Catholic History, Dispelling the Myths, a video by Dr. Thomas F. Madden

ConciseHistoryCrusades_MaddenIf the ignorant rantings of certain people–especially the recent and most ignorant ranting of a certain ignorant politician–have accomplished nothing else, at least they have brought attention to a subject that has suffered from lack of attention; or when it has garnered attention, the motive has most often been that of ill will, and rather than spreading light, has instead increased the darkness, already pervasive enough, even in Catholic circles. Perhaps especially in Catholic circles. That darkness and ignorance is partly our own fault for not taking it upon ourselves to dig and learn, and to demand that our teachers actually teach, and teach the truth; and partly the fault of a culture that has produced an education (I use the term loosely) system that both distrusts and even hates Holy Mother Church.

(Post continues below the video.)

The video above is a lecture by Dr. Thomas F. Madden, entitled “Catholic History: Dispelling the Myths.” He talks about the Crusades and much more. As Dr. Madden reveals, we Catholics have much of which we should be proud. This is not revisionist history; this is sweeping away the absurdities of the revisionists who foisted a great hoax upon us instead of teaching us real history. Listen up, Catholics. Seek the truth, find it, embrace it, hold onto it. And share it with everyone you can. Share it with your family, your friends, and share it with other Catholics. We need to know these things. We need to stand up and speak out. We need to be able to defend our Faith and our Church, now more than ever. Or, perhaps, now as ever. The Church is always under attack from her ancient enemy, her adversary and ours, who never sleeps, who goes about seeking whom he may devour.

St Teresa de JesusI am going to continue to post information and links and videos here often in order to help spread the good news about our Faith and our Holy Mother Church. This is the least I can do after all the Church has done for me, which is to completely change my life, to transform it, to bring me fully into the Body of Christ, and welcome me Home. One day I want to be able to say, at last, with St. Teresa, “I am a daughter of the Church.” May it be His Will. Amen, amen!

Posted in Catholic Church History, Spiritual Warfare, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, a video by Dr. Brant Pitre

Taking a break from collecting some thoughts for writing, watching this wonderful talk by Dr. Brant Pitre: Jesus & the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist. This is a good video to watch during Lent, preparing for Passover. Will also be watching The Passion of the Christ with the study guide this time, a first for me.

Thank you for stopping by. Lent continues and I’m staying off of social media except for posting here at the blog and answering necessary emails. May this season of preparation bring you closer to our Lord. God bless you! Peace be with you.

PS: Hey, see that tabernacle? It’s empty during Dr. Pitre’s talk. Would that more parishes would take care to do this when holding non-liturgical events in the worship space, if no more suitable space is available, such as a parish hall.

emptytabernacle

Posted in Bible study, Catholicism in the Bible, Eucharist, Lent, Seasonal, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Into the desert, Lent begins

Into the desertI used to think of a desert as a flat sandy place with some dunes thrown in because when I thought desert, I thought Sahara. But I know now that a desert is not flat but uneven, always changing, hard to move through. There may be mountains, valleys, canyons that sneak up on you. There may be no rain. There may be rain so sudden and violent that riverbeds that seem dry from ancient times suddenly become raging torrents. Rocks may be sharp as razors. Snakes may be waiting to strike. Scorpions waiting to sting. A devil waiting to tempt.

A devil is always waiting to tempt. The devil himself was waiting for Christ; for someone as weak and insignificant as myself, there is probably only a minor demon. Maybe only a minor minor minor demon. Maybe I don’t even rate a demon of low estate but am left to my own weakness and weaknessses.

Easter will mark the beginning of my nineteenth year as a Catholic. There have been ups and downs. I have felt close to the Lord, I have felt, if not far away, then not as close. I have been faithful in my prayer life, I have let my prayer life slip, and that slipping has made itself known in every aspect of my life. I have felt strong, and I have been brought face to face with what weakness really means and with the realization that, indeed and contrary to what I had always secretly believed, I am a mere mortal, after all. (Okay, I know our souls are immortal. I just mean, I used to think I’d live forever. In this life. I was indestructible. I’d always be young, never sick, always strong, never weak. Ya know?)

So what do I plan to do for Lent? Nothing heroic, as you will see.

What will I do for Lent?

Prayer

I plan to pray daily, using ONE of the numerous devotionals I’ve collected. And pray the rosary and the chaplet of Divine Mercy. All readers of and visitors to the blog and all Twitter contacts are included in my prayers. Even those whose names I do not know; the One Who needs to know knows who you all are already.

Fasting

I’ve already cut down on the amount I eat, elimnated much I don’t need, and will be following the Church’s guidelines for fasting. But there are other appetites: the internet and social media. I won’t be interacting on social media during Lent (I will pass along prayer requests), though I plan to post at the blog, and those posts will be tweeted automatically.

Almsgiving

And I will be choosing a charity or a cause and will set aside or donate money each week for that cause. I may choose a different cause or charity each week. That’s something to ponder on and pray about.

Into the desert

Looking up at the desert hills,
knowing danger lurks in this place,
listening for the Voice not easily heard,
feeding my soul upon His Word,
praying to meet Him face to Face,
bending my will to what He wills.

Ash Wednesday 2015

Posted in Discipleship, Lent, Seasonal | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

New stuff for me and my little blog too

I’m trying something new this year. First, I’m trying out a theology course. The other day I attended a Catholic Theology webinar hosted by Dr. Taylor Marshall. At the end of it, he offered attendees a special rate on the first month of tuition at his New Saint Thomas Institute. I got it but I’m still kicking myself for not getting in as a charter member in the beginning. Oh, well, hindsight and all that. I spent a while tonight deciding on a way to keep up with coursework. Here’s a screenshot (below) of the arrangement I finally settled on.

NSTI_Certificate_Theology_Scrivener

I started out using DEVONthink for this but I’m liking Scrivener better. For now. What I want is to find a way that works and then not have to mess with it. I just want to use it. When I’m through with the course, I can compile the different files into an ebook for my iPad or print it out. I’ve never tried to do either of those things with Scrivener, so that’ll be a whole other adventure.

Second, I’m working on getting organized with my writing, especially writing for the blog. I found a template for Scrivener (my preferred app for all kinds of writing) that has really helped me organize my thinking and planning. The editorial calendar is especially helpful, though I customized it by adding liturgical seasons and feasts to it. Here’s a screenshot of how the blog plan looks so far.

BlogManagement2015_Scrivener

The more I work on the blog plan, the more ideas I get and the more excited I get about writing again. It’s been a while since I’ve focused (or been able to focus) on much at all. Please keep me in your prayers. I need all the help I can get, for the writing projects, for the theology course, and for my health to allow me to do anything. You’ll be in my prayers, too. (I pray for all visitors to the blog and everyone I interact with online and in face-to-face life when I make the Daily Offering and when I pray the Rosary.)

Thank you for reading and for your prayers. Peace be with you. God bless you!

Posted in New Saint Thomas Institute, Theology, Updates, Writing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Merry Christmas! God bless you, whoever and wherever you are!

Merry Christmas to all of you out there from all of us in here. Us, meaning The Pack™, the dogs and me; and in here, meaning here at the house where we are all snug in our beds with visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads. Well, not really. The dogs are snoring and probably not dreaming of sugarplums, not having the foggiest notion of what those might be and I’m not sure I do, either. ;) And I’m obviously not sleeping or dreaming, I’m tapping away on the keyboard and annoying said dogs as they try to sleep. But not annoying them too much as they long ago learned how to ignore me at any time of day or night.

All blither-blathering aside, I just wanted to say Merry Christmas to you and since I already have, I’ll bid you good night! Good night!

Merry Christmas

The photo above is of my nativity set from years past. Took the photo in 2012. Since then a friend has given me a Fontanini set and she and my sister have given me more figures. But have I taken a proper photo of that one and edited it for Christmas? Why, thank you for asking, and no, I have not. I’ll put that on my list right now for next year. That way I might have it done by, oh, I don’t know, the turn of next century. Sigh. ;)

Posted in Christmas, Holiday, Seasonal | Tagged | Leave a comment

How Do We Know the Early Church?

Priest and Bishop, REBrownMonday I watched a video (see below) of a talk given by Dr. William Marshner at a Deeper in Scripture Conference in 2004, entitled “How Do We Know the Early Church?“. I learned some things I didn’t know, especially about the late Fr. Raymond E. Brown, who I had not realized was a Biblical scholar of the modernist camp (see this article for more about modernism). Dr. Marshner discusses Priest and Bishop in the last part (maybe the last half) of his talk. It’s one of Brown’s books–published in 1999, but widely shared in the 70s onward, according to Msgr. Kelly, apparently in booklet form and, unfortunately, by and among–who else?–priests and bishops. It’s available now from Amazon in print or from Logos/Verbum in their tagged and linked format. (This is the only format I want for serious Catholic study these days.)

Note that I am NOT recommending Brown’s books or ideas. I am recommending that Catholics make themselves aware of what damage his ideas did and still do as people insist on teaching and spreading his ideas. Until I heard this talk and began my own research, I had no idea how decidedly un-Catholic many of his ideas were. No wonder he was so popular with Protestants, who I’m sure were only too thrilled to have a highly respected Catholic priest and Biblical scholar reassure them that the claims of the Church were “unfounded” and “lacking in historical evidence”, or so he claimed. So much for the historical-critical method, which has its positive uses (and its not-so-positive uses as well). (Pope Benedict had plenty to say on that matter but some people still haven’t learned to reason, think critically, be faithful or even just listen.) The articles below will explain further:

Posted in Books, Ecclesiology, Modernism, Priest and Bishop | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

50,000 words and I’m ready for my nap now, Mr DeMille

Done, done and DONE! 50,000 words in just under 30 days. And that’s amazing considering that I pulled my shoulder blade muscle a few days ago and couldn’t write or do much of anything except howl in pain. Until today. This afternoon I grabbed the laptop, started to write like the wind, and didn’t stop until I crossed the finish line. That means I wrote about 4,000 words today, in case you wondered. What did I win, you ask? This:

Winner-2014-Twitter-Profile

Woohoo! I be slayin’ dragons! I’d love to get one of the Winner T-shirts, but apparently T-shirt makers these days think all women are skinny. Well, we ain’t. But NaNoWriMo laptop bags look pretty cool. Maybe Santa will bring me one. A girl can always dream, can’t she? (Why not? After all, I’m dreaming I’m a girl instead of a middle-aged woman. Unless there’s a senior citizen discount somewhere. Then I’m all for admitting I’m somewhat older than middle-aged. How much older? None of your business. Smarty pants.)

Thanks for reading and I hope you had a great and blessed Thanksgiving, and that your own writing (or whatever you might be working on) is going well. Now I’m off to do some much missed reading and ponder some ideas for the next draft of the novel. Oh, yeah, I’ve got plenty of work to do on it yet. But first I need to put some more pain reliever stuff on my shoulder. All that writing about spaceship battles and crashes is hard on a person. Maybe I should stop acting out what I’m writing. Maybe I need to train these dawgs to help out around here more. More. As in, at all. Maybe I can get back to blogging on topic about Catholicism soon. That’d be awesome. ;)

Posted in Updates, Writing | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Taking a breather from NaNoWriMo

Truer words were never sputtered between gulps of steaming hot coffeeMy NaNoWriMo word count is already at 31,167 out of the goal of 50,000 (target for today was 30,000) and that gives me some breathing room. So I’m taking some time to ponder the mysteries of the universe. Some things I’ve wondered along the way:

  • If Christ is the King of the whole universe, then isn’t He the Savior of everybody on every world?
  • Do aliens suffer from original sin or just humans?
  • Do humans exist on other planets already?
  • Would they look like us?
  • What if there are beings a lot like us on the other side of the galaxy?
  • How long would it take for us to find them? Or for them to find us?
  • What if they already did…and they’re as surprised as we are?

I wasn’t kidding about those mysteries of the universe. And that’s not even the half of it! But if I say any more, you’ll know too much and then I’ll have to…you know. You’ll just have to wait for the book. Or the movie. Oh, don’t I wish?! Why, yes, I do, actually. ;)

Thanks for reading and may the peace of Christ be with you always. Back to working on the novel now. Or do some dreaming. (Same thing, really.) ;)

Posted in Updates, Writing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Writing a Novel with Story Bible Using Scrivener and (soon) Aeon Timeline

Finally got far enough along (21,055 words!) in creating the story world in Scrivener that I needed to start the Story Bible. Now I will finally have need of Aeon Timeline. Bought it a while back knowing I didn’t need it yet but would eventually. Eventually is now. Or pretty soon, anyway, but probably not until after NaNoWriMo so I won’t scramble my brain while I’m working on the rough draft. :)

Scrivener: Write Any Way You Want To
Scrivener lets me write the way I want to
Scrivener lets me write the way I want to. Which means bouncing all over the place when I realize I need to change something in one place that also means I need to change something somewhere else. And that gives me another idea which changes another idea and leads to yet another one. See? All over the place. Not easy with one long document. A cinch with Scrivener. Work in one document if you prefer. Or do like I do and break it up in as many different ways as you like. Scrivener makes doing your Story Bible easy too. You may not always need that but sometimes you may. At my current level of development for this project I definitely want one. Worlds, races and religions, oh my! I shudder at the thought of keeping all those ideas in my goofy little brain or on one long page of scribbled notes.

Here’s a screenshot of the novel in Scrivener, edited to keep secrets, well, secret. This image is much reduced. Click on it for the full size image in all its (redacted) glory. ;)

The novel thus far

With everything I’ve written in Scrivener I’ve used a different setup. I start a project in the simplest way with hardly any folders. (Notice the folder for Unused Scenes, ones I want to use but haven’t figured out where they go yet. I sometimes name this folder Unordered Scenes.) But as the work evolves so does my workspace. I also keep a database outside Scrivener in DEVONthink Pro Office. I try to keep mostly simple text files in Scrivener along with a few images. This keeps the project slim and backups fast. Autosave is set in Preferences to every 2 seconds of inactivity, backups to when I close the project and to save to Dropbox, I manually backup to a folder on my laptop (which my Airport Time Capsule backs up automatically for me every day).

Aeon Timeline: Untangle Those Storylines

Here is an interesting looking post about using Scrivener and Aeon Timeline by a published author who uses both. (I know nothing about the author or his books having only just discovered him, but I’m enjoying his post and blog, and have just begun watching one of his many videos on writing.)

Keep those storylines untangled

More than just a timeline: Track all the information that matters

“Aeon Timeline is more than a series of events on a never ending line. With Aeon, you can divide your timeline into logical groups, projects, or concurrent arcs. You can model the relationships between events and people, places and ideas. Aeon calculates people’s ages for you. And you can link your events with research material such as external files or images that can be displayed inside the application.” I cheated and copied this from the website. I  haven’t used it enough to say anything intelligent about it yet except I think it will help me keep from getting overwhelmed. I’ll let you know how that goes. :)

Thanks for reading. I hope some of this was helpful. Now back to writing. Right after a late lunch. (The dawgs are finally asleep and I hate to wake them up, but I’m starving! All this novel-writing and blog-posting is hard work, ya know!) Peace be with you! :)

Posted in Updates, Writing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Word count update and a bit of NaNoWriMo advice

If I had the energy I'd dance just like thisA few moments ago I passed the 20,000 word mark on my NaNoWriMo novel. Woohoo! I am doing the Snoopy happy dance. Okay, I haven’t actually moved, I’m still sitting here with the laptop in my lap, typing this post. But in my mind I am so doing the Snoopy happy dance. (The mere thought of really doing that makes me tired. But imagining it? Hey, I’m a writer, I can imagine it just fine. But there, a graphical type image so I don’t even have to imagine it. Well, I still have to imagine ME moving like that…Nope, can’t do it. Not even in my writerly imagination.)

So much for the update, now for the advice. I’ll keep it short and simple: Trust the process. You’ve been telling stories your whole life. Sometimes they’ve been whoppers. Sometimes you’ve embellished and honed the telling of your story until you are proud of your little creative self. You may even practice telling it to the dogs. (My dogs give me distinct looks of “Not again!” and “Will there be bribes, er, treats this time?” and often sigh out loud when I hone my craft on their captive flappy ears, which is too often, I suspect. And surprisingly difficult to say.)

National Novel Writing Month Because We Are Insane!My point being, you know how to tell a story so tell it already! And once you start telling a story, all sorts of other stories will occur to you, so jot those down and get back to your story. This story. The one you’re writing for NaNoWriMo. You can do this. Believe me, if I can, you can. So, go. Now. Go write! (So much for short, huh?)

Thanks for reading and have fun writing whatever it is you’re writing. And if you’re not writing for NaNoWriMo or any other reason, then bless your heart, you might be one of the sane ones. Peace be with you. :)

Posted in Updates, Writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment