Summer

Hey y’all!

I know it’s been a long time since I posted here. Mea culpa. Things have been a bit busy in my life, so I’ve had to devote my main focus to other things for a while. Now I’m back! 😀 Yay!

Since I last posted in March, a lot has happened.

Like what?

Well…

I traveled to Clinton, MS to go give a talk to a group of amazing highschoolers. (check out Facebook for pictures from that!)  I’ll say again that it was an amazing experience. I loved going and being part of their retreat. It always makes me smile to see fellow teenagers with such fire for their faith. It’s awesome.

I also graduated from highschool!

I’m no longer a highschool student. I’m preparing to enter college in the fall. Graduation was a huge step forward, I just pray that I’m taking the right path with what comes next. Everyone else who graduated this May, I have a few words for you. This is taken from the speech I gave at our graduation ceremony:

“We will be Ambassadors of Christ to all we meet. For as St. John Basco once said, “It is not enough to love. People have to feel that they are loved.” We will show love to all around us – especially those who it is hard to love. The many opinions and ideas at college or in the world will fill us with sorrow at times, maybe make us angry other times. Yet if we set an example with our speech and conduct we will go far. Speaking with love and humility is how we can touch hearts, lead minds to look for God, spread His message. That’s one thing I’ve had to learn. Shouting and anger gets you no where when talking to another. Love? That’ll get you places.

As we move on in our lives we need a rock to lean on. Something to keep us steady and firm every day. For me, my faith is my rock. It has been for as long as I can remember. Though the tough times, sad times, even happy times – my faith is an eternal source of peace, joy, and love. I love it. Being Catholic is the most important aspect of my life. And I’m ready to show that faith to all I meet. I pray that God will give us all the strength and confidence we need to have that rock of faith remain firm and whole. Because Catholicism isn’t something that’s all that easy. It takes courage, as G.K. Chesterton put it: “A Catholic is a person who has plucked up the courage to face the incredible and inconceivable idea that something else may be wiser than he.”

Are we ready to be courageous? I think so. We put our trust in God an in His great plan for us – for He is far wiser than we can ever dream of being. And you know something? The will of God is an amazing thing! Simply doing something crazy, by saying YES to His great plan for us is something we are all called to do. Sure, it can involve testing us and He may ask us to do things we are afraid of – like for me, I discovered that part of His calling for me is to do something terrifying: public speaking. Another part of it is something else equally terrifying: making phone calls. Two things that scare me. Yet I can do them when I remember to humble myself and say to God, “I can’t do this alone. Help me.” Then He always will give me the strength and courage and peace I need to do as HE calls. If only we are humble. OUr faith will be our constant Light, leading us where we need to go, reminding us where we came from, and being our guide and our friend when we need it most. To have such strong faith goes against what today’s culture is about.

But I think that St. Philaret of Moscow put it pretty perfectly, “A fish that is alive swims against the flow of the water. One that is dead floats down with the water. A true Christian goes against the current of a sinful age. A false one is swept away by its swiftness.”
What do we have to do? Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming – swimming, swimming.
Our hearts must remain focused on what is pure and holy and good so that we will be strong enough to swim against the current of today. God’s great love and His grace will allow us to change the world!
Everything we’ve done in school and life so fat has been to prepare us for the next step in life. God is calling us in so many wonderful ways! TO be a missionary, a doctor, a nurse, to serve our Country, to design beautiful things, to be a journalist, a computer scientist, an author, and many other amazing things! It’s awesome! While these callings may at times seem impossible, and at times we may feel like we’ve failed, we just have to trust and hold close to the rock of our faith, leaning upon it when we grow weary. Then we can do what we think is impossible. I love how St.Francis of Assisi put it. “Start by doing what is necessary. Then do what is possible. And suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
I want to do the impossible. Don’t you?

And we can. Our parents gave us a flame in our hearts for God and to do His will. Now it is up to us to keep that flame burning brightly for the world to see. We have to do whatever it takes to shine. To be heroic in our faith and our life. To swim against the current. To change the world by setting an example. And we can do it. Because God has a plan and we shall follow it. It’ll be great.”

Graduates. I challenge you. Are you up for it?

1. Take 5 minutes a day to pray for your vocation. Discern what it is that God is calling you to do and to be. Be open to the religious life or priesthood. Trust that God knows far better than we ever can.

2. Go to Mass every Sunday. Don’t skip a week! Moving on from highschool or college means it’s more and more up to you to make sure that you fulfil your obligation to go to Mass and keep your faith alive!

3. Be an ambassador for Christ everywhere you go. Treat others how He would.

and finally,

4.  Do not ever hide your faith. Be proud of it. It is the most important aspect of your life, whether you realize it or not. Love your faith. Let it be your rock. And let your light shine!

Graduates, that is my challenge to you. Pray for your vocation. Go to Mass. Be Christ to the world. And Let your Faith shine!

Easy enough. I know you can do it. I have faith in you.

And I think that’s enough for one post right now – I’ll write about my summer plans and the play I was just in soon!

Till next time, Heroic Catholics!

~Catherine M. Stewart

Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

Dia Duit! Dia is Muire duit!

Hello! Hello to you too!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Heroic Catholics!

All Catholics pretty much (Actually almost everyone, no matter what their religion is) celebrate the Feast of this Irish Saint.

Obviously, St. Patrick is best known for how he used the 3 Leaf Clover to explain the Trinity, but here’s a bit more about him:
He was born around 387 A.D. [Neat fact: That’s before the Canon of the Bible was finalized, just sayin, to put things in perspective.]

He died around 460 (though some sources say closer to 493).
He was born to Roman Parents in Great Britain (some sources say it was where Scotland is now) and his name was Patricius.

He was captured by pirates and taken to Ireland where he was sold as a slave. Instead of losing his faith in God after being kidnapped, his faith was only strengthened. He eventually escaped and became a priest. Following a private revelation he realized he had to return to Ireland as a missionary Bishop.
Pope St. Celestine I authorized his mission. He remained in Ireland till his death.

So technically he’s a Scots-Irish Saint. Which makes it even cooler for me – someone who has strong Scots-Irish heritage.

To close this post how about some quotes?

“There is no other God, nor has there been before now, nor will there be hereafter, except God the Father unbegotten, without beginning, from whom is all beginning, upholding all things, and his Son Jesus Christ, whom we also confess to have been with the Father alwas – before the world’s beginning …. Jesus Christ is the Lord and God in whom we believe…and who has poured out the Holy Spirit on us abundantly…whom we confess and adore as one God in the Trinity of the sacred name.”

“Jesus Christ is the Lord and God in whom we believe, and whose coming we expect will soon take place, the judge of the living and the dead, who will render to everyone according to his works.”
St. Patrick (c. A.D. 452)

“I bind myself today in the strong power of an invocation of the Trinity – the faith of the Trinity in unity, the Creator of the universe.

Christ be with me, Christ within me
Christ behind me, Christ before me
Christ beside me, Christ to win me
Christ to comfort me and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger
Christ in hearts of all that love me
Christ in mouth of friend or stranger.”
– St. Patrick’s Breastplate (a prayer long attributed to St. Patrick. This is just a segment of it, actually, the prayer in its entirety is much longer)

St. Patrick, pray for us. Help us to remain faithful to God even when times are hard. Help us reach out to those who don’t understand and let us lead them closer to God.

Now don’t forget to wear green or you’ll get pinched! 😉

Lent, Aladdin, and Chocolate! Oh my!

Hey there, Heroic Catholics!

Mardi Gras has passed, and we have entered into the season known as Lent. 40 Days of penance, sacrifice, preparation, and waiting for Easter. Lent is a time when we grow closer to Christ, deepen our personal relationships with Him, by taking up or giving up things. Like some people during Lent will give up watching TV and use the time they’d be watching TV to pray or read the Bible. Others might add in something like 15 minutes of prayer. Some choose to fast every day. Each person’s Lenten sacrifice will be different than the next – and there is no comparing or judging them.

I say that because what is a sacrifice to one person might not be a sacrifice to the next. Case in point: myself. I’m someone who you don’t find giving up sweets anymore, cutting out sugar, or anything related to giving up food. I used to do that. Then I asked myself “why?” Why was I choosing to give up sweets, or all sugar, or snacks, or things like that? And the answer ended up being that I actually was using Lent as a time to be vain and try to see if I could lose weight by cutting things out of my diet. I wasn’t using it as a way to grow closer to Christ – I was trying to do it for myself and only me. I knew that that was not the reason for Lenten sacrifices. They are not to make us look better, they are to make us grow closer to Christ. If my reasoning for giving up certain types of food was to improve my body  then I’m going about this the wrong way.

So instead, for Lent this year, I’m doing something like eating a poptart for breakfast a few times a week. Or when we got doughnuts last Friday to celebrate my little sister’s birthday – I told myself I had to eat 2 whole ones. All the sugar, fat, unhealthy stuff I try to avoid. It was a struggle. A big one. And that’s why I chose to do it.

Sacrifices are personal things. You can’t compare what you’re doing to what you friend is doing. Because as you see from the previous paragraphs – what’s a Sacrifice for one person may not be a Sacrifice for the next. Iknow people who are giving up sweets or snacks for Lent and they’re doing it for the right reason – that is awesome! I know people who might be choosing to sleep on the floor every night instead of their soft bed – way to go! This Lent I challenge you to really look at your life and try to find a way that you can truly grow closer to Christ, deepen your personal relationship with Him, remember the suffering and struggles He went through for us! You can do it. You have a community of people who will help you out.

Be joyful about it. Remember what Christ said?

“Jesus said to his disciples:
“Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms,
do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray,
do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room,
close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast,
do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast,
anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.” (Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-18)

If you’re still trying to figure out what to do for Lent this year, maybe don’t give up something. Take up something instead. Like reading the Bible for X amount of time each day. Pray the Rosary. Learn something new about your Faith. You can do it. You’re awesome – God made you that way.

Now I want to tell you about why I’ve been absent from here lately.

I got involved in this thing called CYT. Christian Youth Theater. It’s cool, look it up. And since November we have been preparing and rehearsing for a big musical production, Aladdin Jr. Last weekend we put on 4 performances of it. It was crazy. Hectic. Insane. Tiring. And so much fun.

CYT is something that I never thought I”d enjoy. Never thought I’d like it. Never thought I could do it. Because I’m the quiet girl sitting off by herself. The one who doesn’t talk much. Yet put me on a stage, give me a character to be, and apparently I’m pretty good. 😉 God knows what we can do. He gave us talents and skills to use for His glory. Through CYT I’m able to share my Faith with many. I’m able to reach out to those who are struggling or needing an encouraging smile. And it’s fun.

I may not quite “fit in” with the people there, and I’m okay with that. They’re all super nice, welcoming, and I love that. My little sister has found some of her best friends through this and seeing that makes me smile.

And after our first show I had my first random fan of Heroic Catholic come running up to me, super excited to meet me. Here’s what happened:

Someone ran up to me after the show and started going on about how amazing the book is and how they love the dedication. Apparently mom sold her a book right before the show began.
Because I had no idea who they were or how they knew about me or got my book, but just a random fan finding me and talking to me. It was great. God is so good. He knows what I need and puts me in places to do as I should. I love it.

Meeting people who love Heroic Catholic makes my heart melt. Because it means that they have a desire to want to know and enrich their Faith even more. It almost makes me cry to think about.

Now I must sign off this post with a last paragraph about Chocolate.

I auditioned last November for a role in a Dinner Theater production called “Kidnapped: A Chocolate Whodunit.” I got one of the lead roles in it. It’s incredible! I’m up there performing with people who have been doing this for years, and I can do it almost as well as them. I love it. Today we have a dress rehearsal. Thursday is the performance. It’ll be great.

And that’s all for now, folks!

Have a topic you want me to write about here? Questions or comments? There’s a page for that! https://howtobecomeaheroiccatholic.com/contact-information/ Check it out!

A voice for the voiceless

Today marks the 42nd anniversary of a tragedy. This tragedy has taken the lives of over 57 million children. That’s not counting how many other lives have been injured. How many women have been forever scarred. How many men have been hurt by the loss of their child. How many siblings who are changed when they learn there should have been another face in that family picture.  How many people who were going to change the world were never given the chance. How many best friends were brutally torn apart. This tragedy is like a rock thrown into a pond. The single event sends ripples out, spreading far and wide. What is it, you may ask? Abortion.

What is abortion? To some it’s “terminating a pregnancy” or “exercising the right to choose”. What it really is, however, is something far darker. Abortion is the taking of a child’s life. I’ll spare you the gruesome details of how that is done. but you can Google it yourself if you want to feel your heart break into pieces. Because it’s awful. It’s horrific. It is the most barbaric crime that is legal and protected under law right now. In 1973 the Supreme Court ruled, in the case called Roe v. Wade, that abortion was legal.

As Catholics we are charged with the duty of upholding the value and dignity of each and every human life, from the moment of conception until natural death. You cannot be Catholic and “pro-choice”. The two are incompatible. As Heroic Catholics we will take a stand against this barbaric form death. We must. There is never a reason for abortion to be okay. And if we stand idly by and allow others to kill innocent babies then we are not doing our job.

The Church has been fighting this battle since long before Roe v. Wade was decided upon though. The Didache, the earliest Catechism written around 50 A.D., tells us that “..you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill what is begotten…”. 

And St. John Chrysostom writes about it as well:

chrysostomprolife

We must take a stand against all crimes against the dignity and value of human life. The biggest crime today is abortion. There are other pro-life issues, such as Euthanasia, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, In Vitro Fertilization, and more. Today I’m focusing on the one that has taken 57,000,000 + lives. I encourage you to pray today for all those who are, who have been, and who are considering being involved in an abortion.

OH. One last thing: There’s this HUGE March for Life going on today in Washington D.C! Pray for all those who are on it, it’s amazing and awesome and perhaps one year I will be able to go and participate in person rather than in spirit!

And here’s a quote from Pope Francis:

“Each child who is unborn, but unjustly condemned to be aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who, even before He was born, and then as soon as He was born, experienced the rejection of the world.”

Now go! Be the Pro-Life Generation!

Say it with me: “I am the Pro-Life Generation!” now turn to somebody around you and say, “YOU are the Pro-Life Generation!” now say it together, “WE ARE the Pro-Life Generation!”

WE will end abortion. We will see life respected and valued as it should be. Be the voice for the voiceless. Be a hero. I know you can.

Below is a poem I wrote a few years ago, it was a challenge from a friend for me to try out writing a poem of epic proportions (meaning REALLY LONG) so I did, and the result is a 24 page, 195 stanza (or 196 or 194 – I lost count), poem on the Pro-Life movement.  Read it if you want, I felt like I needed to include it today.

~

Catherine

An Endless March

Marching onward

with no end in sight

The silent warriors praying

For a stop to this “right”

 

Surely, they reason

This cannot remain so

The decision made

They pray it will go

 

“Today it’s okay

For the innocent to die?

Since when does the law

Ignore the cries?”

 

The enemy advances

Invading and taking charge

The people take a stand

Too stop the giant at large

 

The opposing gain ground

For now a new fortress

Is there to be found

And along with that fortress

 

comes all the sorrow

Of the children who won’t experience

The day of tomorrow.

This she shrugs off

 

And walks in anyway

To find out the truth

And how much she has to pay

Seated in a chair

 

With a positive test

To schedule an appointment

That will take care of the rest

The silent pleading

 

And the ongoing prayer

She gives the cold shoulder

To those who really care

“How many days

 

Must I deal with this ‘thing’”

That’s how much she reduced

The gift from the King

The woman to whom she was speaking

 

Opened up a book

And wrote down the girl’s name

Told her how long it took

“No one has to know

 

What you are doing

They can’t make you

Do something you’re rueing”

She took their advice

 

And signed off on the page

Ignoring the question

Concerning her age

Inside she was crying

 

And so very scared

If her mother found out

She woudln’t ever care

In fact, she thought

 

She would tell me I’m right

This thing inside me

Won’t be worth the fight

And so she left

 

With her cheeks stained with tears

Her body a wreck

And left with her fears

No one to tell her

 

That she’ll be okay

All she had left

Was a voice trying to stay

She walked to her car

 

And got inside

He would bring her to his house

Where she would reside

A victim of crimes

 

And no way to get out

She was too afraid

To let loose a shout

So now as she rode

 

And watched the people pray

She wanted them to help

She wished that they may

The day of the sentence

 

Drew closer and near

Her ‘thing’ was growing

And becoming very dear

She told him her thoughts

 

And for that she cried

He would kill her

If the thing didn’t die

Shaking and sobbing

 

She walked in again

The place seemed dreadful

And she had no friends

Years she had been hidden

 

Away from this world

Kept in a house

Where she couldn’t be heard

Now given the chance

 

To run away

She feared he would find her

And force her to stay

They told her she’d be alright

 

That things would be fine

Then they put her to sleep

So she wouldn’t whine

An hour later

 

She awoke in pain

Her baby was dead

What had she gained?

He took her back home

 

And tuned out her screams

As the baby she destroyed

Haunted her dreams

All this happened

 

Because of a law

No one cared for the girl

And too soon she would fall

The armies of people

 

Praying as one

Hoped things would soon change

And the race would be run

A man joined their forces

 

After he found out the news

That his wife of ten years

Was changing her views

He wanted to save

 

The child inside

But she was saying no

And left his side

So much had changed

 

He had reasoned

Since the days when they were young

Was it the change of the seasons?

He talked to the police

 

And he pleaded his cause

But as a father

He was told to mind the laws

No one would care

 

That it was his boy

THat she wanted dead

Like he was a broken toy

His voice wasn’t heard

 

And he mourned his loss

As she told him the news

His child was thrown out like moss

And so the enemy

 

Claimed another life

A baby destroyed

Purely out of strife

The legions of souls

 

Pleading for an end

To the war on these children

What more could they send?

Roses began to cover the ground

 

Petals and thorns together

The symbolism sharp

A reminder of the lives lost forever

She entered with no mind

 

To take life away

But her mind was changed

When she heard what her parents had to say

“You’re a failure,

 

you’ll never go far

All our money and dreams

Fed to the gar”

So pressured and angry

 

She ignored the petals on the ground

And crushed them beneath her heel

No love could be found

How dare these people

 

Try to end her right

To make a decision

Not start a fight

She cursed their names

 

And shook her head

Those people, she decided

Shouldn’t have gotten out of bed

And again the opposers

 

Destroyed a love

A child that was a gift

From heaven above

The people were saddened

 

And nearly turned away

Nothing they did

Could change this way

The thousands were falling

 

And millions already had

Yet many average people

Found no reason to be sad

After all, why would they?

 

To them it wasn’t a life

Nor a child at heart

They wanted to decide

When life would truly start

 

But still they persisted

And joined in their prayers

With those not yet born

to show their cares

 

Mommy, please say no

This isn’t the way I want to go

Daddy said he wants me to stay

Please don’t make me go away

 

I have my whole life to live

Please listen as I pray

My angel tells me I shouldn’t be scared

But I worry you don’t really care!

 

Mommy, please know that I love you

And I want to live!

I really do…

A heart was changed

 

And a child saved

A drop of white

In a black, empty cave

The war goes on

 

Unending murders and kills

All bending to the choosing

And what the woman wills

The fight goes on

 

And the warriors never tire

For inside them burns

A lifegiving fire

She walked from her car

 

And knelt down on the ground

Her knees cold and wet

But joy would abound

One day, so many years ago

 

She had been one to say

This wasn’t the way to go

But now, as she joined the cause

She hated to see women

 

Put life on pause

She wept for their lives

And for those lives that the ended

She wanted to be able

 

To have them all friended

For she knew in her heart

That all it would take

Is someone to listen

 

To all the heartache

When she made her choice

At the age of fifteen

No one told her

 

What it would really mean

She was alone

And had nowhere to turn

For she had a job

 

And had money to earn

Her family depended

On her willingness to work

And to care for a baby

 

Not a day could she shirk

So she silenced her cries

And thought she was being brave

All the while

 

There was a life she could have saved

Brought back from her memories

She noticed a sound

So slight and quiet

 

It was hard to be found

But it was the crying

Of a woman who was scared

Who needed a friend

 

Or someone who cared

Up from her knees

And she ran down the lane

Finding a girl

 

Hiding in the rain

At first ignored

And then told to leave

She asked what was wrong

 

And what did she need?

The girl wiped her eyes

And took a step towards her

“I need to get away”

 

Then she began to shiver.

A few more minutes

Of careful listening

And the story she found

 

Was most interesting

This girl was but twelve

And thrown out of home

Sent to the streets

 

Where she could roam

Her parents were mad

And her boyfriend no good

She was pregnant and upset

 

“Could you help me” she could.

A wound that was healed

And a smiling face

The woman received so much

 

Much more than just grace

Still, though all this joy

There’s no seeming end

To the killing of girls and boys

 

Hope is being lost

And joy thrown out

What is needed now

Is someone to scream and shout

 

A young girl

Took this task upon herself

And took lots of books

Off the library shelf

 

She studied on her own

Until she knew

Enough to say

Only what was true

 

But all too quickly

Her confidence wavered

They ripped her apart

Like a country road paver

 

She resolved to try again

And this time be strong

All the while the thousands

Lost in the wrong

 

Praying and fasting

Is what they were told

Would help bring an end

To this evil, not of old

 

They joined hand in hand

And so formed a chain

Standing outside

In the wind and the rain

 

Some turned away

When this they saw

Others just ignored them

And liked the law

 

They pleaded to have

THe praying removed

But the police found

There was nothing they could do.

 

It was perfectly legal

To gather and pray

So, to the abortionists dismay

The praying could stay.

 

It became the “new normal”

For some to curse

The lives of the prayerful

And attack their free verse

 

Such people like this one

Who were lost and alone

They did not know better

All they did was moan

 

She took up her stance

Holding her sign

Against the praying

Fighting against time

 

Her mother and family

Backed her up

They chanted and screamed

But someone asked, “what’s up?”

 

A kind young fellow

With a rosary in hand

Approached the crowd

This wasn’t planned

 

He looked at the girl

And then to her sign

And asked her this question

“Do you have some time?”

 

The girl was confused,

but ready to defend

Her points of view

This man’s view mend

 

“What do you want?

My mind is decided

I’ll talk to you

But no change is provided.”

 

The young man nodded

And just smiled to her

“I won’t change your mind

I just want to hear your answer.”

 

And so the two talked

For over an hour

The conversation was cut short

By an April shower

 

But by this time

The two were smiling

Laughing at a joke

Over the atrocious tiling

 

They shook hands

And parted for the day

But emails were exchanged

They had much more to say

 

Days like this

Happened more frequently

When the young people stood up

And spoke their view gently

 

But still, the ongoing war

With battles raging forward

THe end it somewhat near

But there’s a lot to work towards

 

Manning their stations

With weapons in hand

They have a constant vigil

Over the whole land

 

Some go out

And nobly speak to the crowds

Sometimes they listen

Other times they are run out

 

Others will sit

At their computer desks

And write up articles

That tell of the rest

 

These reach far and wide

With todays technology

But still not enough

To hold the raging sea

 

So many more stories

of the lives lost today

3700 are missing

That’s 3700 more than yesterday

 

The souls of the lost

With the cry of those being destroyed

rips at the hearts

Of all the girls and boys

 

They plead for their life

And wish for a chance

But no one can hear them

And they get speared with a lance

 

Sometimes though

They indeed survive

But then left on their own

They have no choice but to die

 

Unwanted by some

Loved by many

These little ones are finished

Thrown out like a penny

 

The workers and such

Who stand there all day

Leading women in

Just interested in their pay

 

One lady went in

With a sting in mind

To see if the truth

Could come out, she’d find

 

Her story was woven

And her tales so tall

But in the midst of these lies

It seemed very small

 

She got the evidence

Needed to condemn

And soon it went global

Attacking them

 

They tried to deny it

But the evidence was clear

Although nothing much

Could be done, as was feared

 

And so went the years

With silent pleas

To make this evil illegal

They were on their knees

 

Foundations were formed

And businesses started

To open the doors

To those not so close-hearted

 

One choice to save

A decision to live

She walked into the welcoming doors

And was glad she did

 

They comforted her tears

And told her not to worry

She smiled and felt safe

The months passed in a flurry

 

And proudly she came

Back one day

With her child in her hands

And thanked them for coming her way

 

A change was beginning

Could the tide turn?

After all these years

For what would these people yearn.

 

They watched yet another

Young girl walk in

And they shed her tears

As her child was thrown in a bin

 

Her mother had made her

And for year after year

She could hardly sleep

So great was her fear

 

The face of her child

Lost in the night

She ran and ran

But found no light

 

Seeking forgiveness

And wishing for love

She turned to the Church

And prayed to Above

 

It took many years

But soon she could say

I’m ready to move on

From that fateful day

 

This girl was blessed

And found a love so true

Many children had she

And many more smiles, too

 

But always, that thought

In the back of her mind

Made her turn away

She couldn’t release the bind

 

Joining hands with the others

Now growing to many

They prayed and they wished

For the children who seemed worth less than a penny

 

The voices of those

Who coudln’t be heard

Blended with all

And helped the hearts turn

 

Listen to us

We beg and we plead

Let us stay living

Give us a chance to breathe

 

Mommy and Daddy

Don’t destroy us all

But give us our days

To jump in the leaves of fall

 

Unanimous cries

And singing hearts

Making their way

It’s a good start.

 

Little children came out

With their mothers in tow

They wanted to see

The prayerful row

 

Each day more were lost

Yet a few were found

The minds were turning

Turning right around

 

All to often they watched

The child taken away

But the occasional joy

Of the one who got to stay

 

Legislators began

To pass some new laws

That helped greatly

This life giving cause

 

Still not enought

And just more cause for worry

As the enemy approached them

In more than a hurry

 

“Repeal the laws”

“Give us our rights”

“You can’t tell us all

How we live our life!”

 

Calmly and quietly

The speakers refuted

The claims of those

Who were so soon uprooted

 

Annual events

Soon came to be

Where people as a Nations

Prayed with a great need

 

They marched the Capitol

And swarmed the streets

With organized chaos

To the enemy, greet

 

Showing their faces

With great pride

They waited for a president

Who would take their side

 

Still, the wating

Has been going on

And things have gone worse

As the days have been done

 

Still choosing death

Over a natural right

That was granted to us all

When this Country first came to light

 

He wanted to stop her

But there he stood

With his little child in his hands

He wasn’t welcome in this neighborhood

 

How silly, he thought

That I cannot bring her inside

When the one carried by my wife

Can go in their to die

 

Why can’t I take

My little one as well?

To help convince her Mamma

The other one is swell

 

He banged on the door

But his words were ignored

As he waited outside

The thunder began to roar

 

Defeated at heart,

He retreated to his car

Where he could take shelter

From the rain coming from afar

 

In the midst of the storm

He saw a small light

Outside his window

Burning bright

 

At that moment,

He was certain he knew

His little angel

Was in heaven, it’s true

 

Head in his hands

He began to cry

And picked up the little girl

Saying, “Don’t you dare die.”

 

Onlookers watched

As this scene unfolded

Their prayers hadn’t been answered

Fate was already molded

 

Why didn’t his voice matter?

He wondered later that day

As he sat in the Church

Trying to think of what to say

 

He lost his little baby

As though it wasn’t his

And now he had to try

To love and forgive

 

Onward they marched

Each year, early on

To show support

For the ones unloved

 

Braving the snow

And ignoring the ice

They walked as one

Their meaning concise

 

Moving as a Nation

To show the whole truth

Of the terrible crimes

Allowed to take roost

 

Over and over

For years this has gone by

And still the law is in place

No one hears the silent cries

 

They think it’s for the best

That this remain a choice

But when did we have the right

To silence someone’s voice?

 

A country of twisted tales

Mixed with plenty of lies

Is what we have become

As our original Constitution dies

 

How long until once more

Freedom can reign

And all will be pleased

Can we be that again?

 

Candles float on the lake

As a sad and silent reminder

Of the millions gone

They thought it to be kinder

 

Other places have flags

In pink and blue

A vivid way to remind us

What we have done, it’s true

 

And still others

Will give up their voice

For just a day or so

To make their point

 

They bring to the surface

What happens to those

When the doors to the buildings

Don’t remain closed

 

Over a million a year

In this place alone

How can we ever

This behaviour, condone?

 

A troubling time

We have entered in

And so is this the start

of something much too big?

 

They look at the flag

And think of what it means

Then look at the Nation

And see the crushed dreams.

 

Clashing swords

Made of plastic and ink

The goal in mind

The other ship to sink!

 

An endless battle

Of wits and wills

All the while

More innocent blood spills

 

Ceaselessly murdered

For no fault of their own

Never will they

Know the comforts of a home

 

Some say it’s better

For them to not live

Than to live the life

That the parents could give

 

Such words and sayings

Many take to heart

And make the decision

To rip life apart

 

She ran to the clinic

To escape from her fears

Of the man she lived with

Who often brought her to tears

 

The child was growing

And she didn’t want it alive

Because then she’d have to care for it

And she’d sooner die

 

When offered her options

There was but one

She took it and all too soon

The deed was done

 

The bullets flew

Swift and fast

With so much against them

How can these laws last?

 

A tragic tale

Yet ringing out true

And young people ask

“Well what can I do?”

 

They’re scared to stand up

Because of what could go wrong

But with leadership

They’ll go right along

 

Still though, fears reign

Is it enough, or is this in vain?

Will there ever be a day

When the killings and murders will go away?

 

Marching forward

In an endless line

The people take a stand

All of the time

 

The end is getting closer

Finally in sight

WHen enough people stood up

To do what was right

 

It’s still an uphill battle

But the way is clear

WIth praying and speaking

The day shall draw near

 

Changing a mind

And touching a heart

Helping others

Sets them apart.

 

A kind word

Or gentle face

Could save someone

With ease and grace

 

They looked at her eyes

And told her no lies

She didn’t have to do this

Because doing this she despised

 

One took her hand

And lead her across the street

Where she would be met with kindess

And smiling faces would greet

 

They would care for both her

And the baby inside

Keeping both mother and child

Happy and alive

 

Cheers went up

From the surrounding crowd

As with a choice for life

Joy will abound

 

The battle is still going

But the tide has turned

The people are changing

And freedom for all life is yearned

 

Until that day comes

When victory reigns

And even thereafter

Prayers shall be said again and again

 

Especially now

When times are most trying

People are worried

About the children dying

 

And onward the soldiers marched

Forward with smiles

Their loving ways

Stretched for miles

 

The homeward journey

Would soon be complete

Then they would be done

And up off the streets

 

But the trials and toils

Gave them not a care

For hand in hand

They walked with prayer

 

No swords or guns

But with their weapons at hand

A string of beads

Against the law of the land

 

Some with their signs

Others with their books

Not caring at all

About all the weird looks

 

Onward they walk

Again and again

Until life shall win

And love shall reign once again.

 

The silent pleas

Have not been ignored

In fact, with the others

They are implored.

 

Souls of those

Sent to heaven above

Keep turning the hearts

So that all might love

 

Intercede on our part

And keep us in mind

As we hope to live

And see the sun shine.

 

Give our thanks to the ones

Who fight for our cause

Until the day

When truth reigns in the laws

 

Thanks be for all

Those fighting for life

And standing up for

All that’s right.

 

So ends this tale

But the battle is true

Protecting the next generation

Is a job for me and you.

Walking the Walk

In How to Become a Heroic Catholic, I remind people that we are all called to spread the word of Christ and the Faith which He established here on earth. It’s a universal call we all share. I encourage all my readers to be bold and unafraid when spreading their Faith!

That’s something that is easy to ask others to do. Doing it myself? That’s a bit trickier. I’ll admit – it’s far easier to talk the talk than to walk the walk. Today I had to go far out of my comfort zone and talk in front of – not a huge crowd, not a full Church of eyes staring at me, nothing like that – but an even harder audience: my fellow teenagers. Now, I know, you might be tempted to think that it’d be easier. For some people that may be true. For me it’s not. But when you’re trying to do as God is calling you will have to do things that might push what you’re comfortable doing. He’ll always give you the strength you need to do His will though. That’s something I’ve learned.

Anyway, let me tell you a bit more about the talk I gave today and the experience it was. It was amazing.

I walk up to the school and see this on windows:

photo (38)

That’s me. And my book. ON A POSTER. Like – that has to be one of the coolest things I’ve seen. They gave me one of them ^_^ it’s going in my scrapbook.

Seriously though, it was just a “WOW” moment. These people were putting up signs, getting students excited, about me coming talk to them. How humbling is that, to realize how much people are looking up to you, how much they are wanting to share in the message of Christ…just awesome. I don’ t know that I can describe how it makes me feel. It’s a terrific feeling, I think. What I guess I mean is that this is beyond what I could have imagined back in 2013 when I began writing this book. Had I known that God would call me to start speaking and getting in front of groups to promote and share the book, there is a good chance it never would have made it past the rough draft.  So God was patient with me, He slowly is revealing all He is calling me to be and do. And I’m okay with that. Taking it one step at a time.

I tried to tell the students (all highschool, by the way) about my writing process and how much work goes into books. I certainly got a reaction from them after showing them how many different drafts of Heroic Catholic it took before the final draft was done:

photo 2 (17)

(That’s one 3″ binder stuffed full, and three 1″ binders stuffed full. 11 drafts in all shown right there.)

And how even after that, you still find errors in your proof copy:

photo 4 (8)

It was neat to be able to tell them and have them truly appreciate all the work that goes into writing. Some of them were writers – so I made sure to tell them that it’s all worth it. Because it truly is. It may not have been fun to sit there and edit through all that, having people point out every little thing that is wrong, but it was worth it. So that I could put out the best book of my ability.

The highschoolers asked a lot of questions. Which was nice – I was scared I’d be standing up in the front in awkward silence. Instead, they asked me questions like “How long did writing take?” (rough draft took ~3 months). And “What’s your writing process like?”

To explain the answer to that one, I pointed to my nice board:

photo 1 (14)

That board has my plot and outline for the pro-life book I’m working on.  I used a similar process when planning out Heroic Catholic. (Except I hadn’t upgraded to post-it notes yet. I was using index cards and tape for Heroic Catholic).

I had a great time talking to the students at St. Michael’s. They were amazing. I look forward to the next time I get to talk to my fellow highschool students, the concept is slowly losing its terror.

~

Catherine

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year y’all! Did you stay up till Midnight last night? I did. I actually stayed up till about 2am…hey, it’s the Holidays. It’s cool. 😉

Today is awesome in so many ways.  But first – we can’t forget that not only is today the New Year (!!!!) it’s also a solemnity in the Church! The Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.

What is this solemnity about? Celebrating how Awesome God is. He allowed Mary to become the mother of His only Son – Jesus Christ our savior.

Just take a closer look at the “Hail Mary” with me:

When we say “Hail Mary” we are praising her for the awesome things God has allowed to come through her.

When we say “Full of Grace” like the Angel Gabriel did, we are recognizing that God even let Mary be free from sin! She was full of Grace! So that she would be prepared to receive into her womb the King of Kings – the Second Person in the Holy Trinity – Jesus who is God.

When we say “The Lord is with thee” we realize that God is/was with Mary the whole time. He had set her apart from women, as we see in the next line:

“Blessed art thou among women!” She is the New Eve, chosen by God to bring our Savoir into the world. She is blessed! And we rightly call her so!

“Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus” This is pretty obvious. The fruit of Mary’s womb is Jesus. 😉 We are calling Jesus Blessed, as His is.

When we say, “Holy Mary” we are glorifying Mary for how God has sanctified her and made her Holy!

“Mother of God” – this is simple. Mary is the Mother of Jesus. Jesus is God. Therefore Mary is the Mother of God!

“Pray for us sinners” Mary can pray for us. The saints in Heaven can pray for us. We are simply asking that Mary will intercede for us, pray for us, help us out.

“Now and at the hour of our death” we want the prayers of Mary now and until we die. Because Jesus gave Mary to us as our Mother when he was on the cross. I want my earthly mother to pray for me – just like I want my Heavenly Mother to pray for me.

Amen. I believe.

We honor Mary because God saw fit to honor her, and Jesus honored her here on Earth.

So that’s your religion lesson from me for today 😉

BUT before I move on, a couple quotes from the early Church Fathers on Mary:

“Even though Eve had Adam for a husband, she was still a virgin…. By disobeying, she became the cause of death for herself and for the whole human race. IN the same way, Mary, though she also had a husband, was still a virgin, and by obeying, she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race…. The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by Mary’s obedience. What eve bound through her unbelief, Mary loosed by her faith.” – St. Irenaeus of Lyons (born ~150 A.D.)

“Christ, being God, became man for our sake and was born of Mary, Mother of God, to free us from the devil’s power” – St. Athanasius (On Virginity 3 [Mid 300’s] )

“If anyone does not agree that Holy Mary is Mother of God, he is at odds with the Godhead.” [Letters to Cledonius the Priest 101 (A.D. 382)] – St. Gregory of Nazianz

Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.

~~~~

 Now, onto other matters.

I found out something really neat today! One of the author groups I’m part of on Facebook posted a challenge today: Find the 2,015th word in your book.  So I looked up my 2,015th word. Guess what it is?

“Jesus”.

That’s awesome, isn’t it? A little sign, in my  mind, that I’m doing the right thing.

Guess what last year’s word was? “When”. And you know what most of last year was about? Wondering “When” this book would be done and published!

The year before that? “Now.” in 2013 I started writing this book. And my 2,013th word was “Now”.  The time for me to begin it was “Now”. How cool? 😀

God is so awesome! I love these little neat signs He leaves.

Also, I don’t know if you saw my facebook post or not – but two weekends ago I had the opportunity to talk about me and my book after all Masses at my parish.  After Mass, people had the opportunity to purchase the book as well. I sold out completely. We had 415 books on hand. Counting all the ones we found under seats in the car, in purses and bags, etc. Every single one of them was sold. That’s 415 people, at least, who will be able to learn something about their Faith through my words! That’s incredible!

It’s all through Him. God is allowing these awesome things to happen. I love it.

Only bad thing about running out of books is it takes almost 2 weeks to get more in stock! But that’s a good problem to have 😉 Very good problem.

I wish y’all a happy New Year. May it be filled with blessings, learning, Faith, hope, charity, and love. Keep God at your center and He’ll guide your way. I know it.  God is working amazing things.

Love y’all, praying for y’all! Please continue to keep me in your prayers as well. This New Year will bring lots of good things.

~

Catherine

The Immaculate Conception

Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

What does that mean?

Today we celebrate the awesome power of God and how He saved Mary from being tarnished by the stain of sin so she could be made worthy to carry His Divine Son within her womb.

And this isn’t something new. I’ve been reading these books:

Awesome Reading about Mary

And

More Awesome Reading on Mary

They are so cool! Like it takes you through history and shows you what the Saints and Church Fathers wrote about our Blessed Mother! INCLUDING how most of them believed that she was free from sin.  It’s not a new belief we made up recently. It’s not something that was unheard of or shot down in the Church at any point.  It’s been a belief for thousands of years.

And that’s not all.  This belief of Mary being Immaculately Conceived is rooted in the Bible. Mary is the New Ark of the Covenant, read below to see what I mean:

“Also, could Jesus have been born from a sinful woman? No, I don’t think so. Mary is the new Ark of the Covenant.  In the Old Testament the Ark of the Covenant was a gilded chest, commissioned by God, to carry the staff of Aaron, a jar of Manna, and the stone blocks on which the Ten Commandments were written.  It was also the way God communicated with the people.  In a way, the Ark contained the Spirit of the Lord.  It was revered, shown reverence, and people celebrated it!

If you think back to the Old Testament, there is a story of King David going to retrieve the Ark of the Covenant.(2 Samuel 6) The actual wording is, he arose and went. Why is that important? Take a look at what St. Luke says in his Gospel: Mary arose and went to visit Elizabeth. When Mary arrived, Elizabeth was in awe and filled with joy; much like David when he stood before the Ark. Elizabeth’s baby (John the Baptist) leapt for joy in his mother’s womb. Guess what David did? He danced and praised God with excitement before the Ark. And finally, Luke adds that Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months. The Ark was temporarily stationed in the “House of Obededom” for a waiting period of three months.

Add all these parallels together and it’s really clear that Mary is now assuming the role that was once the role of the Ark of the Covenant. Like that golden chest, she’s a sacred vessel where the Lord’s presence dwells with His people.  We revere and celebrate Mary because she is the new, pure Ark of the Covenant.  (This idea came from the Ignatius Study Bible, Biblical commentary by Schott Hahn and Curtis Mitch.)”

Now you know why we say Mary is without sin. 😉

If you want to learn more about Mary and what the Catholic Church believes, get those books I mentioned earlier and don’t forget to read about it in chapter 7 of my book – How to Become a Heroic Catholic.