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Successfully avoiding commercialized Valentine’s Day

I am a big fan of St.Valentine. The commercialized sappiness his feast day as been covered with by secular society…not so much. Even as a young thing I cringed past the aisle’s of pink and red chocolate hearts at the grocery store, the obnoxiously large stuffed animals, the painfully sappy cards. This isn’t out of bitterness, au contraire, for I love the legend that an early church bishop secretly married young people in the catacombs when Christians were under persecution. Not much of his life has concrete evidence, most of it comes from myths and legends. But, as they say, myths and legends come from somewhere. He is recognized as an early Roman Martyr, and is the patron of young love, newlyweds, happy marriages, etc.

Image result for cogsworth flowers chocolatesUnfortunately, this man of faith and courage has been badly exploited by society. Gone is the respect we should be paying his courage, strength and conviction. It has been replaced with “love” based trivial consumerism. St.Valentine’s Day should be used to honour the man who risked in order to do God’s will for the spiritual benefit of Christianity, the young in particular. It should be to celebrate and give thanks for the True & Everlasting Love you have, the Love you have to give. Our loved ones are included in this, of course. But, to quote Cogsworth, “Flowers, chocolates, promises you don’t intend to keep” don’t have a real place on this valorous man’s feast. (Well, flowers and chocolate always have a place, but you get my meaning).

Unintentionally I haven’t entered a grocery store of late, and Valentine’s Day was a Tuesday this year, which is one of the longest & busiest of my work week. Ergo, I barely remembered it was Valentine’s Day, which was rather pleasant. I commemorated the Saint in my own way, and successfully avoided the nauseating consumerism attached to this day.

On an interesting note, a parish lady sent me this article yesterday. How accurate it is, who knows, I’m not a scientific brain. But it’s still an enjoyable concept, to think that perhaps we can now put a face to the name of Valentine.

St. Valentine, pray for us!

 

 

 

 

I didn’t steal it, God gave it to me: part I

Girls, this one’s for you.

Immodesty. The word so many Catholic girls cringe at.

I’ve grown up in an authentically Catholic home, where we were encouraged to grow and strive for virtue. Modesty is one of the virtues I was encouraged to cultivate. Basic principles I learned as a child – don’t show too much skin, no short skirts (short being above the knee), no painted on pants, don’t show you’re midriff, no bikini’s, etc etc, basic principles to achieve dignity and modesty in your dress. As a teen, I further learned some history of fashion. I was horrified at the idea that a prostitute was commissioned to model the first bikini because no other would dare do it. Also to learn that the flapper dress was initially designed to make the female figure more boy-like – the loose & low bodice intended to hide the curves of the bust & waist. I read an enlightening book on modesty and dress, entitled “Dressing with Dignity” by Colleen Hammond. Read it yourself to find out more details. I’ve always loved clothing. My mother will no doubt vouch for my exuberant tastes and wardrobe choices even as a toddler – changing my skirts and dresses three times a day merely so I could wear more then one awesome outfit. From a very young age my father would compliment my floral patterned dress, or comment on the drastically 90’s sweater I had paired with frilly socks and a scrunchy. If Dad liked my outfit, it was surely a success – ergo, my flair for dress took it’s flight from a very young age.

Modesty is a virtue we, as Catholics, are encouraged to cultivate. Not only in dress, but in attitude. Charity is also a virtue – the highest of virtues, in fact. Modesty and charity. You can be charitable to your neighbour by being modest, but you can also be uncharitable to your neighbour by putting modesty as the highest virtue. Yes, modesty is a virtue which women should strive for. It is one that should be encouraged, cultivated, should be second nature to us. Eventually it should be such a habit that we don’t need to think about it anymore. However, like two sides to a coin, there are two sides to modesty. There is external modesty (which is typically the stressed side of modesty) and internal modesty. External modesty would include dress and body language, while internal modesty would include the state of his/her soul. They do go hand-in-hand, but they are different and each require their own attention to ultimately form the full virtue of true modesty. The internal state of one’s soul comes first, and it will be reflected by the exterior of one’s body. External modesty means nothing without the internal. Without the interior beauty of a soul, the exterior quickly fades. One could be forced by her parents to dress like a frump (under the guise of “modesty”) but without the interior soul’s modesty and virtue, her actions and behaviour will counter that “exterior modesty” so drastically that it wouldn’t matter how much of her is covered because her mind, attitude and body language say the opposite. Just as a beautiful soul will cause an average face to be beautiful, if the interior is striving for virtue, it will manifest itself exteriorly. As one grows in virtue, one adapts and changes the exterior to fit what is happening on the interior. It is true that the outside will affect the inside. An ordered & cleanly home will encourage an ordered & cleanly soul, but it will not make one. The desire for order, cleanliness & virtue has to come from within the soul before it manifests itself on the outside, keeping an ordered & cleanly home on a consistent basis.

Modesty as defined by the ‘Catholic Dictionary’: the virtue that moderates all the internal and external movements and appearance of a person according to his or her endowments, possessions, and station in life.

Modesty as defined by the ‘Oxford Dictionary’: 1. The quality or state of being unassuming in the estimation of one’s abilities; 2. The quality of being relatively moderate, limited, or small in amount, rate, or level; 3. Behaviour, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency

Where the concept that modesty means “hide” or “cover” came from I will never know or understand. Neither of these definitions use either of those words, or synonyms of those words. “Moderate” comes from the latin word “moderari: to restrain, or control”. So where does this cult-ish idea of completely covering and hiding away what you’ve rightfully been given by God Himself come from? Where are it’s roots? Surely not from dogmatic teachings – never have I heard or read anything that demands these strict and objectifying rules.

That’s right, I just said “objectifying”. Because in my opinion this trad modesty cult is no better then the m*slims and their b*rka’s. I recently heard, while conversing about this subject, the phrase: “I didn’t steal it, God Himself gave it to me.” How brilliantly this stated exactly how I felt! Treating what you’ve been given by God Himself as if it is something to be shamed, is disrespecting and objectifying God’s creation. The tabernacle is not covered with ugly dirty rugs to hide it away from the public eye. Rather, it is adorned and locked safely to give glory and preserve what is contained inside of it. So the female body shouldn’t be hidden under unflattering clothing to hide away from the male eye. Rather, it should be adorned and protected to preserve the beauty within.

Yes, as women, it is our responsibility to preserve and protect the men from falling into sin because of our own negligence in properly adorning our bodies. If the tabernacle isn’t properly veiled and locked, curiosity could stir from a passer-by and Our Lord could be at risk, as the passer-by will be of committing a sacrilege. So too if the female body isn’t properly veiled and protected, curiosity could stir from a passer-by and result in sin for both the passer-by and the keeper.

In the true spirit of modesty, we should adorn our bodies in such a way that will be pleasing to Our Lord, as our bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost. But to hide, cover, and pretend our bodies are not what they were created for, is to treat God’s creation & gift to us falsely. We should beautify our bodies through dignifying dress, attract the eye to admiration without fully revealing and exposing what is protected underneath.

More on this subject to come.

 

 

 

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice Review

 


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*WARNING: SPOILER ALERTS*

So yes, I saw the newest DC Superhero movie, and contrary to vast public reviews, thought it quite good. The plot was interesting, there were some new twists to classic characters without shattering who we know them to be, it avoided explanation scenes of how Batman came to be (which I liked, since we all know the general gist of it already), the fight scenes weren’t over-the-top, the score by Hans Zimmer was excellent, Wonder Woman was a surprisingly good addition, and Clark & Martha’s mother/son relationship (continued from “Man of Steel”) was beautiful.

[It wasn’t perfect, and the things I disliked about it were the blasphemy, Batman’s dream sequences (details further down), and the too-personal bath scene with Clark & Lois. Although the conversation is sweet and shows the characters love for one another, did it really have to be with Lois in the bath tub? No. But it is Hollywood after all.]

I am a die-hard Superman fan, mainly for the exact reason so many others dislike him – he’s “too perfect”. (What reason is that to dislike a character? I love that Superman is nearly indestructible, that his outer armour is so strong he is almost impossible to bring down. There are temptations for him as well but he over comes them without a second thought because he knows the right thing to do, and chooses to do it at all costs. Are we not all called to this kind of virtue?)

Batman’s dark and brooding brokenness (mainly due to his parents death when he was a child) leads him to hate this new “god-like” being, Superman. He sees the destruction caused by Superman and hates the results of it, it’s affect on children (as we see in the opening scene when he saves a little girl whose mother is still in a tumbling/burning building, i.e, dead) and on the rest of his city. As time goes on and he sees more death and destruction (seemingly) caused by Superman, an intense hatred develops deep in his being for Superman. But the failure to invest any thought or emotion in understanding this un-human being is very apparent, and it would seem that this is the perfect opportunity for Batman to unleash his life-long anger by taking down Superman.

Batman is a vigilante. His ways aren’t ethical or humane – as we see when one of his targets has been branded with his bat symbol. The end does justify the means, in Batman’s world. Although he is intelligent, his inability to separate his rabid emotion from the voice of reason is his biggest downfall. This is proved again through his (three?) dream sequences, which basically just emphasize his fear/opinion that Superman is in fact a power hungry beastly demigod. And despite them being merely dreams, Batman allows these dreams to fester his hatred of Superman.

Superman too has sadness and loss in his past, but unlike Batman, he uses it to grow further in the love he was taught by his parents. He sees the power he has, and strives to use it to the best of his ability for the sake of others. He’s found a good woman he loves and will stop at nothing to protect her. The goodness within him is rooted down to his core. He will always do the right thing, no matter it’s affect on him.

He falls into a set up which results in the vast population believing he is a power-hungry murderer who will turn against them at any moment. Instead of countering this attack, he is saddened and takes the hit. He continues to love and treat fairly those who persecute him. Obviously he disapproves of the Bat’s violent ways around and through the law. You could argue that Superman also thinks himself above the law (which is the biggest point of enmity in the movie), but his interference only surfaces in matters of life and death, and his violence is kept to necessary strides – unlike Batman who, yeah I’m stuck on this, brands his “kill”.

Superman feels the pain he inflicts on others. He is never glowing with happiness after a duel, or puffed with pride when he saves the day. He is only ever concerned with the welfare of others. Batman, however, thrives on inflicting pain – apparently. Instead of delivering the fatal blow when he knocks Superman powerless with kryptonite gas, he beats on the defenseless, wanting Superman to suffer all he can possibly cause. This I found particularly disturbing. It was violent and twisted – continually beating on a defenceless opponent is something the bad guy does, not the good guy. (While neither superheroes are “the bad guy”, Batman does a darn good job at behaving as one).

While Superman has Lois Lane whom he is faithfully committed too (marriage aside), Batman sleeps around. He wakes from a nightmare and we see a woman asleep beside him, her party shoes and clothes strewn about his room – implying a meaningless hook up. We never meet her, never see her again. Call me old fashioned, but there’s something about a good man committing himself to a good woman that confirms his manhood, instead of a passion-crazed man sleeping around with every looker on the block. (Oh, and he also looks Wonder Woman up and down a few times before he knows who she is).

On the opposite end of the scale, is Superman and his unfailing commitment to Lois. She is oftentimes reckless and forward (being an extrovert, I can appreciate these traits in her), and Superman always has his ear to the ground, he’s a constant protector – as he should be. During the climax fight, Superman is completely absorbed in defeating a nasty Kryptonian monster, and yet he hears Lois banging on the wall that is causing her to drown, which he promptly saves her from. Some would argue the constant “damsel in distress” scenario gets to be too much between Superman and Lois Lane, but taking the focus away from the damsel, we find a “man” who always does his duty as protector, despite the audacious actions of the woman he loves.

One of my absolute favourite points about this movie (carried on from “Man of Steel”) is the strong bond between Clark and his mom, Martha. [Side Note: For those who don’t remember, or haven’t seen, there is a scene in “Man of Steel” when Zod (the bad guy) in search for Kal-El (i.e. Superman), threatens Martha and throws her into the ground. From miles and miles away, Superman hears what is going on (he has super hearing after all), and despite being in the middle of a sweet scene with Lois after saving her life, he abruptly blasts into the air, when it cuts to Zod being knocked to Timbuktu as Superman repeatedly punches him through the air screaming “Don’t…Touch…My…Mother!!” Yeah. It’s a pretty awesome scene. But back to this movie…] Clark goes to his mother when all seems lost. He seeks her advice when everyone else has turned on him. And she is faithfully the mother he needs, loving him, encouraging him, and standing by him in all his difficulties, trusting him to make the right decision because she knows he has it in him. Cut forward to when Lex Luther reveals to Superman that he has Martha captive, and it is the most sorrowful Superman has ever been. He is bereaved, nigh on immobile, it isn’t even anger anymore – only heartsickness. There is no question about what he needs to do, and he doesn’t even give thought to Luther’s orders of “bring me the Bat’s head, or Martha dies”. It’s as if Superman doesn’t even hear these words, he immediately decides he needs Batman’s help to save his mom. The mother/son relationship is very beautiful. He values his mother just as much as she values him.

Now we get to Wonder Woman. When I heard she was going to be in this movie I was turned off, “Women empowerment” mentality makes me gag, and WW just seems like a joke. But after this movie, if I was ever going to be a superhero, I’d want to be this version of Wonder Woman (aside from the showy dresses when she’s Diana Prince – ok so maybe Bruce couldn’t help but notice her with these dresses). Her outfit is cool, and not cleavage filled either. Her theme music was badass and fit just perfect in the climax fight scene, she was fit and ripped while still being feminine, plus her fighting skills were really cool, without being over-the-top ridiculous. I also liked her internal struggle over helping Batman & Superman (i.e. the world). She was done with helping mankind, but when it came down to it, she couldn’t walk away, she pulled out the superhero inside her and fought alongside the two others. I’m officially a Wonder Woman fan.

Lex Luther was well done too. He is a classic villain, but there was a new twist on this one. He’s young, almost still a kid it would seem. His mannerisms float closer to psychotic then anything else. Through conversation we learn the reason for his broken and sick self is (to no surprise) his father. He’s a master villain in his planning and manipulation, and it all fit together with the Batman/Superman very well.

So we have an awesome Superman character, a pretty cool Wonder Woman who is refreshingly non-seductive for a strong female lead, a dark and brooding Batman (which, despite my dislike of the character, was well done), a valiant mother figure in Martha, a good and supportive love in Lois, and a well-done evil villain in Lex Luther. The story line was intriguing, the action gripping, the romance sweet, and an all around riveting tale of a good man striving and doing – despite persecution – whatever necessary and in his capacity to live a life of strength, honour, goodness and love. Critics have bashed it, but I completely disagree. I also question why there is such a strong dislike for this movie… perhaps due to the Christ-like figure Superman represents? The fallen mankind Batman could represent? I wonder… indeed I wonder…

 

Anne & Gilbert – literary models of Life & Love. NOT pro-choice agenda.

anne of ingleside

a doting mother…

rainbow valley

…open to life and love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just read this article. SIGH. Sometimes I question the human beings level of logic. Or rather, it just proves the lack-of-logic by pro-abortionists, yet again.

Why in the world would you use Anne as a pro-abortion figurehead? Obviously whoever had this brilliant idea *sarcasm alert* has never read the series, and possibly mis-construed the meaning of the movies (if they’ve even watched them!). For those who haven’t read the series, (WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!) Anne and Gilbert marry and move across the island where he sets up practise. Anne is over-joyed when she becomes pregnant, and all her time goes into preparing for the arrival of the new little life inside her. But tragedy strikes when little Joy is born weak and frail, and lives only a few hours. Anne is grief-stricken, her heart is broken and she has little hope in the future, because it seems her future was taken with her little daughter. Anne, as we know from her past, draws the love out of everything around her, so she works through her grief with the help of her devoted husband. Eventually Anne bears her second child, a son. Then another son. Then two daughters, then another son, and finally another daughter. As we watch the Blythe family grow through the years, it is love that binds them together. Love for one another, love for their home, love for their town, love for their friends, love for life itself. I don’t need to say much more, as it’s well put in the article.

So, pro-abortionists, where do you arrive at the conclusion that such a life-loving and generous character such as Anne Shirley would be a good figurehead for your selfish life-destroying agenda?

Please, do inform me, as I’m reaching the conclusion that your ignorance in classic literature is yet another sad piece of your ignorance about life.

 

Profanity under the guise of “Creation”

St-Peter’s-Basilica

St.Peter’s Basilica

LIGHT SHOW VATICAN

I love cats, but excuse me while I go throw up…

All through time, sacred places have been profaned by those against the Christian faith. Our churches have been burned, broken into, vandalized, the list goes on. More recently, they have been profaned by those who claim to be in one-accord with the faith. There are polka dances during the liturgy, non-liturgical music concerts staged in sanctuaries, they are sold to Protestants to house heretical worship instead of Our Lord Himself.

After our Christian history, should we be surprised that St.Peter’s Basilica, our earthly centre of faith, be profaned to the extent it has been? Probably not. EXCEPT THAT IT IS OUR OWN PEOPLE DOING IT. St. Peter’s was not bombed by the unmentionable enemy, it was not burned by a psychopathic anti-christian group. It was lit up with pictures, desecrated by our very own, under the guise of “creation”. Creation, my foot. To “begin the year of mercy” by desecrating such a sacred place with the anti-Christian (ie. anti-CATHOLIC) ideologies of the Climate Change agenda, is beyond despicable. To put it quickly and simply, the goal of Climate change is to make us into George Orwell’s 1984. We’re well on our way. This was not about mercy. The way mercy is being portrayed right now is not the truth of mercy. It matters little what material mercy we give to the world – it only matter the spiritual mercy, and re-focusing our lives around God’s Love and Mercy for us. THAT is what the year of mercy should be focused on.There is also mercy in justice, they go hand-in-hand, you cannot have one without the other. So really, this “year of mercy” should yank justice out from under the rug, where it’s been swept under and kept hidden since 1962.  Everything is rooted in Charity,  Charity is Love, Love is Our Lord. Our Lord’s mercy is what we need. Not a sickening showy festival of lights to play on our emotions and draw us into “saving the animals” and “help” the impoverished by accessible abortion and population control.

On top of everything it stands for and is, St.Peter’s Basilica is the epitome of Catholic art, which brings us closer to Our Lord. It is the material centre of our faith on this earth. How then, are we to respond when our generals themselves have stripped headquarters of it’s dignity, shown they disrespect everything we fight for by welcoming the enemy into our very living room and proclaiming with show and pizazz that what the enemy fights for, we approve of and will fight along with them? Or rather, we will submit to the evil and be good little sheep, to be herded and lead right off the cliff into hell.

Now, more then ever, do we need Our Lady’s intercession. It was not co-incidence that this monstrosity of a sacrilege took place on the Feast of her Immaculate Conception. She will not abandon us – no matter what the state the visible Church is in. The spiritual Church will always be there for us to lean on, to trust in, to lead us to our final heavenly destination.

 

sheep

 

Book Review: Cranford

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pretty much exactly what I imagined while reading the book

If you’re looking for a witty English novel to read, Cranford is your book. It is the simple telling of all the goings-on in a mid 19th century small English rural town. It is narrated by a frequent visitor and friend of a main character, Miss Mary Smith, who, when she is not in the town, is kept up to date about it’s happenings by letters. The town is want of men, and is primarily composed of hoity-toity elderly ladies of “position”, whose prime interest is keeping Cranford free of all change, and keeping all those they admire out of the terrible plight of marriage. Different events take place, characters are introduced into the town, and the whole place buzzes with excitement from it’s own small events.

Each chapter is a different little event that goes on, so to give any more detailed plot would give too much away. The main characters are rather silly (in the old British sense of politeness and snobbery), but their vices are redeemed by their virtue. If you’re looking for a chuckle, or even a “laugh-out-loud” funny, pick up a copy of Cranford – granted you understand and appreciate British humour, because this book is certainly full of it!

The Perks of being Nimble

lifts and cooks

Stay nimble, ladies – you never know when it will come in handy. It’s also very good for your health. Go for walks, workout, hike, just on a trampoline, play at the park with your nieces and nephews, go swimming, anything that makes you use those muscles and keep them in tune. Don’t ignore them or forget about them. One day you might need to bolt across the street to save a toddler about to be hit by a car, or carry a solid wood bookshelf since there’s no man to do it for you, or you might need to pull a heavy piece of equipment out of a trapped child’s way, or climb the roof and squeeze through a window to let yourself into your home because you forgot your house key and everyone else is gone and locked up behind them. God gave us our bodies for a reason, and you never know when you may need the reflexes and agility that come with staying in shape. So always be prepared!