Friday, 18 April 2014

So Great a Redeemer


He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
 
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
 
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
 
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.
 
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.



Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
 
After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
 
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.


- Isaiah 53:2-12 -



O Happy Fault, fortunate fall, felix culpa,
that gained for us so great a 
Redeemer.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Morning Offering to the Sacred Heart



O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all our associates, and in particular for the intentions of our Holy Father the Pope. Amen.
-Morning Offering to the Sacred Heart of Jesus-




Love overcomes, love delights, those who love the Sacred Heart rejoice. - St. Bernadette Soubirous

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, fountain of eternal life, Your Heart is a glowing furnace of Love. You are my refuge and my sanctuary. - St. Gertrude the Great

Dear Lord! To win my heart, from heaven Thou didst come; for me Thy blood didst shed, O King adored! and on our altars makest Thy home. So, if I may not here behold Thy Face, or catch the heavenly music of Thy Voice, I still can live, each moment, by Thy grace, and in Thy Sacred Heart I can rest. - St. Therese of Lisieux



Friday, 11 April 2014

7 QTF of Elsa and Birthdays

~1~
Sometimes we have to rant. Bearing this in mind, read this work of brilliancy.

~2~
A dear pen-pal gave me this interweb card for my birthday (oh, I turned somethingteen on the 5th of April, by the way). 'tis splendid, no?


~3~
Would you like to sign this petition to defend the Church's teachings on an aspect of sexuality? Contrary to popular belief, we don't actually have to 'get with the times'. 

~4~
And my brother bought me the Frozen soundtrack for my birthday. I'm just sitting here wondering how long it will be until he regrets it. But it puts me a great deal in mind of Peregrin's thoughts on Elsa's introversion/anxiety problems...
and this fan-art .
~5~
Quote of the Week

"Every child that isn't born, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of Jesus Christ, has the face of the Lord."
-Pope Francis-

~6~
Jam of the Week

Something in the Water by Brooke Fraser on Grooveshark

~7~




That just about wraps things up. I hope all of you are having a lovely meatless Friday. Lent... almost... over...

Grace

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

The Catholic Bookshelf: Invincible Spirits

Invincible Spirits: a Thousand Years of Women's Spiritual Writings
compiled by Felicity Leng

Be like the sun with your teaching, like the moon in your readiness to adapt, like the wind by your unwavering guidance, like gentle breezes in your forbearance, and like fire in the arousing and inspiring force of your instruction. ~Saint Hildegard of Bingen


The mystics and visionaries are an... uncomfortable subject. You can pick up their collected records of visions, dreams, or inspired writing, and spend the rest of the day asking questions like, how do we know this actually happened? Is this real? Is this the Truth? How and why do we think it does, indeed, contain the Truth? Are similar things revealed to people of violently differentiating belief systems? Does God reveal things according to denomination or lack thereof? Do I have enough money to buy some bacon for supper tonight? When my dad gave me this book, I was not too thrilled to read it. Mystical stuff is creepy! Visions are weird! I'll have nightmares! However, when you have a book that contains everything from Emily Dickinson to Saint Julian of Norwich, you don't just leave it lying there. A week or so after I got it, I picked it up to help distract me from a mixed attack of anxiety/depression, and the first section contained a quote from Saint Catherine of Genoa that was a well-timed slap upside the head from the Holy Spirit (so perhaps I'm a little biased in my judgement, seeing as the first part helped me through a rather rough time).
It is divided into separate sections: Love & Fulfillment, Cosmic Christ & the Natural World, Creativity & Visions, Life's Journey & the Passage of the Soul, Autobiography & Personal Testament (Corrie Ten Boom!), Direction & Counselling, Faith & Renewal, Prayer & Rapture, Illness & Transformation, Abandonment & the Dark Night of the Soul, Truth & Simplicity, Suffering & Persecution, Compassion & Forgiveness, Imprisonment & Death, Joy & Peace, and Heaven & Eternity (bonus: biographies and bibliographies at the back). It seems like a lot at first, but each section is fairly brief, so it is not the hefty tome it sounds like. 
This is not a Catholic book. Agnes Beaumont the nonconformist, Christina Rossetti who was known to turn down suitors merely because they were Catholic, and there are plenty of Puritan sermons and stuff by Anglican women, so if you don't want to read this book because it would be shoving Catholicism down your throat, fear not. Now, there are some things that make you wonder why they were included. For instance, a letter from Jeanne de Chantal to her daughter about her daughter's engagement and wedding plans. However, most of it is of a more spiritual/religious substance; and, just to add your daily dose of TOB, it's all by women, therefore revealing the feminine side of spirituality! Perhaps that's why a lot of it feels very personal; that and the fact that quite a bit is from letters to friends and family and personal journals. There is a great deal of richness to be found, in the inspiring lives of the women who have gone before us, the deliciousness of the language (thou art jesting not?), and the wholesome qualities portrayed in many of the essays and stories. I'm not going to pretend that every piece included is as such, but on the whole, it's one of those books that lights a tiny flame of unquenchable courage deep within your heart. Take that, Twilight. 

Other Stuff~
~Um, why is there so much Mary Baker Eddy?
~Caryll Houselander once wrote to a friend, I think all teddy bears need knitted suits... seriously, WE ARE LIKE KIN!
~Such quotes. Prepare to underline.

The Verdict~
There are some iffy pieces- denial of the Real Presence, anti-tradition mumbo-jumbo, odd interpretations of the Scriptures. All in all, though, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and it has been a refreshing and encouraging read. So many of the writings are extremely beautiful and nourishing to the soul, rather than being the kind of literature that leaves you feeling kind of empty and confused. So, if you think you can look past some of the more way-out-there-ideas, I would definitely recommend this book, and thank the Lord for the beauty of the women who contributed to it.

Stay holy. Read books.

Grace


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Out With the Old, In With the New, Eh?

Hey, y'all.
So, as you can see, this blog has changed muchly- not only the layout (again), but also the title. Though I did like the name of Miss March for a while, it was confusing, and didn't really reflect what the topic of this blog is ("Um, topic? What is this topic you speak of?").
While I was thinking about renaming this blog, I thought I would pray about it. Since, you know, "pray without ceasing" and all that, even about piddly little matters like blog titles. After I prayed about it, I picked up my Bible, and just a few passages in- BAM. A verse from Isaiah leapt up from the pages and slapped me upside the head.

 Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. ~New Living Translation

Ergo, I decided to re-title my interweb dwelling Even the Wilderness.
"But," you ask, "what is the point of that weird and cryptic name? It's even more confusing than your old one."
Well, after a lot of thinking of corny metaphors, this is what I came up with: even the wilderness of life today, the proverbial wilderness of one's heart, rejoices in the presence of Our Saviour. 
I know. I'm brilliant (and pretty dang humble, too).
I don't know that anything else will change, but, as always- the road goes ever on and on, and we shall continue to strive for holiness through blogging, amen?

God bless you, now and always,

Grace 

Friday, 28 March 2014

For Christ's Sake!

Every year, I conveniently forget that I hate Lent. 

Please don't misunderstand me. I've heard plenty of people say that they hated being engaged, because of the hassle and the waiting. But that doesn't mean they regret marrying; all of the people whom I've heard say that are, to my knowledge, very happily married. Engagement, however long or short it was, was necessary to getting married (unless you went all lightning-marriage, shotgun-wedding... awkward), in the same way that Lent is necessary to Easter. I love Easter.
In much the same way, I hate Lent. Right smack in the middle, I usually have a hissy-fit and spaz out ("God, why'd you have to go and invent something like Lent?! I literally couldn't be more angry at You right now and blah-blah-blah..." and so on). 
Lent is annoying. Lent is uncomfortable. Lent is basically a tradition to keep young whippersnappers in line by making them want to curl up into the Fetal Position of Shame every time they eat chocolate or drink coffee. Lent is like a personalized version of the real-life Screwtape Letters; a never-ending round of, "how can I make myself continually caffeine-deprived, screen-deprived, and in other throes of withdrawal?". There's the inflated head when you go a full week without failing, the nagging temptation wherever you turn, the humiliation and shame of watching TV when you gave it up, or eating a cookie when you've sworn off junk food. We can be all happy and revved-up on Shrove Tuesday, and tell everyone how excited we are for forty days of a life without sugar or social media, but let's face it- is there any Catholic on earth who hasn't, at one point, despised Lent with a frightening passion? We've all been there, all done that. And I have one thing to say: remember who this is for
You aren't giving up Facebook for you. You aren't giving up Tweeting for you. You didn't throw out all your coffee beans or fudge cookies for you. The point of Lent is to give something up for Christ. We give up what we give up to give us a chance to grow closer to Him. The idea is not just to go forty days without all our little pleasures- that, my friends, is a rather stupid idea. What is not a stupid idea is temporarily letting some things go, in order to cling harder to Our Saviour and Redeemer. Yeah, I'm a Lent failure. But if I didn't even bother trying, I wouldn't be able to appreciate Easter like I should.
The idea is to use the time we would otherwise spend on the computer in prayer. To remember in prayer the poverty-stricken, those who have never eaten cake (much less what we North Americans would call a square meal) every time we forego dessert. To realize that money isn't the most important thing when we throw an extra note in the collection plate. 

To let Him draw us closer into His loving embrace whilst we block out other distractions that may have been pulling us farther from His arms. 

That's the point of Lent- to fall in love with God all over again. Yes, it's hard, because love always is. But it's totally worth it.

Now, let's get back up and try again, for Christ's sake.

Love,

Grace




PS
I'll be changing the name of my blog fairly soon, just so y'all know. Miss March worked for a while, but it wasn't what I was ultimately going for. Anyway, I have a new name picked out and a new header designed. This should be fun. God bless you all!


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Mein Liebster

Due to the graciousness of the lovely Miss Iris, guess what's happened to me? I have been given the Liebster Award (or, to be more correct, Ich habe das Liebste Award ausgezeichnet). 



Regeln

Acknowledge the blog that awarded you (hiyup, Country Girl's Daybook!)
Answer the 11 questions the nomination blogger created
List 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers that deserve recognition
Write 11 questions for them to answer
Notify them of their nomination

Fragen

1.) If you only had three wishes, what would they be? My first would be for a spirit of true humility; second would be for complete faith in God; finally, I would wish for perfect teeth.

2.) What has been the proudest moment of your life so far? I'm not sure, honestly. Let's go with last year when I made the Honour Roll at school.

3.) What is your absolute favourite meal? Just one? Burritos and lemonade, with sherbet for dessert. Yum.

4.) What is your favourite colour and why? My two favourite colours are brown (because it's such a nice, deep, rich colour) and intense, wine-like red (because it's just such a striking colour).

5.) What is your guilty pleasure? BBC shows. Doctor Who. Sherlock. Keeping Up Appearances. Miss Marple. 

6.) Is there something you like to collect? Mugs. Mugs. And then, for a change, mugs. I have far more mugs than I'll ever need; I could run a house of seven or eight without buying any more new ones.

7.) When you were five, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did it happen? When I was five, I wanted to be a ballerina. Now, considering my lack of coordination and my less-than-will-o'-the-wisp figure, I realize that this dream is completely impractical. I can do badminton, though!

8.) What's your go-to recipe for a weeknight? Pork-chops, fried tilapia, or shortbread. Yum.

9.) Name one thing that makes you cringe... pet peeve, critter? I cannot stand wood-lice or rodents, of any kind, shape, or size. I'd totally be with the piper if he hadn't killed all those children; a rat-free existence is heaven (although my city and almost my entire province is rat-free already. Winning.). Come at me, animal rights activists.

10.) What skill or hobby have you always wanted to learn? Dancing! The waltz, and swing, and the one-step...

11.) What book should I be reading? The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. And if you've already read it, Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday. And if you've already read that, A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich. 

Mein Fragen

1.) What does your first name mean?
2.) What is one language you would like to speak fluently?
3.) What is your favourite kind of cheese?
4.) Favourite Pope Francis quote?
5.) What is one thing you've learned in 2014?
6.) Which one word sums up your reading taste?
7.) Do you play a sport?
8.) What is your favourite comfort-food?
9.) Are you a tea girl or a coffee girl?
10.) Your favourite thing to wear?
11.) One thing you'd look for in your Prince Charming?



Nominees

Marisa from A Beautiful Mystery
Chloe from Mountaintop
Mady from Socks for Supper
Grace from Blessed is She
Midnight from Simple Truth

*I know it said eleven, but I've got homework. :(

Auf Wiedersehen,

Grace


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