Incorrupt, Valiant, Passionate CATHOLIC

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I am Catholic.

Unapologetic, born and raised, devout, vigilant, Catholic. I’m ready to defend the faith that was given to me, and to every Catholic, more than two thousand years ago.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Creator of Heaven and earth;

This is the opening salvo of the Catholic Church, and my declaration of faith. Without God and His creation, my day to day life seems pointless. It’s just drudgery that eventually leads to the vast, dark, nothingness of death. There is no hope. There is no reason.

and in Jesus Christ,
His only Son Our Lord,

To be among the original Christians, it is requisite to believe in Jesus and His Sonship to God. For Catholics, who carried the truth given to the Apostles and first Christians, it goes much further, much deeper than simply believing that Jesus is the Son of God.

Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,

I know this and I believe this. I hold Mother Mary in high esteem as the new Ark of the Covenant with God. A pure vessel who carried our beloved Savior in her holy womb. The old testament Ark of the Covenant was made of pure, perfect gold designed by God Himself. I believe He created Mary from the moment of her conception as that unblemished vessel for His Son. He waited for her “Yes” to be the Mother of Jesus and she remained a virgin forever pure.

suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into Hell;

Jesus suffered for me. He suffered for all of us to redeem us from our sins. Jesus Christ, Our God made Man, suffered the depth of the pain and consequence of our sins and in my own suffering, no matter what it is, physical, emotional, psychological I know Jesus suffered His Passion for me. There’s a place for my suffering.


the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into Heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father almighty;

God raised His beloved Son as the beacon in my life giving me the hope for Heaven which I have already declared my belief in. Like the sun rising in the East, we have hope for the New Day of Heaven after our Earthly life. Jesus preceded us to show us the way! “..everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life.” (From John 3:16)

from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

So believing in my salvation does not come without a price. I cannot coast along in life solely on my belief in the Heavenly Kingdom Jesus’ death promises. I have a job. Jesus gave us the Seven Corporal Works of Mercy as part of our job description, namely,

1. To feed the hungry: Mt. 25:35
2. To give drink to the thirsty: Mt. 25:35
3. To clothe the naked: Mt. 25:36
4. To visit the imprisoned: Mt. 25:36
5. To shelter the homeless: Mt. 25:35
6. To visit the sick: Mt. 25:36
7. To bury the dead: Mt. 25:40

But, I’m also tasked with striving to practice the Seven Capital Virtues in order to overcome the Seven Deadly Sins.

  1. Humility (overcoming pride)
  2. Generosity (Overcoming greed)
  3. Chastity (Overcoming Lust)
  4. Meekness (Overcoming Anger)
  5. Temperance (Overcoming Gluttony)
  6. Brotherly Love (Overcoming Envy)
  7. Diligence (Overcoming Sloth)

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body
and life everlasting.

The Holy Spirit enflames me with passion and God’s love. He brings me the knowledge and truth of God’s teachings which have been carried down across time through the doctrines, dogmas, the teaching of the Catholic Church. These doctrines, dogmas and teachings have been preserved unblemished and unchanged from Jesus’ time.

As a Catholic I have the Sacrament of Confession where my sins can be forgiven. After Jesus arose from the dead, He breathed the gift of the Holy Spirit onto his Disciples and said, “If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained.” (John 20:23) I know when I leave Confession, I am free of the sins I’ve confessed, and depart feeling lighter, and freed from the oppression and weight of those sins.

My belief, my faith infuses me with confidence in the truth and in the promise of eternal life in Heaven. if I am a good and faithful servant, and with a little time in purgatory to fully cleanse my soul and prepare me to see the Face of God, I know heaven awaits my arrival. I cannot wait to join the Communion of Saints in Heaven where, I will rejoice in God and continue to pray for friends, family and all on earth and in purgatory. The reward is priceless-one I will ceaselessly strive to achieve.

Amen.

And I finish where I started. My Amen is my declaration, “Yes Lord! I believe!”

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I will stand before you and fight and defend these beliefs and what they mean to me.

I will fight with doctrine. I will fight with dogma. I will fight with two millennium of teaching.

I will fight with the truth.

I stand firm and I stand strongly a Catholic.

Where I Am

Conscience brings my writing to a fork in the road. Personal values push to the front. Do beliefs trump creative suggestion? Or does a virtuous writer write in spite of the moral dilemma?

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Trifecta has given us free reign to write what we want. “this weekend we are asking for a thirty-three word free-write.  Any topic, any style–just give us your best thirty three.”

Writers block, embracing values and asking myself  “Are you who you wanna be?”

Trifextra: Week 75

Trifextra: Week 75

I Believe

With cool water, I bless, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, kneel and weep. The crimson light proclaims His Body, Blood, and Soul. Mourning your haunted, prodigal faith, mine soars in light 2000 years old.

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Trifecta’s Trifextra: Week Fifty Seven asks us to write a piece of first person narrative in 33 words. This is my bit using my own voice.

One of my favorite songs ever. I use to play flute in a group at weekend Mass. Every time I hear this song, it makes me weep. I loved playing the flute part, so pure and so haunting. It speaks of my faith and my love for my faith. I truly believe.

Trifecta: Trifextra Week fifty seven

May Angels Lead You In

Two weeks ago I began a journey of remember how important it is to appreciate those I love. 20 children were taken from their families in Newtown, Connecticut. Stealing the shared memories and love from the families and friends. I found myself knowing how necessary it is to love and appreciating my kids. To tell them and show them as often as possible.

Sunday, I was pulled soundly to the front and center of the road when a blow fell far closer to home. One of the metaphors for a loved one is to compare them to a bright shining light. When we lose a family member or friend we talk of the light flickering out or ceasing to shine. A very dark veil descended over my family last night when we received frantic, tragic phone calls inciting hurried trips to the hospital where our beautiful boy, my seven month old great-nephew tragically died.

Happy Marcus-edit

Marcus Daniel – May 1, 2012 – December 23, 2012

My big family has stayed, for the most part, right here in the same town and we are neither small nor quiet. A mass of people who belong to me and my siblings, our in-laws and their families converged in the hospital chapel to support and love my niece, her dear husband, and my sister and brother-in-law, grandparents to this beautiful boy, who left us far too soon. Our hearts and souls know he is in the loving embrace of Our God but our hearts and minds are broken with grief. Truly, an innocent, he had to fly instantly into the arms of the One who loves us most.

We have lost so much and the pain is deep, and enduring. Marcus was a first for so many of us. My parents first great-grandson, my sister and brother-in-law’s first grandson, my nieces and nephews first nephew, me and my siblings first great-nephew, my great-niece’s first sibling and brother, most importantly, my niece and her husbands first son. This first has been taken, and no one will fill the Marcus space. This special boy who was our first.

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Other lights continue to shine and shower us with blessings and we must not neglect them, the seven little girls, less than five years old, who looked forward to Santa and had no idea what happened. It was our duty to step outside of our profound grief to make a wonderful, joyous Christmas for these girls who are still beacons in the darkness of our grief. We had to spin the dial and refocus so we could see the sunrise beyond the sunset.

As the days pass I realize Marcus’ light hasn’t burned out. Rather it has simply changed location. His light is shining from above. As I prayed, wept and begged God for comfort I found comfort in a vision of our loved ones who have passed. They were waiting for Marcus and the greeting was grand and joy filled. They were all giddy with anticipation as he came to them and they rejoiced with love and laughter as they received our special boy.

Smalls-Diva
Christmas Day brought more sad news from my oldest son. His dog Smallz, who had been with him through hardship and happiness died. Another blow. Painful to lose a beloved pet, but my vision carried on with Smallz in all her diva glory running into Marcus’ baby arms and giving him a face full of puppy kisses.

Grammy and Gigi

My sister, Marcus’ Grammy, snuggling his big sis in grandbaby Christmas blankies she made.

This big, crazy, loud wonderful family is coping and recovering in ones.
One day,
one hour,
one minute,
one breath at a time.
Taking memories one at a time hold them for a moment in our hearts, memorizing an exact heartbeat, a certain expression and cherishing it’s familiarity.
We are encircling each other in loving embraces,
laughing through tears,
and crying through the pain.
It’s all moving us in the right direction where we will heal, but will never forget because there’s a mark tattooed on our hearts.

The mundane and boring are so appealing right now. I want something simple to brighten things. And truly? The simple is a blessing. I need to grab on and savor every boring moment. Hug my loved ones. Tell them I love them. I don’t want to spend a minute regretting what I could have done in any moment because every moment is a gift.

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On a day when music was necessary to think beyond the grief, I put my iPod on Genius, chose a category and hit play. The first song that came on was Hear You Me (May Angels Lead You In) by Jimmy Eat World. Truly, it was a God moment and it has become my song for Marcus. Hit play a couple of times and let these lyrics and music sooth your soul. They have done so for me and the family since I shared it on my Facebook wall.

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Marcus’ visitation is on Sunday December 30, 2012 from 5-7 p.m. with a vigil and rosary to follow. Funeral Mass will be on Monday Dec. 31, 2012 at 2:00 pm at St. Matthews Catholic Church.

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A Confident Walk

She sits affixed to the smooth oak pew, hard, yet warm from the time spent sitting, listening to and learning the sacred words. Then the last heel of the final preschooler  gleefully slips through the side door as the choir sings “This Little Light of Mine”.  Rising on smooth grey patent and suede, her favorite heels, she side steps into the carpeted aisle, that stretches to the altar like flowing red wine. She ventures forward in muffled silence with care and reverence to the bottom step. She grasps hands prayerfully together and bows with respect believing in the sacrifice that will soon be made. Turning left, a few more steps take her to two marble covered steps leading to the ambo. Each heel and toe tap rap in a sharp report, echoing the tangible difference between carpet and marble breaking the silent journey. The steps rise to the deep green, veined marble of the podium holding the lectionary. Her open hand brushes the cold hard stone and is shocked by the piercing but exhilarating coolness. Fingers brush lightly across the page as if she could feel the beginning. Eyes rise, leaf through the faces and with confidence she begins “A reading from … ”

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I wrote this prompt about being a lay lector (reader) at Sunday Mass.

Red Writing Hood – Setting

This week we asked you to take us somewhere. Where was up to you -fiction or creative nonfiction- but we asked you to use your words to paint the setting as vividly as possible. In 200 words.


Enchantment to Heartbreak

The words, like a knife, sliced through jagged and uneven. In it’s wake there was irreparable damage and the life I had know would never be the same. The memory of how I learned my cousin was dead is unclear but the word suicide stands out stark and bold. I wasn’t sure I would ever breath again as the wind was knocked out of me so cleanly and the pain began so quickly and sharply.

The memories, once fond, happy and full of life were rendered to a state of doubt and wondering “Did I miss something?” As time has passed I realized the innocence of our childhood was pure. We roamed our grandparents ranch in a pack of cousins bent on discovery and freedom that most kids could never imagine. We grew up together and apart; together so much during the summer at the ranch or at one another’s homes where our lives were “enchanted”; apart during the school year where we lived our “regular” lives.

As we became teenagers and the focus of our life lens changed and shifted to a different perspective. I still cherished our friendship, but after our grandparents died it lacked the enchantment that the ranch brought to us. Boys, friends, places and thrills beyond our age had us traveling down different paths.

Her path must have been so painful and unbearable and I had no idea. Great gaps of time would existed between the occasions we would see each other and then an extraordinary gap and then she was gone. I know I’m not unique in the belief that I could have made a difference, but I’ll never really know, at least not in this lifetime. I loved her and wish I had told her.

Almost thirty years later, the wound is easily opened and will bleed profusely when the surface is disturbed. It still hurts in a place so deep it’s beyond description. Things happen in my life and I wonder how her life would be if she had not chosen to leave. My kids grew and I watched them blossom and find their own lives. I became a grandmother and I get to watch them being kids and growing. I adore and revel in the uniqueness of my family but sometimes I wish  she was here so we could share this beautiful time of life.

If I could go back and change it, I would find a way to save her. Somehow she would want to live because the anguish and heartbreak I, we, have endured is so unending. The weight of it bears down like a wet blanket, heavy and impossible to throw off.

The brightness I always see without fail though is her glorious smile. I imagine after all this time she is surely free and happy now and looks after all of us, praying from her place. I have to believe she’s at peace because I could not bear to believed she wasn’t. Those luminous glimmers make me smile.

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RemembeRED writing prompt:

“We all have them. Memories that we wish we could forget…things that we wish we could banish from our minds. Imagine that writing down your worst memory will free you of it.

What is it? – Why does it haunt you? – What could you have done differently?”

Removing the Beam

It’s so hard to convey perspective when you don’t have it yourself.

Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, Let me remove that splinter from your eye, while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite,  remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye. – Matthew 7:3-5

For the past couple of days I’ve been discussing with Blossom problems she has at home and at school. When I really sit back and look at it without my “Mom glasses” on, I can see much of it is minor but some of it is big, especially in they eyes of an eight year old. While trying to explain to her the benefit of taking care of your own behavior instead of focusing on or pointing out bad behavior in others, I remembered this bible verse from Matthew and brought it into the conversation. She actually knew the verse better than I did and corrected my version. It’s hard to convey to a child all of the nuances of relationships and interactions with other people. As a parent what I really want for her is to simply enjoy being a kid and not have to think about whether or not a classmates actions or comments constitute bullying or just annoying behaviors.

The central part of what we talked about was self control and keeping things in perspective.

With the advantage of adulthood and years of experience, I know how important it is to take my own inventory before I even think about passing my judgement on some else. After I tucked her in I found myself wonder, “Do I?” Don’t I walk through my days pointing out the faults and errors in many who cross my path?

I am a WAY better driver than 99.9 percent of the population and boy if I could just tell those bad drivers to their face I’d point out to them all the wrong things they are doing! I should really focus on being the best driver I can be. After all there’s not a darn thing I can do about the driving habits of others .  If they, a. don’t get caught, and b. don’t endanger me or another driver, what will my ranting and raging accomplish? Oh, yeah, it makes me angry and unhappy while I’m driving!

I find myself looking into other shoppers grocery carts and judging  if the cart is full of junk/convenience food and my cart is perfectly ordered with wholesome foods and snacks. Tsk tsk tsk! Forget the fact that I’ll probably go get a latte at Starbucks on the way home.

My advice to Blossom tonight was to take tomorrow and really pay attention to everything she does and says, to think before she speaks and acts. Take it slow and concentrate on choosing the right behavior.

I’m going to take my own advice and move through my day controlling me and not trying to control others with my thoughts or judgments. It won’t change anything to condemn the actions of someone else, but it will change me if I practice some self discipline in my thoughts, and in my words and in what I do or in what I fail to do.