Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How (not) to pray! ...just listen.

How's your Lenten journey so far, friends? ^_^
For me, it seems like the closer I try to get to God, the more I see how swiss-cheesy I am. Too many holes in various places, so much so that I wonder how the saints became so holy instead of "hole-y".
This Lent I'm trying to patch up all those holes, especially when it comes to praying. Of course, I do like praying! When I actually get around to it and concentrate, it such an amazing and humbling experience knowing that you're in the presence of God, talking with Him (you talk with Him because, contrary to popular belief, He has much more to say to you, than you do Him). I'd quite literally die if I didn't make time to pray.

"Ok, Miss Cy-Cy, so if you like praying so much, how come you're not such a good job?"
Hmm, good question.

First off, you'll have to read this completely hilarious (and unfortunately, completely true in my case!) post: 7 Reasons Why I Stink at Praying many reasons did you put a check mark beside? Don't worry, I put one beside all seven of them, so there's no way you could possibly beat my perfect score. Now you know why I need to work on praying, haha...

To me, praying is often like attending a symphony event. At first, you are enraptured by the sheer beauty and excitement of the music. Your entire self thrills with the woodwinds, shouts with the brass, breathes with the strings, and your heart thumps to the rhythm of the percussion. It's almost as if you become a part of the music. Yet somewhere along the music's story your seat gets unnaturally hard, you zip up your jacket and grumble at the overenthusiastic AC, you notice your seat neighbor has an annoyingly off sense of rhythm, and you wonder why the composer would add so many notes and where on earth the music is going. It's difficult to appreciate the music when you're so distracted, and you find that you lost focus of that beautiful sound with which you were so enamored.
The music never left, you simply forgot that it was there, having noticed all the little selfish things that you unintentionally gave a front seat to. The music is still there, waiting for you to fall in love with it again. It takes much for you to re-shift your focus like a camera, forever zooming in and out to find that right setting. No one said that tuning an instrument (musical, a camera, or yourself) was easy to do at first. It takes attending many, many concerts to become a listener - an audience.
It's worth it, though. When you quiet your heart and fall back into the music, AKA that "still, small Voice" and let it fill your soul, you forget all the effort it took and become lost in sweet melody.

So while I can't exactly tell you how to pray (because everyone is different when it comes to prayer life) I can say that if you come to God with a humble, quiet, and repentant heart, there's a good chance that you'll hear a couple of notes...and maybe you'll end up hearing the entire symphony.

Monday, March 14, 2011

What Planned Parenthood is's not a rumor, it's not something pro-life "fanatics" are making up. It's the truth. It's a very sad, cold truth about what's happening to our nation. The facts are there, and they point to injustice. Injustice is not what our country is about.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pray for our brothers in sisters in Japan!

Imagine if this had happened to us...

...imagine, then pray for those whom it has happened to.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fish and Lent

"P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney!"

Dory, that fun, perky little fish from Finding Nemo is one of our favorite movie characters. We can even recite her lines better than the rest of the characters', more than any other character from any other movie for that matter! (If only you could hear recordings of my siblings and friends recite Dory from start to finish! It's hilarious!)
Poor Dory has one fatal flaw, though. She has short-term memory loss and "forgets things almost instantly." Things would be going along just swimmingly...until she forgets what she was doing or where she was going.

You're probably wondering whether this has anything to do with Lent, or whether the poor blogger has ended up like Dory and forgot what the correlation was. (Or maybe it has something to do with Catholics and fish on fridays, but...yeah...let's not get into that. Poor Dory.) Actually, Dory has much in common with the Israelites about whom we read during the latter parts of Lent, but more specifically, she has much in common with us.
Doesn't it seem to you that the Israelites had everything going for them until they "forgot" how loving God was? Doesn't it seem to you that we tend to become so complacent in our faith? We get so comfortable staying where we are in our lives so much so that we forget what we're really supposed to be doing, and it takes a tsunami to shove us off our beach chair and do something to solidly live out our Christianity.

That's what Lent can do. It's a reminder of what we were supposed to be doing in the first place; it brings us back to the basics through our denying ourselves of things we don't really need.
Do I really need to watch all the TV shows that I give so much time for? Do I really need to go shopping for things that will make me look glamourous? Do I really need to be on Facebook so long? (Yeeesss!! *buries face in arms*)
Take a step back. Are these things doing anything to help us focus our lives around God? Are these going to help us fit through the narrow gate? By refocusing the time we use for these things - ironically, by dropping these and taking up our Crosses - we can end up living lives that are more worth living.

Like Dory, we need that reminder to stay focused on our "P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney." AKA, Heaven.
So have a blessed Lent, everyone! And stay focused! =)

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Blogosphere expanded!

...Or, at least my knowledge of it's unending reaches did, haha! =D
Check the sidebar for some links to some pretty awesome blogs: The Catholic Young Women, Little Flower's Crown of Roses, From a Catholic Daughter, and ...Where God Finds Me....
And yes, these are girls' blogs (although, you can still read them, even if you happen to be a boy). ;-) Girls just rock that way, especially when they absolutely LOVE God the way these young women do. So do visit them and listen as they share their journeys.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sometimes Cy is a lot like *sigh*

"My son, when you come to serve the LORD, prepare yourself for trials.
Be sincere of heart and steadfast, undisturbed in time of adversity.
Cling to him, forsake him not; thus will your future be great.
Accept whatever befalls you, in crushing misfortune be patient;
For in fire gold is tested, and worthy men in the crucible of humiliation.
Trust God and he will help you; make straight your ways and hope in him.
You who fear the LORD, wait for his mercy, turn not away lest you fall.
You who fear the LORD, trust him, and your reward will not be lost.
You who fear the LORD, hope for good things, for lasting joy and mercy.
Study the generations long past and understand; has anyone hoped in the LORD and been disappointed? Has anyone persevered in his fear and been forsaken? has anyone called upon him and been rebuffed?
Compassionate and merciful is the LORD; he forgives sins, he saves in time of trouble."
~Sirach 2:1-11"

Sometimes it feels like you're walking in the pouring rain without an umbrella, cold and shivering while several cars pass you by. You look balefully to the sky and wonder when the rain is ever going to give out and a stop...and when it doesn't, you yourself begin to reflect the overcast weather. Now you could choose to wear your inner frown and hunch your shoulders in depression, but let's say you swallow your disappointment and carry on as bravely as you can.
Yeah. It sounds a lot like martyrdom. Even if it isn't actual martyrdom (or it's only a small one in reality) it can feel like it's your entire world at the moment.

As a young Catholic girl, I'm beginning to realize many things that I never experienced before. Like living in a world that pretty much sees me as some freaky alien and keeps reaching for the Raid spray (an exaggerating exaggeration, but it comes close). There's so much that we young Catholics have to deal with that it almost seems like we're going to drown. Almost, were it not for our strong foundation. That strong foundation that Father read from the Gospel this morning...suddenly, when the rains are coming down and the floods are coming up, I have a greater appreciation for my faith. So as long as that firm Rock is there, it doesn't matter if I can't see past the rain to what's up ahead. I know He can.

So now it's just the attitude you decide to live by. It's one thing to trust God, but can you trust Him with a hopeful smile on your face? Like Saint Therese said, you can suffer, but the difference is when you suffer well.

The rain can only last for so long. There's only so much water in the world. Someday soon, the clouds will have to give up. So I'm looking up with a deep breath and a Hail Mary, waiting for that first glimpse of Marian blue....