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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas...

...or, "Felix Dies Nativitatis!" in Latin. I didn't know how to say that until 5 seconds ago. But it sounds very pretty to me.

Anyway, I hope that everyone is having a blessed and joyful Christmas Day, always remembering the true meaning of Christmas and the reason for all our celebration.

It is a time of hope and joy... my favorite time of the year. So Felix Dies Nativitatis!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Gregorian Chant

At church I lead a Schola Cantorum, which is in other words a school of chant. We do gregorian chant as well as sacred polyphony. We sing monthly at Vespers, and yesterday was our November Vespers. One of our singers' sister recorded this. It is O Sacrum Convivium by Remondi. Unfortunately our bass got stuck in traffic and missed singing this one, otherwise we would have been a little more complete.  All in all, I am decently pleased at the way it turned out, all things considered. It is a wonderful way to praise the Lord, and we are so blessed to have an opportunity to sing.

Here are the lyrics of the song, from Wikipedia.

Original Latin (punctuation from Liber Usualis):

O sacrum convivium!
in quo Christus sumitur:
recolitur memoria passionis ejus:
mens impletur gratia:
et futurae gloriae nobis pignus datur.

Translation of original Latin:

O sacred banquet!
in which Christ is received,
the memory of his Passion is renewed,
the mind is filled with grace,
and a pledge of future glory to us is given.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The End of the Rainbow is at the Shrine

The Catholics and Heretics blog has a new post up about the Shrine of the Most Holy Redeemer, and how the priest there was put on leave due to his rentals of what essentially amounts to gay pornography. Video rentals which he had mailed directly to the Shrine's address!

In the priest's place Bishop Pepe appointed the openly gay Michael La Rocca as administrator. I mean "openly gay" as in he lives with his boyfriend, so it is not as though he is someone who lives a chaste and holy life, in line with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Interesting choices, Bishop. Very interesting.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I was talking to my husband Phillip about the Sacred Music Colloquim, and how I would love to go. "I would be in heaven," I said dreamily.

Phillip: Yes, you would be in heaven. (He was referring to the daily chanted Masses)
Ivy (age 3): I don't want you to go to heaven.
Me: Well, not yet.
Ivy: I want want to go to heaven.
Me (reassuringly): Well, we can go to heaven together.
Phillip (ominously): We can all go to heaven together.
Me (laughing): Here, Ivy, drink this Kool-aid.
Ivy: You know the Caf'lick Mass is Heaven?
Phillip: How did you know that?
Ivy: God told me dat, when I was sleeping.
Phillip: What else did he tell you?
Ivy: Dat my gawdian angel was coming. And then I woked up and hugged her. God sent her, because he is Chwist the Lawd.
Me: Whats your guardian angels name?
Ivy: She doesn't have a name, because she never got born.
Me: Well what name do you give her?
Ivy: Her first name is Scwumptious. Her second name is Footpwints.
Me: So her name is Scrumptious Footprints?
Ivy: Yes.

And from there she continued on with a slew of words and descriptions about St Michael, her angel, God, and who knows what else. We were surprised at her understanding about the Mass, and so thankful that God is working in her heart and mind, even at such a tender age!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

And the Thunder Rolls...

Last night and this morning Las Vegas had thunderstorms rolling through. I was actually surprised that the thunder and lightening was still going on as morning approached. Usually it blows over long before morning. For most of the night my area didn't get any actual rain, but the light show was spectacular.

At about 6am, the rain started coming down hard. It was beautiful. I have always been a big fan of rain and thunderstorms. So I was too excited to go back to sleep. I just had to enjoy the weather as fully as I could because it doesn't come along very often.

I got up, wrapped myself up in a blanket, made myself a piping hot latte and sat down on the couch to pray my rosary while I watched the storm. This rosary is for the intention of... I prayed. Although the thunder was starting to rumble further and further in the distance, as soon as I finished my intention there was an enormous and deafening clap of thunder. Let me just say that I have had enough happen to me that I have stopped believing in coincidences.

As I sat there in the semi-dark, praying, I had one of those delicious moments when you can feel God's presence. I was filled with such an overwhelming love and joy. I thanked Him for the countless blessings in my life.

And I thanked him for the beautiful thunderstorm, which woke me up and brought me to that perfect moment of prayer and worship, to the ideal way to start my day.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The "Other" Blog

Hey guys, I know I haven't posted in a while but I have been busy with my Graco partnership. Hop on over to my more frivolous blog and check out the posts and some video from this past week:

I am also doing a giveaway of a Graco Direct Connect Baby Monitor. Enter to win here!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This Aborted Baby Survived

This woman is a truly amazing speaker, and what a voice for life!

Her name is Gianna Jessen, and you may have heard of her before. She was born alive after an abortion attempt. Incredible story! My favorite line from this speech is, "If you think I am a fool, it is just another jewel in my crown."

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Church Suffering

One of Michael Voris' recent videos, which is very spiritually encouraging for those of us in Dioceses that are toeing the line of Protestantism.

This program is from

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Catholics and Heretics

For Las Vegas Catholics, there is this fairly new blog called Catholics and Heretics.

They cover topics about our Diocese. I think the information in this blog will be important for informing faithful Catholics here in Vegas of what is going on in the different parishes. There are some disturbing things happening around the different churches in town, but how would we know about it, except for this blog?

I hope information continues to be posted, because it is encouraging to know we are not alone in our struggle to keep faithful to Holy Mother Church.

If any of you Vegas readers check out this new blog I hope you will pass the link along to other faithful Catholics of your acquaintance here in town. We should not be silent - we should spread the word about what is occurring so that we can do something about it (#1 - PRAY)!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Children Wearing Mantillas

Women choose to veil in church for many different reasons. I myself have more than one reason to veil. When I first started wearing a mantilla to church I felt self-conscious and thought that everyone must be staring at me, but once Mass started it helped me focus on worship and prayer. Like a hat that was capturing my thoughts and keeping them in my head.

The "casual" feeling I had at Mass before was replaced with a deeper seriousness about what was taking place. Around the same time I started dressing in my "Sunday best", which was a conscious effort to prepare myself for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Not to get on my soap box, but when you show up to Mass wearing shorts and flip flops its easy to take it as something as common as going to the grocery store - not as the miracle that occurs before your very eyes as Heaven itself is opened up to us.

When my daughter was old enough to keep something on her head without instantly tearing it off, I also put a mantilla on her. And now that my youngest is old enough, she also wears a mantilla. Together, the three of us must be a sight.

Ivy, playing "church" at the apartment in Milan where we were staying last year for a vacation that started with Violet's baptism at the Vatican.

And these days, I know for a fact that people do stare. The number of women who veil in my parish is small enough, and I think it is probably safe to say that my girls are the only children who veil. Every once in a while I see a young lady, maybe around 14 or 15, who veils. But never have I seen little girls veiling in any parish in Las Vegas.

We have gotten a variety of different responses about the girls veiling. Either we get smiles and nods, or we get sneers and shocked frowns. Before and after Mass, some of the older ladies will coo at the girls and say how cute they are.

I taught them to veil just as I am teaching them modesty in their comportment and in their dress. It is never too early. During the summer, while my 3 year old's friends strip down to their undies at the park to splash in the splash pad, mine stays covered up. I know that there is nothing "wrong" with a naked toddler, but 1) I don't know what creeps could be lurking around, and 2) I don't want her getting used to being naked in public. Even if it is as a child. Naked at home is fine when there is privacy. But not in front of strangers.

And wearing a mantilla in the presence of the Sacred Species is one of those things that I think are never too early to learn, along with humility and obedience to the Lord. I also make sure that our shoulders and knees are covered at Mass.

Where do you stand on children wearing a mantilla to church? What about covering shoulders and knees?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

In Defense of the Holy Father

I generally shun celebrities, generally turn my nose up at them and generally care little about what they have to say. Most of them are highly uneducated in the ways of faith and spew out a whole lot of nonsense. But there are a couple that I follow on Twitter, and one of them is Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller. Even though he is an atheist, he is a smart and funny atheist who knows the government's place, and I admire that. But today he posted these Tweets about the Holy Father (my comments about the exchange in italics).

pennjillette - I guess the pope believes - the best defense is a good offense. This sure is offensive, wrong, and very desperate

pennjillette - The pope compares atheists to Nazis? Lucy, you gotta lot of 'splaining to do! 

To which I had to respond and defend our Holy Father! If you read the article attached to his link, you can see what the real message is. So I said:

TheLasVegasMama-@pennjillette I thought u were a critical thinker, but u r deliberately misunderstanding. He said atheist EXTREMISM. That's not u, so chill 

And to my great surprise, he actually responded. Here is the exchange that followed.

pennjillette - @TheLasVegasMama - I have no problem with extremism, it's the ideas and actions that matter. 

TheLasVegasMama - @pennjillette Rite. Idea of no God=xtrme action of genocide. 1 DOES NOT always follow the other, but it CAN-thats the point the pope made. 

pennjillette - @TheLasVegasMama - he could have used some communists as examples, they really were atheists. 

(Let me point out here that I thought it was interesting that he was not disagreeing with what I said but that he actually brought up yet another example of how evil atheists can be, so I thought it would be ironic to point out how often atheists perform evil deeds. So tongue in cheek, I responded with the following)

TheLasVegasMama - @pennjillette Agreed, history does give us numerous athiest examples to choose from. :)       

But he totally missed it, and who knows what he thought about what the smiley face meant. 

pennjillette  - @TheLasVegasMama - why would you smile after that? Atheism without freedom has been terrible, but why the emoticon? That sums it up 

TheLasVegasMama - @pennjillette b/c though its true, I was conveying a tongue in cheek tone. Why does the emoticon bother you? 

TheLasVegasMama  - @pennjillette BTW its probably too hard to explain here why tongue in cheek at that moment, but it was based on your previous response.    

TheLasVegasMama@pennjillette I should have added an "ohhh snap!" instead of the :) which would have better conveyed the point. Or not.  

It all ended there because he didn't answer after that. Who knows what he thought, maybe that I was a just another member of the hoi polloi. I kind of wished that he understood what I said, but then the other part of me took over - the part of me that is just plain sad for him that he has not opened himself up to God yet. And I say "yet", because through Him all things are possible - even the conversion of confirmed atheists. I skimmed through some of his other Tweet responses to other followers and realized that he has a very uninformed notion of what "religious" means, and what "religious people" are. 

We should all be praying for him to open himself up, and for the Lord to soften his heart.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Vegas vs. L.A.

I was down in L.A. this week, and as we were driving back into Las Vegas this morning I saw a sign for a club at the Encore. Its called "Surrender":

I am sure you can see the snake and the apple. Surrender to sin, and to the devil? No thank you. When you believe that the devil exists and can see his influence in mankind, this kind of lure is not an innocuous marketing campaign, its a personal invitation from Beelzebub himself.

Yesterday I went to a Traditional Latin Mass... with Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony, incense, bells, a cadre of altar boys that executed with almost military precision - the whole nine yards. I left feeling elated, like I really had tasted Heaven, and the earth had fallen away from me. I always feel that way after a TLM. I wish we had something similar in Vegas, but as it stands we bately have a Mass celebrated without liturgical abuse.

That is one thing I love about L.A. They have a TLM! That, and my family is there. If not for the enormity of the city, the constant driving, the smog, and the traffic, I would be more amenable to moving. My family is asking that we move there, but I am torn because I enjoy my life here.

Besides, living in Sin City serves as a constant reminder that the Evil Beast wants you for his own - and you guard yourself accordingly. In some ways L.A. is more dangerous because sin is subtle and hidden. But again - they have the TLM!!  So its a tough thing to decide upon. Besides, it would all be contingent of Phillip finding a job there so for now that is the biggest obstacle.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

When Life Gets in the Way

I want God to be an integral part of my everyday life. Hence the attempts at praying the Rosary daily. But in the last couple of weeks while I was working a temporary "part time" job for AOL, I was actually working every free moment I had.

Rosaries went by the wayside as I ate breakfast at the computer and then continued to work throughout the morning without a break. At night I fell into bed too tired to think, much less pray like I usually do. Only a brief, "All glory and honor are yours, Almighty God..." and then I was asleep.

I am done with those work deadlines now, so its time to resume my usual prayer habits. But what disturbs me is that they should have gone by the wayside at all. They should have stayed, and everything else should have gone by the wayside. I feel like life got in the way of prayer, and my entire state of mind seemed focused on earthly things. And I am disappointed in myself.

Do I pray because I have nothing better to do? Or do I pray because God is the first priority in my life? I think this little stint may have revealed the ugly truth. Ew.

Opus Dei has the right idea about living our faith out during the most mundane of tasks. I want to do that - see God in every detail. But it has not been working out that way for me these last couple of weeks. Its like I suddenly forgot all about God - that is how unconsciously it happened. I "woke up" two weeks later and realized I had somehow forgotten God during my busy time.

I feel so weak. And I don't want this to happen ever again. How do I avoid this in the future? How can I start living my faith even in the most mundane of tasks, even when life gets too busy for everything else? How do I accomplish that?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Ivy surprises me constantly with the things she says and does, especially when it comes to our faith. My husband asked her if she was Mexican (like her grandfather), and she said, "I'm not Mexican! I'm Caf'lic!"

But this morning really made me stop and think. I was irritated that I could not find her church shoes as we were rushing to get out the door for Mass. She likes to play dress up with them and tends to lose one of them at any given time. "Ivy," I said tersely, "When you play with your shoes and don't put them back in your closet, it makes me very frustrated."

"Twust in the Lord, mom. He will bless you and keep you," she said sweetly.

Ha! Out of the mouths of babes.... sometimes it takes a 3 year old to remind you of what you already knew, and to give you peace.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Byzantines

Today my husband and I went to the Divine Liturgy in the Catholic Byzantine Rite. The Divine Liturgy is basically the equivalent of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It was absolutely fascinating. There are many differences, and many similarities. Their prayers are similar, but the entire Liturgy is chanted, in English. There is a lot of incense used, and instead of kneeling they stand in joyfulness at the Resurrection.

In this particular church, the priest places a very strong importance on the children attending ("If there are no kids, there are no priests," he says). They are allowed to run amok in the church (within reason), make noise, and generally be kids.

During the Gospel they are rounded up and stand in front of the priest as he reads it. Then they venerate the Gospel. During the homily, they are again called forth to sit at his feet as he gives them a very short homily that is directed precisely at them as children - easy to understand, and to the point. Since today is the Feast of the Assumption, he showed them an embroidered icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary (known to the Byzantines as the Theotokos, or God Bearer) and explained that she was Assumed body and soul into Heaven. This short homily delivered, he said, "Okay? Alright. Scatter." The children scampered back to their parents, and then the homily for the adults was given.

There was such a natural feeling to it all. It was noisy, and slightly chaotic, and relaxed. Like, "Hey, dudes, we are all chillin' here with the Christ". Yet oddly enough, it was also extremely reverent. The icons and the whole church were stunningly beautiful.

The altar, which is Heaven, is screened off with a gold "Iconostasis" (basically a screen). In the center is a large gate, the "Royal Door" which is opened so that the priest, in persona Christi, can walk from Heaven to Earth and back and forth throughout the Divine Liturgy. On the sides are smaller doors that the deacons and altar boys walk through as needed.

Phillip whispered to me, "I understand why there can be hijinks in the Church. Its because their Altar is separate. No hijinks go in there, it is protected. So its okay if its a little unruly out here. This is considered Earth. And back there is Heaven."

We had left our girls at home with my parents, who are visiting. But I really regretted not bringing them, because they would have had a whole lot of fun. How many times can you say your kids have actual fun during the Roman Catholic Mass? It is not how I would describe that experience for the children. Reverent, yes. Holy, yes. Solemn, yes. But fun? Definitely not.

So I think we are going to make an effort to go to Mass there again in the coming months so they can experience it.

Another difference between them and the Roman Rite is that the children take Communion immediately after Baptism. Unlike how we go through classes and preparation, they go straight into it and are Catechized from the time they are itty bitty little ones. I saw a 5 year old go up and receive, and I was feeling all shocked and awkward, wondering if I should tell her mother. I thought, "What if they are running so amok that a kid sneaks through and takes Communion when they are not supposed to?!" I asked her about it afterwards and she explained that this is how the Byzantine Rite works.

There are so many other interesting things about it - the smells and bells, the many, many  Kyrie Eleisons, the mode of receiving the Eucharist, etc. But it would take forever to explain it all. All I can say is this: If you ever have a chance to go to a Byzantine Divine Liturgy, you should. You may feel out of place and awkward at first because you don't know what do to, but then you find that no one is really staring, and they don't seem to care if you are doing it "right". It helps if you have a friend who goes there and can explain things to you. It fulfills your Sunday obligation and they are in full Communion with the Holy Roman Catholic Church (in fact, they pray more times for the Pope that we do at our Mass!) Its a learning experience, and is a way to begin to grasp just how rich our faith is. Its easy to think in terms of "Novus Ordo" and "Extraordinary From", but I suddenly realize that there is so very much more out there. My mind has been opened.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Joyful Martyrdom

My Catholic blogging buddy, Andrea, posted here about praying for the ability to withstand persecution and to joyfully embrace martyrdom if it comes. Although martyrdom seems frightening for our earthly selves, through the grace of the Lord we may be transformed and find it a blessing to have the opportunity to demonstrate our love of Christ. Some accounts of the martyrs talk about their joy and radiance as they die for Christ. Some had even prayed for it, that the Lord would bless them with martyrdom.

Michael Voris or the Vortex on Real Catholic TV talks about such an eventuality in this video. It gave me the chills to think about it but it also fortified me. I, too, pray that I will be strong enough to always stand by my faith, especially if I am put to the test.

This program is from

Side note: Who were the very very first martyrs to die for Christ? The Holy Innocents were the first born sons who were murdered by King Herod as he tried to find and destroy Jesus.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In the Confessional

I try to go to Confession frequently. My husband Phillip and I take turns every other Saturday. One of us watches the kids while the other one drives to Confession. Going weekly would be better, but at least this way, whichever one of us is going to Confession has some quiet time to pray, contemplate, and do a proper examination of conscience.

One of the recurring things I have to confess is the way in which I lose my patience with my children. I immediately feel terrible when it happens, but there are times that it comes so quickly and the words shoot out of my mouth before I have even formed a thought. 2 seconds before it happens I have no idea it is about to happen. I cannot seem to control the reaction. This always coincides with lack of sleep. The less I sleep the more likely I am to snap. And I am always immediately regretful.

The problem, actually, is not just snapping at them or saying things that are less than loving and kind. Though its wrong to talk to them like that, what I think is worse is the anger in my heart. I just get so angry, and it flares up in a millisecond with a force that is so overwhelming that it bursts forth in words and tone.

I sort of think that if you have to confess the same thing regularly, then something is not right. How can I keep making the same mistakes over and over? I always resolve to never do it again. And then I do.

However, I console myself with the fact that each time it happens and I confess it, it takes longer and longer for me to fall into the same sin again. Maybe eventually with the help of the Lord I will master it completely. In the meantime, I am grateful for the Sacrament of Confession. Through it I am renewed, washed clean, and given bright hopes for the future.

As a side note, when I went through RCIA my sponsor and pretty much the entire class taught that we did not really need to go to Confession, or shall I say "Reconciliation". They showed us a video once of how to confess, and it was a face to face confession that took the form of a conversation. "Hey, Father, how are ya? Did you see the game yesterday?" None of this, "Forgive me Father, for I have sinned." In my opinion, this brings focus and attention to the priest as a person instead of In Persona Christi and creates a light hearted social interaction that should have no place in the confessional. The sinner comes with weight on his or her soul, to be absolved and to come closer to God - not to shoot the breeze with the priest. The interaction should reflect the seriousness of the situation. But that is just my opinion, and I know that I am not in the majority.

My RCIA sponsor never, ever would go to Confession. The last time he "confessed" was in a communal absolution of sins where you put your sins on a paper that went into a basket and they all got burned or something hippie like that. Then the priest gave communal absolution for those sins.

I think calling it Reconciliation diminishes the seriousness of the sins we commit. While I am at it, let me say I am also not a fan of the face to face Confessions. I am already nervous about it every time (yes, even though I go frequently!) so when I have to do it face to face I feel even more nervous. Give me a screened confessional booth any day.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Rewards for the Rosary

I have been struggling to get my Rosary said every day, and usually I either miss saying it or I say it late at night before bed (probably the worst time of the day to try and do it!) So this past week I decided to start saying it in the mornings after breakfast, and that way I would be alert and focused, and my daughters could sit with me and pray along as best as their young hearts can.

Well, a couple of mornings ago Ivy was too distracted to sit with me, she just wanted to play. I said my Rosary and moved on with the day. When she realized it was over, she asked if I would help her pray a Rosary using the cute child sized rosary beads she was given for her baptism. Of course, I was happy to oblige. She seemed antsy throughout, and I asked her if she wanted to stop. "No," she said. "I want to do all of it, the whole fing." She continued to fidget, so I stopped. "Are we done?" she asked. "No, but you aren't paying attention so I figured I should stop."

"No, no," she insisted. "I am paying attention and I want to do the whole fing." So on we prayed, and after we were done, she bounced up and said, "Can I have my princess vitamins now?"

I said of course, and went to go get them. "Ah, that's what I want!" she said happily.

"Did you pray the rosary just so you could get your vitamins??" I asked. And the cheerful reply was "Yeah!"

Since the other routine we changed this week was that I started giving her vitamins after the Rosary instead of after breakfast, she figured she would have to do a Rosary before getting her candy-like vitamins!!

Oh well... maybe somewhere along the way the habit will be instilled in her, even if her 3 year old brain does it for a specific and immediate physical reward for now.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Latin Mass Magazine

We subscribe to an amazing magazine called The Latin Mass - The Journal of Catholic Culture and Tradition. We look forward to it every time. If you don't already subscribe, I highly recommend it.

Some of the articles are pretty heavy, theologically speaking, but there is always something new to learn. The last issue we received contained an article by Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, the wife of philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand. In this thought-provoking article titled, "Messa Tridentina", there was this astute observation, which really made me think:

"One thing which has preoccupied me from 1969 on is that those (whether Bishops, Priests, or lay people) who are fiercely antagonistic to the "old" (in the negative sense) Mass are often the very same people who dissent from Church teaching starting with their opposition to Humanae Vitae - the first link in a chain of disastrous attacks on the natural law and the Church's holy teachings (let us recall the tempest triggered by Humanae Vitae) - and who favor (in the name of of justice and democracy the ordination of women while denigrating the awesome privilege of women to give life. This is an observation that I submitted to then Cardinal Ratzinger whom I had the privilege of seeing several times before he became Pope (and once afterwards in a private audience). I have reasons to assume that he saw the point I was trying to make."

Let us recall the Humanae Vitae is an encyclical by Pope Paul VI reaffirming the Church's teachings on human life and birth.

The article makes a slew of other highly cogent points in regards to the traditions of our Faith. I wish I could share the entire thing with you, but perhaps instead I can direct you to this page that contains sample articles for the Latin Mass magazine.

I would recommend any Catholic who takes their faith seriously to subscribe to this magazine. Even if you do not prefer to worship at the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, the articles are sure to enlighten and educate us all.

And for those of us who do long for a Traditional Latin Mass, especially here in Las Vegas, it will at the very least show you that you are not crazy. There are places where it exists as the norm, and there are people out there who think just like you!

What is the prevailing attitude in your parish or community in regards to the Traditional Latin Mass? Do you have a regular Sunday Tridentine Mass?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Miracles of the Eucharist

I went to an Apologetics class last night. The topic was the Real Presence in the Eucharist. We looked at what other Christians believe, and then we looked at the scriptural evidence for what we believe. One of the points that I would think is hard to argue against is that if it were a symbol, as Protestants believe, why would the disciples say, "This teaching is hard. Who can accept it?" and they left. Then Jesus asked his apostles, "Will you leave too?" And the apostles say "Where would we go, you have the words of eternal life" (I'm paraphrasing John 6 here). If it were symbolic then the disciples would have no problem and it would be easy for them to stay! But it was so shocking and difficult for them that they stopped following Jesus!

Anyway, the class was really interesting, and at the end of the class we talked about Eucharistic Miracles, where the Body and Blood appeared in their real and natural form (as opposed to under the appearance of bread and wine).

The reference was to the Eucharistic Miracle at Lanciano, Italy. This website states, in part, states:

"Ancient Anxanum, the city of the Frentanese, has contained for over twelve centuries the first and greatest Eucharistic Miracle of the Catholic Church. This wondrous Event took place in the 8th century A.D. in the little Church of St. Legontian, as a divine response to a Basilian monk's doubt about Jesus' Real Presence in the Eucharist. 

During Holy Mass, after the two-fold consecration, the host was changed into live Flesh and the wine was changed into live Blood, which coagulated into five globules, irregular and differing in shape and size. 

The Host-Flesh, as can be very distinctly observed today, has the same dimensions as the large host used today in the Latin church; it is light brown and appears rose-colored when lighted from the back.
The Blood is coagulated and has an earthy color resembling the yellow of ochre."

The website goes on to detail various scientific studies, but the one that both shocked me and made my heart burst in love for Him was this one:

The Flesh consists of the muscular tissue of the heart.

How truly amazing and beautiful is that!!!

Masters of Chant or Masters of Sacrilege?

I just stumbled upon this musical group Gregorian - Masters of Chant. It was an unpleasant surprise.

What a perversion of Catholic chant. The sad thing is that although this musical group has gained popularity, chant in the liturgy has not (in my Diocese and many others). You almost don't hear it at all in Catholic churches here in Las Vegas. I myself lead a small chant group, which is confined to Vespers once a month and the odd special Mass. But we have yet to be asked to chant by an actual priest. The priests would shut us out of the liturgy entirely, it seems.

This is an absolute shame, when you consider that chant has existed to uplift and inspire us for many centuries before Vatican II. Our Holy Father has said in his Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis that chant should be employed as the norm in the liturgy. The Holy Father goes unheeded.

Chant is prayer. Chant is worship. So what is this group worshiping? Could it be money, fame, and pride?

I once heard a visiting Opus Dei priest say that we are made to worship. We want to worship. It is a part of us as human beings. And when you remove God from our lives, we end up worshiping something anyway.

What do you worship?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Welcome to The Mantilla Diaries

Hello! I don't really know what I am doing with this blog yet. I already have a daily blog called Las Vegas Mama (which you can access via my profile). Since the Las Vegas Mama site is really just for entertainment purposes I do not generally discuss my faith there.

But I take my faith very seriously. I just don't like to shout it from the rooftops.

About me...

I am a Catholic convert - I was baptized in 2006 when I was pregnant with my first daughter. I didn't know I was pregnant yet, but everyone kept saying how I was glowing - and they all thought it was due to the baptism!

My faith journey has been a long one. Too long to go into here, I would say. But I had never been baptized before, had no religion whatsoever, and was into a lot of evil things. Except back then I didn't think they were evil. I would even go as far as to say I didn't know they were evil.

If you had known me before I was interested in God, you would be shocked at my complete turnaround. I have my husband to thank for that, because it was he who catechized my while we were dating. He was God's gift to me (insert joke here about men being God's gift to women)!

And here I am now, 10 years after meeting my husband, going to church every Sunday, going to confession every other weekend, and yes - wearing a mantilla to church!

Welcome to The Mantilla Diaries.

My daughter pretending to be at Mass