Saturday, November 24, 2007

Still Catholic

I think this is the longest I've ever participated in church in my life (and I'm 38 years old). I've been going to church regularly for 2 1/2 years. I know I haven't posted in a while. I chronicled my journey and although it continues, I haven't been inspired to write anything. I'm still going to church weekly. I still sing in the choir. I've been going to the adult faith formation classes which have been going over John Paul II's Theology of the Body. That has been really enlightening. I'm finally "getting it" when it comes to sex and relationships. I still haven't had a date in over two years, but I'm learning that it is o.k.

I've continued to make rosaries and now I'm selling them online if anyone is interested. I sold some at a local craft fair and I'm trying to raise enough money to pay for my GRE test. I am going to go back to grad school and am trying to figure out how to finance it.

Other than that, I'm simply living and trying to manage life between work, home, and church. I'm still very happy to be a part of the Catholic faith and I will continue to grow and learn in it.

Friday, July 13, 2007

My Rosaries

Early in my Catholic journey I learned to make rosaries. I made my first one in the fall of 2005 as I was in RCIA class. By the time Easter Vigil arrived, I made one for every person entering the Church with me along with a few others. Since then, I've made several more that I've given away to others like my friend Summer. I've probably made 40+ rosaries at this point and every one of them have been unique. I've never sold one as they have all been gifts. I can't even tell you how much I've spent in making them, but it's just something I enjoy. Each rosary costs anywhere from a couple of dollars to make to upwards of $15 depending on the kind of beads, centers and crosses I use. I may have to start selling them just to keep my habit up. I really don't know if there would be a market for them, but I've received compliments from every person that has received one. I've always enjoyed being creative and crafty and this is something that incorporates that. It is a moment of peace that lets me get away from the world for a few moments when I make them. I hope and pray that every person that has received one of my rosaries has been able to use it to further their spiritual life. I don't pray the rosary as much as I should. Sometimes, I do recite it as I string each bead. Now that I have a craft room again, I've been more active in making them - that is until I've run out of materials. I'll have to wait until payday next week to replenish my supplies.

At this point I have 21 rosaries at home. (Aside from my personal rosaries.) I've put 20 of them online if you'd like to see them. I have another that I'm holding on to with someone in mind that I'd like to give it to. If you're interested in a rosary, email me and let me know and we'll figure out a price. If you'd like me to make one for you, I can do that as well. Several I've made with the person it's going to in mind and I try to chose colors/materials that seem to fit them.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


I am at a place where I wish I could really know God's will for me. I was reading a forum that got into a discussion about being single, Catholic, and middle-aged. It started with a comment that someone had heard stating singles within the Church are called to either marriage or to religious life and that in not choosing either one is being selfish. The comments took off from there, and there was a lot of frustration noted by other singles. To some degree I am single by choice. I did choose to get divorced. Luckily, I was able to have that marriage annulled as well. I married for the wrong reasons to the wrong person. Since getting divorced and coming into the Church, I've tried to figure out what I'm supposed to do. I am 99% certain that I'm not called to religious life. I leave the 1% open for God's sense of humor. I feel strongly that I am called to marriage, but since I've started to participate in church, I haven't had a single date. I don't know if it's because I am seeking too much perfection or that there simply aren't any more decent single men available. I don't think it's the concept of looking for perfection because honestly, I haven't even been able to meet anyone for me to begin passing judgment on. (a little humor here) So it's not really a matter of me being selfish, perhaps it is simply not God's will. If that's the case, why do I have the desire? Why can't I accept it and leave it at that? I am open to marriage but when I look at it realistically, I often feel a sense of hopelessness. The availability of men within my age (give or take a few years) seems to be lessening every day. Sure, preferably, I would like to marry another Catholic. But at this point, I think I'd settle for someone with Christian values. I don't consider myself truly single by choice, but more by circumstance.

What gets me is the fact that I think in terms of readiness, I am more open and ready now than I've ever been before. I'm to the point where I finally "get it." I know, understand, and agree with the Church's teachings with regard to chastity and marriage. I am learning what it means to really love another. (Thanks to the fact that I'm teaching that chapter in our adult class.) I know I should be more patient, but when one is nearing the age of 40 (in a few years), it seems more unlikely that marriage is even a possibility. I know, I know. With God, all things are possible. I know this logically. I know if it's His will, it will happen. I just don't know how to reconcile that in my heart and in my head. I constantly pray for Him to take away my desire or to make it happen. I often feel guilty when I pray for myself in that way. I know that He knows my needs and will take care of me, but He still hasn't taken away that desire. In the meantime, I don't know what to do with myself. I participate in the Church. I sing in the choir, play my instrument, and attend the adult faith formation class. I don't know if that's enough or if I should be doing more. I don't know what talents I have to share. I wish there was something in our Parish for singles. Not in the sense of dating, but for support and friendship. I wouldn't say that being single is being an outcast, but in some ways it is. There isn't really any ministry for singles it seems. I shouldn't complain. I love my parish, the people, the priest, and the faith. I am in a much better place than I've ever been. It seems I'm always guilty of wanting more than I've got, however. But the main thing is that I really wish I knew what I'm supposed to be doing instead of flying by the seat of my pants. I feel that I was called into this faith for a reason but I have yet to figure out what it is.

I know where all of this is coming from. I know I'm just having a moment of loneliness and it will pass. I will go a few months with no thought to any of this (when things get busy) and then during a lull it will hit me again. I think part of it is realizing that in two years, my son will be leaving to go to college and I will be absolutely alone for the first time in 18 years and it is very scary. Although I've met several people within the church, I still have very few friends.

I will just keep praying that God's will be done and that He reveals it to me sooner, rather than later... and if not, to give me the patience to wait. I wouldn't mind if you prayed for me as well.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


I was sitting in Mass this morning with a smile on my face. I just felt happy to be there. I was sitting alone and I was o.k. with it. I simply felt joy being in the presence of God. I have had moments where my faith seems to weaken and I live in my own pity parties, but I rejoice in the fact that I always have this place to come back to. I loved how the Bishop put it today. He called it "recharging our spiritual batteries." Before coming into the Church, I struggled with the notion of having to go to Mass EVERY Sunday. I wasn't sure if I was up for it, but now I can't imagine missing a Sunday. It really does wonders for the soul. I can't imagine not being able to take part in the Eucharist. That in itself does wonders to keep me on the mostly straight and narrow path. I'm still not fond of confession - it's the idea of actually admitting my own imperfections, but that's a fault within me and not the Church. Despite this, I feel as though I have this new kind of wisdom. I'm finally "getting it" so to speak. Oh, I know I still have a ways to go and I know what I need to work on, but I feel very blessed to have the Church to help in that endeavor. I am starting to fit in and get to know people. I felt very privileged to be able to teach the Sunday school class today. I guess it went pretty well except that we didn't get through the entire lesson. It was pretty long though. I know that religion and church isn't for everyone, but I am truly thankful for it. It has been an amazing experience and the journey really has just begun.

I'm still working on my post regarding love, but have been sidetracked in preparing for the Sunday school lesson. I'll try to get it done in the next week. Pray for me to focus on it.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Coming soon

I haven't abandoned this blog, but I am currently busy at the National Speech tournament in Wichita, KS. I am working on another lengthy post and it will take some time to write. Just wanted to give you an update and let you know that I'll be posting something in the next few days hopefully.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Is the Honeymoon Over?

I've spent the past hour and a half re-reading this blog. I am actually quite amazed at some of the profound things I've written. I am dismayed, however, by the fact that my excitement and passion have seemed to wane. I still love being Catholic. It is a great joy to be a part of this community of faith. I have found some wonderful acquaintances and friends in my church. I am still a better person because of my faith. I just haven't been "on fire" lately and haven't written in a long time. Posts have become few and far between. I'm letting life get in the way too often it seems. My prayer life is greatly diminished and I can't remember the last time I actually spent time studying the Bible or aspects of the faith. I was doing well for a while by attending the adult faith formation classes at church, but I started having tournaments and other things happen on weekends and I'd have to go to a late Sunday evening Mass instead. I still go to Mass faithfully every weekend and I am making sure to go when I am out of town this weekend. I just can't explain why things have seemed to diminish in terms of my enthusiasm.

I think I am better when I'm more involved. As long as I have a class to participate in or choir or something "extra" it keeps me going and inspires me. Right now most of that is gone though I'm excited that class will continue this summer starting after this weekend. I know when I had RCIA weekly it helped me stay pumped up and now I find that simply attending Mass isn't enough. Perhaps I should try to go more often during the week now that school is out and get to adoration.

I don't have the answers, but at least I'm aware of my stagnation and I'm going to try to make the effort to do better. I haven't fallen into sin (other than some venial ones) but I do have some work to do on my part.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Just one of the reasons I'm Catholic

My friend Bret who I've mentioned before in my posts is at the Southern Baptist Convention in San Antonio. He wrote a post about his first experience there and all the drama that went on. It seems there will continue be drama as he talks about the debates going such as the one for and against Calvinism. One of the major issues that started me on my journey into Catholicism was trying to figure out which of all the religious denominations was the "best for me" or which one of them was at least the most right. Why did we have so many off-shoots of Christianity? What made the Baptists more right than the Lutherans, or Methodists or Episcopalians? Even the Baptists don't agree any more as there are now branches of Baptists like the Southern Baptists, American Baptists, Conservative Baptists and Reformed Baptists. According to Wikipedia Baptists are represented in more than fifty separate groups. But then there are all the other denominations to consider including those claiming to be "non-denominational." According to The Christian Sourcebook, there are approximately 20-30,000 denominations, with 270 new ones being formed each year. Virtually all of these are Protestant. (Source) If all those denominations "know" the truth by revelation of the Holy Spirit, yet not all of them agree on their teachings, how does one really know the truth? Is the Holy Spirit telling one group this and another group that? How can the Holy Spirit contradict itself?
I started looking at the timelines of all these denominations. The Baptists have been around since about 1639 and Southern Baptists only since 1845. Methodists began in the 18th century while Presbyterians began around 1572. We all know that most of this began with Luther posted his 95 Theses in 1517. Luther might have had some good reasons to question things going on in the Church at the time, which ultimately led to the Church examining itself. This is what led me to realize that the oldest Christian Church was Catholic. And for over 2000 years it's teachings haven't wavered. The Church has clarified teachings and pronounced it's doctrines, but nothing has ever been changed. Although we have both the Tradition and the Bible, neither contradict one another. There have been some bad leaders and bad priests, but yet it has stood the test of time. There are no debates as to whether Mary should be venerated or whether the Eucharist really is the body and blood of Christ. Although different Parish's have different styles - the Mass is still the same. There are more traditional Churches and those that would be considered Contemporary, but regardless, it all has the same teachings from one Magisterium. And when I examined the specific teachings of the Church, I couldn't disagree with any of them. They all made sense to me and that is what ultimately led to my faith journey.
I've always had a problem with many of the basic Protestant beliefs like sola scriptura and the concept of salvation which I've written about before. I know that my friend and I don't agree in several areas of beliefs, but I hope that he realizes that I am far closer to his concept of "salvation" in the Catholic church than I ever was in the Baptist.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Interesting Thought

The search for the exotic, the strange, the unusual...
has often taken the form of pilgrimages,
of turning away from the world,
the "Journey to the East",
to another country
or to a different Religion.

The great lesson from true mystics,
from the Zen monks,
and now also from...psychologists--
that the sacred is in the ordinary...
and that travel may be flight from confronting the sacred--
this lesson can be easily lost.

To be looking elsewhere for miracles
is to me a sure sign of the ignorance
that everything is miraculous.

A.H. Maslow

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Yes, it's been a while.

I'm still here. I'm still going to Church. I'm involved as much as I can be in the Church right now. A part of me really wants to do more, but I am so swamped with other things that I don't know how I would do it. I did get to sing this week. That has been a huge step for me. I didn't mind so much singing within a much larger group, but when there's only 4 of us, it is a bit frightening... but I do it anyways because I love it.

I was actually able to go to the adult faith formation class today which was nice. I regret not going more regularly, but the past few weekends have been very late Saturday nights with tournaments.

I still love being Catholic, but I'm in a state where I'm really just going with the flow of life right now and I'm not really growing as much as I should spiritually. But Lent is coming up and I am hoping that I will be able to get myself on track. O.k. I hope the Holy Spirit helps me get on track. I've been contemplating what I should give up and I'm at a loss. I don't know that I have anything else to give up that would really be meaningful. The only thing I know that I would have a very difficult time giving up is the internet. But it is a huge part of everything I do in both my personal life and in work. I don't think I could totally give it up, but I could force myself to limit it perhaps. I think perhaps instead of giving up something like cokes or desserts that perhaps I should devote more time to prayer and those things that will bring me closer to God. Perhaps I should commit to going to adoration, Stations of the Cross instead of focusing on what I should limit in my life. I don't know, but these are thoughts in my head right now.