Category: Faith

Review: Chastity Is for Lovers

Posted December 18, 2014 in Faith, Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Review: Chastity Is for LoversChastity is for Lovers by Arleen Spenceley
Publisher: Ave Maria Press (2014)
eARC (120 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Reading Challenges: Read 2014


In 2012, journalist Arleen Spenceley outed herself as a twenty-six-year-old virgin in a Tampa Bay Times op-ed that went viral. In Chastity Is for Lovers, Spenceley expands on that piece, advocating Catholic teaching on sex and marriage with candor and humor, and without judgment.
In her debut book, seasoned journalist and self-professed "happy virgin" Arleen Spenceley offers a mature, funny, and relatable vision of Catholic teaching on chastity for young adults. Chastity Is for Lovers provides perspective on a variety of topics—the difference between chastity and abstinence, how virginity is an affirming and valuable life choice, how the word "purity" can be harmful in ministry settings, how to date well, and why sexual self-control is the best form of marriage preparation—and gives single adults the best possible chance to find true love. She carefully avoids using language that shames readers and instead presents a view of chastity that is joyful and positive.

Find the book: Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository


This is a book I had heard about once before I found it on NetGalley. I requested it and read it in two days. Thanks, Ave Maria Press!

Take a look at the publication date. The feast of Saint Catherine Labouré! And the publisher is Ave Maria Press. From that alone, I knew I would like this book.

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Happy Pink Sunday of Advent and Advent Songs

Posted December 14, 2014 in Faith / 0 Comments

Well, it is the Third Sunday of Advent. As one of my religious ed kids said last Wednesday, “It’s Pink Sunday!” Yes, it is. Happy Pink Sunday of Advent

Why Pink?

Well, this Sunday is known as Gaudete Sunday which is Latin for Rejoicing Sunday. This Sunday we are called to rejoice. As Father said this morning, “And that is why I get to wear pink.”

From the Lectionary:

The First Reading for Isaiah 61:1-2,10-11 tells us “I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul.” The Psalm this week is actually a canticle, the Canticle of Mary. The Magnificat begins with Mary saying, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1). Even Saint Paul, in the First Letter to the Thessalonians states, “Rejoice always” (5:16). Then there is the Gospel Reading from the first chapter of John’s Gospel where John the Baptist is testifying that Jesus is coming.

Doesn’t this all point towards rejoicing?

Yes, I think it does. This Sunday we rejoice. We are closer to Christmas and the Lord’s Coming than last week. And it is finally snowing here in Montana after a week of 50+ degrees. It is cause for rejoicing, I say.

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Prepare the Way for the Lord: Second Sunday of Advent

Posted December 7, 2014 in Faith / 0 Comments

Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight his paths: all flesh shall see the salvation of God. 

Alleluia Antiphon for the Second Sunday of Advent

Today is the Second Sunday of Advent. The Alleluia Antiphon and the readings for today remind us that Advent is a time of preparation, a time to prepare our hearts for the birth of Our Lord. It is a time to really look at our lives and conform them to the will of God. We want to be able to cry out “Here is your God!” as Isaiah calls us to in the First Reading {Isaiah 40:1-5,9-11). We want to be ready for the day “the Lord will come like a thief” {2 Peter 3:10}. We have to be ready for the Lord could come at any time.

Preparation of Prayer

Prayer is the first and foremost way we can prepare our hearts for Christmas. It is in prayer that we can talk to God and grow closer to Him. For myself, that means I am praying Morning, Evening, and Night Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours as well as a daily Rosary and a novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe. I am doing my best to dedicate my entire day to the Lord so that all I do, I can do with the Lord.

Preparation of Action

There are things we can do, besides prayer, that can help us to be ready for the Lord’s coming. We can be charitable this Advent. There are all sorts of programs we hear about that can really benefit from even a small donation. I, for one, like the Gift Catalog of Catholic Relief Services. It is amazing how much a small donation can do. For example, health exams for 12 children can be donated for jsut $25! That’s just over $2 per child! I find it utterly amazing what one small donation can do.

And there aren’t just online donations. There are programs in our own communities that would love for us to help them out. Some programs are simply looking for people to help organize a food bank or serve food at a free community dinner. These are things we can give without giving money. We can give our time to really change people’s lives.

Preparing for Jesus

There are countless other ways we can prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus. No matter what we do, we always need to remember that Jesus is the reason. As many of the churches’ like to say this time of the year: “Keep Christ in Christmas.” If we didn’t have Jesus, there would be no Christmas. It is all about an infant boy born to poor parents in the Middle East over 2000 years ago. It is all about a baby who, though born in humble circumstances, is the Savior of the World.

Enjoy the Second Sunday of Advent!


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Advent: The Church’s New Year

Posted November 30, 2014 in Faith / 0 Comments

It is Advent again. Let me just share with you how much I adore Advent! The beautiful Advent when we await the coming of the Lord as an infant in a stable in Bethlehem. The season of Advent also contains some of my favorite feast days: the Immaculate Conception on December 8th, Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th, Saint Lucy on December 13th (Did you know she’s my Confirmation saint?), and the Holy Innocents on December 28th.

Advent is beautiful to me because it is preparation, in particular preparation for the birth of the Lord Jesus. This is the season when the Church puts up more decorations, when people clean up their houses and put up lights. But it isn’t just the physical preparations for the Nativity of the Lord but also the spiritual. During the season of Advent I turn more towards prayer, especially daily prayer. As it was said in the homily today, it is during Advent when we remember that we can always come before the Lord, He is always waiting for us. It does not matter what time or place we pray for we can talk to our God anywhere, at any time.

It is during Advent when, children in particular, open Advent calendars. As a child I always had those ones with the fake-tasting chocolate in them. Now, I try to visit xt3’s virtual Advent calendar every day. As a child I wanted the chocolate. I’m sure I didn’t think that much about how the Advent calendar could inspire daily prayer. Now, however, that is exactly what I do.

Advent, as the Church’s New Year, is a great time to remember all that God has provided us with and to pray daily. Prayer doesn’t have to be long and tedious. It just has to be real, to really mean something. God is our Father and He wants us to speak to him. Let us all try to remember to speak to God daily this advent.


As a footnote: I have been recovering from being sick for the past almost two weeks, therefore, NaNoWriMo had no possible way to be finished and life has seemed super stressful. Now, in Advent, I hope things will slow down so I can just be.

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