Monday, January 23, 2012

Jan 22 (23) - Day of Penance

Yesterday I attended a Traditional Latin (high) Mass with some friends and the bf. They attend on a regular basis, but for me, it was my first experience of how the mass was celebrated for hundreds of years until the 1950s and 60s. Call me crazy, but I even wore the veil. Yeah...a little weird.

I had an ok experience. I'm told it will get better the more I go because I'll actually know what's going on. :) I definitely missed parts of the mass; almost missed the consecration because the priest does it silently (except for the bells) and I was trying to follow along with the prayers he was saying. Also missed the final gospel, which was read silently as well. Overall it went by fairly quickly (maybe because I didn't know what was going on), and that was with a 1/2 hour homily! It turns out that these traditional priests (FSSP) definitely want their flock going to heaven and are concerned for the state of their souls and basically the souls of the world. Last week's homily was on defining marriage and yesterday's homily was on contraception (more or less). It fit in perfectly with the news that the government will be forcing non-profits (Catholic agencies and churches) to include contraceptives into their health care plans (I'm sure most of you have heard this, I'm not going into details) and also on the 39th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. The priest also mentioned that today is a day of prayer and penance for abortion throughout the Church, as promulgated by the USCCB.

As I was praying today, I wondered how many other priests told their congregations about this (day of penance). While I'm sure that most priests are 100% pro-life (I would hope 100% of priests, but let's be real), most also see it as a controversial topic and don't preach about it from the pulpit. They are doing their congregations a great disservice. If we want people to be catholic and stand up for life, then they need to be praying for life as well and know what is happening in the world and in the church. So many people passively sit around, uninformed and uncaring. We have to start caring. We have to start acting. How long can our country go on like this?

Anyway, before I start to ramble (I have hit the afternoon slump), I have read some great articles that people posted on Facebook today, and here they are:

Why we March for Life 

A Sexual Revolution (longer, but a must read)

And this was posted by Fr. Kyle on Facebook, the Director of Vocations for the Fort Worth Diocese:

"NewsFlash - The Parallel Jesus's Crucifixion And Pro Choice - Read this only with a prayerful heart. We should reflect and pray heavily today that over 50 million unborn children have been murdered in the past 39 years of legalized abortion even as the thought pains us to do so. (1) Jesus is betrayed by a kiss - How many women have been betrayed by the kiss of a man who later stole what is most sacred to all women, purity, by a series of emotional cons and spiritual rapes by saying "If you love me then you will do this"? (2) Jesus' friends run away - How many women find themselves alone and abandoned when they discover the crisis of their own pregnancy? (3) Jesus remains silent as he is tortured - How many women remain silent as they are mentally tortured by people that they have trusted and loved the most but are now encouraging them to seek an abortion? By the boyfriend, a parent, siblings, and best friends. (4) The mobs condemn Jesus - In our society the pro choice mob, the culture of death, pushes her to abort her child, giving her no other option. (5) Jesus' life is in the hands of Pontius Pilate - The unborn baby and the life of the their mother is in the hands of Abortionist Doctor. Pilate was sworn to uphold justice, Doctors are sworn to defend life at all costs, yet both practice unconscionable acts against God and their profession. (6) Jesus is sentenced to death - The mother trapped with no sense of any way of bringing their unborn child to birth as the pro choice mob and trusted friends has convinced her with demonic lies that "its the only way", "It's just a short procedure and then its over", or "your whole future will be destroyed". (7) Jesus is crowned with thorns - Now the thorns of the mother are torturous. She is being forced to go against her own soul, to take life rather than save it, this torture may last a life time. (8) Jesus carries the cross - Nobody can even imagine the cross that women bear as they enter the abortion clinic, all their joyful dreams seem so distant now. They may smile and even laugh to show external strength but deep inside their pain is unimaginable. (9) Jesus is nailed to the cross and crucified - A whole team of medical staff see to every detail to make it more comfortable...COMFORTABLE? !! Are you kidding me? What comfort could the soldiers possible give Jesus? He is being legally murdered!! Comfort to a mother? Her child is being legally murdered! Only Jesus' mother and a few women bring Him some comfort at the foot of the cross, and only a few men and women praying outside the abortion clinic can bring some spiritual assistance. (10) Jesus breathes his last - The child is killed by the Doctor, the mother is wounded severely in every way; physically, emotionally, spiritually. “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentations, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.” Matthew 2"18 (11) Jesus Resurrects !!! - WOMEN who have had an abortion CAN BE HEALED. The culture of death lied to them, but they don't have to remained stomped down by the pro-choice crowd or be betrayed anymore by their trusted friends who pressured them into an abortion. Rachel's Vineyard and other Pro-Life-Post-Abortive Healing is available. Jesus' is the Resurrection and the Life, and no one who comes to Him shall ever taste death again; in Him and with the help of the Pro-Life organizations their is true healing, love, mercy, grace, and even purity again. Yes, God never abandons His Love...for He has Loved us to death and His Kingdom shall have no end. Let us all labor with all our life to end legalized abortion in the U.S.A. so that the unborn and their mothers may pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, inalienable rights endowed by our Creator and established by the forefathers of our once great nation."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

After the Storm...

There has to be periods of calm and stress-free weekends after stressed out weeks, right!? And here it is, a weekend I am looking forward to; a weekend I will spend sleeping, laughing, cooking, and hanging out with friends!

Tomorrow night I am hosting a game night for some friends; I mostly want to play my new game Telestrations. I will also be cooking and baking up a storm tomorrow afternoon and I can't wait to eat what I make! Here's my menu for the game night; most recipes I found on Pinterest and have linked the recipe:

Lasagna Spinach Rolls
Pizza Dip
Garlic Bread
Veggies and Dip
Mini Apple Pies (from my recipe, baked in muffin tins)
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip
Funfetti Bake Batter Dip
(with cookies and crackers for dipping)

Ever since I signed up for Pinterest, I have definitely been wanting to cook more and more; I have found some great recipes on there!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Challenges and Stress

When I wanted to be a youth minister my senior year of high school, I simply thought of how awesome it would be to share my faith with teens and (hopefully) bring them closer to God, just like my youth minister in high school did. I loved attending the Steubenville Youth Conferences and I had a great time every week of youth group.

When I had a seminar class on youth ministry in college and had a one semester internship, I was not made aware of major stresses that can come with the job. I did get to experience some of the behind-the-scenes work during my internship, but the seminar focused on theories and some best practices. I learned a few practical things, but it would have been nice to learn more.

When I started as full-time youth minister, I tried to continue what the last youth minister had going on. It wasn't until the big summer events and conferences when I started to get majorly stressed out. Sometimes people in charge forget that us newbies don't know exactly what we're doing in our first year(s)! I survived the summer, though, and actually had a lot of fun with the youth at the conferences and lock-ins.

Then came my second year, which didn't start off so well. There was conflict and tension and I had no idea why (turns out it was from a lack of communication and lack of asking the right people questions). Who would have thought that there could be conflict, tension, and drama while working for a church!? Especially when I'm one of the least dramatic people out there. It came, it went, it came back. The circle of life when you work with real people, I suppose.

My second year has also been a lot more demanding. People expect more. I learned how to turn down some things in life and have fewer meetings. Having free nights is one of the most amazing things in the world. I think every year, playing the balance game will change. Work, free/personal time, relationships, spiritual life, eating healthy, working out, errands, the list goes on! I have been very overwhelmed in the past 4-5 months and sometimes I don't even know what my purpose/goals are of being a youth minister. I feel like I don't know what I'm doing because it's not quite what I expected.

But I keep on. It has to be difficult before it can be easy. I have to learn from mistakes before I can teach others what I know. I have to grow in my ministry and be the youth minister I want to be, not the youth minister others want me to be. Yes, I have a job to do, but I also have my own strengths and weaknesses. Starting from (almost) scratch and building up your own youth ministry is a very challenging task, but I know it can be done. I also know I need to stop having a negative attitude about work! It needs to be positive, so that positivity will flow into all I do with my ministry. Lord help us all!

Friday, January 6, 2012