7QTF: Lady Catholic Stuff

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Linking up with Jen, whose book just shipped yesterday!, and the rest!

[1]

It’s so wonderful to be Catholic. Not only do we get 12 days of Christmas, we get an Octave of Easter (and, actually, 40 more till Pentecost!). Plus, if we want décor or candy, everything’s now on sale because the rest of the world thinks such joyous events are only a day. So glad I know the truth—they’re a whole season!

[2]

Awesome analogy for explaining why modesty or chastity that has nothing to do with a spouse (the whole “you are a gift to be unwrapped by only your husband!” tripe):

“We could say the body is the monstrance of the soul, and the soul is the Eucharist of the. The purpose of the monstrance is to display and enhance the beauty of the Eucharist.

Likewise, the purpose of the body is to display and enhance the beauty of the soul. They don’t compete with each other. They complete each other to bring out their shared beauty and brilliance.” (Katrina Zeno, Every Woman’s Journey)

[3]

Another pearl of awesomeness from Katrina’s book is her light introduction to the wisdom of Saint Edith Stein (Teresa Benedicta of the Cross). We all are likely familiar with the usual construct of vocation: primary (union with God), secondary (religious life, married, or neither), and tertiary (What we do on Earth: job, hobbies, etc). But Saint Edith Stein wrote about our universal vocation (what we share with others), or vocation according to gender (every man is called to be a father of sorts, every woman, a mother), and individual, one that is uniquely ours. To me, this construct alleviates the pangs of discernment when viewed largely as “what vows do I take? and when?”

[4]

Though this post inspired a great debate in the combox, I actually quite love what Simcha wrote here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/simchafisher/2014/04/23/yes-we-still-need-feminism/

I do want the word reclaimed to what it should mean: that femininity—uterus and all—is respected; that our equality is in our dignity first and foremost, as well as in our citizenship; and that opportunities not relevant to physiology or gender should be available to men and women. (I think I’ve gotten over the crushing realization as a teen that no, women could not enter the Tour de France; our legs aren’t built that way).

[5]

A friend posted on social media this week asking what Catholic women thought about veils. I replied that in my current understanding, outside of the Extraordinary Form, it was a practice of preference, or as another blogger I’d read deemed it, a calling. And I could not for rhyme nor reason tell you why I don’t nor why I don’t try it out.

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But it is very pretty.

 

So for those who do, please comment below about why you and particular, and if okay, to use your comments (but not name or anything) to my friend. I am not looking for a debate or judgments, but sincere explanations about why you’ve chosen to wear it.

[6]

Prayer request: For the person on my social media feed who wrote “Happy Zombie Day…er, I mean Easter.” This individual is married to a baptized (but not practicing) Catholic, and would never dream of insulting a person with SSA or making a jokey comment about the observances in other faith traditions. May God give this person a change of heart to include us Christians in it, too.

[7]

Book: This weekend we celebrate the canonization of Pope John Paul II. This saint greatly inspired Gloria Jean’s story. Not only did I try to imbue the text with wisps of the theology of the body and I outright name check Love and Responsibility, having read the new translation [link] while revising my own book. Plus, Gloria Jean’s older brother, J.P., three guesses as to what that stands for.

 

7QTF: Catholic Potpurri for $1000, Alex

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Join Jen and the others!

[1]

Trigger warning: baby in NICU. Spoiler alert: Very happy ending.

Isn’t God the creator awesome? And human life—no matter how young—just incredible, right?

[2]

Cassian, a saint’s name(!), is apparently one of 12 baby names that could have a huge break out in popularity soon.

Hmmm…St. Cassian of Imola was the Bishop of Brescia and a schoolmaster, martyred by the Roman Emperor. His students stabbed him to death with the stylus. And then we have St. Cassian of Tangiers, who was a court stenographer, martyred because he admitted his Christianity when the Roman court issued the death penalty against the accused.

Great name, but I wonder how a son would feel about these stories of his patron…

[3]

Today is actually the feast day of another martyr, Saint Stanislaus. Say that five times fast. St. Stanislaus (which also sounds like Santa Claus) was a bishop in Krakow who called out the king for sexual immorality. The king then goes and kills the bishop during Mass in what sounds like a scene from those Saw movies.

The extra fun bit of fun for the 13-year-old boy in your life is that after the bishop’s remains were thrown into the pool outside, they miraculously became corporeal again, under the guard of four eagles.

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What? What? That’s right, just re-building a saint.

[4]

I was at a training last week to get certified as a speaker for a program that empowers teens to make healthy, chaste, life choices. It was faith-based, but a more ecumenical Christianity approach. But the leader said she was brought to her knees by the writings of none other than our very dear almost-Saint John Paul II. And then all my non-Catholic classmates were just in awe of the instruction on the meaning of marriage, which was actually quite Catholic sounding. Point for the universality and point for the natural law.

[5]

Jean Lafrance thinks we can pray wrong (what spiritual writer doesn’t think that?!?).

“If you do not return to the same text in Scripture or in spiritual writers, you will never know how to pray well. You will be like a tourist who wants to see everything and who does not take the time to contemplate, that is to look with love and admiration, at what he sees. Do not be a spiritual glutton.” (Pray to Your Father in Secret, Editions Paulines, 1987)

Huh. Fasting from spiritual tourism. Never woulda thought.

[6]

Spotlight on Current Catholic: Sarah Swafford. Mrs. Swafford is the founder of Emotional Virtue Ministries., which aims to empower young adults to align our hearts so that we are free to love authentically. One of her talks that I’d LOVE to hear is “Emotional Chastity – Love, Emotions, Taylor Swift, Mental Stalking & Mr. Right.”

(She also very generously provided a lovely endorsement of my book. Thank you!!)

[7]

Book:

I get a little Romans-esque!

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Rm 12:1)

Gloria Jean: “The Eucharist is Jesus’s body given up for all of us, right? And we’re supposed to be thankful that he’s made this sacrifice. Miss Tompkins said we’re meant to sacrifice too. Maybe [Celiac] disease is like a built-in system for sacrifice, and it’s up to me to figure out how to make it worthwhile.”

And here’s the endorsement:

“It is so refreshing to find a novel that resonates with the life and
heart of a 21st-century teen! Faith, virtue, and love are cleverly
woven into the everyday struggles and victories of life. I’m excited
to add Ten Commandments for Kissing Gloria Jean to the list of books I
can wholeheartedly recommend!” – Sarah Swafford, Emotional Virtue
Ministries

7QTF: General Musings

7_quick_takes_sm1Join Jen and the others!

 [1]

Read a line about modesty that really got my goat: “women, who have a greater need to mollify aggressive male sensuality…”

Okay, maybe women have a greater physical need (as in protection from advances of stronger men), but I would argue that men have the greatest need (read: spiritual) to mollify their own aggression FOR THE SAKE OF THEIR SOULS.

[2]

Now, I am not saying women do not have a spiritual need to dress modestly (they do—to accord themselves with their God-given dignity), but seriously. If we are going to say that humans are more than just animals acting on instinct, then we cannot, cannot keep acting as if men have no control over their own hormones, and that women bear the most responsibility. No. Men have souls and opportunities for formation and seeking the True and the Good. They should know how not to look with lust. (I could write a whole essay on the distinction between a man looking at what is before his eyes and feeling nothing and man looking and actively lusting. It is possible. Women do it all the time. And aren’t we equal in dignity?)

[3]

/rant

[4]

There is a weird tuning fork hum in my office. I don’t think it’s the computer, as the woman in the office next to mine hears it too. Driving me bananas!

[5]

Prayer request: For the middle schoolers I met Monday and will see again next week.

[6]

Book 1: If you’ll indulge me (what…there’s like three feasts during this week!) here is the first of two book bits. One, the lovely Sr. Kim at Pauline Books and Media designed this incredible landing page for me: https://pauline.leadpages.net/ten-commandments-for-kissing-gloria-jean/

It explains the book and a video of yours truly!

[7]

Book 2:

Another great review!:

Posted here:

http://faith-basedbooks.com/?p=68

http://raised2read.com/ten-commandments-for-kissing-gloria-jean/

http://www.bookbargainsandpreviews.com/2014/March/TenCommandmentsforKissingGloriaJean.htm

Thanks to Patti!

7QTF: The F is for “Fails”

7_quick_takes_sm1Don’t forget to join Jen and the others!

So I have failed with some writing goals. But I’m picking my pen back up!

 [1]

I almost completed the 7 Posts in 7 Days Challenge. But that Sunday I helped a friend move, went to Mass, met another friend for dinner, and just completely checked out during the Oscars. And the Saturday post was nothing special. Can we count Parts 2 and 3 of last Thursday as rounding out my 7?

[2]

And I forgot to do a 7QTF last week.

[3]

And at least two weeks went by without a What We’re Reading Wednesday. Ugh. I’ve been reading!

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BUT I think I will do the 30K for Christ, if the CWG hosts it again.

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[5]

And maybe this: https://campnanowrimo.org/sign_in

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[6]

  Special prayer request for a sweet baby girl born a month too early.

[7]

Book:

Thanks to all who saw my NAS post on Tuesday and prayed for me. The TV taping for The Gist went awesomely! It will air in the Fall—stay tuned for exact dates!

 

7 in 7: Late Randomness

I AM NOT LATE! There is a 6th post for the 7 in 7!!!! And unlike the rest of the previous posts, this one is purely crafted on the day it will post…in like 2 minutes.

Today was really fun: Oscar Animated Shorts, sledding, a delicious pastry, and q-t with Mr. Sweet.

But none of that should be an excuse. Discipline can be really hard for me. I might be making a decision soon that requires me to be disciplined 100% of the time. This month could be really interesting–book events, a birthday, snow (OF COURSE), so it will be a really good test for me.

Ugh. I hate tests.

7QTF for 7PI7D

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Join Jen and the others!

A Lenten-themed edition!

[1]

For last-minute ideas on what to give up, check out this list. http://www.catholicallyear.com/2014/02/outside-box-66-things-to-give-up-or.html

No stretchy pants? Yup, that’s a toughie!

[2]

Oooh, I like this article on thinking more in terms of what we’re going to exchange for Lent: http://www.ignitumtoday.com/2014/02/26/exchanging-lent/

[3]

Now, I know everyone has their preferences when it comes to what they give up or take on and whether they tell people or not. And like with most everything, I feel all that should be a year-by-year basis depending on the person you are and are becoming, which of course is going to be different. So this year, I want some accountability when it comes to the things I’m removing or adding into my normal routine.

[4]

Idea the First: No more mommy blogs (sorry ladies!), family life forums, wedding shows or Pinterest boards, etc. etc. Most of the time they’re all in good fun and get me excited about the vocation I feel called to [link]. At work, I once had some responsibilities with a marriage prep program as a single person. And it was great for a while—like those stretchy pants, it was nice to know I’d have that background in case I needed it. But by the end I felt like I’d gone through marriage prep—without the fun of a having a groom! And now in the coming months, we actually have more projects involving those subjects, and already the brain is going into unnecessary hyperdrive about what I would do, and actually feed tiny anxieties about motherhood into sumo-wrestler-sized nerves.

I don’t need it.

What will happen in my relationship and my life will happen. It will be nice for some forty-odd days to actually focus on the present and my relationship as it is—not what it could be.

[5]

Idea the 2nd:  Taking on prayer. I don’t know how exactly or what exactly I’ll do. But I know I need it. Last week I went to a small day retreat to jumpstart my relationship with God and hope to continue it.

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Idea the 3rd:  No more Castle re-runs when I get home. Rather, it’s fix dinner, attend to things with the TV shows I may have missed the night before on the background, and then writing. Or exercising. Or reading for my book club date with Mr. Sweet. Praying. And then bed by 11. No excuses.

[7]

Book:

I’m taking up a Toastmaster’s class. I’ve often told people I’m a Moses in need of an Aaron. Speaking eloquently in public—heck even explaining things one-on-one to a friend—is a challenge. So I’m going to go these classes to not just get more comfortable promoting the book, but get more comfortable promoting the message of the book, which in my humble opinion is evangelization and being the disciple God asks me to be.

7QTF: Oops

7_quick_takes_sm1Don’t forget to visit Jen and the rest!

[1]

Skipped last week. A head cold wiped me out, and I didn’t really feel inspired last Thursday on my sick day in the snow. And then got into work too late Friday morning to post something before clocking in. And then a Valentine’s Day and crazy weekend with the parents. And more snow. So oh well.

[2]

Seriously with the snow. It’s like God saying: “Ha ha! You wanted a car, so I will do nothing to keep the scores of inches of white slippery dangerous stuff away from your driving.”

But this week I put my big-girl boots on and came to work and stayed late to avoid traffic during the latest annoyance and was fine.

[3]

And yet I still find it pretty and magical and can’t wait to go sledding.

 [4]

Love this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/fashion/sometimes-its-not-you-or-the-math-modern-love.html?pagewanted=all&_r=2&

Love is two persons connecting and making choices together about what matters or not; primarily about each other as a person and the character; not about hair or clothes or self-actualization. And sometimes finding love is a matter of the rest of the world being ready and right for you  (timing, behavior, choices).

[5]

I think I’m going to do Jen’s 7-day blogging link-up! I need to get writing again and get to all those posts I promised.

[6]

Special Intention: For Catholic writers. This is not shameless self-promotion. Dorothy Cummings Maclean (aka Auntie Seraphic), author of the soon-to-be-reviewed Ceremony of Innocence, points out here how much those witnessing to the faith through words have to do themselves. http://seraphicsinglescummings.blogspot.com/2014/02/author-as-sales-help.html

Please make it a Friday sacrifice and buy a Catholic book from the publisher directly. They need help too.  Speaking of, did you hear about Verily? They’re ending their print edition! Because of lack of funds! 😦

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My mailbox already misses you.

[7]

Book!:

Update 1 pm: YOU CAN GET A FREE COPY! AND OTHER GREAT CATHOLIC BOOKS! http://catholicmom.com/2014/02/20/last-call-win-a-set-of-3-books-from-pauline/

Here’s a great review from a  teacher (pardon the name):    http://kickassbookreviews.blogspot.com/2014/02/nothing-like-catholic-ya-novel-to-make.html

Hey all you giveaway winners: don’t forget to read and write a review for Amazon! And if any other readers have met Gloria Jean, you’re welcome to do so as well!

7QTF:

7_quick_takes_sm1Don’t forget to check out Jen and the rest!

[1]

6e1deaf262f9b4b9522e211371681486Snow on Monday. Snow on Wednesday. A little bit of snow on Sunday. Possibly a lot of snow on Valentine’s Eve. Ugh.

[2]

This week in NAS: Chastity–Living chastely (not just abstinence) is a choice. Have you ever had to defend your choice to live out chastity? If not, why do you choose chastity? I love what Sarah @ Footprints on My Heart says: “I realized, when faced with this decision, that I couldn’t bear the thought of turning my back on God.  I desire heaven, for me and this poor man, and I knew that these actions would not lead us there.  So I said ‘yes’ to God and walked away from the situation, bade the young sir farewell, and renewed my commitment to live chastely.” I’ve experienced that in my own life–the image that I had turned away from God, and the thought of Him sadly looking at me not looking at Him was a key moment in the process of putting on chastity every day.

Next week: If only I knew then what I know now…What would you tell your former self about being single if given the chance? What have you learned that you wish you could tell your younger self?

Join us!

[3]

This week I am going to try really hard to get a WWRW post on this book, as well as the post I promised way back when to answer a commentor’s question.

[4]

Vice of the week: Ego. Totally followed through on a decision I shouldn’t have based purely on my own sense of self-importance. Ugh. Definitely need to go back to humility some more.

[5]

Virtue of the week: Love. Let’s leave it at that. 🙂

[6]

Prayer Request: For parents of teen readers. So much to consider!

[7]

Book: A big thank you to Sophie Miriam Gorman for her Amazon review!

I also have an Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/author/brittleigh

7QTF: End of January

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Don’t forget to check out Jen and the other bloggers!

[1]

So I checked my author email account, and a helpful browser asked if I had a profile on okcupid, because he was pretty sure that person was using my picture. She was. It is in no way a profile any faithful Catholic woman or author for children (especially about teens and chastity!) should be associated with. As my editor calls it, I “got my Boston on” and sent a firm little email to the website. And then double checked all my social media privacy settings.

[2]

Highlight from the NAS topic of Guess who’s engaged?: Morgan at Follow and Believe. She captures the Jekyll-and-Hyde feeling of a single gal hearing of yet another engagement to a T:

“At times, seeing others’ happiness gives me hope that the Lord truly does have a plan for me, too.
And other times, I just want to throw a television off a bridge.”
Yup, that is exactly it.

The next subject is: Chastity: A Choice. Living chastely (not just abstinence) is a choice. Have you ever had to defend your choice to live out chastity? If not, why do you choose chastity?

[3]

I’m thinking I might do a book review next week and link up with “What We’re reading Wednesday.” Just not sure which book, though. Maybe a double header if I finish what I start tonight.

 [4]

Virtue of the Week: Temperance. This week I’ve been pretty good about eating healthfully. After an anything-goes Fall and holiday season without much exercise, nothing is fitting. So I’ve cut out 90% of the sugar and carbs I used to consume and can already feel difference. I still have a ways to go, but the hard part of setting the standard seems to be passing.  🙂

[5]

Vice of the Week: Doubt. I look at doubt as Denying Our Understanding of Beautiful Trust. Not sure why, but I’ve had few moments doubting something, when I really had no reason to. Pesky inner demons. I do have a little confidence that God will give me some reassurance, though.

[6]

Special Intention: For two of my aunts and for all people dealing with cancer and their families.

[7]

Book!: Here’s an excerpt:

“Suddenly, the last line of the song that Mrs. Fermacelli played a few weeks ago starts playing in my head on repeat: ‘Lead me to the truth and I will follow you with my whole life.’ I think that’s what I’ve been wanting al along. To know what the truth is about love. And there’s that Bible verse where Jesus says, ‘I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.’ So the song coud also mean that I need to be lead to Jesus. Well, here I am.’”

*Song lyrics from “White Blank Page” by Mumford and Sons printed in book with license from Hal Leonard.

 

Seven Quick Takes Friday

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Join Jen for more!

[1]

Mark your calendars: the Daughters of St. Paul are beginning a web-a-thon novena WEDNESDAY  to help support their media apostolate.

http://www.pauline.org/webathon

dsp for 7qtf

Disclosure: I’m an author of one their forthcoming titles. I am so grateful to the Pauline Teen imprint for publishing my book and helping young teens discover hope. With your support, Pauline Books and Media can continue to witness the love of Christ to this generation at a time in their lives when they need it the most.

[2]

Speaking of….

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went to the printer this week! Ahhhh! I imagine this must be what it’s like to send one’s baby off into the real world.

[3]

 I am obsessed with Songza’s playlists: Harvest Moon! Walking in a Woodland Clearing! Rustic…Something! Definitely puts me in the mood for Fall.

[4]

So I made apple strudel, thanks to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival cookbook, and the apples I got on my first date with Mr. Shy. We have date #2 tomorrow, which should be  another glorious Fall day.  🙂

[5]

Seriously, the weather has been unbelievable. Temps averaging in the high 60s, not 50s, mainly sunny skies, and brilliant, brilliant leaves.

[6]

The date also gives me an opportunity to die—meaning to sacrifice. Mr. Shy proposed two options of his own creation: both lovely and lively, but a pre-existing appointment meant our preferred choice was out. Our planned excursion is something he devised purely because he knows how much I like books, but also might be relatively short. So as I was looking for any nearby additional events on the city calendar, I came across an entirely different activity that sounds like tons of fun, too, but would mean we couldn’t do what he suggested at all. Ladies, it took every ounce of willpower to not suggest changing his plans for mine. Though I like to be in control or would prefer the new activity, I want to honor his thoughtfulness.

[7]

Virtue of the Month Project: Humility. “Not to think less of one’s self, but to think of one’s self less.” One of my greatest challenges is humility at work. Some prideful thoughts had entered my head last month—I had thought I deserved more: recognition, respect, remuneration; but that was leading only to resentment. This week I have been working toward letting go of those feelings and finding that I am valued, but do not have the answers, or at least very right ones, all the time. So I have been trying to see the bigger picture of what we create and me trying to recognize and respect the talents of my co-workers.