It Is Not Your Imagination

If God seems far off and absent, it is not your imagination. For whatever reason, He operates in a cloaked fashion, shrouded in mystery.  The authors of the Old Testament wrote about the mysterious nature of God and all the saints share this experience.

The spiritual life is veiled and we, unfortunately have to seek God with all our hearts, souls, strength and mind just to get a glimpse of Him.  From my experience, He only gives enough to sustain me for a time.  Then, He hides again.  And, I must seek Him again.

Deuteronomy 4:29

“But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.”

Jeremiah 29:13

“You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. ” 

2 Corinthians 3:16

“…but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”

 

Keep seeking Him in the way that He instructed by living a Sacramental life.  Each and every glimpse of Him will be worth it.  Listen for Him in the quiet of your heart. Ask, seek, knock. Tell Him everything. Trust that He is working behind the scenes of your life. Without Him, we perish emotionally and spiritually.  We can easily fall into despair.  He is our hope and our peace.

So it is not your imagination.  He is hidden from and seeking you at the same time.  But, He can be found.  He can be known.  He can be trusted.

If you are in need of encouragement, please feel free to write to me. I know this is hard.

God love and bless you.

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Old Testament Scripture About The Hidden Nature Of God

Job 13:24

“Why do You hide Your face And consider me Your enemy?”

Psalms 69:17

“And do not hide Your face from Your servant, For I am in distress; answer me quickly.” 

Psalms 88:14

“O LORD, why do You reject my soul? Why do You hide Your face from me? 

Isaiah 8:17

And I will wait for the LORD who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob; I will even look eagerly for Him.

Isaiah 45:15

Truly, You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, Savior! 

Psalms 13:1

How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? 

Psalms 10:1

Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?

Psalms 55:1

Give ear to my prayer, O God; And do not hide Yourself from my supplication.

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Antonio and Maria

This week’s post was written by my mom, Louise!

Upon my request, my mom documented 7 short stories of her family, including the story of how her parents met.  My mom is one of twelve children born to a young couple from Italy who immigrated to America about 100 years ago. I typed up the 7 stories and plan to turn them into a book with photos.  Then, the book will be presented to each of our relatives at our family reunion at the end of July. I am sooooo excited about it!  Some stories are difficult to get through without tearing up.

Well, as I was typing up the first story, which is the one about how my Grandparents met, I realized that I could share that story here. I realized from this story that the vocation of marriage has never been ‘easy’ and that we don’t always know what would be good for us in that important area of our life.  I hope you enjoy it. Thank you, Mom!

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My Mom, Louise! She was engaged to my Father in this photo.

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Antonio and Maria

Antonio Leonardo Liotti and Maria Giovanna Renzi were born in Amendolara, Italy.  It seems their families were acquainted.

Mom said she, along with her mother, worked in the fields.  One of the jobs was picking olives.  Olive-harvesting season is from the end of October for approximately six weeks – according to Google.  I was surprised at the short time frame.  I had always pictured in my mind that they spent most of their working hours picking olives.  So I suppose they worked for a variety of farms harvesting whatever crop happened to be in season.

Mom said they were 16 years-old and Dad was showing interest but she had no such intentions.  She was not interested and said he was short, a little pudgy and blonde.  But he, being determined, kept pursuing.  Then her mother, her aunt and a relative on his side tried to encourage her by telling her he was a good person and to give him a chance.

But Mom’s interest and desire was to go to school.  So at night she went to be taught by a tutor.

Dad, according to Mom, did not live very close to her.  She said it was quite a walk and he would often walk to her house to see her.  Her Mother would tell him she was at the tutor’s taking classes.  He was not very happy about that.

One night she was home reading or crocheting, which she like to do. It was raining.  After a little while, she heard music.  She looked out her window and there was my dad standing under the eaves serenading her by playing his guitar and singing.

Still not impressed, she continued doing her thing.  Quite an independent woman of her time!

However, he, too, was strong and undeterred.  So by age 18 he proposed marriage.  Between his persistence and her relatives supporting his cause, she agreed to marry him. 

After setting a date, for whatever reason I can’t recall or she never explained, she broke off the engagement.  Now a friend of his or perhaps a relative was tasked by Antonio to ask Maria whenever he saw her about resetting a date for marriage to take place.  Knowing this would continue, she said to tell him two weeks.

So, the wedding took place September (I believe the 20th) 1908.

My niece, Teresa and my Mother were at my house in Arlington, VA the week before my sister Mary Jane’s wedding in the 1950’s.  My Mother was relating her wedding story.  I’d heard it many times before.  When Mom finished, Teresa said, “Grandma, I bet you looked beautiful on your wedding day.”  Mom answered, “I don’t know, I didn’t even look in the mirror, I just put the veil on my head and left for the church.”  She was not ready for marriage.

August 2, 1909, their first child, Rose Marie Liotti was born.  Perhaps a year later, Dad left for the Army to put in his service time for his country of Italy.  He was a bugler so his job was to play taps and/or reveille.  I’m not sure which or perhaps both.

He was in the Army for about a year.  When it was time for him to return, a relative-Uncle, I believe, accompanied Mom to the train station to meet Dad.

As all of these people were descending from the train onto the platform, her Uncle said to her, “Maria, do you recognize that man over there?”  She was relating this story to us and told us, “I looked over to where he was pointing and saw this very handsome, tall, dark-haired soldier standing straight as an arrow in his uniform.”  She said to her Uncle, “No, I don’t know him.”  Her Uncle said, “That’s your husband.”

Whenever she told us this story, we always came back with “That’s when you really fell in love with him, Mom.”  She would just smile. 🙂

I’m guessing he was home perhaps a year when he left for America to find work and would then send for mom, Rose and Mom’s sister, Aunt Louise.  His Mother, Sister and Brother were already in America as was Mom’s mom.

Dad arrived in America at Ellis Island, N.Y. on February 23, 1912 on the Berlin.

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Isn’t it interesting that my Grandmother’s vision of my Grandfather changed?  Could that have been the veil covering him and then lifted at the right time?  I mean, they had 12 children who were, with a few exceptions, perfectly spaced two years apart!! My Grandmother even had a baby when she was in her 40’s! Love, attraction and affection were all present in their marriage even though she was not too excited about him at first.  I think this is a prime example of good old-fashioned Superabundance!

God love and bless you!

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Love In DRC ~ Katie’s Mission Trip

Thank you, Katie for sharing your adventure with us!  You are such an inspiration!

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A huge thanks to Cindy for letting me share my amazing experience from my trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC from now on).  So here goes nothing (and thanks in advance for reading and journeying along!)… 

So on March 5th I turned off my cell phone, was dropped off at the airport, and began quite the journey from Charlotte to DC to Belgium to Luanda to Kinshasa (where I spent two days) to Lodja (another two days) to Mukumary.  We had to drive there from Lodja (small city in the middle of the DRC we flew into) which is 145km south of Mukumary.  As we were driving there were many children who were intrigued to see a while girl riding down the road in a Toyota Land Cruiser. 

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Everyone wanted a photo with me like I was a ‘Hollywood Star’ or something!


This was the first of about six or so parades that were thrown for me.  They would greet me outside of the village or school and then with singing and dancing would bring me into their village or school!  It was an unbelievable experience! Then after about 4 hours the car stopped in sort of the middle of nowhere (but seriously, it was the middle of nowhere)!  Father Emmanuel said, “It’s time to get out, they want to welcome you.”  Then this happened! (Please click on the 208 to see the movie)

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A short excerpt from my (100 page) journal from my trip about this day:

“I have never lived a day like today … I couldn’t help but think “What am I doing?  Am I really on my way to an African village 8,000 miles from home?” This is truly unbelievable.  Then as we were entering the village we were stopped by the children waiting to welcome me!  So we walked from there – more people joining as we went along – all singing, dancing, playing the flutes and drums, all to welcome me!  It started to rain and they only sang louder and danced more. … then we went to the Church and they brought me up front to stand on a table to welcome me.”  (March 10th)

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Never in a million years would I have thought that I would be in the middleof a room of people singing and dancing and I’d be on top of a table in the center of it all! “The Lord’s Ways are NOT our ways!”


They have nothing and yet they have everything.  They know what is important in life and focus on the things that matter: God, family, faith, friends, joy!  They know how to celebrate – and while I was there we had our fair share of partying, dancing, singing, and celebrating!  Mass was never under 3 hours – the opening processional hymn at the Church in the village was almost 20 minutes long!  But no one was bored or looking at their watch.  They were humbled and grateful to be able to worship their God. My days in the village were very simple: beginning with morning Mass while the sun was rising, visiting their local schools to meet the children, take time to visit with the Chief of the Village (who has the same name as the village, Mukumary), playing cards with Father Charles (the assistant at the parish) and Bea (a wonderful young woman who helped me out by teaching me to cook and washing my clothes), reading some books I had brought, making spaghetti on an open fire, and trying to communicate as much as I could with people who didn’t speak English (I didn’t speak much French, Otetela, Lingala) but did understand love! 

They never run out of love there either.  That is probably the most valuable and intense lesson that I learned while in the DRC.  We think you can run out of love – we look at bigger families and think “How can that one mother love all of those children?  They must be deprived of love!”  But they know that it’s not possible to run out of love (and so do the mothers of large families).  Love multiplies as you give it away.  It gets bigger!  It also has a universal language.  Most of the people in the village spoke a few languages that I didn’t speak at all but still we understood each other.  I understood when they woman was hugging me how much she loved me.

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I understood the happiness of these children who were so excited to welcome me to their village.  

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Can you find me in the midst of the children of the village of MPAMA?


I understood the beauty of these four amazing people and the yes they gave to the Lord in their vocations!

African Vocations Pic

Clockwise: Father Emmanuel (pastor), Father Charles (assistant),Father Blaise (Diocese of Kole, Vocations Director), Sister Mado (Father Emmanuel’s Sister for his same Diocese)

I understood the peace of just ‘being’ in the presence of another.  We spent a lot of time just sitting together, sometimes playing cards or munching on some coconut, but mostly just ‘being together’ without talking (since it was hard to understand the differences in language). 

I learned that the many issues I have (although they do at times bother me) are not really problems when I put them in perspective.  I went to the Congo in search of something, probably most clearly defined as perspective.  Perspective on my life, my faith, and the world.  There are so many things that just don’t matter that bother me and I wanted to be freed from the bondage they were providing.  I didn’t want to have a ‘terrible, awful day’ because the copier was being mean – I wanted to recognize the simple blessings of my life (like the miracle of a shower – where the water flows from above!) and not take them for granted.  It’s really difficult to do especially since there are so many times when the copier is just really mean (or replace copier with any name of someone I work with)!  I wanted to be able to recognize all of the blessings God has given me.  To see the beauty of the world and take full advantage of what the Lord has provided in my life. 

Now that I’ve been home for about six weeks or so (my trip was the hardest Lent ever – next year I don’t think I’ll be giving up running water and electricity!) I still need to remind myself of the great lessons I’ve learned.  It has become easier to adapt myself back to the ‘first world’ than it was when I first returned.  It was super difficult to come back to the world with internet, cell phones, small issues, running water (wait, who am I kidding – running water was the easiest thing to adapt to – I only used 1 flushing toilet while I was in the DRC and that was in the airport on the way home!), and the people.  Just like when ever I would go on a retreat, you are changed, but you come back to people who are exactly the same as when you left.  It’s hard to fall back into that reality without picking up all of the same bad habits you had before.  Making these adjustments has been the most difficult for me. 

In closing (if you’ve even made it this far), I will try to answer the question most in my mind (and maybe in yours, I don’t know really) which is “great story, amazing experience, what now?”  Yeah, hardest question ever!  Well, I don’t know when or for how long I’ll go back – just that I will.  To prepare for that (whether it’s just me for a long while or a group for a short while) I am learning French.  There’s no way I could go again and not speak the language.  I’m also talking about my trip (which helps me to continue to process) and hoping to share the love of the African people with others.  We need to bottle up that love and send it back here by the tons!  Maybe I can share a little and it will catch fire from there (that’s what my patron Saint Catherine of Siena always said).  And I’m waiting for the Lord to see where He’s calling me next – so I’m living my life, learning French, discerning my vocation (hopefully married life), and enjoying life with friends (even making some new ones).

God love and bless you!

p.s.s. Check out all my posts listed by category here!

Thank you so much for visiting and reading this post! 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. Please check me out and follow me on Twitter too! 

The Veil of Chastity Interviews Marcus Guevara ~ Part 2

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This is a continuation of last week’s amazing interview with Marcus!

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Dianne and Marcus Guevara

Q3:  Does your vocation of marriage to Dianne specifically feel as if it was God’s plan for you as if you were made for each other? Are you able to look back on your life and see God leading you through various sufferings and circumstances towards Dianne? In other words, in your opinion, is God in the middle of our vocation or is it all just a roll of the dice?

Yes and no. It depends on how you look at it. It’s an impossible task to figure exactly how God works. As much as he has revealed to us – even more still remains a mystery. How he can write a great love story for us and allow us 100% freedom to choose at the same time is a bit of a mystery. I do believe God has a “plan” for us but I’m a computer programmer so I believe that his plan somehow accounts for every kind of contingency and possibility.

What if you decide to leave your hometown or go to college in a different state – does God know you are going to do that and thus set up your soul-mate as a person who would eventually choose the same college? What if God is leading us to go to college out of state but we exercise our free will in defiance and stay in our hometown because we got involved with drugs? Does that mean that the person God originally intended for us will never get married and we are out of a soul-mate because of that decision?

I don’t know what the answer is but my opinion is that God is always a million steps ahead of us (really, there is no finite number to attach here). Each decision we make creates a set of new possibilities and contingencies that God has already accounted for. Somehow he is able to at any point in our lives have a plan that will get us into Heaven.

I believe God is always putting people in your path and putting you in the paths of other people. At that time Dianne was exactly the person I needed in my life. I could have made the decision to not pursue her after hearing about her promise to save her next kiss for marriage. Things would be very different for me right now. I made the decision to give it a shot – and the rest is history.

Was she the person who was originally intended for me since birth? I guess only God knows that. I moved three times within Texas and she was born in Mexico and then moved to New York and Massachusetts before she ended up in Texas. It’s nice to think he moved Dianne’s family all around for me but I think what is more important is not whether we were destined for each other but that we are ultimately destined for God. That we can be sure of.

Our vocation is a calling to an intimate relationship with God and that calling may not be through earthly marriage. We can be sure that our vocation is not a roll of the dice but the call of a Father. God is constantly guiding us in our vocation by giving us opportunities. We just have to take advantage of those opportunities when he presents them.

Q4. Do you have any advice for my readers when it comes to dating standards? Is there any way a girl can ruin her chances with a guy because she has high standards?

I would recommend two articles my bride and I wrote together called “Happy Catholic Relationships That Lead To Happy Catholic Marriages” (http://thirstingfortruth.com/happy-catholic-marriages/) and “7 Powerful Reasons To Save Your Kiss For Marriage” (http://thirstingfortruth.com/7-reasons-to-save-your-kiss/).

You certainly can ruin your chances with a guy by setting high standards. That’s a good thing. The guy who isn’t willing to meet your standards now will have an even harder time accepting them later. Make the hard decisions now to make sure you have the beautiful love story later. Don’t settle. You are worth the wait.

Q5. Do you have any words of encouragement for my readers about the rejection they may be experiencing from guys? I blame the rejection on The Veil and tell the girls that they guy is unable to see them. But do you have any explanation from a guys point of view?

If you are rejected it is usually because the guy did not have an authentic interest in you – or simply was not attracted to you. Relationships aren’t just about feelings and attraction, though, they are intended to be a witness of the nature and love of God.

My advice is: focus on your relationship with God. Don’t be overly concerned with finding a guy. Be a faithful woman of Christ and you will catch the eye of the man who is looking for a devout woman.

When I started pursuing my bride she had her full focus on Christ. She closed her eyes in humble prayer and I watched her in amazement. Her innocence was like a priceless jewel that I could spend all day admiring.

If you focus on your body or your looks to get a guy’s attention you will attract men interested in your body and your looks. If you focus on your relationship with Christ and do not seek attention you may attract a man who is interested in your humble spirit. If you find you are not called to marriage – then maybe your faithfulness captured Jesus’ attention so much that he decided to keep you for himself. Either way you are loved by the only man who truly matters.

Marcus Guevara is the founder of Thirsting for Truth – a new ministry that empowers young adults to live courageously chaste and Catholic lifestyles. A native Texan, Marcus currently resides in the great city of San Antonio. He holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science and Masters in Cyber Security. Marcus became a serious and practicing Catholic in college after being introduced to the Theology of the Body and realizing the damages caused by a life of promiscuity and irresponsibility. He is joyfully married to Dianne, his bride of four years, and has two children, Elizabeth and John-Paul, and another child to be born in July 2014. You can watch Marcus’ powerful conversion story at ThirstingforTruth.com. Connect on facebook.com/ThirstingforTruth or Twitter @Thirsting4Truth

God love and bless you!

p.s.s. Check out all my posts listed by category here!

Thank you so much for visiting and reading this post! 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. Please check me out and follow me on Twitter too! 

The Veil of Chastity Interviews Marcus Guevara

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Hi Marcus,

Thank you so much for your willingness to participate in this interview!  I know the response to your video, which I shared in my post about Staying Vigilant, has been wonderful.  It sure seems like the Lord is calling you and Dianne to a powerful ministry.  We are all Thirsting for the Truth about sexuality, life, love and reason!

The goal of The Veil of Chastity blog is to share the power and wisdom of the virtue of Chastity.  As you know, Chastity is a life-long virtue which we strengthen in our single years and then go on to cultivate in the Sacrament of marriage.  My questions today have to do with your journey towards your vocation.

Hey Cindy,

Thanks so much for sharing my video and giving me an opportunity to address your readers. I am big on joining forces with other Catholics and Christians to do the work of the Church so I appreciate the opportunity. 

Q1:  I have this theory called The Veil.  Does this metaphor ring true for you, Marcus?  I am not asking you to endorse The Veil theory.  Instead, I am wondering if, when you met Dianne, something spiritual that happened in the way that you saw her?  Was this vision of her and way of seeing Dianne spiritually unlike any other girl you had ever met? Did it seem as if God ‘lifted a veil’ and that you were able to ‘see‘ Dianne in a way which you had never seen any other girl?

I have to say I’ve never heard a theory like yours before. I would definitely be interested in talking to you a little more about it to get a better understanding. My own opinion is that it’s hard to say if God destines us to be with a particular person, or a “soul-mate” (I assume the “holy spouse” is like a soul-mate?), but I’d never say “God couldn’t, or doesn’t, do that” because I usually end up wrong when I pretend to know the mind of God. 

I certainly did see Dianne in a way that I had never seen any other girl. However, I would have to say that my experience was that the scales fell from my eyes (as opposed to the veil being lifted from her). At the time I was very broken. I was dealing with some difficult issues and I did not have much of a relationship with God. I went to Mass each week out of habit but I had no faith life outside of my one hour on Sunday.

When I started experiencing some very dark days I decided to go looking for relief. I ended up attending something called an ACTS retreat. It was there at the retreat that I had my first personal encounter with God and that is also where I first met Dianne. Unfortunately, after the retreat was over I fell back into bad habits. 

After I had experienced the love of God in a real way I began to feel very guilty whenever I fell into sin. I was struggling to maintain my faith and kick bad habits. A year after my retreat I received a call from Dianne and she asked me to join a team to help coordinate the next ACTS retreat. It was at these team meetings that I then noticed Dianne in a different way. The reason I saw Dianne in a way that I had never seen any other girl was because Dianne was a true and authentic witness to the faith.

She was dedicated, wise, passionate, contemplative, and above all she was a true servant. She had a peace to her that I craved. She had an innocence about her that I felt I had lost. She was the type of girl that if you told her a dirty joke – she wouldn’t get it. I was the kind of guy, that, if you told me a regular joke it would automatically become a dirty joke in my mind. I saw in her the person I wished I was. 

Before I met Dianne I went after girls because I liked the way they looked physically. It was Dianne’s faithfulness to Christ and her witness to purity that caught my eye in a way no other girl had because up to that point I had never seen a girl with a faith like hers.

Q2. Here is the million dollar question: Did you ‘know‘ she was The One and if so, how did you know?

Honestly, our discernment was long and rigorous. We would sway back and forth between marriage and the religious life. We never “knew” anything. I know that sounds crazy but God never saw it fit to let me feel comfortable. After we were dating for a while and began to talk about marriage I hoped we were being called to marriage but it wasn’t until she decided to embrace the religious life and I decided to let her go that we both “knew” we were willing to give everything to God. 

I don’t think that marriage discernment is a matter of figuring out if that person is “The One”. I believe that you become sure in your vocation when you decide you are willing to sacrifice everything to do what God asks of you. When you give a complete “yes” to God – you have embraced your true vocation. We are all called to that kind of witness… we just all live it out in different ways (marriage, religious life, single life… etc).

Q3, Q4 and Q5 To be continued….

Next week I will share the rest of my interview with Marcus!

Marcus Guevara is the founder of Thirsting for Truth – a new ministry that empowers young adults to live courageously chaste and Catholic lifestyles. A native Texan, Marcus currently resides in the great city of San Antonio. He holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science and Masters in Cyber Security. Marcus became a serious and practicing Catholic in college after being introduced to the Theology of the Body and realizing the damages caused by a life of promiscuity and irresponsibility. He is joyfully married to Dianne, his bride of four years, and has two children, Elizabeth and John-Paul, and another child to be born in July 2014. You can watch Marcus’ powerful conversion story at ThirstingforTruth.com. Connect on facebook.com/ThirstingforTruth or Twitter @Thirsting4Truth

God love and bless you!

p.s.s. Check out all my posts listed by category here!

Thank you so much for visiting and reading this post! 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. Please check me out and follow me on Twitter too! 

 

 

Beautiful Conversion Story

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Ancient Roman catacombs where early Christians worshipped in secret

One of the most emotional things for me is to hear the number of new Catholics who are welcomed into the Church during the Easter Vigil Mass each year.  This Saturday, one of my readers, Antoinette, will become Catholic. She is 29 years old, gorgeous (!) and, like many of us, struggling to trust in the Lord and His plan for her life.

I asked her about her conversion story and she shared it with me.  It was so beautiful.  She gave me permission to share her story with you and I felt this week was the perfect week to do so.

Please join me in praying for her as she crosses the Tiber and begins her Sacramental life in Christ.

God bless you, Antoinette!

 

My conversion was a long process which began when I was about eight years old in a Southern Baptist church in New York City.  In this denomination, children participate in a scripture memorization competition called the Bible Drill. My instructor encouraged me to familiarize myself with where the passages verses were found in rather than simply memorizing the verses themselves.

While putting her advice into practice I stumbled upon John 6:55-56, “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him.”  When I read it I thought, this sounds like what Catholics believe.

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Up until this point I had heard that Catholics had no scriptural basis for any of their doctrines but these verses did not seem symbolic, even with my eight year old intellect. I decided that I’d keep an open mind if I ever came across any books on Catholicism written by Catholics.  

Years later when in Junior High, I was flipping channels and saw a new channel, EWTN, and it was the first time I encountered Catholic teaching from practicing Catholics. I found the teachings to be as sound as what I was being taught in my Baptist church so I continued to watch for years.  

As I grew older, chastity, the virtues and orthodoxy became more important to me but I felt secure in my protestant tradition, until College when I studied abroad in France.  There I lived with an atheist family that knew I was Christian and encouraged me to go to church every Sunday (completely unexpected right?).

When I set out about finding a church I realized that I was unlikely to find a Southern Baptist church in my French town but I was hesitant to attend the local Catholic church for some reason.

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Over dinner one evening my host family asked me what exactly I was protesting since I was so insistent on being a Protestant, and I had no answer.  I began studying the faith and was drawn to it more and more.

I was also struck that whenever I encountered an ancient Christian denomination’s worship services in videos online (Copts, Ethiopian, Greek Orthodox) they looked extremely Catholic and completely unlike my Southern Baptist church.

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I eventually became convinced that this was the true Church and finally entered RCIA. When I told my parents they were very supportive and I learned surprising things about their pasts in Jamaica.

My mother used to teach CCD as a teenager until the family moved away from the local church. My Dad was educated in a Catholic elementary school and his Christian foundation came from the priests. He even knew Fr. Richard Ho Lung of the Missionaries of the Poor in Jamaica.

Thanks again Cindy.

Sincerely,

Antoinette

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 God love and bless you!

p.s.s. Check out all my posts listed by category here!

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Dear Cindy ~ Texting Response Advice

Dear Cindy,
     Thank you so much for blogging about this texting trend. Your words (again) are right on time. You mentioned that we can always email you if we have questions….Well, may I bother you for a moment?
     So I met a guy online and things were going well. We met in person and hit it off. From there we texted and talked on the phone regularly (about every other day or so) but I noticed the calls started to subside at about week 2.5 but his text did not. He made sure to text me at 7a.m. to say good morning and check on me throughout day.
     Due to his job he had work in another state for 2 weeks. He remained in contact with me via text. He told me that he couldn’t wait to get back home and take me out on a date, see me, blah,blah…well, we talked ONCE during his 2 week work trip and I initiated that phone call.
     During the call I sweetly made it a point to let him know that he could call me anytime and that I loved to hear his voice. He said he would do that. But fast forward…The day before his 2 week work trip was soon to end again we are texting. He still has not called me so I decided to ask him via text if he preferred to text. His response “yes, I do”.
     I did not like his reply so I didn’t respond back. He followed up after his response to that one single text a couple of hours later with, “but I do like talking to you every once in a while”. At that point I thought to myself “well, what is the point of me being around if you only want to talk to me ‘once in a while’.”
     I decided at that moment that I wouldn’t text him again and that if he liked me he would call. Especially after I sweetly asked him too 🙂 His work trip is now over with no call from him the entire time (2 weeks). The day he was heading back home from work he texted me the usual “Good Morning”, and “I’m boarding the plane” but I didn’t reply.
     He continued to text me for 3 days asking if I’m okay. On day 4 he called me 3 times with no answer from me. On day 5 he goes back to texting me. Now he wants to know if he did anything wrong. At this point I’m thinking he is only calling me because he realizes I am gone. Am I right? Should I at least tell him the reason and be done with it. I know how it feels to just have someone totally ignore you and it’s not a good feeling but on the other hand I felt a little ignored myself.
     Thank you so much for letting me vent! Sorry so long but I do appreciate your input and I love your writing. Thanks for not forgetting about us single gals.

      Feeling Ignored

Dear Feeling Ignored
     Thank you so much for writing to me and sharing your heart with me. Ya know, I was just on my way upstairs to bed and I stopped by the computer for one last check and saw your note. Normally, I would sleep on it before responding to make sure that I could pray about it a little. But, I had to respond right away!
     You have assessed this guy correctly, Smart Girl! You have sooo much self-control. Some girls would have responded by now and acted like a door mat. Great job at putting him off-balance so he can think about his approach!
     If anything, I would sweetly respond with “It is difficult to feel a spark via text. Just not my preference.”
     Please let me know what happens!
     Love and blessings, Cindy

Hello,
     Here to update you on that lil issue I had the other day with “Texting Guy”. So I let him know the reason I pulled back from him was due to his texting and not calling. He apologized for not understanding but I felt he wasn’t sincere. He thought it was silly and told me that instead of ignoring him I should have talked with him about this. I kindly reminded him that I did, that I asked him to call me often. He went on to say that due to our work schedules it was hard to talk and easier to text. He was so sure that I would be satisfied with that lame response until I mentioned to him that there is plenty of time on the weekends to talk.
     I gave him my blessings and told him to take care. In a way I wish I would have just left well enough alone in the first place but lesson learned the next time around. I learned it is okay and to not feel bad about Not responding to lame and inconsistent initiation.
     Thanks Cindy for being here,

     Feeling Ignored

Dear Feeling Ignored,
     I am sorry that things did not improve. I have to say I am not surprised. Sometimes these things can turn around but most of the time the symptoms of his lame and inconsistent initiation are just ‘confirmed.’ And, that is good.
     I have had guys try to turn the tables on me also with the “why didn’t you tell me?” thing. So irritating. You were not silly at all. You are very perceptive.
     I will share a story with you. I dated this guy a long time ago who was like this towards me for years. When he met his wife, he later revealed to me that they talked on the phone every night. They were living in two different states while they dated. She was a nurse and had a weird working schedule and he was a military pilot with a weird schedule. Yet, they talked every night, even if it was in the middle of the night! I was flabbergasted when I found this out!  He would not do that for me.

     But, that is what love does. It propels the guy to want to hear your voice. It propels him to want to be in your presence. Schedules get worked out.

     Sometimes girls feel bad for not responding to texts so I recommend giving a simple response of a smiley face or “You are sweet.” Just enough to encourage him but not enough to support a conversation via text.
     Using texting as the main mode of communication is like trying to return a ball in tennis that never makes it over the net. Let’s say you are playing tennis. The guy on the other side of the net half-heartedly lobs the ball at you. Or, worse, he hits the net and it bounces back to him. What I see you girls doing with this whole lame texting thing is treating it like he hit the ball over the net AND that the ball is returnable. So, some girls run after the ball and wear themselves out in the game thinking that they better keep the ball in play or else the game is over. The thing is that you can only return a returnable ball.
     So, texting is along the lines of a half-hearted lob. It does not really merit a return. Again, if anything, you might return with a smiley face because that is enough to let him know that if he makes a real effort, you are potentially interested. But, all you can muster for now is a smiley face.
     With this guy, the lame and inconsistent initiation is a symptom that those required feelings were not there. And, now you have confirmation of that.
     I really believe in this Veil theory. When it is right, everything is different. The guy pursues, calls, takes you on dates and marries you. Wait on the Lord.
    Thank you for writing to me. I will continue to pray for you.
     Love and blessings,

     Cindy

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Who Is My Favorite Saint?

I had the honor of providing a guest post for Sarah’s blog, Footprints On My Heart .

Sarah has a Saturday series called Our Friends, The Saints!” where various guests share about their favorite Saint.  Are you curious who my favorite Saint is? Some of what I share may seem obvious but there are other things which may surprise you! Click here to see!

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Head on over to Sarah’s place and check out all her awesome posts!  Thank you, Sarah!

God love and bless you,  Cindy

p.s.s. Check out all my posts listed by category 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. Please check me out and follow me on Twitter too! Thank you!

How To Say ‘No’ To Him

As I mentioned in my 7QTs 3 weeks ago, several readers have written to me wanting advice on how to start saying ‘yes’ to Chastity. This ‘yes’ to Chastity will mean saying “no” to the person they are sleeping with. They want to know how to go about it. It is not a silly question.

Sex is supposed to attach us to our lover.  That is the whole point.  So, when the attachment is to someone who never plans to make a commitment, then it is devastating.  They wonder, “How do I detach myself?” and “How do I strengthen myself to say ‘no’?”  and “Is there anything I can say or do to change his mind?” 

If you have had a revelation about the wisdom of Chastity and want to start living out this virtue, how should you go about implementing this decision?  What words should you use knowing that a premarital ‘yes’ to Chastity means a premarital ‘no’ to him.

Marriage

Ahhh, marriage.  Isn’t it a major driver in all this? 

It is so easy to say ‘yes’ to sex.  The dating relationship starts out with great affection and attentiveness from him.  His eyes may even sparkle when he looks at you.  His family seems to love and approve of you.  He begins the moves which lead to sex.  You know the moves.  You respond feeling confident that this guy is serious about you and that the relationship is heading in the direction of…..what?  Marriage.

“Having sex and thinking about marriage are 2 quite different things”  Biltrix

What Are His Intentions?

Women come to the decision for Chastity in a variety of ways.  Sometimes it is the Holy Spirit Who convicts them about their sexual sin.  But most of the time it is a logical, rational and emotional decision when they realize that the much-hoped-for marriage is only in their head.  They assume he has the same intentions and are devastated when they realize he is not going to marry them anytime soon. Or at all.

A Ploy For Marriage?

Sometimes a girl will put the ‘marriage’ cards on the table to try to figure out where the relationship is heading.  She may be able to tell about his intentions toward her simply by his reaction to her decision for chastity.  She hopes he will say, “Okay.  I understand.  I love you and want to keep dating you to discern marriage.”  But, often times she is met with “Why?” or “What?!?!” or “Goodbye.” Sometimes, he disappears once he knows there is no longer anything in it for him.  Repeating this wonderful quote:

“Having sex and thinking about marriage are 2 quite different things”  Biltrix

When girls write to me, they are often wondering how to present their desire for Chastity without it sounding like a ploy for marriage. But, let’s be honest.  It is about marriage. And, this is nothing to be ashamed of.  The requirement to have sex with you is marriage.  This does not disqualify him from ever having sex with you.  If he marries you, he qualifies.  So, this is not about him.  It is about you and your future husband.

What Is Your Reason?

This question about how to implement Chastity is one of my favorites.  I usually respond to it with a series of questions to try to figure out your specific reason for wanting to commit to Chastity.

You see, I cannot tell you your reasons.  The best reasons come from inside of you.  After one girl responded with her reasons, I asked her to read the reasons back to herself every day for 30 days.  This is an exercise that is usually effective.

How To

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Once you understand your specific reasons, here is what I suggest:

1.  Write down your reasons.  Read your reasons to yourself everyday for 30 days.

2.  Avoid near occasions of sin.  You know the ‘situations’ that lead you to sin.  Avoid those.           

3.  Be firm in your decision.  Be clear in your words to him about waiting until marriage.  If he doesn’t marry you, he doesn’t get to sleep with you.  It is not personal.  It is not a ploy.  He just doesn’t qualify for this level of bonding and intimacy.

4.  Pray and seek grace to strengthen you by living a Sacramental Life in Christ.

5.  If you are struggling, write to me so that I can pray for you and walk you through this.

“Chastity is a difficult, long-term matter; one must wait patiently for it to bear fruit …” Blessed Pope John Paul

God love and bless you!

p.s.s. Check out all my posts listed by category here!

Thank you so much for visiting and reading this post! 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. Please check me out and follow me on Twitter too!

Overanalyzing Your Singleness

Have you ever looked back on your dating life to analyze what you have done wrong?  Have you made a list of things you can do in future relationships to prevent another break-up?  Has this process of analysis left you feeling frustrated?  There may be a reason:

You cannot heal yourself.  You can only participate in the process.

Through this process of overanalyzing, the enemy is trying to convince you that you have the power to heal yourself and change the outcome. He is trying to persuade you to trust in yourself  with the lie that God is not a personal, caring Father. The enemy may torture you with reminders of your mistakes so that you wallow in regret.  Self-hatred is his goal.

Healing and transforming you is God’s goal.

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

Looking back, you are going to find fault in yourself.  Did you over-react in past relationships and find yourself saying things that you wish you had not said?  Did you mistrust and find yourself spying on his Facebook page?  Did you punish him with your cold shoulder because he disappointed you?  Do you wish you had been a different person?  You know, that girl in your head’ who would have acted, spoken and reacted differently?

Cause Or Effect?

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Have you ever considered that your over-reaction, your words and your actions were not the cause of the break-up but that instead the wrongness of the relationship led to your reactions, your words and your actions?

Is there a nagging voice inside you that leads you to believe that even if you had been ‘perfect’ the outcome (break-up) would have been the same?

The truth is that a holy marriage requires the right relationship with the right man.  But, first you need to be healed and your will needs to be conformed to God’s will so that you can recognize this man.  Once these two pieces are put into place, you will not over-react (as much~ ha ha), you will trust him and you will not feel disappointed.

Transforming and Renewing

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

I always loved this Romans 12:2 verse. When I found myself frustrated in my singleness and blaming myself for failed relationships, I would read this verse and feel hopeful.  It was not all up to me.  I could count on Holy God to renew my mind and transform my will to His will.  He could be counted on to change my vision so that I could see what was best for me.

Do you have faith in this Holy God?

Conforming To This World

“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”  Romans 12:1

One caveat to all this is that we cannot remain in worldly sin and expect God to easily heal us. Sexual sin, for example, needs to be repented of. Sexual sin keeps you in bondage and you will not be free to receive the healing transformation from God.

The Bending Of Your Will

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“Your will should be corrected to become identified with God’s will. You must not bend God’s will to suit yours.” – St. Augustine of Hippo

God can change your vision, heart and mind so that you recognize what is best for you.  He conforms and bends your will to His will. This conforming, or bending, happens through a process and over time.  You must participate in this process.  It requires suffering, surrendering and a letting go of your will.  Most of all, it requires healing. The healing of your vision, your heart and your mind.

How To Heal

What are the best sources of healing? 

  • Grace from the Sacraments
  • Jesus in the Eucharist
  • Right worship through the power of the Mass
  • Confession
  • Reading Scripture
  • Prayer
  • Surrender to Him all your disappointments, sufferings and frustrations

Trust and participate in the process. Open your heart, your mind and your will to God’s transforming and healing power. You can trust Him.

God love and bless you!

p.s.s. Check out all my posts listed by category here!

Thank you so much for visiting and reading this post! 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. Please check me out and follow me on Twitter too!