Christmas draws nearer

Oy vey.

Oh, goodness, I was supposed to go to Tulsa today! Drat! I'll have to drop Wayne a really apologetic email. (Wayne works in the Archdiocese Office of Vocations, and is super awesome.)

Well, I made it to Mass. On time. Did the choir thing. Major yay. No, seriously, it was good. Then I went to Wally World and spent 2 hours buying stuff for Christmas. (I'm making most of my gifts this year.) Couldn't find purple or pink candles. :P I was really looking forward to making an Advent wreath too.

Busy week ahead- gonna see what's up with my paperwork at Connors, then an Altar Society thing tomorrow night (I'm making my mom's legendary squash casserole. Big yay on that one, my friends. It really is legendary stuff.)

I'm really looking forward to going home on Saturday! I'm gonna stay a few days, see as many of my homeys as possible, and gonna definitely cruise by St. John's while I'm at it. My brother Jason having a big open house type thing and I'm really looking forward to it.

BTW, Jason has decided to seriously moderate his drinking, which is hard for anyone who's quite used to the sauce. If he can't do it himself he will go back to AA, though. Please pray for him! He's a sweet guy, and really talented, and the planet really needs him.

Anyway, I'm gonna leave off on- oh, smeg! There's a humongous zit right on my chin! Sorry. Just caught a look in the mirror.

As I was saying, I'm gonna leave off with a list of things I'm happy about, since I've been wangsting a lot here lately. (Wangst= Whiny ANGST)

1. My car seems to be working just fine, for once.
2. I've got my Christmas shopping done.
3. Lots of good parties ahead.
4. The choir at St. Joe's. (Tom Starnes, the director, is endlessly amusing.)
5. Fr. Bryan made a really funny comment re: Days of Obligation. "There is no two-for-one special this year. (We have to go on Christmas Eve b/c it's Sunday, then on Christmas b/c it's a holy day of obligation.) Hey, I'm in sales, not in management." LOL. You go, Fr. Bryan.
6. I gave myself a haircut, and it looks ok.
7. I just made a mushroom/spinach/tomato/mozzarella omlet, and it was FABULOUS.
8. I'm going home soon!
9. I'm gonna help decorate St. Joe's for Christmas.
10. That Monkees episode where Mike Nesmith played the Princess is one of the funniest things I've ever seen in my life. (Seriously, as far as drag goes, Nesmith gives the guys from Python a run for their money. Hysterically funny.)



Right now I am struggling with my fears of inadequacy, and failure. I sometimes wonder why I even became Catholic- not because I don't love Catholicism, but because I don't feel like a very good example of Catholicism.

It's not that I don't believe in God. I do, truly and sincerely with all my heart. I just feel that although he may love me, he probably doesn't like me very much.


Ok, so it looks like Blogger has become more user friendly since the merger with Google.

Now for the updates.

I've decided to re-enter college in the spring. I'm looking at St. Ambrose University in Iowa, but I may just do spring semester here in Muskogee or in Tulsa. I'm going to work on my Education degree; I just haven't decided what my specialty will be. I thought I wanted to teach high-school English, but I spent a couple days working as a teacher's assistant at a local grade school and I've found that kids like me a lot better than I thought they did.

Well, I've got time to sort it out- I still need to take a lot of my basic courses (and pass them).

I've been taking part in the Emmaus program in Tulsa. (It's a discernment thing.) I'm still trying to get my discernment sorted out. Now I can see why they want you to wait a couple of years after coming into the church-there's a lot I'm having to adjust to. I'm just sitting back, taking a deep breath, and waiting to go any further until I've had a chance to reexamine the situation with a clear head.
Ok, gonna try to post to this thing.

I had some problems getting Blogger to work on my ancient, dial-up fueled computer, but I've gotten this far!

Right, right.

I'm gonna post this and see if it publishes. Wish me luck!


Little Miss Cranky Pants does it again.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that my current crisis has to do with the fact that I am seriously questioning my vocation. I have wondered if maybe I am so open to religious life simply because I have never made a romantic relationship work- they always end in disaster. That would be the worst reason in the world to choose religious life.

Besides, one would have to have what it takes to make a good wife and mother, and I don't think that I do.

Just a thought.



Once again, I have failed to post here for a long time, something like 2 weeks. It's for the same reason I always have for not posting here- I'm depressed.

There, I admitted it. I'm depressed, and it's because I'm feeling less than sure about my faith. Oh, I still go to Mass on Sunday, but I am filled with this sick feeling every time I think about anything to do with church and especially discerning my vocation.

Normally, I don't reach out when this bothers me. I just assume it'll pass. But it hasn't gotten any better in the past 2 weeks and I'm beginning to worry. I even went so far as to write Father Rex a letter about it (I'm still not sure why). I don't feel comfortable enough with the priests at my new church to even try to bring the subject up. Heavens, I'm not even sure if Fr. Dye even knows my name yet. There is nobody at my church that's anywhere close to my age, it seems. I feel alone.

I almost didn't go to Mass this morning. It was literally all I could do to drag myself out of bed , make myself presentable, get in the car and drive the five minutes to St. joseph's.

I don't know who to talk to about this. I know Catholics don't tend to lay on the guilt in times of crisis, but why am I having such a hard time admitting to someone that I need help? What is it that I'm so afraid of?



I told you it always works.

(Are my skills of flattery and manipulation good or evil?)

Poor, neurotic, devout, sickly St. Therese of Lisieux. I am reading a biography on her and wow! It's fascinating. I had her pegged to be this simpering and cloyingly sweet personage, but evidently not.


Edward Porter Felt :November 9, 1959 – September 11, 2001

Eternal rest grant to him, O Lord, and may Your perpetual light shine upon him.

For more information, please see my sidebar at the right of the page.


This always seems to work


I sure do wish those nice guys at Catholic Ragemonkey would post again. (hint, hint.)

Seriously, I find that if they go for more than a week w/o posting that I get antsy. I appreciate that they're priests, but I'm jonesing really bad.



For so long, I felt like life was a stage and I was just waiting for my cue to perform- that it just wasn't my time yet. Since becoming Catholic I've had to change my thinking a bit- too much has passed me by already while I've waited for whatever it was I was waiting for. It's high time I get on with the business of living, and whatever is supposed to happen will. (A watched pot never boils.)

For the past several years I've been wanting my childhood back, presumably to have a do-over. Well, since that is obviously not an option, there's no point in wishing for it- not with as many possibilities as there are. I still have my freedom- just a different framework to put it all into. (Besides, I doubt it's a crime to play on the swingset if you're over 30.)

I've joined the church choir. I still struggle with my weaknesses. I still have hope for a better tomorrow- and a better me.


Changes to FCP and stuff

Hopefully this new format is a bit easier on the eyes. I got tired of squinting just to see my own blog.

I've been hitting daily Mass fairly steadily since I moved here. It's a lot easier when you live less than five miles from church. Yeah, I can definitely say I'm starting to really like St. Joseph's.


Cartiate Dei


Must remember to link this tomorrow.

It's official...

... I am a published author.

Busted Halo, a online Christian magazine for young adults, has published my account of my conversion.

Huge deal? No, but I'm still a very happy camper.

Kudos to Bill McGarvey, the editor, for all his hard work.

Please feel free to read my story.


Greetings from Muskogee

I am writing this from the Muskogee Public Library, Muskogee, OK. I am staying with my granddad until I find a place and job in Tulsa.

The third thing I did yesterday (after returning my U-haul and paying my storage) was finding the Catholic church. St. Joseph's is only a few years old and it is GORGEOUS. The stained glass in the daily chapel- depicting the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries- is exquisite.

After that I got a library card.

Thank you all for your prayers and kind wishes- it's quite a transition for me and to be honest I'm a bit homesick for St. John's.


:) :) :) :) :)

I am so, so glad I went to Clinton last night. Father Rex is in good spirits, and the people of St. Mary's love him as much as we did at St. John's. I'm not surprised, for their love is simply a reflection of his love for them.

Last night was Father's birthday. What an amazing coincidence that this was the weekend I went to see him. The parish threw a party for him after Mass, and they insisted that I stay for it. They were excellent hosts, and I hope that I get another opportuity to visit in the near future.



I did mention I'm moving to Tulsa, right? (My short term memory has some seriously loose wiring.)

I'm planning on the big move for Wednesday, which means I need to get on the stick already and finish packing. (I have 1 room's worth of stuff, but I'm going through it to see what I can donate to charity.)

I have decided to pay Fr. Rex a visit this afternoon. I promised I would. I did not anticipate on it being this soon, but I know that once I move it will fall way down on the priorities list. I'm just now learning how to relate to people properly, and I'm making an effort to keep relationships going. Father is very important to me, and I want to keep in touch with him. I also have some things I want to say to him that are better said in person, like how I was going to ask him to be my spiritual director, but I don't think it will be feasible with 3 hours of distance and 2 area codes between us.

So, that's my plan for today- wash laundry and drive to Clinton. Part of me feels this is stupid. But a bigger part really feels it's important.



... is something that I am not ready for. It's great to listen to, but I am so not ready to explain the nuances of my faith to a non-Catholic.

I attended a highly interesting Apologetics forum at St. Eugene's tonight. Fr. Shane Tharp (founding Ragemonkey) led us. It was a great way to spend a couple of hours; however, I left with more questions that I began with, and had very few answered.


Happy Assumption Day!

Today is the feast day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven.


St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

After much internal debate, I have finally decided upon a patron saint for my blog. (I know very little about the saints, which is probably why it took me so long.)

I figured I'd use my patron saint, St. Francis of Asissi. However, I feel that he does enough for me as it is, what with watching over me and the cat next door.

Having read a book on the lives of women saints, I chose St. Elizabeth Ann Seton for two reasons:

1. She converted to Catholicism after being treated with love by Catholic friends. She was disowned by her Protestant family for this. She went on, after many hardships, to found a Catholic school for her city's most destitute. (I will look up a more detailed bio and link to it later.)

2. She is the patron saint of the school that is attached to St. John's.


Check this out

The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary are an order in Wichita, KS. I met up with a couple of their sisters, Sister Maria Jacinta and Sister Marie Therese, at the Life Awareness Retreat. I have been doing further research and I must say I am thoroughly impressed with this order. I will definitely add them to my list of places to visit.




I've been so caught up in my personal business that I forgot to do a Thursday 13 yesterday! Oh no!!!!!

Yeah, it's been crazy. My car broke down again, so I had to deal with that. I've also decided that I should give Tulsa a shot. That retreat changed me. I'm a little scared of what it all means, but I should embrace God's will instead of being dragged kicking and screaming into acquiescence. So, yeah. I'm moving to Tulsa soon. (Before the end of the month.)


Thursday Thirteens- August 3, 2006

Thirteen Things I Need to Be Doing

1. Eat a balanced diet

2. Pray more often, like on a daily basis

3. Exercise

4. More volunteer work

5. Going to daily Mass

6. Getting more involved at church

7. Doing nice things for people w/o expecting anything in return

8. Spending more time with my friends

9. Better maintenance on my car

10.Better correspondence with my out-of-state family and friends

11. Finding another place to live

12. Actually writing the book that's coming together in my head

13. Totally avoiding alcohol, for I have no capacity for it any more

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

http://tempestteapot.net/bloggs/changes/- Tempest
http://bdwoolf.com/ghost - Bev
http://zeusexcuse.blogspot.com/- The Zeus Excuse
http://unexploredterritory.blogspot.com/- Knitting Maniac
http://wrongblog.com/blog/?p=162- Trina
http://lillyput.blogspot.com/- Renee
http://mylittlecorner0701.blogspot.com/2006/08/thursday-13.html- My Two Cents
http://its-a-raggedy-life.blogspot.com/- Raggedy

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


"O eternal God, the soul who truly loves You spends itself for its neighbour and cannot do otherwise, for its love of You and its love of neighbour are one and the same thing; the more the soul loves You, the more it loves its neighbour, because love of neighbour has its source in You.

"You have given us this means of proving and practising virtue, O Most High God, so that, since we cannot benefit You, we can benefit others. Therefore, a soul in love with You, most amiable Lord, never ceases to spend itself in doing good to others, striving to discover their needs and hastening to help them.

"O God, eternal Trinity, You ask us to love You with the same love with which You love us. This we cannot do, for You loved us when we were as yet Your enemies; and however great our love for You, we would always owe You this love, as due to You; it is therefore, not gratuitous, because You loved us first. As it is impossible for us to give You the love You desire, You have given us our neighbour, that we may do for him what we cannot do for You, that is, love him without having been loved by him — gratuitously — without expecting any benefit from it.

"Teach me, O Lord, to love my neighbour even when not loved by him, to love him with no concern for my own benefit, but solely because You love me, solely to repay Your gratuitous love. Then I shall fulfil the commandment of the law: to love You above all things, and my neighbour as myself." (cf. St Catherine of Siena)
I am very surprised at the reaction my last entry got. I didn't know this many people read my blog.


Women and the Priesthood

This is one of the topics within the Church that tends to get me into trouble. My views on this make a surprising number of people very angry.

I am sure that all of my readers are aware that women do not become priests in the Catholic Church. My understanding of it is thus: none of the twelve apostles were women, therefore, it is the church's judgement that Jesus did not mean for women to become priests. The Church did not arrive at this judgement lightly. These are highly educated people who are interpreting the will of God to the best of their ability, and they say that women will not become priests.

I don't have a problem with this. But I know a lot of people who do, and are shocked that I buy into this "oppressive garbage".

Let me clarify a few things. I've felt a calling to do something radical in the service of the Lord for much of my life. As a Methodist, I seriously thought long and hard about becoming a pastor, preaching God's word and being an instrument of His love. When I was considering becoming Episcopalian, one of the things I spent lots of time researching was the process of Episcopal priesthood. As a Catholic, I am recognized by my peers as being faithful, and I am looked to for spritual guidance by them. Honestly, if I were a man, I would become a priest.

That's the key thing here. I'm NOT a man, and thus the priesthood is not an option. This was a serious consideration for me- becoming Catholic meant I'd have to accept this as God's will with grace and dignity, and let Him decide how best to use me. I would not want to be a priest if it meant going against God's will and his Church. If the Pope- a highly educated, experienced, holy man- says that after many years of debate and research, there is no Scriptural basis for allowing a female Presbyterate, then I accept it and I am prepared to get on with my life.

I have heard tales of women becoming ordained 'priests' in secret ceremonies. I'm sorry to say tahat I think they're doing this for their own egos rather than for the good of the Church- most of them are married, some of them are lesbians, and I honestly don't think any are celibate. These women remove themselves from the Church by their actions, and for what? Making a statement? It's sad, and shocking, and I hope they can see the error of their ways before it's too late.

The Church's stance on women as priests does not mean that the Church sees women as inferior. On the contrary- women are a valued part of the community and have been since the time of Jesus. After all, women, while not apostles, were an important and respected part of Jesus' ministry (in a time where women were seen as little more than property). The Church continues to be one of the most truly pro-woman religious organizations I have ever encountered.

The debate on this will probably continue for a very long time. I have made my views known, and I stand by them.


Thursday 13s for 7/27/06

Thirteen People In My Life Who Have Inspired Me

1.Jesus Christ: This one should be very, very obvious. Jesus is everyone’s hero, whether they want to admit it or not.

2. Susan Hunt(my mom): She gave birth to me. She also did the very best she could to raise two children on her own while earning a bachelor's degree and working.It wasn’t easy for her in the least. She taught me perseverance and love of God, and I miss her as I get older (she died in 1997, when I was 22).

3. John Russell: John is a foul-mouthed pervert and relentless perfectionist. However, he taught me a lot about setting high standards. I believe he’s actually a very nice guy (no matter how little he wants to admit it). I really learned a lot while I worked for him.

4. Clay Graham: Clay is a teacher at Wright Business School. Being in his class is what made me want to teach. He is a shining example of not only a good teacher but a good person who sees his life as an opportunity to help others besides himself.

5. Deacon John Morris: Deacon John is awesome. He teaches the RCIA at my church, and does it so well that I NEVER got bored (that's sayin' something). He's a really nice guy, very smart, and interested in the candidates/catachumens as people.

6. Jason Hunt: Jason is my brother; therefore, he’s a tremendous pain. However, he is an extremely talented and versatile musician. He taught himself to play the guitar. He is a music teacher and professional musician now. He has also gotten my back when I’ve needed him to.

7. Miss Sara Smith: Miss Smith was my 4th grade teacher at Percy Priest Elementary, Nashville, TN. She was determined to find a way to get through to me without being tyrannical. She was an asset to the Davidson County School System, and a patient, creative teacher.

8. Mr. J. S. McClure: "Mr. Mac" was my 5th grade teacher at Eastside Elem. in Midwest City, OK. He had a real knack for reaching out to his students and finding the best in us. He really believed each of us was special.

9.Father Rex Arnold: Fr. Rex was raised Southern Baptist. He converted to Catholicism as an adult, and was ordained to the priesthood a few years ago. That is just so amazing. He's also extremely nice, generous, and loving.

10. Jean Moore: My mom's aunt Jean married a black man in the 1950's (which in Oklahoma was highly controversial). She speaks her mind honestly and lives her life on her terms.

11. Becka Brown: It takes real courage to admit that you're unhappy and that you want things to change. It takes even more courage to do something about it.

12. Theresa Lepak: Thanks for staying on my butt about stuff.

13. Religious sisters and nuns everywhere: they make a heavy-duty sacrifice to follow God's call.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

The Zeus Excuse

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wonder if the temps in Hell dropped any...

After numerous invites, I FINALLY got my friend Becka to come with me to RCIA last night.

I hope she got something useful out of it. I really do. I know she craves direction, which is why I keep inviting her.

Y'all please pray for her- she's in the midst of a lot of life changes.


My Retreat Journal

I promised that I'd share details of my retreat with you today, and here I am about to keep that promise.

I spent a wonderful weekend at Our Lady of Sorrows Convent in Broken Arrow, OK (just outside of Tulsa).The Serra Club of Tulsa were responsible for feeding, housing, and informing some 30 of us (between the ages of 19 and 51, male and female, interested in a possible religious vocation). I met so many wonderful people and gained so, so much from the experience.

[I left OKC @ 2 on Friday, after eating lunch and making sure I was adequately prepared for a long trip. I hadn't driven myself this far in over three years and I wanted to be sure that it wouldn't be a disaster.
I arrived at the convent just before 5, giving myself adequate time to freshen up and settle in before Adoration. This was my first Adoration and I was excited.
After Adoration we had dinner. I politely ate my tuna fish sandwich, onions and all, and found my table mates to be very willing to talk about why they were there.
After our meal, we had Orientation and a keynote address.]

8:35 p.m.
This retreat is amazing. My past failures don't necessarily reflect poorly on me; they just indicate that I was on the wrong path. I am being called to serve God, I just know it (don;t ask me how). I've tried to fight it, unwilling to give up my materialistic goals because they were all I knew. I am tired of not being on the right path. I've had more than my fair share of doing my own will. Now it's God's turn.

[After the address, we had a small group session, where the leaders asked question and we took turns answering them. After that, we went back to the chapel (gorgeous chapel, BTW)for Night Prayer It was amazing and incredible and unlike anything else in the world. We had a social after that, but I really needed to get to bed after all that driving and praying so I didn't stay long.]

Saturday, 6/22/06
6:52 a.m.
It's nearly 10 minutes to 7 in the morning. For the first time in a long time I am up this early of my own volition.
We prayed the Liturgy of the Hours last night (night prayer). I remember where I recognize it from- we did this on Search.
Since I'm up so early anyway I will go down to the chapel and pray a Rosary before Morning Prayer. I'm so blessed.

7:25 a.m.
Prayed my rosary and am waiting for morning prayer to start.
I am really enjoying all this community prayer.

[Morning prayer, then Mass, then breakfast.]

9:07 a.m.
Ahhhhh. Breakfast.
WOW. This coffee is strong. I surely dont need a second cup. I definitely don't WANT one.
Am eating some sort of calorie loaded breakfast casserole. Looks like the diet is going on vacay this weekend.

[More talks, group discussions, and mad attempts to get back on schedule. Lunch, which was incredibly filling. Went on first Emmaus Walk with Sr. Sylvia of the Carmelites of St. Therese in OKC (nice to see a familiar face).]

2:10 pm

Talked to Sr. Sylvia. I have a lot to think on and a somewhat clearer view of what religious life is actually like. Heinously hot weather has cooled down enough to permit a walk on the grounds. I really need to become better versed in the basics of my faith, which only comes with practice.

[2 more presentations, then another Emmaus walk. I chose Sr. Maria Jacinta of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Wichita. I will admit that though they are totally not in OKC, I am impressed enough with their order to add them to the list of convents that I will likely visit.]

5:30 PM
More talks. Have learned a lot about the day-to-day of the life of a nun, as well as a priest. (Tiny part of me wishes I were a guy so I could be a priest. Tiny.)
Abbot Lawrence Stasyzen, OSB, of St. Gregory's Abbey (Fr. Louis' homeboy!) sure did get awfully wound up about the Da Vinci Code at Mass this morning. (It's fiction, and as popular as it is it's likely to be boring. We GET it.) That level of deep seated resentment may require therapy. (It's a JOKE, people.)

Had a second Emmaus walk, this time with Sr. Mary Jacinta. It was most informative. Given my status as a neophyte, it will probably be required that I wait about three years before entering any convent, though I can probably spend part of that as a postulant. Patience isn't my strong suit, but this is God's call and I will do what is necessary to follow it. Besides, that should give me ample opportunity to pay off my medical bills and student loans. Besides, who knows what kind of impression I will make on the convent I end up at?
I admit that I am quite interested in the Sisters of IHM of Wichita. They seem to be a younger community (age limit is 34). More importantly, they provide education to the sisters, up to a Master's Degree in Theology! (Something I've wanted for myself anyway.) They're a teaching order, and I suppose they want their teachers to have very specific training.
It would be out-of-state, something that I hope my family, friends, and I can cope with. I'll pray on it, of course. I love this place; it is my hime and has been for most of my life, but such an order, a way of life, would be good for me.
The waiting will be beneficial- hopefully, I'll grow in my faith and my desire for religious life will become stronger (as did my desire for the Eucharist before Easter).

[Evening prayer, a really good dinner (thx Knight of Columbus of Tulsa), a few minutes of free time before the next presentation.]

7 pm
The longer I'm here, the more I know that I am called to be a bride of Christ. This place proves that the things in life I thought I wanted- money, popularity, approval- mean nothing in the grander scope of things. I'd rather pass on that, especially if it means that my living will actually make a difference.
The temps have dropped quite a bit out here, and it's tolerable to be outside. This place is gorgeous, and the grounds are fantastic. I enjoyed a few minutes sitting by the pond watching ducks swim and feeling the coolest breeze through my hair. It felt so good just to be alive at that moment.
This is the best life to have- one of daily prayer, learning, serving others, doing God's will and bringing him joy. I want so much to serve the church that has loved and nurtured me so much.

[The next presentation was really participatory- we discussed the pros and cons of consecrated life. Mostly, the participants named various pros and cons while the Fathers wrote these down on chalkboards (One in English, the other in Spanish- the whole retreat was bilingual). I would say these lists were comprehensive.
Then we split up by gender and the women went into another room to have a Q&A period with all the sisters from the various orders that were there. That really clarified a lot for me.
Holy Hour and night prayer followed. I received the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I made a five-minute appearance at the social afterward, then retired to my quarters to remove my contacts, write a letter to Fr. Rex, and get some much-needed sleep.
I awoke at 3 am or so and found that my roommate hadn't returned. I was a bit worried, so I went to look for her. My search was fruitless, so I stopped in at the smaller chapel for a sec then went back to bed. She had returned, and she asked me what was up. I told her nothing was, I'd just woken up and couldn't sleep.
Woke at 7 the next day, got cleaned up and dressed for Morning prayers and Breakfast. We had one last presentation, then we closed off with some evaluations. I finished mine quickly and went to get my room in order.
We had Mass at 10:45, with Bishop of Tulsa Edward Slattery presiding. We were then coerced outside for a group picture before heading to lunch. Bishop Slattery is very friendly and rather talkative.]

Sunday, 7/23/06
12:45 pm
Have just finished lunch (Serra Club wants us to have seconds, thirds, and fourths. Serrans have torpedoed my diet. Bleah.)
This weekend has been a tremendous blessing. It's provided clarity and fellowship. I feel confident in my calling and I pray for the strength to keep living a holier, more devout life. I want sisterhood more than I've wanted anything in my life.

[I said my goodbyes and left at a little after 1. I stopped in Muskogee to see my grandfather, then made the long drive back home.]


This concludes my account of my weekend in Tulsa. I have a much better idea of what I will eventually agree to and I look forward to that day with tremendous longing. Until then, I need to live my life, maybe get a few things done, and be thankful for it all.


Home is nice

It seems that every time I leave CRM alone for a few days, one of them posts. (In this case, prolifically.)

Will post my retreat diary tomorrow. I just feel like sackin' out right now.



I am about five minutes away from leaving for the Life Awareness Vocations Retreat in Tulsa. I thank you all for your prayers and kind words of encouragement. See you guys Monday!


Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen (basic) Things about Anastasia Hunt

1 . My full name is Anastasia Eve Hunt.
2 . I am from Oklahoma City, OK.
3 . I am a devout Catholic.
4 . I live with my brother and his wife (but not for long!)
5 . I drive a 1979 Honda Prelude.
6 . I am almost finished with business school.
7 . I am discerning a possible vocation to the religious life.
8 . I love mushroom/black olive/pineapple pizza.
9 . I have two blogs and a MySpace.
10. I believe that love really does conquer all (if you let it).
11. I love progressive and some alt rock- fav bands include The White Stripes, They Might Be Giants, and The Cure.
12. I firmly believe that God has a sense of humor.
13. I need to pack for my discernment retreat in Tulsa now.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Jennifer Sprague, High Top Baby Designs

2. armywife

3. sobeit

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Project Update

The church garden thing is slowly taking shape in my overtaxed and overheated brain. The Fr. Rother memorial garden is lovely. I took some pics with my camera phone.

Other places in the Archdiocese that I want a closer look at are:

St. Thomas More, Norman
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, OKC (Cathedral)
St. Francis of Assisi, OKC
Sacred Heart Abbey
St, Charles Borromeo
St. Joseph Old Cathedral

Also, I ask that if you live in the OKC Archdiocese and have any more suggestions, please let me know.

(I am aware that St. John's has a garden, and I hope to include it.)

Fr. Stanley Rother 1935-1981

I just got back from Okarche. There was a memorial service there for Fr. Stanley Rother.

For those of you who don't know the details, Father Rother was born and raised in Okarche. (Which is in Oklahoma, about 30 miles northwest of Oklahoma City.) After some struggles in seminary, he was ordained a priest in 1963. He served churches in Tulsa, Durant, and Oklahoma City.

In 1968, Fr. Rother volunteered to go serve the Oklahoma mission in Santiago Antitlan, Guatemala. He learned the language of the native Tzutuhil people. As time went on he gained the acceptance and love of the people there.

The late 70's and early 80's were politically turbulent times in Guatemala. The government had a massive grudge against the Church, the only institution trying to do something about the impoverished living conditions of the vast majority of the people. Priests, catechists and laypeople were tortured and killed.

Fr. Rother remained there for twelve years. He was persuaded to return home in January 1981, but he felt that he needed to go back; he couldn't forget his people. He returned in April 1981.

Fr. Stanley Rother was shot to death in his rectory in Santiago Antitlan on July 28, 1981. He gave his life to do the work of the Lord. It is the hope of many in our archdiocese and in the Church that he be canonized.

The memorial mass was a tremendous thing to take part in. I'm glad I went (despite the heat). The homily contained a lot for me to think about- not literal death, mind you, but how parts of me are going to have to die so that I can continue to grow.

Phew. I'm tired now (got up early this mornin'), so I think I'm gonna go ahead and turn in. Good night and God bless.



I Googled "Oklahoma Catholicism" (in hopes of finding more on the history of Catholicism in Oklahoma) and came up with this. (Not for the weak of stomach.)

On one hand, it makes me so angry. The attitudes behind this entire website are just so needlessly aggressive. If you don't believe what I do, okay. There's a possibility that I can't do anything about that. Stop trying to ruin it for those of us who do believe. Your arguments don't convince me; your attitude kinda pisses me off and depresses me.

On the other hand, it's just incredibly sad that apparently these people just can't trust. That's what it all boils down to, is trust. It's what comprises faith.

If you can't trust God, how can you believe in anything?

That's ok. I'll just pray for them. (If nothing else it'll really piss 'em off.)



Have you ever been to a mass where the homily seemed to speak directly to you?

Yeah. That totally happened to me. It made me feel that God was talking to me through Fr. John. It was amazing and incredible; I feel a lot better about the things that have been happening to me.

Also, Fr. Hamilton at CRM needs to get back from vacay. I'm fiending again, for of late the posts have been sporadic and a little odd (not that we don't love Fr. Tharp [whom my friend Theresa Lepak describes as actually a very sweet guy] but I fail to see how superheroes have much to do with well-deserved Catholic rage).

Speaking of Theresa, it looks like I may have her help on my garden project. (She has this sweet 8-megapixel camera and would thus act as primcipal photographer.) I'd like to develop it and see it I can shop it around as a magazine article; if not, then at least I can post it to the Internet.



How would you guys feel about a book on church gardens in Oklahoma? 'cos I feel like writing. And research. Oh yeah.


Pay attention (and eat your donut)

There was a certain Professor of Religion named Dr. Christianson, a studious man who taught at a small college in the western United States.
Dr. Christianson taught the required survey course in Christianity at this particular institution. Every student was required to take this course his or her freshman year, regardless of his or her major.

Although Dr. Christianson tried hard to communicate the essence of the gospel in his class, he found that most of his students looked upon the course as nothing but required drudgery. Despite his best efforts, most students refused to take Christianity seriously.

This year, Dr. Christianson had a special student named Steve. Steve was only a freshman, but was studying with the intent of going onto seminary for the ministry. Steve was popular, he was well liked, and he was an imposing physical specimen. He was now the starting center on the school football team, and was the best student in the professor's class. One day, Dr. Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him.

"How many push-ups can you do?"

Steve said, "I do about 200 every night."

"200? That's pretty good, Steve," Dr. Christianson said. "Do you think you could do 300?"

Steve replied, "I don't know... I've never done 300 at a time."

"Do you think you could?" again asked Dr. Christianson.

"Well, I can try," said Steve.

"Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I have a class project in mind and I need you to do about 300 push-ups in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it," said the professor.

Steve said, "Well... I think I can...yeah, I can do it"

Dr. Christianson said, "Good! I need you to do this on Friday. Let me explain what I have in mind."

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started, the professor pulled out a big box of donuts.

No, these weren't the normal kinds of donuts, they were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone was pretty excited. It was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend with a party in Dr. Christianson's class.

Dr. Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, "Cynthia, do you want to have one of these donuts?"

Cynthia said, "Yes."

Dr. Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?"

"Sure." Steve jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Dr. Christianson put a donut on Cynthia's desk.

Dr. Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, "Joe, do you want a donut?"

Joe said, "Yes." Dr. Christianson asked, "Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?"

Steve did ten push-ups, Joe got a donut. And so it went, down the first aisle, Steve did ten pushups for every person before they got their donut.

Walking down the second aisle, Dr. Christianson came to Scott. Scott was on the basketball team, and in as good condition as Steve. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship.

When the professor asked, "Scott do you want a donut?"

Scott's reply was, "Well, can I do my own pushups?"

Dr. Christianson said, "No, Steve has to do them."

Then Scott said, "Well, I don't want one then."

Dr. Christianson shrugged and then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten pushups so Scott can have a donut he doesn't want?" With perfect obedience Steve started to do ten pushups.

Scott said, "HEY! I said I didn't want one!" Dr. Christianson said, "Look, this is my classroom, my class, my desks, and these are my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don't want it." And he put a donut on Scott's desk.

Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down. You could start to see a little perspiration coming out around his brow.

Dr. Christianson started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry. Dr. Christianson asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you want a donut?"

Sternly, Jenny said, "No."

Then Dr. Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten more push-ups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn't want?" Steve did ten....Jenny got a donut.

By now, a growing sense of uneasiness filled the room. The students were beginning to say "No" and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks.

Steve also had to really put forth a lot of extra effort to get these pushups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved.

Dr. Christianson asked Robert, who was the most vocal unbeliever in the class, to watch Steve do each push up to make sure he did the full ten pushups in a set because he couldn't bear to watch all of Steve's work for all of those uneaten donuts. He sent Robert over to where Steve was so Robert could count the set and watch Steve closely.

Dr. Christianson started down the fourth row. During his class, however, some students from other classes had wandered in and sat down on the steps along the radiators that ran down the sides of the room. When the professor realized this, he did a quick count and saw that now therewere 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

Dr. Christianson went on to the next person and the next and the next.

Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Steve asked Dr Christianson, "Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?"

Dr. Christianson thought for a moment, "Well, they're your pushups. You are in charge now. You can do them any way that you want." And Dr. Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason, a recent transfer student, came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled in one voice, "NO! Don't come in! Stay out!"

Jason didn't know what was going on. Steve picked up his head and said, "No, let him come."

Professor Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten pushups for him?"

Steve said, "Yes, let him come in. Give him a donut"

Dr. Christianson said, "Okay, Steve, I'll let you get Jason's out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?"

Jason, new to the room, hardly knew what was going on. "Yes," he said, "give me a donut."

"Steve, will you do ten push-ups so that Jason can have a donut?" Steve did ten pushups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down.

Dr. Christianson finished the fourth row, and then started on those visitors seated by the heaters. Steve's arms were now shaking with each push-up in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. By this time sweat was profusely dropping off of his face, there was no sound except his heavy breathing; there was not a dry eye in the room.

The very last two students in the room were two young women, both cheerleaders, and very popular. Dr. Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, "Linda, do you want a doughnut?"

Linda said, very sadly, "No, thank you."

Professor Christianson quietly asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn't want?" Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow pushups for Linda.

Then Dr Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. "Susan, do you want a donut?"

Susan, with tears flowing down her face, began to cry.

"Dr. Christianson, why can't I help him?"

Dr. Christianson, with tears of his own, said, "No, Steve has to do it alone, I have given him this task and he is in charge of seeing that everyone has an opportunity for a donut whether they want it or not.When I decided to have a party this last day of class, I looked my grade book. Steve here is the only student with a perfect grade. Everyone else has failed a test, skipped class, or offered me inferior work. Steve told me that in football practice, when a player messes up he must do push-ups. I told Steve that none of you could come to my party unless he paid the price by doing your push ups. He and I made a deal for your sakes."

"Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Susan can have a donut?" As Steve very slowly finished his last pushup, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 pushups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.

Dr. Christianson turned to the room and said. "And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross, plead to the Father,'into thy hands I commend my spirit.' With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, He yielded up His life. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten."

Two students helped Steve up off the floor and to a seat, physically exhausted, but wearing a thin smile.

"Well done, good and faithful servant," said the professor, adding "Not all sermons are preached in words."

Turning to his class, the professor said, "My wish is that you might understand and fully comprehend all the riches of grace and mercy that have been given to you through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He spared not His only Begotten Son, but gave Him up for us all, for the whole Church, now and forever. Whether or not we choose to accept His gift to us, the price has been paid."

"Wouldn't you be foolish and ungrateful to leave it lying on the desk?"

(Borrowed from a friend's Xanga)


Ruptured Rhapsody

Ruptured Rhapsody

Bee-mused in the Country

Bee-mused in the Country

Seriously, though

I have found that a side effect of my conversion is the new way I relate to others.

Ever since my mom passed away I've been wary of forming attachments to people. Even my romantic involvements were fairly easy to get over (for the most part).

Here of late I've faced some changes that I'm working harder than normal to cope with. A part of me misses Fr. Rex in a major way. I'm not completely sure why- we weren't particularly close; I rarely saw him outside of Mass and never outside of church. All I can say for him is that he's a lovely human being and I happened to identify with him for some reason. He made a real effort to reach out to me, I guess, and I responded. He was also a major part of RCIA; I think we decided to attend St. John's for sure after he gave a homily.

I certainly thought I'd be past the point of feeling down about his transfer by now.

Not that it's all bad. It's not like he got transferred to Mars.

Someone on my other blog said that friendships rooted in Christ will actually grow with time and distance because the Body of Christ is eternal. That is a major comfort.

Not like this really matters...

... but why is it that so many people are compelled to ask me if Anastasia is my real name?

That strikes me as a bit rude. Would it be a real issue if it were not indeed my legal name? (It is. I can dig up my birth certificate if you like.) I guess in these parts it seems so outlandish a name for a little white girl.


Too funny

Follow the link. You'll be glad you did.


I'm doing better

No, really. I woke up feeling a lot better about things. I'm verging on optimism here. Funny how the prayers of strangers can uplift the spirits. That and a cup of good coffee. (Finally got to use my new grinder on some Starbucks Organic Shade Grown Mexico beans. Oh, man. Best coffee ever.)


Keeping it together (barely)

It just seems that there is no end to the battles I have to fight.

First my health (I'm still in quite a bit of pain). Then my car having electrical problems. Now my brother's car (which I've been driving) blows a radiator and is having other major issues.

Oh, and my ex still wants me back . He's being really nice about it, but still. I feel bad for him, and I still love him (usually, once you love someone you generally continue to love them, whether or not you want to be with them) and if he were Catholic and could tell his overbearing dad and jerkweed friends to back off and let him live his life I'd almost take him back. He's been so contrite about how badly our relationship ended. We had a long talk tonight. I just... I don't know. I love him, but I'm pretty sure I am called to something else.


Actually, I'm not quite as confident as usual on that front. I keep trying to reach out to God like Fr. John said to but I'm not getting anything. I'm scared. I don't feel God's presence anymore and on one hand I wonder what it is I've done to offend Him.

On the other hand, I can't stop believing, no matter how bad things get. Maybe it's another Satanic attack. Maybe it's a test of my will, to see if I'll keep going no matter how forsaken I feel.

My faith dies with me. Be aware of that.

God help me.



I prefer to blow things up, but whatever. So long as it's legal.

Thanks be to God. Now pass the bottle rockets.


CRM update!

Catholic Ragemonkey has finally seen an update for the first time in over a week. I appreciate that the good fathers who run it are busy men, but I'm still happy to finally have my fix. Hallelujah!


Faith must endure

"Sooner or later, He withdraws...all supports and incentives. He leave the creature to stand up on it's own two legs- to carry out from the will alone duties which have lost all relish..It is during such periods...that it is growing into the sort of creature He wants it to be.
He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away his hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles... [Satan's] cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do [God's] will, looks around upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys."- C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

I got the rejection letter from St. John's today.


I think I've been tackling the whole discernment process a bit from the wrong end. What I should be doing is looking at all vocations objectively.

I felt that I had discerned married life pretty thoroughly since I was 13 or so. However, I don't think that I've ever looked at it objectively before. I feel that I could make quite a decent wife and mother. I know that I am willing to let that go if that's what God wants, but a part of me longs for a husband and children. (Not just any yahoo for a husband though. I am extremely picky on that score, which may be another sign that the religious life is for me.)

There is also always the single life. WHo says I have to be part of a religious order to be holy? I can hold down a job and remain chaste in accordance with my unmarried state.

I am certainly not saying that I've given over the idea of religious life, not in the least. I'm just trying to be objective.


My Weekend, By Anastasia Hunt

Wednesday: I notice what looks like a rather nasty bug bite on my face. Am more concerned by sinus infection.

Thursday: Bug bite zit thingy has grown. Decide to give it another day, for surely it can't get any bigger. Go to work as scheduled, get drafted into actually working (as opposed to attending stupid meeting).


(1 pm) Wake to find entire right side of face swollen to ginormous proportions. Try ice. Nothing doing. Showed Jason. He says I need medical attention.

(4 pm) Call work to let them know I'm going to doctor with heinous swelling. Sup is less than nice about it. Trust me, I'd much rather be in stupid meeting right now than doctor's office.

(4:30) At clinic a mile from home. Doctor comes in, gasps, "Oh, honey!", calls another doctor to come take a look. (Never a good sign.) Swelling is pronounced an abcess. Am directed to nearest ER.

(5:30) Jason has driven me to St. Anthony ER. (Not the closest, but is Catholic.) Check-in takes forever; face is killing me.

(7:30) Get a room, IV, morphine. CAT scan is ordered.

(9:30) Cute doctor tells me that CAT scan shows is really, really bad, relating to a damaged wisdom tooth (ironocally does not hurt tooth). They'll have to operate on me- minor procedure really. Doesn't stop me from getting nervous. Given more morphine. They'll try to do it in the next hour.

(11:00) Am taken to OR. Doctors and nurses are really nice. Heavy-duty drugs pumped into my IV. Last thing I remember is cap being put on my head.

(11:45) Come to in Recovery room. (Allegedly. I don't remember this.)

(12:30) Taken to my room. Expected to stay at least until Sunday. Bless Jason's heart- he stayed with me from the drive up until now. I send him on his way and drift off in a sea of morphine and anti-nausea meds.


(7:30 am) I wake up feeling lousy. Eat breakfast anyway. Am on clear liquid diet, so seems weird- chicken broth, Jello, juice, popsicle.

(1:30 pm) more morphine, as am in pain from drain inserted into abcess.

(2:30) Jason and Jenn visit. I feel horrible- short of breath and v. nauseous. Call nurse. She comes in to take care of shortness of breath, which goes away when I projectile vomit my clear liquid diet a foot into the air before it lands on me. Think I traumatized the aide. They cleaned me up and got me back into bed. They deduce it was the morphine.

(8 pm) Nurse walks me down the hall a bit. Not interested in dinner. Proceed to sleep some more.

(11 PM) ask for pain meds that aren't morphine. Get Lortab. Niiiiiiiice.


(7:30) Still groggy from Lortab. Get to move to solids after breakfast.

(9:30 am) Best friend Theresa and her daughter Adia (age 3) arrive just as priest leaves (from giving me Anointing of Sick and communion). T brings me care package of moisturizers and chocolate. Nurse brings more Lortab. Theresa leaves so I can rest and so she can get Adia home.

(11:30) Lunch is quite decent- turkey and gravy, potatoes, salad. Back to napping.

(12:45) Grandpa stops by for visit. I zonk out again.

(1:45) Jason and Jenn arrive. They run to store for me to get supplies. Another dose of Lortab.

(7:00) Dinner (ick), spongebath, wash hair as best as I can with massive bandage on neck. Walk down hall by myself.

(8:45) Watch sunset. Am on 11th floor- nice view. Am told will not be out till Mon.or Tue.


(12 am) IV hurting me. Gets moved. That doesn't work, it gets moved again. More lortab.

(7:45) Room Service calls for my breakfast order. Am cranky and will have to call them back.

(9:45) Breakfast, more Lortab. Getting tired of being sleepy all the time. Get feeling not going home today. Depressed. Think will ask for painkiller that doesn't knock me out.

(1:30) Lonely. Few visitors. Miss Fr. Rex (still). Hear Fr. John is better (v.g.).

(4:30) Tylenol. Yay! Less downtime.

(5:45) Carrot cake here is delicious.

(8:00) Jason just left. Reading good book on C S lewis. Will take Lortab tonight to sleep through any pain. Want to go home. Have too much going to be cooped up in here!


(8:30) slept really well. Woken by cute doctor. May get to go home today or tomorrow. Yes! Need to wash hair, shave legs in the worst way.

(12:30) No painkillers needed today so far. Yes! Dental procedure scheduled for tomorrow. Was really hoping to go home tonight. Oh well.

(1:15) I'm going home tonight! Back to clinic tomorrow for dental work. So happy. I will be wearing pants in a few short hours.

(2:30) Nurse removed drain (rubber tubing and stitches), gave me IV antibiotics. 4 hours to freedom and normal clothes.

(5:15) IV now totally out. Thank God. Don't think I need extra fluids anyway, am sick of going to bathroom every hour and a half. PANTS TIME!!!

(6:40) I am so out of here!

So, on the minus side: extreme pain, the side fx of various pain meds, wearing only the most hideous of gowns for days on end.
On the plus side, however: my brother rocks, got daily communion, hospital staff were very nice.
I'm just so happy to be home.


The aliens did NOT get me!

Yeah, I know I have not updated this in a while but I've got a good excuse. I've just gotten home from the hospital, where I've been since Friday night.

More later.


I want to be holy.


A letter to Fr. John Metzinger

Dear Fr. John,

I hear rumors that, just days after your heart attack, you made an appearance at the office. While I am glad that you are recovering so nicely (God be praised!), I am also slightly concerned for you.

We were made to understand that you need several weeks of rest and quiet in order to recover. I understand that you are dedicated to your vocation (God bless you for that). Just please, please don't overdo it. We need you, love you and want you to get better.

I hope you continue to recover so well. You remain in my prayers.

Anastasia Hunt



So much for my squeeage. See my Xanga for details. (I'm lazy. I cross-reference. Deal.)

Something I've noticed in the few years that I've been truly interested in Catholicism: nearly every Catholic church I've visited has had a garden of some sort- a place of tranquility with places to sit, lots of foliage, and some sort of religious statuary. I especially like the ones at St. Thomas More (cozy and old-fashioned) and St. John's (roomy, with a fountain).

The gardens give these awesomely holy places a lovely homelike feel- like God wants you to sit down and stay a while, and maybe swing by sometime when you're not there to worship just to chill and to enjoy his house.

I wonder if all Catholic churches have gardens.

UPDATE: I posted the above question to the Catholic message board. It seems that not all churches have 'em. Hm. Go figure.


As bad as today was (see my Xanga), there is reason for me to squee with joy.

I have an interview at St. John's tomorrow!!!!!

OK, I'm gonna finish up here and then I'm gonna pray a rosary.


Told ya so...

Today, I said farewell to Fr. Rex. And I was foolish enough to leave the Kleenex at home.

It was an emotional goodbye for all concerned. He told us to love one another as we had loved him. For some reason this made me miss Mom.

The fact that Fr. John wasn't there made things even more emotionally charged. Fr. John suffered a mild heart attack Friday night. Fr. Rex says he should be okay after a few weeks of rest and quiet.

It's like having one of your best friends move away. That's what I'm feeling right now. (Although the sight of what I presume to have been a high school photo definitely provided some levity at the reception. :D )

Oh well. Clinton's not that far. Once my life settles down a bit I'll pay him a visit.



I've been left home alone while Jason and Jennifer go to Vegas for a family wedding. Nice.

Lots to do today- gotta pick up my reserves at the library (they FINALLY got in that book on the history of Catholicism in Oklahoma) and bake another loaf of banana bread. Also need to get the gift bag made and the card signed, for Fr. Rex's reception is tomorrow.


I am having a good day so far.

Mass was great! I pray that I get the job at the church, because then I'd totally be able to do Daily Mass.

I'm going to a church dinner on Wednesday. It's called "Dinner with Da Vinci". Apparently, Deacon John has done some research on the fallacies contained within "The Da Vinci Code". It promises to be informative.

Got a little weepy today though- it was Fr. Louis' last day with us. He's a really nice guy. I gave him a loaf of homemade banana bread and totally dropped the ball when I told him goodbye.

Have decided to re-read "The Chronicles of Narnia". Haven't done that since I was a teenager. I think I'll totally have a different perspective on it now.


Father Rex is my homeboy

With just a few short days left before the amazingly awesome associate priest of my parish goes to his new assignment, I'm starting to get all weepy and mopey. Now that I think about it, I might feel better if I tell my readership about Fr. Rex Arnold and why he means so much to me.

I am a total spaz when it comes to expressing my feelings about others, so please bear with me.

I met Fr. Rex in October, when Jason, Jennifer, and I attended our first mass at St. John the Baptist. I don't remember the specifics of his homily, but I daresay that is what influenced us to choose St. John's; Jason and I both liked him immediately. He was very nice to us when we introduced ourselves- he chatted with us for a moment and made us feel welcome. As we headed to lunch, we decided that we would definitely be going back there.

We progressed through RCIA and got to know so many good and lovely people. (I may have mentioned this before, but St. John's RCIA program is really, really good. Deacon John Morris does an excellent job of explaining subjects in detail and keeping our interest while doing so. The people who volunteer their time are extremely nice and supportive.) Fr. Rex was a part of that as well. He spoke to us a few times and generally took an interest in the goings-on of the RCIA. He also led our pre-confirmation retreat.

Fr. Rex is such a kind soul, as well as a wise, understanding teacher. He always seems to be overcome with joy, especially when he's doing his priestly duties. He is also witty, highly literate, and incredibly friendly. He's incredibly popular not only in our parish but at the local Starbucks.

I think he is particularly special to me because he's made an effort to reach out to me. In our discussions I've found that there are similarities in our respective upbringings and life experiences. His interest in the RCIA is rather personal- he was once a convert. He has been open about his conversion experience, and it has done me a world of good to have him there as an example of how good life can be if you just actually listen to God. He also introduced me to the theological works of C.S. Lewis (a debt I doubt I can repay).

In closing, all I can say is that it has been an honor and a privilege to know and to be led by Fr. Rex. His old parish will miss him greatly, and his new parish will be especially blessed by his presence. God bless this wonderful man who I am sure will lead may souls to heaven.

(I know this post is dated Saturday, but today is actually Wednesday. It took me days just to get this written.)


So, Blogger has finally come back up, and the good fathers at CRM have updated. :)

Meanwhile, I still cope with living day-to-day life whilst discerning my vocation. I'm set to spend a week on retreat at a local convent; I am really looking forward to it.

I have decided not to date while I'm in discernment; this has made me a bit more attractive to the opposite sex. (Yikes. What part of, "I'm sorry, but I'm deciding whether or not to become a nun and therefore I don't think it's fair to me or to you for me to date right now" is so difficult to understand?

I'm gonna go make a loaf of banana bread for Fr. Louis, who is going back to St. Gregory's this week. I guess I should also prepare myself for Fr. Rex's departure (he goes to his new assignment in a little over a week).


Wanted: Spiritual director

Yay! Blogger's been down for a few days. Maybe there's been an update at CRM.

So, anyway, I'm looking for a spiritual director. I have been told that a spiritual director holds up a mirror to the directee to show them how the Spirit is moving in their life. I definitely need that.


Holy Orders

Tonight I witnessed the ordination of Deacon (now Father) Dan Letourneau to the priesthood.

It was just... amazing. I was simply awestruck at how powerful the presence of the Lord was tonight at the Cathedral. I'll have to admit that the ceremony was just flat-out gorgeous and moving.

My call to become a religious sister was reaffirmed tonight. The feeling I get when I think about it... I've been waiting my whole life to feel this way. I want to be a light to the world. I want to show people that God loves them. I hope that everything I do reflects that.


Spiritual Warfare

I've been spending a lot of time at the Catholic Message Board. Let me tell ya, it's an awesome community.

I've been dealing with some issues lately. My big one is that I had lost interest in school. I assumed it was just burnout, and some personal issues with a staff member .

My problems with school started the week after Easter Vigil. As I began opening myself to God's will, things got worse. As I entered into the discernment process, my attendance dropped off drastically and I suddenly found myself not caring about school.

The enemy is sneaky. He's not gonna take the direct path of attacking my faith- I have a lot of people praying for me on that end. He found another way in and he took it. The attack was almost successful- I was on the verge of dropping out of school altogether.

Thankfully, my eyes have been opened. This of course means the Enemy will look for another way in, and he'll be even more subtle. I'm gonna have to learn to be vigilant.

(x-posted to my Xanga)


Good day

I finally got the article written. That was a real challenge. Now to see what the ed. thinks.

Went to two masses today. Why? 'cause I CAN. Yeah.

Big things happenin' in our humble little parish, what with Fr. Louis going back to St. Gregory's and Fr. Rex is going to Clinton. I will miss them both.
Also, we're getting a new guy as associate pastor. Dan Letourneau will be ordained Friday. Don't know him well, but hopefully that will change.

I will venture to say that I have started the discernment process. I plan to take a tour of Villa Theresa (the Carmelite convent in OKC). I'm also going on a retreat at Red Plains Monastery in Piedmont. I pray about this a lot and I hope others are praying for me too.
The main challenge of wriring the article is that I have to keep it around 800 words. That is so much harder to do than I thought!


Wow. just wow.

Wow. Today has been full of surprises.
I had an interview at Mardel, which I think went pretty well. I really hope I get on there. (I'll pray about it.)
Had lunch with Jason, Jenn, Theresa, and Dave again today. Wonder if this will become a regular thing.
Major news- I read an article at Busted Halo (an online Christian magazine for young adults). I liked it enough to send a letter to the editor, asking him to pass my compliments to the author. I got a response from the editor, who had read this blog (the link is in my email signature line, and I know what a self-promoting hoser I am, thanks). Anyway, long story short, he liked my blog, especially the entry where I detailed my conversion to Catholicism, and he asked me if I'd like to write for Busted Halo.
Is the Pope Catholic? Is Satan evil? Of COURSE I'd like to write for a national publication. I am over the moon.
God is so, so good.

(Xposted to my Xanga, btw)


Subject for debate

I've joined a Yahoo! group for women in discernment. (It's called "Women in Discernment". How frightfully original is that?)
A topic that is being thoroughly and almost heatedly discussed is appropriate attire for Mass.
My preferred Mass wear ranges from slacks and a blouse to a dress suit. Then again, I am of the old school and I would feel really weird wearing jeans and a t-shirt to visit God in his house. (I did go semi casual once- a humor tee from Hot Topic and bell-bottomed slacks with sneakers; I felt really odd about this.)
I've noticed that a lot of my fellow parishioners tend to go pretty casual to Sunday mass- lots of jeans and polo shirts. Also, some of the younger women wear things that strike me as less than modest (a little too snug and low cut, IMHO). Of course, I'm glad they're there, but is it wrong for me to think that dressing with a little more care for Mass is appropriate and respectful, and that failing to do so is kind of rude? (Don't get me started on the overall tackiness of modern fashion- I could go on about that for weeks.)
Let's open this up for discussion- what do you think is appropriate attire for Mass?


I attended my first daily mass today. It's like Sunday mass but a lot shorter, and waaaaay less populated.

After an excellent dinner at a local Chinese place, I went back to church to sit in on the new RCIA class. It was very informative, as usual. It looks like Deacon John has finally decided to stick to PowerPoint, as opposed to a large pad of paper and a Jumbo Sharpie.

Still not sure what to get Frs. Louis and Rex as departure gifts.(BTW, Fr. Rex is so close to having competition for the spot of Anastasia's Favorite Priest Ever- in the form of Fr. Shane at Catholic Ragemonkey.)


How I became Catholic

I know I yammer on and on about how great it is to be Catholic, but maybe what I should share with you is the story of how I came to Catholicism to begin with. This means telling you about myself.

I was born to married teenage hippies in 1975, in Oklahoma City. I highly doubt we attended church as a family, for my parents were too busy getting high and just chilling out. (Well, my dad was anyway. I think once I was born my mom's priorities did shift somewhat.) My mom didn't tell my dad she was pregnant with me, probably because she didn't want to be weaseled into terminating the pregnancy. I'm not sure if she told anyone besides her mom.
My dad left us within a few months of my birth, swinging back by to visit (and to help create my brother). Their divorce was final in 1978. For a while, my mom just kinda drifted a bit, partying and trying to raise two children who were still in diapers.
In the summer of '79, my aunt was in town. She had been religious pretty much from the get-go, and she was probably concerned for my mother. They wound up going to some concert the local Southern Baptist church was holding. Mom wound up "getting saved"; she decided that she needed to change, and she needed the Lord in order to do so.
We were Southern Baptist from then until 1985. My mom participated in everything, as well as getting her GED and starting college. She also made a lot of new friends. I learned a lot about hell before I was 10.
My mom felt called to drop everything in Oklahoma City and move us to Nashville, TN in 1984. She found a really good nondenominational church out there. I liked Nashville- it's a beautiful town, and the people are just super-friendly.
Financial difficulities forced us to return to OKC in 1986. My mother, to my knowledge, went back to the church that we had belonged to, and for some reason she didn't care much for it. From that point on, we pretty much stopped going to church, unless it was Christmas or somebody was getting married. My brother and I were pretty well left to our own devices as far as church went- just so long as we stayed Christian.
I wasn't terribly interested in church until I started college. (I had, in tenth grade, expressed an interest in the Catholic church, only to be shot down by my well-meaning mother who honestly thought that Catholics were severely misguided.) I started occasionally attending a Methodist church near the University of Central Oklahoma. I liked the sermons being so kind and gentle (and not chock-full of references to hell and backsliding) but I somehow felt that something was missing.
The sudden death of my mother in 1997, when I was 22, was a severe trauma. I sank myself into a self-destructive lifestyle in an effort to not have to deal with it.I wound up getting myself arrested and spending a night in jail. That was my wake-up call.
I resolved to live sensibly. I got back into church, another Southern Baptist outfit in Norman. I also met a guy and got engaged to him. I submitted to being rebaptized, only to leave the church within months. My fiance turned out not only to be really anti-social, but also a Wiccan. That engagement set the scene for what was going to be the biggest thing to ever happen to me.
I was in college in the fall of 2000. It was the only thing I had to look forward to- my engagement was not going well. I made some friends in the drama department. One of them, Theresa Lepak, would wind up being my best friend and my sponsor.
One night, I was preparing to leave work when she swung by to talk to me. She told me that her church was having a college night, and hey, it was free food and the opportunity to meet people. By now I was sceptical about anything church-related. I had pretty well decided that I was not meant to go to church. She then mentioned that this was a Catholic church. This appealed to my rebelliouness and I found myself at St. Thomas More that night.
The feeling I had gotten while at mass was the one I had always wanted to get at church. I felt, despite the fact that I didn't know the prayers or when to stand, sit, or kneel, that I was home.
I started attending mass with Theresa fairly often. In 2002, I went on a church-sponsored retreat called SEARCH; it was a real turning point in my life. I decided to look into converting. I began RCIA that fall;however, my well-meaning friends and family (including my brother Jason) talked me out of it. I would still attend mass on occasion- usually at STM or St. Paul the Apostle in Del City.
Last summer, my brother started asking me questions about my desire to become Catholic. I answered as honestly as I could. I assumed the matter was finished, but he dropped a major bomb on me a few weeks later: apparently, he’d been learning a lot about Catholicism (in order to debunk it) and, based on what he had learned, he had decided to convert. I immediately knew that it was time for me to resume my faith journey as well.
We attended mass at St. Charles Borromeo, and Jason was in the same position I was in at my first mass. He was astonished at how well I knew what was going on. I reminded him that I had almost converted. He apologized for having anything to do with my leaving RCIA.
In his quest to find a church home for himself, Jason decided to try St. John the Baptist in Edmond. We went and immediately knew that this was where we were supposed to be. Jason made some inquiries and next thing you know we were in RCIA. I've posted about St. John's excellent RCIA program before.
That's pretty much it. We finished the program and came into the church at the Easter vigil. It's only the beginning.



I was reading a review for The DaVinci Code and came across this little gem:

Catholic writer Mark Shea tells an anecdote about a college bull session among students at Central Washington University over The Da Vinci Code. “Even if it’s just fiction,” a student opined, “it’s still interesting to think about.”
To which another student replied: “Your mother’s a whore.” And then, to the first student’s stunned incredulity, he added, “And even if that’s just fiction, it’s still interesting to think about.”

I have attempted to read "The Da Vinci Cod" and have found it to be really , really boring.
Sad when the parody bores the reader to tears. Makes me definitely want to give the actual work a miss.


Ou est CRM?

There have been no new posts at Catholic Ragemonkey in days. I need my fix, yo! I'm twitchin' here.

Ebay totally rocks, though. I scored a bunch of Catholic paraphernalia (in search of a statue of Mary, wound up with several, plus a statue of St. Francis- for $10.50!!)

Aaah, well. I'd best get to bed- I have Mass in the AM (YAY! I need that fix too. Can't wait until I get my schedule cleared enough to start swinging by the occasional daily mass).


i am teh w1nnz0rz!!!!

First off, I must tell you all that I finally got my paws on a copy of C.S. Lewis' "The Great Divorce" (per Fr. Rex's recommendation). All I can say is, whoa. That is one awesome book. I rather figured it would be, though- I really enjoyed "The Screwtape Letters".

My meeting last night with the various religious sisters of the archdiocese went well. (I was the only inquirer who showed up.) It was very informative and gave me a lot to think and pray about.

Pray for me.

Oh, and Happy Birthday, homey. Happy birthday, homeboy. Be grateful I don't know where you live, and I'm lazy; otherwise, it would be gift-wrapped toilet time for you. Happy birthday to you. (You know who you are.)


Am I thorough or just mental?

In what little spare time I have, I've been making a list of pointers, hints, and tips for vocation discernment. It's five pages long. I'm very proud.

Awesome quiz!!!

Your Spirituality Type: PATH OF DEVOTION (Augustinian prayer)


The majority of saints are of this spiritual temperament as well as 12 percent of the population (but half of those who go on retreats or belong to small faith groups).

This method uses creative imagination to transpose; the world of scripture to our situation today--as if the scripture passage is a personal letter from God a addressed to each one; of us (like Saint Augustine picking up Romans 13 and reading; a message pointed directly at him). The essential element of this spirituality, going back to New Testament times (Jesus, Saint Paul, the early church fathers), is experiencing a personal relationship with God. Because they read between the lines and catchy what is inexpressible and spiritual, those who follow the path of devotion best understand symbols and their use in the liturgy.

This path concentrates on meditations that loosen the feelings and expand the ability to relate to and love others. The stress is on the love of self, others, and God. Those on this path can follow the four steps of the Lectio Divina: listen to what God says in scripture; reflect prayerfully and apply it to today; respond to God's word with personal feelings; remain quiet and stay open to new insights.

By Roger O'Brien. Reproduced online with permission from the author.
Found in VISION: http://www.vocationguide.org

http://www.visionguide.org/content/view/28/60/ Take it for yourself. Trust me, you'll be glad you did.


Oooh... tingly!

We wound up painting the house for Habitat. On one hand, I'm certainly comfortable around paint. However, I did not dress accordingly and now a perfectly good pair of jeans is paint-spattered. Oh, and I forgot to return the shirt I borrowed. And my eyes sting, so I'm gonna go lie down.

I'd still do it, though. In a minute.


Imagination= endless possibilities

So, I made it to my appointment within five minutes of when I was supposed to (bonus!). Boy, was that an hour very well spent, and worth getting up before noon. :)

Fr. Rex was so helpful and patient. I was right about getting perspective from him on my current situation. I was pleasantly surprised by just how well he understood what I've been through and what's going on now. I am so happy that he shared so much of his experience with me. (*insert mopey sentiment on how much I'll miss him when he goes to his own church*)

That meeting was just what I needed! I feel like going home and praying a rosary. Unfortunately, I have to put in at least a couple of hours at school, then I have to get up early in the morning to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.



First off, I'd like to express mad love to the folks at Catholic Ragemonkey for linking to my humble blog, and for the kind words of encouragement.

A quick early a.m. blogfest brought to light an interesting topic. The priests who run CRM are also planning to work on their respective RCIA programs. Silly me for assuming there was a standard program, and that it rules.

My first brush with RCIA(at St. Thomas More) was several years ago. It was informative enough, and I was sad to leave it as early as I did.
I just finished RCIA at St. John the Baptist, and let me tell you, it was a fantastic program. Several people are responsible for the program: Deacon John did the vast majority of the teaching, and several laypeople (very dedicated folks, let me tell you) helped. Fr. Rex also was a big part of RCIA- he gave a couple of talks, and he led our pre-confirmation retreat.
Let me tell you a bit about Deacon John. He was a trial lawyer for some time. He is, therefore, quite intelligent and articulate. He gave up his law practice to become a deacon. This guy is very passionate about his faith, and about teaching the basics of it to anyone interested in learning.
The classes last for a year- the latest round just started on Tuesday. We went over a wide variety of topics, from the life of Jesus to the sanctity of life to the importance of stewardship and discipleship. Classes more often than not ran over the allotted hour and a half because Deacon John would just totally get into the topic. (I didn't much mind this, though; the presentations were really informative. I managed to pay attention, which given my ADD says a lot.)

So, yeah, mad love to all the people responsible for the RCIA at St. John's.

Now I need to go get dressed and out the door for my job interview.


"Father? Duuuude. No, man, this isn't a bad time."

I made an appointment with Fr. Rex for Friday morning. I have no earthly idea why I get so nervous about talking to the priests. (I was really tightly wound before my appointment w/ Fr. John). Fr. Rex is very nice and I have nothing to worry about.I'm not there to tell him how I've screwed up this week (I'll save that for Saturday). Just because he is supposed to be a religious 'father', it doesn't mean he's going to criticize my clothing choices while telling me to stop chewing with my mouth open and/or interrogating me as to where I was last night and why I was two hours late getting home.

Anyway, jangly nerves aside, I've only wanted meet with Fr. Rex for the past two weeks. You see, he was raised Protestant (as was I); he came into the Church in his late 20's (I think that's what he told us),and he obviously felt a calling to the priesthood. I totally value the perspectives offered by my cradle Catholic friends, I really do. I also have the utmost respect for the advice offered me by my non-Catholic friends (most of whom are not surprised by my possible choice of vocation). However, Fr. Rex is in the unique position of having been raised Protestant, converting as an adult, and joining the priesthood. From a Protestant perspective, that's a really radical change. (Protestants have nothing like the celibate priesthood or religious life.)

So, anyway, yay me. I did good. (And I managed to be up before 10. I managed to be awake 20 minutes before the nice priest called me at 9:45.)

Oh, yeah. I'd like to give a shout-out to my homeys at Catholic Ragemonkey for being so gosh-darned cool.



This week has been a bit of a challenge for me. I'm feeling a little ill-at-ease over some personal issues; it's something I'll have to just suck it up and work through.

I will really miss Fr. Rex. He's just an incredible guy, and I see him as a role model. I really do. He is absolutely suited to his vocation. The people of St. Mary in Clinton will be especially blessed to have him as their pastor.

I'm praying a lot more than I used to, and I'm no longer quite as tongue-tied when I pray on my own. I think that's a plus.

I really needed Mass today. It definitely makes me feel stronger as a person when I go, and especially when I partake of the Eucharist.


No, I've never been in the **** Navy. Why do you **** ask?

My weekend was pretty standard. I went to Confession on Saturday (about my bad habit of using the Lord's name in vain) and got a bit of help on dealing with the potty mouth I developed to shock and scare my mom. After all, I apparently represent Catholicism (and even Christianity) to a lot of people; having people be surprised by lil' old me dropping the F-bomb (or anything else) is not amusing any more. (Admittedly, most profanity isn't technically a sin, but it's really vulgar- and Catholicism is totally about being respectful.)

Also, apparently, I am not in the discernment process yet. I am meeting with a religious sister on Wednesday to learn more about it. There's a lot I simply don't know about religious life. There's also a meeting for women interested in religious life sometime in the next two weeks.

Sunday was good too- I went to a Mystagogy Mass (a mass for new Catholics) at the Archdiocese Pastoral Center. I am so glad they haven't renovated it a whole lot since it was built in 1959- it still retains a lot of its original appearance -turquoise tiles and just lots of clean, friendly lines. (I LOVE 50's architecture.) And the chapel there is really cool- very much in keeping with the design principles of its' day.

Archbishop Beltran is really very personable, and apparently has a slightly offbeat sense of humor- He made a point of pestering the guy in the pew in front of me (they must know each other personally).

One of the challenges I face is that I will probably be asked to wait for a couple of years before I start planning to become a religious sister. This is because I just came into the Church at Easter. While I am eager to engage in what I am being called to do, I must respect any regulations that are in place. Besides, there is nothing stopping me from volunteering at church or finding other ways to do the Lord's work.

Also, I'm thinking very strongly of spending at least a year at St. Gregory's University. I think that would be a good thing for me in a couple of respects; I'll be in a Catholic environment, so I can learn more about my faith with fewer distractions from the secular world. Also, it's a really good school. I just hope I can get in.


Still a little bit giddy

Hi guys!

Well, I guess this is what Catholics call the discernment process.

I met with Fr. John yesterday and told him of my situation. He advised me that since I have just joined the church, it's likely that whatever order I decide to join will require that I wait a couple of years. Hey, if it's God's will, then it's God's will.Thanks to him for being pragmatic about it- I know that very few women of my age are willing to take on a religious vocation, especially if there's still a chance that they'll marry and have children.

Had an awesome potluck dinner at the church. I think everyone brought something- I was stuffed. Deacon John is very excited for me- said that I may be an answer to a prayer.

I prayed last night, more at length and in depth than I ever have before. Opening myself up to God's will has thus far been absolutely liberating. I felt so good, and I prayed that I would continue to pray, and to be faithful to His call.

May the peace of the Lord be with you all.


Like a Ton of Bricks

Please pray for my friend Nikki. She has just found out that she and her husband are expecting a baby. She is considered a high-risk pregnancy and she needs all the prayers she can get.

On a different subject:
You probably know from my previous posts that I've recently joined the Catholic church. It's been an incredible experience for me, one that has brought me unspeakable joy.

There's been an extremely interesting new development.

For months, Jason has been periodically suggesting to me that I look into becoming a religious sister. I've brushed him off, saying that I want to at least remain open to the possibility of marrying and having children. Secretly, I've felt a quiet calling to the religious life, but I've denied it, trying to put it off for a few more years, until I'm absolutely sure that I'm not getting hitched and having kiddos. I told God that it was his will and I would do his will, but I wanted a clear-cut, straighforward sign of some sort.

Well, I finally got what I asked for. Jason told me that Fr. Rex was getting his own parish pretty far away from here. I was really sad at first, but learning of it spurred me to action. I've been meaning to ask him how he knew that the priesthood was his life's calling. Now I know that I need to get a move on with it. As soon as I had decided to make an appointment with him to discuss it, I was struck by the thunderbolt. I called Fr. John and made an appointment to speak wiht him tomorrow morning.

I really feel that I'm being called to the religious life. It's clear as a bell now. I know that there will be some major adjustments, but God will help me with those.

So, please, pray for me too. I have a lot to think and pray about.

PS- Nobody so far seems to be at all surprised by my calling/possible vocation.