Faith

Good Friday

christ-on-cross

“So they took Jesus, and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle. Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.” Now many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews.’ ” Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four shares, a share for each soldier, They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top down. So they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be,” in order that the passage of scripture might be fulfilled [that says];

“They divided my garments among them, and for my vesture they cast lots.”

This is what the soldiers did. Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.” There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit. “

John 19: 17-30 New American Bible

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Faithful Friday: The Heart of Worship

At this moment I am listening to the radio; specifically a song titled “The Heart of Worship.”

The chorus goes something like this.

“I’m coming back to the heart of worship,

where it’s all about you,

It’s all about you Jesus.

I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it,

when it’s all about you,

it’s all about you, Jesus.”

It made me pause, and wonder just why I was writing this blog post.

The title of this post is Faithful Friday. I started it to help share my faith, to keep my Lord in the center of my life.

But I can’t deny that there are material benefits.

I attract followers, I get more views, and I post more often.

So that brings me to the question, what should my intention be? Is my current intention that?

Am I really doing this for God’s glory?

I certainly hope so.

This week has been quite quiet on the spiritual side.

I’ve tried to keep Christ in my mind and heart, but I haven’t had many Lightening bolts, or even soft whispers to remind me He’s there.

Something tells me it’s because I’ve forgotten the very center of a relationship.

Talk.

It’s not enough to think about God, we have to acknowledge him like we would a friend we meet at a library.

A relationship goes two ways. I can’t just think to myself about God, I have to think with him. I have to have a regular talk with him, like I do with all of my friends.

Prayer, to me, is the heart of worship.

It’s us not just acknowledging Christ, but recognizing his place in our lives.

Lord, creator, and friend.

I challenge you this Sunday to, outside of church, sit down in the most peaceful place you know, the place where you think your deepest thoughts. Just close your eyes and start a conversation with God.

Just say whatever is on your mind.

Who knows what might happen. 🙂

An Introducton to a New Series

 

Okay, so I know I have failed at these in the past… but this time, this is something different, and I am going to try and see this one through at least 6 months.

I am starting a new blog series… thing..

First, a little story.

Once upon a time, there was a girl who went to visit her grandma’s house for New Years.

While she was there, she went to church with her Grandma, and found a book.

This book was called Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic.

She was intrigued, and took the book home.

This past Sunday she suggested to her Mom that the family start religious reading on the twenty minute ride to mass.

Her Mom happened to have a copy of the same book with her, and started reading.

Now, this book, coupled with a certain sermon about living Christian lives and showing people through our actions what makes us Catholics given by her parish priest that day, made this girl determined to do something she hadn’t previously done much of before.

Sharing her faith.

She’d been bouncing around the idea of starting another blog series, this time something to help her in her own life as well, not just spout off information.

Thanks to a new book, and a priest’s sermon, she found her topic.

Therefore, readers, I unveil to you today the title of a new blog series I shall be starting as of this Friday.

Faithful Fridays

As part of the new year, I am going to work on establishing a deeper relationship with my Creator.

And you all get to come along for the ride!

Allow me to describe my goals, and what this chain will be about, by quoting Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic by Matthew Kelly. I shall endeavor not to post the whole prologue, as that would be tedious to do, and take ages to type.

  • Transforming people one at a time is at the heart of God’s plan for the world.
  • Continuous improvement is a long-term approach that seeks to achieve small, incremental changes. Each change can be so small and simple that, at the time, it seems insignificant, but as you add these changes together over time they become enormous.
  • Highly engaged Catholics have four things in common, the four signs of a Dynamic Catholic.

1. Prayer: Dynamic Catholics have a daily commitment to prayer.

2. Study: Dynamic Catholics are continuous learners.

3. Generosity: Dynamic Catholics are generous.

4. Evangelization: Dynamic Catholics invite others to grow spiritually by sharing the love of God with them.

  • You don’t stumble into great things, or even worthy things. They have to be sought out with intentionality.

 

So what does all that mean exactly?

Well, the first bullet point up there *points with digital laser pointer* essentially means that we are not born perfect. God’s plan for us involves us transforming into the Christians we are called to be.

The second point is that long term goals are best achieved with small steps, mini goals, if you will. tiny points of change that when added to over time becomes a complete transformation.

The third is the “four signs” the most engaged and inspired Catholics display; Prayer, study, generosity, and evangelization.

The last one states that you can’t just stumble around blind and hope to wake up one morning the model Catholic. You have to work for it, and set a goal for yourself. Make a flight plan.

That is what I hope to accomplish with this blog series.

I’m not going to dive right in and set some big goal like making it to daily mass, or praying a rosary once or twice a day… I’m not spiritually strong enough for something like that.

So, what am I doing?

Well, this book suggests a plan that I think sounds pretty good.

1. Spend ten minutes in prayer with God every day.

2. Read five pages of a Catholic book each day.

3. Now, for generosity, they suggest giving 1 percent more of your income to the church then you did the previous year. Clearly, this was not meant for unemployed 18 year olds who haven’t even graduated High School yet.

So instead, for generosity I plan to be more generous with my time. Do one big time sacrifice a week for someone else. Like, fold laundry even if it’s not my laundry day. Just something that helps someone else, but may not be the most convenient thing for me, or is just something I don’t want to do.

4. Do one thing each week to share the genius of Catholicism with someone else.

For prayer I hope to start doing the Lectio Divina again. This is prayer that’s centered around bible readings, especially the gospels. I enjoy it, but never seem to find the time to sit down and do it.

For reading I have plenty of catechism and saint books I meant to read last year.

And lastly, for evangelization, this blog series. It hit me when my Mom first read about doing just one thing a week. Blog post. Not only will it give me a reason to post each week, it will keep me accountable… and help spread God’s love to all you lovely people of course. 🙂

So there you have it. Faithful Fridays will hopefully kick off this Friday, the 9th of January.

And who knows, maybe if I can keep this going for the next couple weeks, I’ll be inspired to start a regular Monday post as well. 🙂

In the mean time, to quote the ever seasonal Tiny Tim, “God bless us, every one!”

Oh!

And let me know in the comments below if you would like to join in the 4 Signs challenge, and join me in following the above plan to help not only yourself grow spiritually, but help those around you as well!

And even if you aren’t Catholic, have no interest in Catholicism so much so you won’t even let yourself learn about it, you can absolutely still do these things. The important part of this challenge (for lack of a better name) is imitating Christ. You can still pray, study Christ’s life, and be generous. there’s no rule that you HAVE to be Catholic to do those.

So take a chance, and see what God will do for you this year if you make an effort to give him your attention, and spread his love!

 

 

Little Things for Christmas

Hey everyone! So, I slipped off again. It turned out I had to do most of the Christmas baking this year.

Who knew right?

But with it being Christmas Eve, and the looming possibility of my being mistaken for a scrooge, I had to get up early this morning for this moment.

I want to talk to you all about my little brother.

Now you may be thinking, “What is this? What does your brother have to do with Christmas?”

Just hear me out.

My little brother (goes to double check what I’m calling him) Spike has Down Syndrome and was diagnosed with Type One diabetes three years ago. He also has a speaking disorder that I forget the name of, which makes it difficult for him to talk. However, he does excellent sound effects.

Now, I’ve gotten A TON of questions over the years about my “weird” brother.

“Why does he look… like that?”
“Why can’t he talk?”
“What did he say?”

And of course, Spike doesn’t understand any of this. He knows he’s different, but he doesn’t see a problem with that.

Though he is a teenager, he’s as rambunctious and sweet as my five year old cousin.

When he first meets some one, he’ll run up and say Hi! with a gigantic grin on his face and shake your hand. If he’s met you a few times before, he WILL hug you. 🙂

You’re still wondering what this has to do with Christmas don’t you?

Let me tell you a story that just happened recently.

My brother LOVES action figures. He loves big ones, small ones, Marvel ones, and star wars ones.
He recently fell in love with a GIANT figure.

He had just been to the hospital for his yearly diabetes check up thingy (I mercifully have never had to go, just babysit my other siblings). It always takes both of my parents to get him there, and help keep him under control because, like any little boy, he does not like needles.

That day, things went well (I heard) and my parents decided to stop and let Spike use a gift card thingy he had received from Toy’s R Us.
They browsed through the store, trying to find something Spike wanted to get for around 5 bucks. Unfortunately, the only thing Spike could thing about was this GIANT transformer figure thingy near the front of the store, where he would drag them back to whenever they asked him what he wanted, or if he saw something cool.

Of course, the transformer thingy was outside of the price range, especially with a post-move Christmas coming up.
So my parents were walking through the store, trying to find something for my brother when one of the store employees walked up.

“Excuse me,” she said, looking extraordinarily happy, “The lady who just left asked me to tell you that she got that toy for your son, it’s paid for and everything. We’ll have it up at the service desk, so just remember to come pick it up before you leave.”

Needless to say, my Mom was crying, especially when they went up to get the toy, and they gave it to Spike and he just freaked out he was so happy.

This woman, who didn’t even know my brother or his name, she didn’t even know my parents, bought a toy for my brother because she saw how much he loved it.

I’m not going to go into a preaching lesson, or explain in detail how this is a perfect example of so and so passage from the bible, because i think the most special stories are the ones that rely on the reader to find the lesson.

All I will say is this.

My brother is hated by many people, just because he is not “truly human”. Many people decide to kill children who may be like him in the womb, rather then deal with the joy he or she could bring, even to another family.

I am so thankful for my brother. He is always happy (well, almost always), and loves life, and friends, and even strangers.
He loves star wars, and the Avengers, and Phineas and Ferb, and Frozen. He loves to sing Christmas songs, and play with his little brother and sister.
He doesn’t judge people because of how they look.
In fact, I’m not sure he judges people at all.
I’ve never seen him dislike anyone, but greet each and every person with a huge smile.

I think he’s human, and worthy to be on this earth.

And so did a random stranger.

Merry Christmas!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Hello my world wide friends of the blogesphere!

It is I!

Okay, so I didn’t win NaNo (again), and I ate too much pie after Thanksgiving (again) and I spent too much over Black Friday weekend (again!).

On the bright side, it is DECEMBER!!!!
Cue the lights, cue the music, cue the TV Christmas specials!

However, what December also means is I have four weeks to shed these last pesky inches and pounds that Thanksgiving didn’t help disappear (more for health reasons then vanity guys. I’m not that crazy girl who tries to turn herself into a photo-shop model); four weeks to finish as much math and chem as I can; four weeks to finish a MOUNTAIN of paper work for college applications; four weeks to do three different Physical Fitness tests.

Oh, and apparently it’s Jesus’s Birthday on the 25th, who knew?
*please note the above sarcasm*

Seriously though, I do love December even with all the crazy stressful stuff.

To be honest, I am SO not myself if my life is anything less then crazy busy.

However, in all the bustle, I am not about to forget the reason for this season (I feel like that is or should be from a song…).

A couple weeks ago I found out something wonderful.

My new church, which is a new church not the traditional Latin mass I’ve gone to for years, still does a Midnight Mass for Christmas.

I am so happy!

I just hope they have it candlelit…

So I, was hoping to do a longer post about Christmas songs and such, but that will have to wait for a later date because applications are calling my name, as well as the mountain of boxes I need to unpack, and a room to clean!

Let the Advent/Christmas season begin!

Happy holidays everyone!

Fear No Evil: A Short Story

This one is a bit longer then the last one.
Oh, and I hope you all aren’t getting bored of stories yet. I’ll make sure my next post is different, but I don’t have the time to write up something thoughtful, and to be honest there is not much happening in my own life to write about at the moment.
So, I hope you guys like this.

Fear No Evil

I walk down the streets, alone. My footsteps echo in the silent streets, the only sound for miles. This place has been deserted for years, no one dares to even come near its ruins. Everyone that is, but me. Here is the only place I truly feel me. Here, I don’t have to hide. The entire city is shrouded in a dark shadow. It is cold and traitorous, but it is also powerful. It makes me feel powerful in turn.
Outside of the city, I know that people are only just waking up, stirring from a night of pleasant dreams, the sun peeking over the rooftops of the new houses, casting its rays upon the wall. There is no sun here. Ever since the darkness came there has been no need of it. Window boxes lie dead and empty, and broken flower pots crunch under my foot. If I peek into the windows I’d see tables deserted, some with supper remains from years ago still on the plates.
I can hear the echoes of the screams of terror, and agonized cries of the wounded trapped in a world long forgotten. A dark cloud in the sky, raining fire and ash down upon the city and her people. The roofs light the sky with a red blaze, and people are racing in a panic. I close my eyes and breath deeply. The scent of burning flash, and ashen smoke fill my nostrils. That is when I feel it. It creeps up my spin like a snake slithering up a tree.
My eyes open, and I stare down the empty alley ways. Only they aren’t empty. It sits in wait there, laughing at my stupidity and bravery. I don’t care what It thinks. This was my home before it was Its. I hold my head higher.
It speaks to me.
You are brave, child, It hisses. Brave, but foolish. Do you come to challenge me?
“No,” I answer. “I have not come to challenge you. You know why I am here. I’ve come before.”
Yes, I know you have. And you return. Why do you return?
“I return because I can not stay away.” I feel the darkness closing in, bunching about me, trapping me. I find it harder to breath.
You like this, don’t you? It is whispering to me now, like a voice from within, telling me my own secrets that I pretend don’t exist. You… you have been linked to Shadow before. You yet retain the powers it bestowed upon you.
” I have,” I gasp, my throat closing involuntarily, whether from fear or lack of air I do not know. “But I conquered it then, and I can now.”
Laughter, a sharp peel of dark humor, pierce the air like an arrow.
You foolish child! You conquered nothing! You broke the link, yes, but it is still within you! Your as much a part of it as I am! You are kin to me, as I am to you. You revel in the power you have, but you deny what gives you it. That is why you come here. That is why you can not stay away. Here you feel at home because you are home. You belong in the Shadows. You belong to the Shadows.
“No,” I shout, my anger flaring up, my hands curl into fists and I can feel the flames dancing within them, begging to be let out. It only laughs at me all the harder.
You can not use your gift against me! I serve the one that gave you the gift! The gift you have used to keep you and your family in this world, to protect those who you care for, everything you have you owe to me and my Master!”
“No!” I shriek at It. The flames erupt from my finger tips, sailing through the air in bright orange ribbons, attacking the dark. The laughter only grows into a chorus, and in the darkness I can see shapes forming; great laughing beasts all black, with eyes that glow a fiery red. They are like monkeys, but they are more twisted, and winged with bat-like appendages.
You can not fight us, they laugh. You would not dare.
I dare.
I race towards them, a shout full of pent up anger tearing from my lips. I use the fire like whips and daggers, throwing and twisting it around them as I dart through the crowd like a ghost. Their laughter changes to shrieks and high-pitched roars. They begin to fly at me, tearing at me with their curved claws, as black and hard as iron. One tears the sleeve of my dress and scraps my arm, and a scream of pain escapes me, unbidden. Another tears at my back, and I fall to my knees, my flames once more escaping from me uncontrolled, flying off into the sky, and lighting the nearby rooftops once more. Tears stream down my cheeks, and all I see is a swirling world of darkness and fire. I choke. I’d tried so hard, so hard to be good. I’d fought from the beginning. Ever since my father brought home It I knew, and I’d fought.
Some say that as they die they see their life flash before them, see all the wrongs they’d committed, and all the good they might have done. Some who have survived such an experience say it is a blessing in the guise of a curse. I do not know how anyone could describe such torture as a blessing, guised as a curse or no.
Seeing once more my father, who had once been so healthy, strong, and faithful, deteriorate into a hateful and spiteful man broke my heart all over again. My mother grew ever sicker. She had fought like me, but quietly. She wasn’t a warrior. She was faithful. She embodied the very meaning of faithfulness for all of us and It killed her. My father cried for the last time at her deathbed. It was the end of his battle. The night of her funeral I was dragged from my bed by my red-eyed, twisted father. He dragged me to the fireplace, only 8 years old and still half asleep, and thrust my hand in to the flames. I screamed, terrified, the burning heat crawling across my hand like a thousand spiders, burning my flesh to black.
I hear my childhood shrieks once more, and feel the flames for the first time all over again. “Papa!” I cried. “Papa!” My father released me, and I pulled my hand back from the flame, not daring to touch it, but crying in pain. Then all at once the pain slowly grew lighter, and my hand turned once more it’s normal hue.
“You are marked now,” I hear my father rasp once more, his eyes wide. He turns around and talks to something I can not see. “I have done as you’ve asked! Now free me!”
So you have, and so you shall be.
That was the first night I’d heard IT. I screamed, and my father dropped dead at my feet for the second time in my life.
Things changed after that. I had a power that I didn’t understand. The voice of It speaking to me in my head nearly drove me mad, young as I was, and the whole city shunned me as the mad daughter of a mad man.
Then came The Night. The night it all changed. The night I was so hungry, and so weak that I begged It to free as it had my father. It only laughed at me.
You are to young for that fate, my dear one, It hissed in laughter. It liked to laugh at me. You are mine, and I do not want to let you go yet.
No one called me there’s. I screamed in rage and hurt, and let all of my emotions take over. I threw myself at the darkness, throwing flames in all directions, feeling more powerful then I had ever felt before. I grinned in wicked pleasure, I know I did, and I felt It retreating. I laughed at it, and let a wave of flames go. I was surrounded by them. It was the smoke that woke me from my power-induced daze. I looked around at me and shrieked with fear as I saw the walls and roof burning. I raced outside, and found only a bigger fire. My house had caught the surrounding houses on fire, and in my wild rage I’d sent flames into the sky, and onto the city. People raced past me, screaming in fright. Ash and smoke mixed and filled the air, and when I looked up, a dark cloud was forming over head. I had not defeated It after all. I’d only made it strong. I fell to my knees, tears streaming down my face. It was over, all over.
Tears are streaming down my cheeks again, the smoke and ash filling my lungs. It is over for sure now. What more is there to know? I am a girl who killed an entire city. I submitted to the darkness in my foolishness. And I was sorry for it. So sorry.
A white light begins to crowd out the fire in my vision. I close my eyes. It is over now, and all I want is to rest. But I open my eyes. When I open them, I am looking up into a face I never thought I’d see again.
“Mama?”
My mother, my own, dear, darling mother smiles down at me, her chocolate eyes misty with tears.
“My baby girl,” she says brushing a lock of hair off my forehead. “You have fought so hard.”
“I’m not strong enough though,” I sob. She pulls me to her chest as I begin to cry, my sobs full of 16 years of grief. “I wasn’t strong enough! I helped it, mother, I know I did! I’m not strong enough…” My sobs turn to hiccups, and my mother rocks me, like she did when I was little, and hurt.
“I know you aren’t, baby,” she said softly. “I know, but you don’t have to be.”
“But I can’t just let It win!” I cry, the terror of what would happen to me if I submitted to it was to much to bear.
“Of course you can’t,” my mother says, running a hand down my hair comfortingly. “But you can have help.”
“Help?” I repeat.
My mother smiles at me, and offers me a piece of cloth. I take it. On it is a prayer that I thought I’d forgotten long ago. I smile a little as I read the old words I’d once said with such reverence.
“He is always with you, my love,” my mother says to me gently. “He will not forsake you.”
I clutch the piece of cloth it my heart, and close my eyes as I smile. I feel the bright light fade, and I know my mother is leaving me. That is alright. I will see her soon. First, I must finish what I have tried to do for so long.
When I open my eyes I am lying on the ash covered road, the dark attacking me from all sides still. The ugly shrieks of victory are flowing through Its ranks.
“Our Father…” I whisper, and the wild calls die. “… who art in Heaven…” There is silence now. I begin to push myself up onto my feet. The demons start to fall back, hissing at me.
“Hallowed be thy name.”
The calls start again, but this time they are full of rage.
“Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done!” I shout back, “On Earth as it is in Heaven!”
I continue through the prayer, shouting each line into the roaring din.
“Lead me not into Temptation, but deliver me from evil!”
As soon as I finish that one, I start another and then another. The demons are shrieking now, and the dark is writhing in agony. I smile, I can feel my own strength growing. Not the hateful kind that I’d been relying on for far to long, but that which comes from Him above.
I start a prayer my Mother used to always say.
“The Lord is my Shepard I shall not want. He leadeth me through green pasture, and beside still waters.”
The demons are fleeing now, racing down the alleys. I can hear the incoherent hisses of It, but even Its voice is growing weak.
“And though I walk through the valley of the shadow of Death,” I am not shouting now. there is no need. “I fear no Evil.” I can’t go any farther. That one line rings in my head and I repeat it over and over.
“I fear no Evil. I fear no Evil.” The darkness is weakening, and I can feel It drawing back, leaving this place.
“Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil!” I say again. “Deliver me!” the wind is howling now, a sharp whistle, and the ash is swept from the streets and into the air. I can feel it in my throat, and in my lungs. That doesn’t matter any more.
I look up to the sky. The clouds over head are swirling and bashing against each other like waves in a tempest. And then they start to disappear. A single sun beam falls from the rolling black, and strikes the ground at me feet. I look down, and before my eyes I see one small, green sprout slowly break through the soil between the stones.
“Deliver me… ” I sigh, My eyes are failing. I can’t see much now, but there is light. I know that. Light is streaming into the city. I hear a far off sound, like a distant earthquake. The wall is crumbling. The city is free. I am free.
I feel myself fall to the stones, and sigh. “I fear no evil..”

I hope you guys liked this! I apologize for its length…
Share your thought sin the comments! To long? To dull? To dark? To happy?
Tell Me!

Never Alone: A Short Story

Okay, I’m taking a chance. I’m posting a story nobody has yet seen. I’ve asked for no feedback, I’m taking a risk and releasing it with out showing it to anybody first.
I hope it’s not to bad…

Never Alone

She sat at the window, rain pounding on the street outside, and tearing at the glass to which she pressed her face. The cool glass fogged around where her forehead met the clear surface, and she not only heard the great clap of thunder that roared from the heavens, she felt it vibrate within her very being. The oppressive nature of the weather was a twin of her soul, and behind her glasses the tears fell like the rain without.
The silence of the house reminded her of all she’d lost, and all she’d become.
A broken statue, battered by the elements of time, standing forever helpless in the wake of a great darkness, but unable to prevent the chips from forming in her skin.
A lightening bolt seared the sky, and she saw once more the flashing light, she saw the sparks of a gun, she heard the crack of a bullet slicing the air… she squeezed her eyes shut and curled further into herself, as if she could shrink into nothing just by willing it.
Far off in another room, a clock was steadily keeping count of the seconds, each tick dropping like a stone into a pond, leaving ripples, yet unnoticed by all.
That was her.
She was a ripple.
A mistake that was never meant to be.
A little thing in the face of a great and terrible universe… a universe that cared little for broken hearts.
Another thunderclap, and she flinched. She wasn’t supposed to be alone. The doctors had said she was dangerous, and that she could not be trusted. They were more right then they knew.
On the floor bellow her lay a knife. a shinning sharp blade that could pierce skin. That had pierced skin. It lay there waiting for her to break. Waiting for her hand to grasp its handle and to bring it up for the last burst of pain she would ever have to bear. All she had to do was reach down. All she had to do was let herself go…
So why did she find it so hard to?
She’d had no problems throwing the stone at Alison Blake… the cheerleader who’d done nothing to her but beat her and taunt her until she was broken…
She’d had no problem pulling the gun on her stepfather when he’d attacked her mother….
She’d had no problem throwing Jeff Bergusson down a flight of stairs when he had gone after her sister…
And David… David had been an accident… it was an accident…
A sob unbidden and unwanted crept from her lips, and her heart ached a little more as she buried her salt-wet face in her jeans.
You are a monster, she thought in horror. You have no right to this life.. no right…
And her hand began to creep down slowly…
She felt the cold handle of the knife as her shaking fingers clutched, and began to bring it upward…. and then the knife was gone. It was slipped from her hand so gently she never even noticed the transfer until it was complete. Her head shot up in surprise, the tears staining her cheeks as she desperately searched for her route of escape… only to find it in the hands of a stranger.
“Are you looking for this?” a quiet and gentle voice said from the opposite corner of the room. She looked towards it, and find herself looking into the eyes of a man unlike any man she’d ever seen. He was so different… he looked like a man, he spoke like a man, but he was certainly not a man. He was not human at all.
“That’s mine,” she sniffed, looking at her knife held in this stranger’s hand. The stranger looked down at it, and then back at her, a sad smile on his face.
“No it is not,” he said. “It was never meant to be yours, and it never will be.”
“What are you talking about?” she snapped, growing angry that this stranger should dare question her.
“Life has not been kind to you,” the stranger said, ignoring her challenge, “but are you so desperate that you will give in to its tortures? You are not alone. You have friends, and they do not want to see you give up without a fight.”
“What friends,” she cried,” I have no friends. No one dares speak to me. They are to afraid I’ll stick a knife in their back. They are probably right.”
“No, Jessica,” the stranger responded gently. Jessica’s head shot up at the sound of her name, a name no one called her by anymore.
“How do you know me?” Jessica asked, immediately suspicious of this new development.
“Oh Jessica, I have known you since before you were,” the stranger told her kindly, a soft smile on his face as he looked lovingly down at her. “I have been with you from before you came to earth, and I will be with you long after you leave here. It has hurt me to see what you’ve had to go through, but we are only allowed to interfere when the circumstances grow desperate. There has never been a more desperate time for you then now.”
“How can you know me, how can you say you’ve been with me all this time, I’ve never even seen you before!” Jessica protested.
“No, but you have felt my presence now and again,” the stranger said, taking a step closer to her. “When you were small and afraid of the thunder, I dimmed its roar so that you might sleep soundly at night. When you cried by your father’s grave I stood by you for comfort. When your mother lay dying, I was there with you at her side.”
“But that’s impossible,” Jessica replied, dumbfounded that this kind of story would be even proposed to her.
“Ah Jessica, it is more true then you know,” the stranger answered, “I have been charged with guiding your soul through this dark world, and I fear your path has been darker then most. But you must not give up now. Your mother is waiting for you, but it is not your time. Your father is praying for you, but it is not time for you to join him. All those you’ve sent before you have received their just reward, and the Father bears you no ill-will.”
“But what you are saying.. it’s ridiculous…” Jessica stammered. She was dreaming… she was hallucinating.. she had finally cracked…
“You are neither sleeping nor insane,” the stranger.. who apparently was an angel it seemed… assured her. “Jessica, your past does not have to define your future. Your slate can be wiped clean and you can live the life you were destined to live. Do not let the brokenness of your spirit steal all strength of will from you. Fight this shadow that covers your soul.”
“But I have done such terrible things…” Jessica protested, the tears coming afresh. Her angel, for it was her guardian angel, knelt down before her and wiped the tears from her eyes.
“And your Father will forgive you, as he forgives all who truly repent their sins,” he assured her gently, as the sobs began to shake her small and weak frame.
“But why, should he care for me? I am nothing,” Jessica asked.
“Because you are his daughter, and he does not abandon his own,” the angel told her. Jessica blinked once to clear her eyes, and when they opened again the angel was gone. The knife he had taken from her lay on the coffee table before her. After staring at it for some minutes, Jessica slipped out of the window seat, picked it up, and carried it back to the kitchen to put it away. Someday she would succumb to the call that all life succumbs to in time, but it was not going to be that day. She had fallen far from the lighter road, but now a hope had been restored in her that she would find it.
Alison, David, John… they would no longer haunt her every moment. She could move on. she could forgive herself in time, because HE could forgive her… it would take time and healing but she could. And someday she would… because she had a life ahead of her. A life worth living. Because she was not alone. She was never alone.

Let me know what you think! Like it? Despise it? Think it’s a crime against humanity?
Tell me!

June Rush Part 1

Alright, I have had an interesting two weeks….
Interesting in the sense that nothing happened the first, and then A TON happened the second.
This post will just go over week one at the moment though because I think it would be more fitting to break these two up as their experiences were polar opposites…
So without further ado…
Week One:
Week one I went to stay with a group of school sisters, the School Sisters of Christ the King, for a week.
They have summer mission programs every year where they invite high school girls to come and help them lead summer camps.
This was my third year attending and I thought I knew exactly how it would go.
I did not expect nothing.
Well…. I can’t truly say NOTHING, but compared to my past years, it certainly seems like nothing. Last year we (us “helpers” who were staying in the Sisters guest house) ate cake EVERY NIGHT! On Thursday night, known as “Broadway Night”, my group and I rewrote Tangled’s “When Will My Life begin” to describe our very exciting week.
The year before that was my first time ever and I hiked on train tracks with a consecrated sister (different from nuns as sisters are not cloistered) and played a VERY competitive game of softball. Who knew holy women could be so hard core…
So what happened this year?
A game of volleyball because softball got blown out (read: wind was VERY strong), a week of helping kids who were almost to good, and a few skits.
It was so quiet… I was pretty disappointed. And then I come back and find that, despite her promise to have it completed by the time I returned, my room was still unpacked. Completely unpacked. The morning of the 21st I had to retake the SAT because my scores were cancelled the first time (not my fault)… the point is, that week was pretty disappointing. Until I realized that the entire week I was with the Sisters, because I had nothing holding me down, or to keep my mind hopping from one minute to the next I could actually concentrate on the most important thing in my life that I never pay attention to… my relationship with Jesus. Rather then nodding off during holy hour or constantly checking the time and waiting for it to be over I actually prayed and had a conversation with the Lord, discussing my life, what he wants for my future, and just anything that was on my mind. It was wonderful.
So yeah, maybe my week wasn’t the most exciting and fun week I’d ever had, but it was the week I needed this year to prepare myself for the coming move and senior year… the start of a new life as an actual adult (18 this fall. Yikes!). In short, the Lord gave me a quiet week because, as much as I hate quiet weeks, I needed this one desperately and guess what.. I didn’t have a clue that I did until the Lord gave it to me.
So yeah, there’s Week One of my crazy June Rush.

A Tragedy

On Wednesday night out in Phoenix Arizona two catholic priests were attacked in their parish. One of them was killed, and the other remains in critical but stable condition.
Fr. Kenneth Walker and Fr. Joseph Terra of Mother of Mercy Mission Church are religious order priests in the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, commonly known as the F.S.S.P.
For those who don’t know, the F.S.S.P. is dedicated to offering the Traditional Latin Mass.
What is that?
It’s the catholic mass that my grandparents attended when they were young. For years it was the only catholic mass offered, until the 1970s or 1980s I think, when they wrote the Norvis Ordo. You’d have to check me on that time line though…
In short, it is a beautiful celebration of the sacrament of the mass, and my family have been attending it for about 5 years now.
Fr. Terra, pastor of Mother of Mercy Mission church, sustained severe injuries in the attack.
Fr. Walker, assistant pastor, was shot and killed in the attack. He was only 28 years old, and had just celebrated the second anniversary of his ordination.
This is a terrible loss not just to their families and parish, but to all.
My parish offered special masses for them yesterday, and though I was unable to attend, my parents and younger brother did.
My Mom told me that one of our own young priests who’d been ordained the same year as Fr. Walker looked stricken.
I don’t blame him.
This is nothing short of horrific.
I ask for prayers for comfort and peace for the parishioners of Mother of Mercy, and for the families of the two priests.
And especially prayers for the repose of the soul of Fr. Kenneth Walker.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

If you wish to read more about the two priests and the attack, there is a complete article on the Phoenix New Times website.

Rifles, Hatchets, and Horses, Oh My!

I have had quite an interesting weekend!

My Mom took me and my sister Ally on a Moms and Daughters campout Sunday evening. We went to a state park nearby where they had a ton of activities! We met a couple other families from our church, and got there just in time for archery. After that we headed to the cabin, unpacked, and then played games the rest of the evening, most of us waiting for it to get dark. When at last the sun was gone and the stars came out we played a game we came up with ourselves which we fondly called Seekers. It’s like a mutant ghost in the Graveyard, if you are familiar with that game. If anybody is interested I’ll post the rules later.
We stayed up till past midnight, but the next morning I was still up before 6 along with two of my friends.
Monday was filled with rifle shooting (tons of fun), hatchet throwing (wasn’t the best, but wasn’t the worst), and paddle boating.
Another popular game we played was street hockey. I had never played it before, and loved it! We also played Life the card game, Psychiatrist, Signs, Catchphrase, and Mafia.
As you’ve probably gathered any time we friends are together our lives pretty much revolve around what game or activity we are doing next. You know, AFTER we’ve all talked for about an hour on anything from what’s for lunch to what we should do next, which we end up not doing for another hour. Typical highschool/homeschool girls. ;-P
Oh, and I also went horse back riding for the first time ever!!!!
It was amazing! Of course me, being me, was assigned a horse named Storm. He wasn’t exactly temperamental, but he kept wanting to eat from the side of the trail, and I just got this feeling he thought a first time rider was below him. Still, it was a lot of fun!!

So, the big question… what’s the next post gonna be? Well, for future posts I was thinking of doing a series about BBC shows. Not exactly a review, but more like an in depth study of the characters, their personalities, and what makes them so popular. I did a similar kind of post once upon a time and far far away in another part of the web world, and I got a fairly good response to it.
I’ll also be posting more short stories and possibly some poetry in the future.
I’ll continue doing recipes as well, but I don’t know when I’ll next have time for cooking.
I’m going to be out of town the next couple weeks, but will try to have some posts lined up to put up on the weekends I’m home.

Until then, so long! Farewell! Allons-y!