Tag Archives: Religion

God With Hidden Majesty

“By His Wounds, You Have Been Healed”

1 Peter, 2:24

What we believe, as Christians, is formed by what has happened on this solemn night of Good Friday. Everything Jesus taught, all that he did, would have been for naught had He not truly been the Son of God and had he not had the power to defeat the devil by dying on the cross. Yes, this horrid act was our Lord’s greatest triumph. Through His passion He struck down death and we received access to Eternal Life.

eucaristia1.jpgThough His sacrifice brought us salvation, it also brought Him from this world to heaven with his Father, and so for us, the majesty of our Lord is taken away, hidden once again from our eyes. However, God in His wisdom, knows his creation and knows we need the Lord forever in our presence, which is why Jesus’ final act on earth was to celebrate the first Mass with his disciples. This Mass was passed on through tradition and word from generation to generation so that all of God’s children be in the presence of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

This act of faith, believing that God is truly present in the Holy Mass, is simply that, an act of faith. It cannot be proven by worldly means, it cannot be explained by material objects, it cannot be argued by reason alone, but yet, it can be believed. It is not easy, this faith of ours, to be put into words, and so we look to perhaps the greatest Theologian who ever lived, St. Thomas Aquinas. In his beautiful hymm Adoro te Devote (translated below from the original Latin), Aquinas brings our faith forward and praises our Lord, present for us in the Holy Eucharist.

God with Hidden Majesty

St. Thomas Aquinas

God with hidden majesty, lies in presence here,
I with deep devotion my true God revere:
Whom this outward shape and form secretly contains,
Christ in his divinity manhood still retains.

All my other senses, cannot now perceive,
But my hearing, taught by faith, always will believe:
I accept whatever God the Son has said:
Those who hear the word of God, by the truth are fed.

God lay stretched upon the cross, only man could die.
Here upon the altar God and man both lie;
This I firmly hold as true, this is my belief,
And I seek salvation, like the dying thief.

Wounds that doubting Thomas saw I could never see,
But I still acknowledge you my true God to be;
Grant that I shall always keep strong in faith and trust,
Guided by my Saviour, merciful and just.

Blest reminder of the death suffered for the world,
Sacrament of living bread, health to every mind,
Let my soul approach you, live within your grace,
Let me taste the perfect joys time shall not efface.

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Women, we deserve more. 

 

In our uncertain and tense time in America right now, we seem to be under attack in every aspect of our lives, and one primary group under attack is women.

Today feminism is rising at an exponentially fast rate—if you aren’t a feminist, you are wrong—allegedly. I, however, disagree with the popular feminist agenda, not because I’m anti-woman or even anti-feminism, but because I don’t think it’s good enough. I think it brings woman down to a lower level of dignity, instead of elevating us to be the best version of ourselves.

In the past few weeks I have seen who the heroes of womanhood are portrayed to be, and I have to say it’s completely unacceptable. We have people like Amy Schumer, who can’t go two sentences without saying something vulgar, we have woman like Lady Gaga, who dressed up like a Nazi at a political rally, and we have people like Lena Dunham, who bragged in her memoir about molesting her little sister, and who made a video with her father supporting the extinction of straight white men. Seriously? These women are supposed to embody the feminist movement? I don’t think so. The sad thing is, we expect this from Hollywood because it is an immoral cesspool—we expect it, but we don’t need to accept them as our heroes. We deserve more.

The problem we have today is that this pseudo feminism has spread from Hollywood, to our everyday culture, and, most importantly, to our government. The people meant to keep us safe and guide us by the direction of the Constitution have been infected by this horrid wave of new feminism that teaches our women the only way we will succeed is if we are cold, heartless, and angry…which is exactly opposite of our nature as women.

We deserve more than this, and more importantly we deserve better heroes than Hillary Clinton, the most corrupt political figure the United States has ever seen.

Every time I would hear people praise Hillary or express delight that she would be the first woman president, I would feel physically ill—this was not the woman I wanted representing my country or my gender.

Hillary has a history of corruption. She is the only first lady fingerprinted by the FBI because she has been under investigation multiple times, she has been careless with classified information, she covered up for her husband’s sex scandals and bullied the victims into silence, she has used charity funds for her own benefit, and she has been quoted saying she “admire[s] Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision…” Yes, Margaret Sanger, the woman who claimed, “colored people are like human weeds and need to be exterminated.” Margaret Sanger, the woman who believed in making an ultimate race and said, “we want a world freer, happier, cleaner—we want a race of thoroughbreds.” Yes, that woman, Hillary is in awe of the woman who was willing to exterminate millions to gain a perfect race…hmm, remind you of anyone?

How on earth can we show Hillary Clinton to our daughters, sisters, nieces, and friends, and say this is the woman you should strive to be? It’s absurd.

I would love for our country to have a woman president. I hope one day I will vote for a woman president, but not her, not like this. I want to look at our first woman president and know she exemplifies all that it means to be a human and a woman—not someone who has illegally climbed her way to the top– not someone who is under FBI investigation for treason.

I know it’s despairing—we came so close to having the glass ceiling shattered only to watch a vulgar billionaire hold it up. It’s disheartening knowing that many people do not see women as equals. Those people, however, those small minded fools who think woman are not as powerful or equal as men, will never change their opinion, no matter what. Even if women swept the presidency and the senate, they would still stay closed up in their tiny alpha-male minds and nothing, I repeat, nothing would change them. We, as women, do not owe these people anything, we do, however, owe ourselves to stand with the dignity we know we possess. This dignity does not lie in idolizing a political criminal.

People have been mourning over what they will tell their daughters over this election cycle, and to that I have one plea: please tell them they deserve more than Secretary Clinton—she’s a criminal and has not earned you or your daughters respect. Instead, look for something greater. When you daughter asks you why a woman lost in the presidency, tell her the truth: she wasn’t good enough for you—however, there are many women who are. Instead of crying about women never succeeding, we should look to those who have succeeded, all while maintaining their dignity and elevating the their own lives an the lives of those around them.

There are many women who have achieved greatness, but if you need some ideas, here are nine women who blow Hillary Clinton out of the water.

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  1. Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, winning it at only 17. She grew up in Taliban occupied part of Pakistan. In 2009, at the young age of 11, Malala started writing anonymous articles about the truth of Taliban occupation, and her pleas for the education of women in Pakistan. In 2012, after her work had been acknowledged, Malala was attacked by a Taliban gunman in 2012, and was close to death, but miraculously survived. Later, in 2013, 2014, and 2015, she was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.” She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, and still works as an activist for female education.

“Do not wait for someone else to come and speak for you. It’s you who can change the world.”

  1. Emma Watson

Along with being the awesome Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies, Emma Watson spends most of her time as an activist for gender equality. Emma doesn’t stop going when she finds something worth fighting for. In 2014 she became the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. Her main project is the HeForShe campaign, which calls for men to help the fight for equality among the genders.

“Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong.”

  1. Leah Darrow

Leah Darrow appeared in the 3rd season of America’s Next Top Model, and after tried her career as a model in New York City. She soon found the modeling lifestyle was ruining her soul and she was sure she deserved more. She fled from the modeling career and has now devoted her life to showing women they were made for greatness and helping them see their dignity and worth.

“We shouldn’t shy away from the world, but know who we are when we go into it.”

  1. Serena Williams

Serena Williams has proved hard work and dedication pay off. Serena is, without a single doubt, one of the best athletes in the world. She has dominated tennis and redefined the way the sport is played. Not only has she controlled the field in women’s tennis, she is the most decorated tennis player of all-time, male or female. She is humble and gracious, yet plays with a force to be reckoned with—she is truly the best athlete for young players to exemplify.

“It all begins and ends in your mind. What you give power to, has power over you, if you allow it.”

  1. Megyn Kelley

Whether you agree with her politically or not, it is hard to deny that Megyn Kelly has done some amazing things in her professional career. She is succeeding in a profession mostly dominated by men. She has proven that gender doesn’t matter when it comes to pulling ahead, and she has done it all with class and determination. While Megyn doesn’t let her gender get in the way of success, she also does not allow it to be belittled. Whenever a case of gender inequality surfaces, she handles it professionally, yet she defends women when defense is needed. In her career she has had to deal with men looking down on her, but she has broken down those barriers and shown the world how hard she can fight.

“If you work in a male-dominated industry, don’t waste time worrying about the fact that you work in a male-dominated industry.”

  1. Immaculee Ilibagiza

Immaculee Ilibagiza is one of the most amazing human beings in the world. She is a native of Rwanda and endured and survived the Rwandan Genocide by living in a 3×4 bathroom with seven other women for 91 days. Today, she speaks all over the world about forgiveness and healing.

“The love of a single heart can make a world of difference.”

  1. Maya Angelou

The late Maya Angelou was an author and civil rights activist. She wrote memoirs and poems centralized around racism, family life, women, and identity. She worked with Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement and was a renowned speaker for most of her life. President Barak Obama awarded Angelou with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. Angelou died on May 28, 2014 at the age of 86.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

  1. Mary Barra

Mary Barra is an inspiration to businesswomen everywhere. In 2014 she became the first female CEO of General Moters Company, one of the largest auto companies in the world. Barra’s first job at General Motors was when she was 18 and she worked her way up to the top. In 2014 she was on the cover of Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” and in 2015 she was number one on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list, and has been listed in the top ten of Forbes most powerful women.

“Do every job you’re in like you’re going to do it for the rest of your life, and demonstrate that ownership of it.”

  1. Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa is a global symbol of sacrificial love and generosity. Mother Teresa became a nun at the age of 27 and began her service in Calcutta as a teacher. During her time there she saw her true calling was to serve the poor. In 1950 she received permission to start the Missionaries of Charity, a religious order made specifically to help the poor in Calcutta. Her order started with 13 sisters, but has now grown to over 4,000 sisters and hundreds of charity houses worldwide. Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, and she has been honored by political and religious leaders worldwide. Mother Teresa died in 1997. Since then she has been connected to multiple miracles, which lead to her canonization to sainthood in the Catholic Church.

“Do think for people not because of who they are or what they can do in return, but because of who you are.”

 

These nine women come from different background, have different political and religious views, and have different vocations and talents, yet all of them show the power women have to succeed. We may not have a woman president right now, and we may not have one for a long time, but that doesn’t really matter—our gender is strong and valuable, and we have the drive to change the world and make it a better place for all.

BR: The Carnelian Legacy

17453523.jpgThe Carnelian Legacy by Cheryl Koevoet

Rating:★ ★ ★

Favorite Line: “Never forget that it is by choice that the ordinary person decides to live a life that is extraordinary.”

Summary:

The Carnelian Legacy by Cheryl Koevoet follows the adventures of a Marisa MacCullum as she is thrown into a world unknown after her own has fallen apart.

On the evening of her father’s funeral, Marisa takes her horse for a ride in the Oregon countryside to clear her head and settle her nerves. While riding, a strange occurrence sends her horse into panic and her to the ground, where she hits her head and is knocked unconscious.

Marisa wakes to two strange men staring down at her and speaking a language totally unknown. She soon finds out that not only did she get knocked out, but she also got knocked into an entirely different realm and is no longer on Earth.

Unsure of what to do, Marisa takes advantage of the men’s hospitality and she tags along on their journey, which she soon discovers is one of utmost importance regarding the politics of this new country.

Marisa soon becomes more involved with this adventure and gets caught up in tense situations, all while trying to adjust to living in a new world, and also trying to find a way to return home.

Review:

This book was better than I expected. I didn’t have the highest expectations because I’m not the biggest fan of the Young Adult genre, and this one was clearly that, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with what I got from The Carnelian Legacy. While the story didn’t take total control over me, I did find myself not wanting to put it down at times, especially toward the end. It is exciting and adventurous, and has quite a few plot twists to keep you engaged.

This book follows the classic guidelines for a good YA novel: unexpected heroine, fun sidekick, charming, yet secretive hero, monsters, royalty, romance, betrayal, etc. It really hits them all—which is ultimately good, because that is exactly what many YA readers are looking for and expecting.

I enjoyed the characters, especially the main three, Darian, Marisa, and Arrie, however I did find them very predictable at times. I was hoping for a little more character development, but the author did give us enough to build upon and create a solid image of these three in our minds. I’ll be honest, at times I found myself completely annoyed with Marisa—she was whiney, she overreacted to little things, and she read way to far into things that were not that big of a deal. However, when I reflected on this, I realized that I was probably all of those things when I was 17/18 and it made me less annoyed with her behavior—but I did have to remind myself of that several times in the book.

The plot was fantastic. It was set up nicely and flows easily throughout the book—not once did I find myself confused about what was going on. I don’t want to go into what worked and what didn’t for me, because that would probably ruin the book for everyone, but I did think the plot was very exciting.

My biggest critique of this book is actually the use of the God figure in it. I don’t mind that a God figure was used, but what I minded was how quickly she took on the God of the new country. Now, to be clear, it wasn’t a different God as our own, but it did have a different name, and Marisa uses it almost immediately upon learning it in this new land. I had a hard time with this because if I went to a new world and they told me God was called Garon (which it is in the book), I would still pray to God, not Garon, so I was a little perturbed that she took on this new name right away—it just didn’t seem natural to me.

I give this book 3 ½ stars because I did think it was good, and I do want to read the other books in this series, but I didn’t think it was fantastic.

I would recommend this book to people who are looking for a fun YA novel, because it really is that and I don’t think you will be disappointed.

 

*I recieved this book free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange to a fair and unbiased review.

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