Saturday, November 30, 2013


I can hardly believe that Advent is already upon us!  It's one of my favorite seasons, but it always seems to sneak up on me, nevertheless.

Advent, it seems, is one of the most misunderstood liturgical seasons.  I believe most of my followers know these things already, but let me reiterate: Advent is a penitential season.  The color is purple, the universal color of penance in the liturgy.  You should not be eating a bunch of chocolate, playing Christmas carols, and going to multitudinous Christmas parties during Advent.  (I understand that sometimes one is constrained to attend a party - that's obviously an exception.) Trust me, your Christmas will be much more joyful if you've been doing penance for four weeks!

So what should you be doing during Advent?  Well, there are plenty of traditions to choose from, but in general, Advent should have a theme of recollection and detachment from the world: one should try to separate oneself from frivolities like movies (and TV shows), desserts, secular music, etc.  If we think about it even a little, we can find plenty of things that we do all the time which simply have no value (facebook, tumblr, youtube, movie/TV-show-marathons, I'm looking at you here) and that we would benefit from cutting out of our lives as much as possible.

Now, it's very important to make our penances and sacrifices not just a negative thing -- I mean negative in the sense of taking something away.  Yes, you subtract things from your life, but it's pointless unless you fill up that space with holy things.  Advent is a great time for taking up daily meditations and catching up on your spiritual reading.  Take the time when you would be browsing your favorite websites or watching super-lame Classic Who episodes (not that I have ever done such a thing) and read a spiritual classic or the lives of the saints, say a rosary, make a meditation, make an extra effort to prepare properly and give thanks for your Communion, do an act of charity.  These are all positive things which fill up the void that we usually try (ultimately unsuccessfully) to satisfy with senseless entertainment.

Because I have a special pet peeve against inappropriately-timed Christmas music (I can look at the floor to avoid gaudy decorations, but there's no salvation from horribly-adapted carols), I made you all a special 8tracks playlist of appropriate music for Advent. I hope you enjoy it, and may your Advent be truly blessed!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Favorite Poetry: Fire and Ice

This is one of my favorite Robert Frost poems -- I like poetry that lingers in the back of my mind, and this poem always has.  Also, I admit to always being interested in apocalyptic speculations, so when I think of it, I always wonder exactly how the actual destruction of the world will take place.  I doubt it will end in ice, but fire of some sort seems likely...or perhaps God will simply stop thinking about it, and it'll blink out like a snuffed candle.  That seems most likely to me.
Well, enough rambling.  Sorry it's such a short poem!

Fire and Ice
Robert Frost
Some say the world will end in fire,
  Some say in ice.
  From what I've tasted of desire
  I hold with those who favor fire.
  But if it had to perish twice,
  I think I know enough of hate
  To know that for destruction ice
  Is also great
  And would suffice.

Images from Google Images.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

{Not} Learning Patience & Arizonian Adventures

Honestly, I'm writing this post because I can't think of anything more interesting to write about and it's been two weeks since my last post.  I'm nearly certain that being at a loss for something to write about is a direct result of actually having time to write.  Murphy's law and all that.

So, two months ago (has it really been that long???) I visited the Sisters of St. Thomas Aquinas near Phoenix, AZ, liked it, and talked with the Sister in charge about becoming a postulant.  I was ready to enter as soon as possible, but then my long-suffering priest (a.k.a The Voice of Reason And Prudence Who Is Always Making Victoria Do Hard Things) recommended that I wait and try one more convent before making a final decision.  So from thence I embarked on another stage in the ongoing saga of Victoria Learns Patience (except not really cause I'm still impatient) - this time, through waiting for letters from the second convent I contacted.  This process took about a month altogether, just to find out in the end that they don't have visitors' accommodations and they don't accept postulants until the end of August.  Bummer.  So now I'm waiting for the aforementioned priest-a.k.a-voice-of-reason to, in his words, "figure something out" and then inform me what the something is and how I'm going to do it.  I'm telling you, when I write my autobiography (because of course my life will be worth one) I shall call it The Waiting Game.

The convent of the Sisters of St. Thomas Aquinas - El Mirage, AZ.  (photo mine)

Incidentally, Arizona has captured something in me - I wouldn't say my heart, but definitely something in me is attracted to something about it.  Despite its extreme lack of grass and trees and clouds, I still liked it.  Perhaps it was simply because that's where the Sisters are, or even just because it's so new and completely different from anything I am used to.  I don't know.  But the two-and-a-half uncannily bright, hot days I spent there are pretty deeply seared into my imagination - pun intended.  Especially the first morning (I arrived at night), when I opened the door at fifteen minutes past six to singing birds, cactus flowers, and a strange landscape soaked in dazzlingly golden light.  (It was even better because it was early enough that it hadn't gotten hot yet.)

(also mine)

On the way back I had more plane adventures involving switched flights, a thing that was actually not a boarding pass, Victoria-caused security breaches, and sitting in Washington-Reagan airport eating Cinnabon at 10:00 P.M.  My dear readers, heed my warning: DO NOT eat Cinnabon, especially that late at night.  It will make you very sick.  I have since sworn never to eat anything from that place again.

Oh yeah, and if you're ever in the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport, do yourself a favor and get a burrito from the burrito place, the name of which, if I ever knew at all, I don't remember.  You'll know it by the fact that said burrito costs ten dollars.  But it is large and extremely delicious and will haunt your dreams for a long time afterwards.

 I cannot think of anything else to say and I have an unconquerable desire to end this post by saying "THE END" in big letters.  I am not fighting this temptation.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Things Saints Taught Me {Feast of All Saints}

*Sorry this got up so late at night.  I set it to publish automatically and apparently I did something wrong.*

A happy and blessed feast of All Saints to you all!  Please visit the ever-trusty Fisheaters for customs and a reading for today's glorious feast.

A few nights ago I was discussing spiritual reading with an acquaintance (online, of course...), and I realized how many basic truths have been driven home to me by reading lives of the saints or their writings.  Sometimes you just need another person's example to make things clear.  So, in honor of this celebration of all saints, both known and forgotten, I have listed the saints from whom I've learned things with the lesson learned, put as simply and briefly as possible.  (That was hard, by the way, especially for Therese and Teresa, on whom I probably could have expounded for multiple paragraphs. So if any of you want explanation or expounding, I will give it gladly.)

St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Abandon yourself to God's Will.

St. Francis of Assisi

Truly live the Gospel.

St. Teresa of Ávila

Through grace, we can be elevated to complete union with God.

St. Catherine of Siena

"Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire."

St. Augustine of Hippo

No matter how great your sins have been, there is hope through repentance and amendment.

St. Thomas Aquinas

The greatest human achievements are as nothing compared to the majesty and glory of God.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...