Sunday, February 07, 2016

Attention, Catholic Converts/Reverts

'ello, 'ello, 'ello! Happy Sunday.

If you're a Catholic convert or revert interested in sharing your conversion story, shoot me an e-mail/Twitter DM/Facebook message, and we'll talk about a project that a few bloggers have underway. 


Here's 'Four Yorkshiremen'.

Friday, February 05, 2016

We Need to Change Our Catholic Women's Talks

Catholic ladies, Catholic speakers: we need to have a talk about our women's talks.

Whether or not you enjoy them, you must admit that most of them fall into a certain pattern, in particular those geared towards the high-school/just graduated from high-school aged. This should be familiar:

"You're a beautiful Crown of Creation. Your boyfriend [let's call him Hormonal Dave] only wants one thing. Pray for your future spouse every night. Now let's close with prayer, and then you can go to the merch tables and get as many recorded chastity talks as you can carry." [Then, if the event is really worth the money you paid to go there, they will give you doughnuts.]

Is it a good thing to be told that you're beautiful and worthy of respect, love, affection? Yes, it feels wonderful. Lots of young women should hear it more often. Should you pray for the person to whom you are romantically attached? Of freakin' course. That being said...

Really, now. Is that all?

There are things that are generally only mentioned in passing during women's talks that should be mentioned in-depth, issues that affect many, many women.

Pornography and sexual addiction, for one. The speaker will say something along the lines of it not being a guy issue, and will then proceed to make it into a guy issue, by not talking about female sex addictions, or the effect of sex addictions on females, outside of their boyfriends holding them to the standard of porn. That is an issue, but it is most certainly not the only one. What about girls who struggle against a porn/masturbation addiction that started when they were very young? We don't talk about them much at all. Boys, however, who were introduced to the good ol' sexual objectification game at the age of eight, are recognized. Y'all, the industry does not discriminate when it comes to enslaving users.

Friendship, for another. Speakers should talk about building healthy friendships with other women more, because I guarantee you that someone in that audience was not shown any examples of that growing up, and struggles in friendships because of it.

Mental health. (This should be brought to light in more men's talks, too). Depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and eating disorders, just to name a few, are legitimate health problems and should be treated as such. Please, if you aren't well, don't be afraid to talk about it. There is no shame. Therapy, too, can be a wonderful thing. I believe that if speakers would talk about it openly, and encourage young women whose mental health isn't the healthiest, that it would reduce stigma. There is stigma, and it only causes further isolation. Sickness of this kind thrives in isolation.

What do you wish would be included in women's talks? Or men's talks. Or Catholic talks in general! Whatev, old bean.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Things I Could Totally Be Patron Saint Of

- People who tried to get into Game of Thrones because they felt like they should, but never really liked it.

- Craving foods you cannot afford to eat.

- Fluffy socks (this is a much-sought-after position, so there might have to be, like, fifteen co-patrons).

- Library staff who are forced to search the far reaches of their workplace to find whoever keeps laughing loudly.

- People who are really tired of the gun debate and/or find that lustful passion for guns, particularly prevalent in the US, a bit unsettling.

- Bumbling through life with spectacles askew.

- That moment when you meet someone for the first time, and are trying not to let on to the fact that your sister has told you everything about them.

- Cat ladies.

- Those whose therapists recommend a caffeine fast right as their workload rises from 'Tolerable' to 'Let's Run Away to Newfoundland and Live Under Assumed Names'.

- People who are terrible at math.

- Snooty Catholic Converts Who Personally Dislike Alcohol

- Those who are confident in their pronunciation of words in other languages, only to find out later on that they butchered said words beyond hope.

- The Harry Potter fandom at large.

- Awkward family meals, or any other situation that leaves an innocent stranded next to a container of liver-spread.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Times When 'God Help the Girl' Gifs Summed Up All the Catholic Introvert Feels

1.) When people tell you that your preference for sometimes not talking is bad for evangelization. Because being loud is the only way to build up the Church. Sure.

2.) The specific exhaustion of a great big Catholic party after Easter Vigil. Your confirmation is joyous news, indeed, but it's two in the morning and this parish hall is really full, so if you'll just excuse...

3.) When you have absolutely no desire to answer the phone (which is pretty much every time it rings). But... you feel like you have to because it's your spiritual director. E-mail's a thing, Father Greg. 

4.) Some nice LOTR reading in peaceful solitude.  

5.) The Sign of the Peace on a bad day is like the bubble of your personal space being rudely popped and then being cast into a nightmare of well-meaning neighbours. 

6.) You may or may not have used your, ahem, spiritual life as an excuse to get away from people. No, I'm out here musing... on the glory of nature... this isn't exactly fasting, no, but... God gave us the ability to make ice-cream, so...  

7.) Zoning out during all the things we Catholics do that include being in a crowd, like at the end of a March for Life or fundraising dinner, not because we don't care, but because of the crowd. What? Where are we parked? Sorry, wrong escalator.

8.) You can do the partying thing. You can enjoy it. Catholics party a lot.

9.) You just reserve your right to hide in the bathroom afterwards. 

It's not a gif, but it works.
10.) When they try to get you to read, greet, or cantor.  

11.) Meeting other Catholic introverts online.

(But without this level of immediate physical contact. Firstly, because you're online.
Secondly, because it would be creepy. #emotionalchastity #leaveroomfortheHolySpirit
#andthatjustmadethingscreepierdidntit #ohwell).

12.) Any situation where the fewer is the merrier, basically.  

13.) You may not be completely misanthropic, but you have considered becoming a hermit, or just, like, a cloistered Trappist. 

14.) Stop Clapping in Mass 2016. 

Sunday, January 03, 2016

A List of My Favourite Things from 2015

Books (read, not published, in 2015, and in no particular order)

A Bear Called Paddington | Michael Bond
... he really didn't mind being covered with jam and cream. It seemed a pity to wash it all off quite so soon. 

Manalive | GK Chesterton
"In the matter of his being a flamingo, my client reserves his defense."

Mere Christianity | CS Lewis
Nobody can always have devout feelings: and even if we could, feelings are not what God principally cares about. Christian Love, either towards God or towards man, is an affair of the will. If we are trying to do His will we are obeying the commandment, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.' He will give us feelings of love if He pleases. We cannot create them for ourselves, and we must not demand them as a right. But the great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him. 

Stories from the Vinyl Cafe (#1) | Stuart McLean
"We call her the Pig... sometimes just Guinea." Dave, who has always felt naming animals was a questionable practice, thought naming a rodent was foolish and he hadn't encouraged the idea. But standing in front of the receptionist he felt shabby about owning an unnamed pig. As if that told her all she needed to know about him, and his family, and the way they cared for animals. As if it was suddenly obvious why the pig was sick. 

The Boundless | Kenneth Oppel
"These people are fortunate to get passage on the Boundless at all. They're the poorest of the poor, and they've washed up on the shores of our country to claim our land."
"Interesting. My mother's people are Cree Indian. Perhaps it's people like you who have washed up on our shores. A stimulating thought, don't you think?"

Songs (heard, not necessarily made, in 2015, and again, not in any order)

Saturday Night (Yukon Blonde). It's been said that this sounds like a song that would play while Sarah Connors flees the Terminator.

Wind Blows (Yukon Blonde). I have nothing to say about this song, besides that it's nice.

Red Song (Hey Rosetta!). I cried.

Carry Me Home (Hey Rosetta!). Back to my home / back to my only shelter / where in the awful weather / I will be warm and welcome

If She Wants Me (Belle & Sebastian). Never have the words, "write it on my grave" or, "when they scatter my ashes" been so sunny.

The Party Line (Belle & Sebastian). There needs to be a well-executed dance-scene set to this song. Please.

I Could Be Dreaming (Belle & Sebastian). It's about murdering an abusive partner. Now you know.

No One's Gonna Love You Quite Like I Do (Jenn Grant). I think this song would be excellent for montages.

Come Monday Night (God Help the Girl).


Paper Moon (1973). Ryan O'Neal plays a con-artist taking his nine-year-old maybe-daughter to her aunt's home. Hilarity ensues.

History of Christianity: the First Three-Thousand Years by Diarmaid MacCulloch. 

Serenity (2005). The follow-up to Firefly. Not quite as good as Firefly, but still. Not over Wash yet.

Mad Max: Fury Road.

So, that was 2015. I'd be interested to hear what your favourites from the year were.

Ta for now, happy New Year, and God bless.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015


Reading: The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel. 

Listening to: Christmas music (of course), quite a bit of Yukon Blonde, and sometimes Mozart.

Looking forward to: cousin coming home from the States for Christmas, and the hilarity that shall surely ensue. And a temporary break from the sweet, sweet stress of education, right? *nervous laughter as pile of books falls into pile of laundry and the ninth cup of tea of the day is made*

Happy that: by the grace of God, caffeine, and procrastination from my real job, I won NaNoWriMo. Mind you, it's entirely unedited and there are a couple of major plot-holes, so I can look forward to fixing that over the Christmas holidays. Three cheers for everyone who wrote fifty-thousand words in one month: huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah! Many congratulations. Your hair looks great today.

Here is a fabulous blog; do go and check it out.

And I went and got an Instagram. owlgrace. It is mostly tea and food. Now you know.

A blessed Advent to y'all.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Previous Rambles