Tag Archives: catholicfaith

Catholic Talk Shows

It’s been about five years since I first started listening to Catholic talk shows.

My husband and I got a subscription to Sirius XM radio in our cars and I signed us up for home internet too.  At first the reason was being able to listen to a variety of music with no interruptions.  I love music so I felt I hit the jackpot.

However, soon, I came across the Catholic Channel. I thought whoa it’s a station that’s Catholic?! I had listened to KLOVE in the past so I was thinking it might be playing music by Catholic artists only, but soon I realized it had nothing to do with that.   I tuned in one day and heard Lino Rulli.  The tone right away struck me because it wasn’t what I expected.  He had a bright strong voice, not the quiet monotone voice we are used to hearing with Catholic speakers. Well, at least in my experience.  He also had a co-host who was laughing and sharing jokes that I kept checking to see if I had it on the right channel.  As I continued to give it another shot each day, I found myself addicted to the format.  First and foremost, funny, relatable, thought provoking, and entertaining.

Each day, they would cover a topic such as confession, marriage, hot topics in the Church, and educate by way of quizzes and contests.  I would find myself laughing out loud and couldn’t wait to hear more the next day.

I then began listening to the channel all day. Even now, I turn it on and leave it at a high volume so I can hear throughout the house.  The other programs such as Busted Halo, Gus Lloyd became my favorites too. They not only cover serious topics but allow the listeners to relax to not so serious information.

My favorite time to listen is when they are live at the Vatican for reasons such as Easter, changing of the Pope which in this last case was Pope Francis.

Truthfully, it puts EWTN to shame. I wish the two would partner up somehow or follow the Catholic Channel format. It would give life to EWTN.

There are podcasts of the show so seek them out if you don’t have Sirius radio.

If you first listen and set a judgment right away, trash the thought, and give them a listen again.  I promise, they will change your opinion.

 

How I learned grace from Cdiff!

When I got really sick with C-Diff in 2008, my stomach, digestion, and lifestyle changed.  I had caught a bad cold and made the mistake by going to an urgent care center.  Having Lupus, I should have waited to see my doctor.  So the urgent care center, gave me a general prescription to treat cold with a 14 day antibiotic.

I took it and immediately after stopping, I got sick. It depleted all the good bacteria in my intestines.  C-diff kicked in my already low immune and I was sent to the ER. I had severe pain in my stomach. I couldn’t stop going to the bathroom.  I was feverish. They admitted me and placed me on powerful antibiotics and morphine. I was weak and miserable. The hospital doctor said that I could’ve died.  I still can’t believe that!

I was mad that I couldn’t go home by the second night and was released on the fifth day. At this time, my emotional demeanor took a bad turn.

The first night home was awful.  I cried in panic over what I was feeling physically. I couldn’t sleep at all. So for days after, the routine was the same.  I sweat through t-shirts at night, didn’t eat much throughout day,  always woke up with anxiety, stayed in our room for the most part, and cried.  When I left the hospital, they continued me on a high antibiotic.  During the day, my mom or sister would take care of me. Mom made cream of wheat cereal, which was the only thing that would satisfy my hunger and go well in my stomach.  I ate it for dinner too.

After a week or so, I remember having an urge to just be by myself. So I asked my mom and sister to go out for a bit. As soon as they left,  I dropped down and cried. I felt suffocated. I cried in fear asking God once again to help me out of this misery.

Days ahead, I tried to start eating again. From the time I was in the hospital to about a week out, I had lost much weight. When I had a follow-up visit with the doctor I weighed in at 98 pounds.   I tried to reintroduce food into my system again.  But everything I ate hurt to digest.  It wasn’t worth it.  So then I started becoming accustomed to a new diet. A friend of mine introduced me to JuicePlus supplements and alkaline foods.   I couldn’t eat any fried foods, any rich sauces, any dairy, any treats/baked goods, etc.  Couldn’t drink coffee like I used to.  I also started taking a daily probiotic supplement that helped with good bacteria.  All started to give me some life again.

But this was only one side of the struggle.

Even though I could start eating again, my emotional battle was something else.  I felt many days as if I was trying to run away from myself. Still had anxiety and panic attacks. I spent much time with my aunt who lived near the ocean.  The ocean gave me relief. Some peace. For about six months, I still had been living this same way.  In the midst of it all, I was prayerful, attending Church, and keeping up with life.  I know that my prayer had to stay strong.  I knew Our Lord was helping me even if I couldn’t see the results right away. I remember getting myself to weekday Mass not feeling good and fighting with the thoughts of just going home, staying in bed.  Kneeling in the pew, feeling dizzy and weak, but always feeling better after.

It took about two years, before I could have coffee the way I liked  – cappuccinos, lattes.  I also started eating some fried foods and enjoying my favorite food – Italian.  Much time after that, I was able to drink wine, eat rich cheeses, ice cream, salad dreOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAssing, chili/salsa which is where I am now.

I have a new profound respect for food.  I also have this defense in that if a sick person wants to eat something that no one should stand in their way.  Obviously, I don’t mean a diabetic.  My Dad during his battle with cancer still had an appetite and I loved watching him eat. Food gives so much comfort!  Now I recognize that when I do get sick if I can still eat and taste the food, I’m good!  What is also strong to my senses is human suffering.  My body reacts different when I find what pain and suffering someone maybe going through. A sense I didn’t have before.

I love to make food and try new recipes.  I love to go out to eat, try new spots, and enjoy meals with friends and family.  I even plan trips with my husband based on the food scene in those places.  Food is my joy.  If I can enjoy it without it causing my health to go bad, then I’m going to enjoy it and not feel bad if a pound or two latch on.  I can’t only do healthy eating. We do well during the week, we balance and then on the weekends we feast!

And never once do I take my eating for granted.  I give thanks to God we have the food to eat and enjoy all its flavor.

So the point is even though I had already experienced much with my faith at this time, my response to this trial was different. I had never known fear this way. I had never experienced panic attacks.  My faith in action was completely new and the battle for my soul was on! But I never took the bait even after months of having to fight it! And that’s it!  Your prayer is always heard. Never stop praying or speaking to Our Lord always offering up your suffering for His peace in your heart. You keep on and He will make all things new! +++

2 Corinthians 12:8-10

Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Lupus…thank you God!

From the time of diagnosis (SLE) through now, my faith has carried me through. I have not always responded in the best way, but I learned much and it has given me a deeper relationship with Jesus.

So much of my life after my lupus diagnosis took different directions that I soon realized my life wasn’t mine but Our Lord’s.

When I was diagnosed, I had been going to Church but I was not yet knowing the whole picture.  My husband hadn’t been going and we were married for 4 years at this time.

There were many signs and symptoms I was having that led up to this, but even once learning what it was, I had some denial. I was even more shocked to learn the lupus I was diagnosed (and there are 3 forms), is the terminally ill one.

Even though I thought I would have some time to wrap my head around this new reality, turned out not to be the case for me.  My physical pain took over. I was given some heavy duty drugs to cope. I started losing hair and gaining weight because of the prednisone.  My stomach was always making me uncomfortable or in pain.  I had less energy and started to find myself less outgoing. To top it off, the sun became an enemy and of all places to live, Arizona, was hard to avoid.

At one point after having to call into work sick every week, I remember crying and just wanted things to go back to the way they were.  I was home alone, got out of bed, and looked out of our bathroom window just asking God to help me.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My work had become more difficult to do and I took this hard. I had worked myself into a promising career and then had to let it go, at least for a while I thought. So I had to resign.

I wanted to be a part of something so I signed up to go to a bible study and attended a women’s fellowship at our Church. I met some great people and felt very comfortable.  Eventually, I went on a retreat with my husband that was life changing for the both of us. My husband’s oldest brother had passed away and his heart too was seeking answers to what was going on with his life and connection to those who were suffering.

For the both of us, we started to take our faith more seriously. I remember having a huge desire to learn more about the faith even during the hard hit news abuses of the Church and the number of people leaving.  I felt a clear distinction that my faith was real and could not be broken.  There was too much I didn’t know about it to leave it and the atrocity, the evil, that wanted to ruin it wasn’t going to include me as a collaborator to break its foundation. As it’s said in Mass, “Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church”.

Sure enough to this day, I find myself defending Church teaching to untruths. Getting stronger cleared my eyes to see I am a part in the Body of Christ.

My fervor grew and I tried things I didn’t think I would do like public speaking, host bible studies at our home, and volunteer.

When my Dad got diagnosed with stage 4 sarcoma,  I felt as though I had been prepared.  It gave me new insight to suffering as I saw my Dad go through it. Dad and Stef (dancing)He too found Jesus after he spent most of his adult life to drug and alcohol addiction. He became a born again Christian and restarted his life. So when we got news of his cancer, our family life was about helping him. My Dad passed away 6 months later.

A few months after, my husband and I were blessed to go on a pilgrimage to Rome.  The timing was perfect! It swept us off our feet! All the rich Church history, meeting other Catholics who were in different points in their journey, and answers to areas of the Church we thought we knew.  This experience placed love in our hearts and protection for our faith to not just see our faith as a building and good advise but living, breathing, as clear as Christ is the Church! Can’t separate.

There was a conversation I had with a friend close to this time. She asked me if I was angry at God for allowing my lupus to be.  It hit me and said to her it was a blessing.  From it, my life has forever changed in my deeper faith to Him and continues too.  Thanks be to God! +++

“What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” – John 3:6-8

Cradle Catholic, not really.

My parents did not share the same faith.  My mom received the sacraments in the Catholic church and my Dad was a son of a Free Methodist Pastor.  My mom wanted me to have the sacraments too and my Dad supported it.

My Godparents as I grew up were not faith nurturing but despite that I had an abundance of love from them.  Our family was not "church going".  I can't recall us going to Mass as a family unless it was for a reason like someone getting married.  In fact, I don't remember ever praying with my parents or spending time learning what faith was about.

During my time as a child, my maternal grandmother took care of me while my parents were at work.  In her humble house she had an altar.  It had a pastel painted Virgin Mary and other smaller sized saints made out of plaster which in my Mexican culture are called "Santitos".  I remember when it was nap time, she would have me lay in the bed that was right near her altar of Saints.  I would often play with them like they were barbie dolls. I wondered who they were and why she had them in a corner in her room that had candles and flowers. I can remember the smell of burning wax from her prayer candles and the reflections of the Saint figures on the walls.  I remember feeling all this but I can't recall why she had this in her home and why it was important to her.  My grandmother passed away when I was eleven.

For my First Holy Communion, I remember loving the idea that I would be wearing a mini wedding dress including a veil. I remember the excitement about the party that was coming to celebrate it. Oh it was a big party too! Tons of family brought me gifts like rosaries and prayer books. I had a sugared cake with white frosting and a plastic communion girl on top. But soon after the party, all that I was taught in catechism was lost.  I had no more nurturing from the teachers nor did what I learn come from my parents. 

Around this same time, my Dad's drug addiction started. Our family life became more about drinking.  There was no spiritual direction in our home. No compass.

communion

When my only sister got married, I was in 6th grade, I would attend Church with her and her new little family.  We went to the neighborhood Church.  I remember feeling peace and happy she would always include me.

My high school years were not filled with guidance from my faith.  In fact, all that a teenager can do without someone being there to protect or set straight, I did. Drugs, sex, suicidal tendencies, etc.  I didn't know my value.

After high school and a bad breakup with a high school boyfriend, I started back up and attended Church with my sister and her family.  And even though I had a foot in the door (so to speak) I still was living a sinful life.  Doing what most young 20 year olds do – going to clubs, drinking, and being promiscuous. Not grasping what I was hearing in Church or realizing it was to be my life.

In fact outside of going to Church with my sister and her family, not much about Jesus was spoken of.  Don't recall family talking much about Him either. If anyone was showing me any path it was my sister, who was receiving some guidance through her in-laws.

However, now looking back I know that those "seeds" that were planted by my mom and sister throughout my young life were there to help me where I am now.  I can look back and see the Hand of God despite the child life I was given or the choices I made.  

We all have journeys and not everyone takes the same path to finding a relationship to Jesus. This is why I find it important for me to share with others who might have a similar past or are living this now.  To make aware how our Father God is truly real, is always by our side, and never gives up on us. Ask, seek, and knock! In the end it's about when you desire Jesus in your life! +++