicate and contracept, you are living outside of your design.  I believe when you live outside the design of your body and you will eventually hate your body.  If Satan can influence us to the point where we hate or misuse our bodies, then he is ecstatic!  His pride swells because our bodies, as evidenced by the Incarnation, are holy.  Satan hates holiness and thrives on the profane. 

Our Eyes:  Our eyes influence our perspective.  What we see becomes our reality.  It takes effort, prayer and Sacramental grace to overcome what we see and instead believe that there is another realm of reality.  This other reality is the realm of the supernatural, the holy, the sublime and the mysterious.  It is where truth can be found.  But, the lies from Satan tempt us to take our eyes off of Jesus and instead focus on and believe what we see in the natural, human, physical realm. We see others cohabitate, fornicate and contracept and we think there are no consequences. 

Use Your Weapons!

Your Mind:  Protect your mind by shielding it from media (TV, books, websites) which are unholy and secular.  Instead, frequent Catholic Blogs which are faithful to the Magisterium. Read Catholic literature and the writings of the Saints and Doctors of the Church. Participate only in holy conversation. Most importantly, bathe your mind in the wisdom and truth found in Sacred Scripture.  Read something from your bible every day to transform your mind.  The scripture below from Deuteronomy can be translated into: “Memorized these truths and write them on your forehead!

“…Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads…”. Deuteronomy 11:18

Your Body: Protect your body with the virtue of Chastity.  Bathe yourself in the Sacraments and glorify God with your body.  Glorify God with modesty and by celebrating your fertility.  Honor its miracle and power.

“…Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship…”  Romans 12:1

Your Eyes:  Because of the Fall of mankind, our eyes are in need of healing.  We see others cohabitate, fornicate and contracept and we are easily misled.  Medicate your eyes with prayer, fasting, Eucharistic adoration, scripture, Confession and of course the body and blood of Jesus in the Holy Sacrament so that you can see the truth.

buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see.”     Book of Revelation 14:18

The Myths

Now that I have set the stage, I will address the following Myths over the next several weeks:

Myth #1   Other people are getting away with sin/sex is Consequence-free

 

Myth #2   God has forgotten about me

 

Myth #3   Something is wrong with me

Myth #4   Men/Women are defective

Myth #5   Attraction is Physical

Myth #6   I Am Too Picky

Myth #7   I Can Change Him/Her

The Veil

I realize that the concept of the veil is just a metaphor.  But, as you read about each of the myths, consider the relationship of the veil when it comes to explaining each myth. If you are covered by a veil, the only suitor who will be able to “see” you is the one that God intends for you to marry.  So, in the meantime, the veil will most likely lead to rejection, the feeling of being forgotten and the idea that something is wrong with you. This can really test your patience!  And, Satan knows this and capitalizes on it.

Satan also knows that if you use you weapons and commit to chastity, God will be glorified.  God will be glorified by your patience and faith in the midst of your trial.  Then, God will be glorified by your beautiful, chaste, fruitful marriage.  Your marriage will be filled with grace and Superabundance and the world will be blessed and inspired by your witness.

But in the meantime, Satan will harass you. 

As Elisabeth Elliot wrote, “The Lover of Souls does not prevent this….He wants us to use our weapons.”

God bless!

If you have enjoyed my blog, please “like” my Facebook Page, The Veil and sign up to receive my blog posts automatically by clicking the rectangular “Follow” button. Thank you!

7 Quick Takes Friday ~ Vol 4

 — 1 —

My 1st Guest post!  Please go here to read “Runaway Brides.”  Thank you Anabelle!

— 2 —

7 Myths Singles Must Resist:   I will be expanding on and posting 1 myth per week so stay tuned!

1.   Other people are getting away with sin/sex is Consequence-free

2.   God has forgotten about me

3.   Something is wrong with me

4.   Men/Women are defective

5.   Attraction is Physical

6.   I Am Too Picky

7.   I Can Change Him/Her

— 3 —

Things I Notice: I notice things while I am out to lunch that strike me as being odd. This week, a couple walked in to the restaurant. The girl reached over and grabbed her boyfriend’s hand. She escorted him to the counter to order.

She paid for hers and he paid for his. She was about 20 years old and seemed to be way more into him than he was to her.  Her total lunch may have cost $7. But, they went Dutch. It was a sign to me.   An odd sign.

It reminded me of the movie The Joy Luck Club.

— 4 —

On-line Dating: It can be horribly distressing if you put all your eggs in the on-line dating basket. I thought of on-line dating as a “supplemental” way of dating, not the sole source. With that approach, I remained open to all avenues. These various avenues expanded my options when it came to potential suitors. I honestly never expected to meet my husband on-line. It was a long-shot back in 2001 but today it is becoming more and more common. Give it a try! Like anything, it can only do harm if you make it your idol.

— 5 —

Behaving Badly: You know that saying “Well behaved women rarely make history.”? Who makes this stuff up? Yes, well-behaved women certainly have made history. They are often called Saints. Sometimes good behavior goes unnoticed (at least here on earth). But, should our behavior choices really be influenced by whether they make history or not? Our behavior should align with our dignity, not our need for attention. Maybe they really mean “Well behaved women rarely make the internet compared to those behaving badly.”

If you have the “rarely make history” version anywhere on your public record (facebook, blog, on-line dating profile), think about what that says about you. If I were a guy, I would worry about my potential wife’s belief in public displays of bad behavior even for the most noble cause. There are many ways to approach a problem. Our faith tells us virtue is:

“an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions.The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God.” CCC 1803

— 6 —

Veteran’s Day:  I felt a little sad at the Veteran’s Day ceremony this week.  So many brave men and women gave their lives for our freedom from tyranny.  Is that freedom about to end for Catholics?  We all love what America stands for ~ freedom.  But, is freedom a thing of the past?  

— 7 —

The Election: Most know what happened in Germany. Watch this and this to educate yourself on Poland.

Blessed Pope John Paul II, pray for us! May we have your courage, holiness, impact and most of all, your hope.

Let your Spirit descend and renew the face of the earth, and this land.”

Blessed Pope John Paull II, Warsaw Poland, June 2, 1979

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

My First Guest Post ~ Author Anabelle Hazard

I am pleased as punch to present my first guest post!  Anabelle Hazard is a “real life” Catholic Author.  She was being gracious when she referred to me as an ‘author’ on her blog.  My book is only in the “soon-to-be-published” category.   But, her novels are ready and have beautiful illustrated covers and everything!  The bonus is that they are free! 

As I have been stating over the last couple weeks, her novels are romantic, clean and Catholic….just like this guest post.  She shares about her single life, her struggles and her love story.   

Your love story, like hers, will be uniquely yours.  The common threads found in all of our stories are:  God’s preparation, healing and of course, the power of Chastity.  Enjoy!

 Thank you, Anabelle!

 ****************************************** 

Runaway Brides 

I once belonged to a tight women’s prayer group who secretly called ourselves the “Runaway Brides”   (Well, now me and my big mouth have just outed us to the internet.) We didn’t bond as a fan club of Julia Roberts & Richard Gere but we were all fresh out of relationships and not exactly thinking about marriage.   At least I wasn’t anyway.  The whole single life and its offer of freedom was just exhilarating to me. 

In between Italian pesto dinners, karaoke spiels, Saturday movie nights, and sandy beach blankets, the Runaway Brides liked to… pray.  Really, we did.  I prayed to be able to find what God wanted me to do with my life and then I prayed for God to write my love story. “Someday, but not today,” I’d add.  The Runaway Brides chorused a loud “Amen” to that.

Discerning what God created me for (with the help of a spiritual director), rewrote my ongoing biography completely.  It was almost as if I received an internal makeover, re-learning the basics of my childhood faith and healing from deep scars and wounds.  I like to think of that chapter of my life as my faith story because that’s when I fell deeper in love with Jesus Christ and His Church.

While God was writing my faith story, He provided me with pseudo-angels- slash-bodyguards in the disguise of my protective male cousins, who gave me dating advice that cinched my chastity belt.

One told me the old metaphor about cows and free milk. “Men,” explained another, “are by nature hunters so if we are interested, we will do the chasing.”  The third faithfully hung out with me at singles bars and stared down a pipsqueak or two. All in all, I think their collective presence chased off many wrong, wrong prospects, thankfully.

By the time I figured out that I wanted to write Catholic books and attempt to become a mother of saints, God was ready to write my love story.  So I met my future husband in a most unlikely place at the most perfect time. (Long story of that meeting here).  The bigger surprise is that my husband does not like to read books without pictures! (What can I say?   God likes to author stories with an unpredictable twist.) But because my husband was a man fully in love with God and the Catholic Church, I was a-running to the altar to get married.

That part of my single life as a ‘Runaway Bride,’ figuring out my life’s purpose, determined to keep my chastity with the support of home-girls and the help of protective cousins stuck with me and became an idea for my second novel…

Fireflies Dance is a story of a Catholic law student, a jilted bride, with overprotective brothers and awesome sorority sisters.  Through the machinations of the angels and saints, she meets a runaway groom… an Atheist, at a wedding. (This Catholic novel is free on my website.)  A disclaimer before you download it: there are no other similarities between this work of fiction and my life.  Well, except for the fact that…nah, I won’t give the end away.  You’ll have to read it yourself.

7 Quick Take Fridays

 — 1 —

Our Catholic Love Story, Part 2:  Last Friday, Anabelle Hazard’s blog “Written By The Finger Of God” featured our Catholic Love Story.  This week, I share with you Part 2 of our love story.  I hesitated to share the details of Part 2 for fear it would seem like I was boasting.  But, if you will please overlook the sappiness, you may see:

a.  My husband’s courage.  And, the need for men to get to the point in their lives where they are willing and able to be courageous.  

b. Your expectations for being pursued, loved and cherished are not too high

c.  In a New York minute, everything can change.

My hope, as always, is that God continues to be glorified through our story.

— 2 —

Guest Post Next Week:    I am so excited to have a real life Catholic author featured next week.  Anabelle Hazard (see #1 above) will be providing my first guest post!  She writes Catholic novels and they are FREE.  Even better, they are inspiring, romantic and clean!  Head on over to her site and download (to your computer or Kindle) the novels.  Stay tuned for her guest post next week as she shares some details of her single life along with her Catholic Love Story.  It is called “Runaway Brides” which should peak your interest! 

— 3 —

The Election:  Here is my unsolicited, respectful advice for our US Bishops:  Start catechising your flock now for 2016!  We, as a Church, obviously do not understand what intrinsic evil and non-negotiable means.  Pretend like we are completely uncatechized, because we are.  Start with Chastity education first.  Spend 2 years every Sunday helping us make the connection.  Teach our young.  Then, move onto Religious Freedom.  You cannot understand religious freedom without first understanding Chastity.

— 4 —

The Election:  This video was put out on November 4th – two days before the election – in an attempt to explain to Catholics what the HHS Mandate is and how it will affect us. It was way too late to make an impact.   In summary, the Catholic Church, our schools, hospitals and charities will now either have to:

a. Violate our beliefs and pay for abortifacients (yes, the pill is an abortifacient) and sterilization

b. Pay Huge fines ($100.00 per day per person until we capitulate) and eventually shut down due to financial ruin

c. Serve only Catholics

— 5 —

This very moving painting is by artist Tahnja Woltor from Australia.

The Election: So, over the last 8 weeks, the Bishops had our priests ‘review’ from the pulpit what the Catholic Church recommends concerning voting. Don’t get me wrong, I love our Pastor!! But, I think the Bishops need to realize that it was like teaching algebra to 2nd graders. In order to understand algebra and successfully solve algebraic equations, one must be able to, at minimum, add.

It is the same with voting according to one’s conscience. The conscience must be formed correctly and that takes a foundation in catechesis.  The Bishops should have been hammering home the message about the HHS Mandate and what it means to us.  But, instead we got nice-nice “religious freedom” talk. And we, the audience full of 2nd graders, were like “Wha?”

The outcome of this election is our own fault. Yes, we Catholics are responsible. To much is given, much is expected. Lord help us. 

 — 6 —

Chastity Education:  What is obvious to me is that we are never going to win the battle unless we change hearts one at a time. We can’t legislate morality anymore. Those days of depending on society to keep order are gone.  But, this is an opportunity.

The results of the election reinforce the need for Chastity education and I feel convicted and overwhelmed with emotion at the thought of making an impact.  As of today, The Veil of Chastity blog has reached 22 countries, including the Russian Federation, Poland, Brazil, Argentina, Rwanda, South Africa, Austria, Switzerland, New Zealand, Denmark, Australia, Belgium, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Canada, the UK, Italy, France, Spain and the U.S.  I pray that I will know, love, write and speak the beautiful Truth of Chastity.

— 7 —

Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence:  This is the first principle from the book “The Joy of Full Surrender” by Jean-Pierre DeCaussade:  

Nothing is done, nothing happens, either in the material or in the moral world, that God has not foreseen from all eternity, and that he has not willed, or at least permitted.”

Our hope is in Jesus and we are resurrection people!  Everyone needs God and God chases everyone.  Even those that mock us and make fun of us and Him.  Our Lord even loves and chases those that will cause us to suffer over the HHS Mandate.

But, here is the problem:  I don’t want to suffer and I don’t want my family to suffer.  I don’t want our beloved priests or our Church to suffer. I know deep down this will be a blessing in the end and that God has permitted it.  Jesus was scourged, spit upon, mocked and crucified.  So must we suffer. 

Jesus, our Hope and our Love, rose from the dead and He lives.  He has not left us alone to fight this battle.

We are Easter people and alleluia is our song!”  St. Augustine of Hippo

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Our Catholic Love Story, Part 2

Last week, Anabelle shared Part 1 our love story on her blog, Written By The Finger Of God.  But my husband, Gregg, may have (understandably) felt a tad bit left out because the majority of what I shared was about me and God.  My hope was to glorify God, Who is my first Love.  So the overall focus of Part 1 was on God and His healing.   

Part 2, however, is about our courtship which, to me, can only be fully appreciated in light of the details in Part 1.  So, head on over to Anabelle’s blog first and read Part 1 if you don’t already know the details!  Part 2 is lengthy so grab some coffee and a snack!

Run Toward Jesus

Upon meeting single Catholics, Gregg tells them to ‘run toward Jesus and then look around and see who is beside you.’  This, we both believe, is the best way to know that a potential spouse is the one God intends for you.  I believe that is what happened with us.  We were both members of an on-line Catholic dating site.  This was an indication of our desire to meet and marry someone who shares our faith.  Participation in a Catholic-specific dating site is one method of eliminating the rest of the world that is not running toward Jesus.

The Beginning

Gregg contacted me in August 2001.  He later revealed that he loved my picture and my profile.  He also thought it was cool that I am a mechanical engineer involved in the design of Naval aircraft.  He is a big aviation nut so this part of my profile was intriguing to him.

Within a couple of weeks from that first email, the tragic events of 9/11 happened.  Gregg, knowing that I lived close to the Pentagon and supported the military, was not sure if I was harmed by the terror attacks. Thankfully, I wasn’t.

As soon as phone service returned that week, we spoke on the phone for the first time.  I could tell this guy was different and I had a feeling our courtship was going to be different.  And, it was!  Gregg pursued me with a great deal of courage and chivalry.  I was sincerely overwhelmed.

The Courtship

Gregg flew to Virginia from Kansas four months later in January 2002.  He, of course, stayed in a hotel.  I had a feeling after our four days together that this courtship was a “go.”

The four months between our first contact and our first meeting in-person gave us the opportunity to get to know each other simply through conversation. We talked and talked about everything (and still do).  I found him to be interesting, smart, sweet, kind and very impressive!

What impressed me was the way he pursued and wooed me.  I have souvenirs of our courtship ranging from love letters and emails to teddy bears and jewelry.  The necklace he sent to me for Christmas (even before meeting in person) was beautiful.  It had a very delicate a rosary-like design with these gorgeous little bluish-grey pearls and a pendant of the Virgin Mary.  So elegant.  I wore it in our wedding along with the matching earrings he had specially made for me.

The souvenirs were nice and flattering but what was really impressive was his strong interest in me and his willingness to go outside and beyond himself in order to get to know me.  Keep in mind, our courtship was completely long–distance.  But, he rose to the challenge.  He was willing to prove that he would be a wonderful husband.  And he succeeded! 

For example, his house was located in an area with weak cell phone reception.  Once he met me, he would get in his vehicle and drive 5 miles to a location with reception.  He did this just so he could talk to me after work.  This was a strong clue to me that he was not a lazy or selfish guy.

The Pursuit

His courtship and pursuit were unlike anything I had ever experienced.  Oh, I had relationships and plenty of dates.  But those guys (affectionately known as my ‘stupid old boyfriends’ ~ LOL) were lame and inconsistent in their pursuit.  I have more stories about them to entertain you in my book, but suffice it to say, their efforts were lame-O (bless their poor little blinded-by-the-Veil hearts!).

Gregg, on the other hand, was trying to pull me towards his heart and into his life.  Right after our first meeting, he invited me to his hometown to meet his family and friends.  By the time I arrived, on Valentine’s Day 2002, his family and friends knew all about me and did everything in their power to welcome me and let me know that Gregg was head over heels for me.  Just like him, his family and friends were (and are) wonderful!

It was a romantic weekend which included Mass, of course, a NASCAR party hosted by his friends and a gig with his part time rock band.  Yes, Gregg was not only into his faith, sweet, kind and interesting, gainfully employed and a homeowner, he was also a talented musician.  I had to pinch myself.  I was hooked.

The Attraction of Chastity

Gregg knew, based on my profile, that I was different.  My profile stated that I taught 7th grade Catechism and Chastity.  Oh, did I mention our physical attraction?  Suffice it to say, it was (and still is) verrry strong.  We both knew that this physical attraction would need to be supported with the virtue of chastity.  If you ask Gregg, this was a major attraction for him.  No other girl he knew had this commitment to our Lord or to waiting until marriage.  He knew he had found something special in me and was highly motivated to win me over.  And, he did!

We are engaged!

The Engagement and Wedding

Let’s see, by my Valentine’s Day visit we were talking on the phone daily and “love” had been spoken.  He came back to visit me in early April and met my family.  They adored him and he immediately loved them.  

We began talking about marriage and engagement R.I.N.G.s (a story for another time).  He wanted to know my requirements for color, cut, clarity and caret size.  My goodness, this wonderful guy was planning on proposing to me!  I really did not have any major engagement ring requirements in light of that wonderful fact.  But, he wanted to know in order that I would be happy.  Another very good sign of a very good and considerate man.

I visited him again on May 2nd and he proposed.  Oh, and yes the ring was perfect and stunning.  Wedding plans began and we were married October 19, 2002.

Beyond My Hopes And Dreams

You can tell a lot about a man simply by observing him in the courtship phase.  Why is this important?  I think it is important because there are a lot of women who are disappointed in their husbands.  I wonder what they could have noted in the courtship phase that could have been a warning to them of what to expect in marriage?

A kind man in courtship will be a kind man in marriage.  A sacrificial and unselfish man in courtship will be a sacrificial and unselfish man in marriage.  A man deeply dedicated to the Lord and his faith in courtship will be the same in marriage.  And so forth.  A man’s character very rarely changes so it is wise to pay attention to his character during the courtship phase.

I will give you two examples of Gregg’s character, both of which happened in the last 48 hours.  Yesterday (as I write this) was a first Friday of the month and our church hosted Eucharistic Adoration.  It was our day off from work so I planned to go and adore our Lord for an hour.  I asked Gregg if he would like to join me but he said, “I would love to but I have ‘day off’ tasks I need to get done.”  So, I happily headed up to the church by myself.  As I was there adoring my Lord, Gregg walked in and joined me. I felt like the luckiest girl alive.

The second example happened just a few moments ago.  Today is Saturday (as I write this) and Gregg had to run an errand about 2 hours from our home.  He was sort of close to my Mom’s house so he called her and is taking her and my sister out to lunch.   There were many ways he could have spent his Saturday, but he chose to spend it with my Mom and sister (who are also wonderful).

Gregg displayed these same character traits during the courtship phase.  You get the picture.  Keep your eyes wide open before marriage.

The Healing

The Holy Spirit constantly carries out this work in the most interior part of our being with wonderful subtlety and the delicacy of a wholly divine art.”     St Bernard of Clairveau

In Part 1, I discussed the healing that took place prior to meeting Gregg.  Along with the Sacraments, God continues to heal me through what I believe is a very effective method –  our family.  I believe the love of my husband heals me.  Being a Mom heals me in a way that only a child can do. 

A little healer.

Our love story would not be complete without making a connection to Chastity.  Not only does Chastity prevent us from damaging ourselves spiritually, emotionally and physically, it is also critical to our healing after marriage.  The marital embrace, when we are open to life, heals us.   Isn’t that crazy and beautiful?  God is a genius!

And, of course, I believe Chastity leads to the good fruit of Superabundance.  This good fruit includes children and many other common human desires such as faithfulness, devotion, sacrifice, reliability, gentleness, constancy, affection, admiration, freedom, security, peace, compassion and protection.  The Catechism also teaches us that in the case of marriage, the practice of chastity (remaining open to life) naturally leads to patience, temperance, prudence, honesty and trust.  These good fruits cannot help but heal us. 

I am not saying that Chastity guarantees that you will become a wife and a mother.  But, I do believe that the Lord is committed to healing you.  Work with Him and let the Holy Spirit, with His wonderful subtlety and delicacy of a wholly divine art, heal you.  He may just surprise you beyond all your hopes and dreams.  I pray He does.

God bless!

7 Quick Take Fridays

 — 1 —

Our Catholic Love Story:  Every Friday, Anabelle Hazard’s blog “Written By The Finger Of God” includes a Catholic love story.  Today, Gregg and I are featured!  It was an honor to participate in her blog and share our story.  She has some really inspiring love stories, so head on over and take a look.   Also, she has FREE books you can download to your Kindle or print out.  She wrote the books so if you are into romantic, Catholic, clean, fiction, check her out.  Thank you, Anabelle!

— 2 —

All Saints’ Day:  I don’t know about you but I think that Purgatory is a sign of God’s profound mercy.  Unlike the Saints, my robe will definitely need a lengthy washing in the blood of the Lamb.  Praise God!

 “My lord, you are the one who knows.” He said to me, “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”  Revelation 7:13 

— 3 —

Daily Gospel:  Each weekday, I have the daily Mass readings sent to my email box and I try to make it the first thing I read each morning. The site that sends the daily readings is called DGO, Daily Gospel Org. I highly recommend signing up! DGO includes the daily Mass readings as well as a ‘Commentary of the day’ from the Holy Saints, Church Doctors or Early Church Fathers.  Yesterday’s (All Saints’ Day) Commentary of the Day came from Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873-1897), Carmelite, Doctor of the Church:

 “The communion of saints:  Sister Marie of the Eucharist wanted to light the candles for a procession; she had no matches; however, seeing the little lamp which was burning in front of the relics, she approached it. Alas, it was half out; there remained only a feeble glimmer on its blackened wick. She succeeded in lighting her candle from it, and with this candle, she lighted those of the whole community. It was, therefore, the half-extinguished little lamp which had produced all these beautiful flames which, in their turn, could produce an infinity of others and even light the whole universe…. It is the same with the Communion of Saints…”

Saint Thérèse reminded me that we are part of the Communion of Saints. We are The Church Militant!!  With God’s grace, even our feeble glimmer can light the whole universe. Let’s light it up!

— 4 —

The Church Militant:  Election Day is right around the corner.   In case you, the Church Militant, have not been keeping track, there are  non-negotiables.  Non-negotiables are the intrinsically evil things supported by our culture of death: 

  • Abortion
  • Contraception
  • Euthanasia
  • Embryonic Stem Cell Research
  • Human Cloning
  • Homosexual “Marriage”

In addition, this is the biggest threat to your future as a Catholic:  The HHS Mandate.  Vote and defeat Obama.  If you don’t understand what the Church has against contraception, then you do not understand Chastity.  Not a criticism, just a challenge.  Look into it.  Study it.  Spend time in front of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.  Pray for your eyes to be open. 

— 5 —

Hurricane and Love:  We made it through Hurricane Sandy unscathed.  We were fortunate.  And, we were overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and concern from our family and friends. Our cup runneth over.

— 6 —

My Sweet Sister:  My sister had surgery this week to remove cancerous tumors.  I praise God for her recovery!

— 7 —

On-line Dating:  There are nice single Catholic guys out there who are looking for a nice Catholic girl.  But, they could be stuck in some quaint town because that is the only place they could find a GOOD JOB.  Try on-line dating so he can find you!  Don’t limit yourself and God to your little piece of the earth!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!