Seven Quick Takes: Find The Fun Friday Edition

Amidst all the drama going on the current political sphere, I want to share some hope for humanity and also fill your news feed with some fun things that will make your October a lot more fun.

— 1 —

Since October is the month of the Rosary, I want to take advantage of this time to promote Heart of Mary Women Fellowship’s Bible study on the Rosary. Each of the Mysteries comes with a free study journal. I’m also sharing a wonderful image from The Catholic Rose. I encourage everyone that no matter what your feelings are or who you plan on voting for this election, pray the Rosary for peace in this world. God knows we all need it. We may not get the results we expect when we pray, but prayer can help change us in ways we never expected.

Header

14633328_688597294637883_3903138595270087670_o

— 2 —

money-95793_640

I had no idea that Who Wants to be a Millionaire is still going on, but I’m so glad it is because ChurchPOP shared this awesome article about a priest who competed on the show and walked away with $250,000 that will be donated to a Catholic elementary school!

It reminds me of when I was watching Sister Alicia Torres compete on Chopped. Catholic religious need to compete on shows more often.

— 3 —

As someone who loves music, I highly respect Bob Dylan for his contributions to the industry. It’s no surprise to me, then, that he won the Nobel Prize for literature.  Bishop Robert Barron is a huge Bob Dylan fan. He did a podcast about Bob Dylan in August. I can’t wait to hear what Bishop Barron will say about Dylan winning the Nobel Prize. Dylan’s version of “All Along the Watchtower” is my personal favorite.

— 4 —

In the mood for a good murder mystery? Wanna get into the Halloween spirit? Fan of authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, Charlotte Bronte, HG Wells, and Emily Dickinson? Check out Edgar Allan Poe’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party, a  wonderful wacky murder mystery comedy that will keep you guessing! Warning: One episode includes a seance, but thankfully, there’s no overtly occult things going on here.

— 5 —

If you want something more along the lines of high fantasy and/or if you’re a fan of Once Upon a Time or Grimm, check out the Rooster Teeth web series RWBY. The fourth season will premiere on October 22nd. If you haven’t watched the series yet, feel free to catch up on it here.

— 6 —

 

sarah-gellar-02-600x800

Today is #NationalDessertDay according to Twitter. If you wanna treat yourself, check out this cool new brand of modern baking kits called Foodstirs, co-founded by Sarah Michelle Gellar (AKA Buffy) and Galit Laibow. It’s family friendly and they have awesome Halloween-themed treats that your kids are sure to love!

Photo courtesy of People Magazine and used for editorial purposes only.

— 7 —

In case you or someone you know has food allergies like I do, Food Allergy Research and Education is launching the Teal Pumpkin Project. It promotes giving out non-food “treats” to trick-or-treaters who have food allergies. Ideas for fun non-candy treats include glow bracelets, stickers, Halloween-themed pencils or erasers, small toys. You can easily find stuff at a local dollar store or at a craft store.

As someone who has a ton of food allergies, I also recommend looking for candy or treats that are safe for any kid. It doesn’t hurt to ask the kid about his or her allergies as well. Bubblegum such as Dubble Bubble has always been safe for me as well as Charms Blow Pops and Dum-Dum lollipops. My favorite candy, however, is soft peppermint sticks.

Have a wonderful Halloween! Watch out for killer clowns and vampires!

10 Ways You Can Pray The Rosary

11921715_10154186203758626_4481069465761031243_o

October is the month of the Rosary. I was taught how to pray the Rosary in Catholic school, but it wasn’t until I was in college that I really learned the beauty of the prayer. I still don’t pray it every day, but I know I’m not the only one struggling with that. This list will help you if, like me, you want to pray the Rosary every day but aren’t exactly sure how.

1) Start with just a decade a day

If you have kids or are just learning how to pray the Rosary, start with just praying a decade a day. When I was teaching Catechism, I taught the kids to pray the Rosary by praying a decade at the end of class. Once you get comfortable meditating on one decade, you can move on to add more.

2) Use scripture as a companion

Mark Hart said that the Rosary is his favorite Bible Study. I asked him “Which mysteries?” He said “All 20 offer us something unique…that’s the best part – depending on the day or where we are on our faith journey, the Spirit will reveal something different to us.” Great Mathemetician’s Answer there, Mr. Hart. There are sites out there that provide scripture verses that you can meditate on with each Hail Mary such as this one.

3) Pray throughout the day.

You can pray one decade in the morning, pray the second one during your mid-morning coffee break, add another one in the mid-afternoon, pray the fourth one before dinner, and the last one as you get ready for bed. It’s a good way to pray constantly.

4) Pray as you walk/jog/run

Some people pray the rosary as they walk as part of a moving meditation. I realize that jogging and running may leave one out of breath for prayer, but if you’re jogging or running at a slow pace, you can have enough mental energy to meditate and pray. Offer up a Hail Mary when you feel like you’re about to feel exhausted.

5) Pray during the morning/rush hour commute/road trips

Most commutes are about 30-40 minutes depending on where you live. Instead of complaining about the traffic, pray the Rosary and offer up a Hail Mary for anyone who cuts you off. I won’t say it’ll cure you of your road rage, but it’s a lot nicer than making crude gestures or angry remarks. Lighthouse Catholic Media has a wonderful Rosary CD that you can pray along with.

6) Pray during Adoration

Back in college, I would spend the first half hour of Adoration praying the Rosary. And even when I can’t make a whole hour, I would stay long enough for me to pray at least a decade. The Rosary helps you focus your mind and keep you aware of where you are in the present. If you pray the Rosary long enough, you might make it last for the whole Holy Hour.

7) Pray before you sleep or as you sleep.

This was a tip given to me by my dear friend Fr. Keon. If you’re afraid of falling asleep before you finish praying, Elizabeth Scalia says that she asks her guardian angel to finish the Rosary for her if she ends up falling asleep.

8) Pray with family/friends

Praying in a group is always a good way to pray because you don’t have to do the whole Rosary by yourself. Group rosaries often happen in retreats, but you can pray the Rosary with your family after dinner or get some friends together and pray a Rosary in the chapel or in front of an abortion clinic. October is also pro-life month, after all

9) Pray during storms or times of anxiety

When Hurricane Issac was storming close to Texas, I prayed the Rosary as it passed through my town. Praying the Rosary during thunderstorms helped me to calm down. The same calming effect happens when I pray the Rosary during anxiety attacks. It’s a great grounding exercise because you can see the Rosary in your hands, feel the beads between your fingers, and hear the prayers you pray. Some Rosaries even have a nice scent to them.

10) Pray with intentions and gratitude.

One way I pray the Rosary is that I dedicate each decade with a special intention. Most people would start out the Rosary by offering the first Our Father for the intentions of the Holy Father, followed by offering up the first 3 Hail Mary’s for an increase in faith hope and love. What you choose to meditate on is up to you, but here are some suggestions.

For the Joyful mysteries, pray for family members, people you know who are travelling, friends or family who just had kids, students who are graduating or children being baptized, and for missing children.

For the Sorrowful mysteries, pray for people who are undergoing anxiety. Pray for people who struggle with addictions. Pray for those who are persecuted for their beliefs. Pray for those who suffer depression, and pray for the souls of the faithful departed.

For the Luminous mysteries, pray for conversions and reversions. Pray for people who are discerning marriage or about to be married. Pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Pray for those who are already priests/nuns/monks and pray for a greater devotion to the Holy Eucharist.

For the Glorious mysteries, pray for people you love who’ve passed away. Pray for the souls of aborted children. Pray for children who died in miscarriages. Pray to have a closer relationship with Christ. Pray for a happy death.

It’s also a good idea to pray with gratitude. Give thanks for something with every Hail Mary, no matter what mysteries you’re meditating on. “How exactly do I do that?” you ask.

For the Joyful mysteries, pray with gratitude for all the small things in your everyday life. Pray for your family, your friends, the places you go to, and the things you do on a daily basis.

For the Sorrowful mysteries, pray in gratitude about what you learned from a bad situation. Pray for the times that God helped you in a time of great need. Pray in gratitude for the people in your lives who have passed on. Pray in gratitude that people are being a witness to their faith, even at the cost of their lives.

For the Luminous mysteries, pray in gratitude for the big events of your life, things that you’ve accomplished through God’s help. Even if it’s something as small as graduating high school or passing a test. Pray in gratitude for the moments that changed your life for the better.

For the Glorious mysteries, pray in praise of the holy men and women who are interceding for you. Pray in gratitude for the victories you’ve overcome with God’s help.

I hope this helps you in praying the Rosary.

Top 10 Reasons October is My Favorite Month

autumn leaves

Lots of people look forward to certain seasons. Schoolchildren count the days to summer. Many corporations and television networks count down to Christmas. Baseball fans look forward to springtime. But my favorite season is and always will be autumn. Unlike everyone getting on the pumpkin spice bandwagon, however, I have my own reasons for loving October.

1) So. Many. Feast Days!

St. Therese of Lisieux, the Feast of the Guardian Angels, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, and the feast of St. Faustina all took place within the last few days. October also has the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and Fatima, St. Teresa of Avila, and Popes Saint John XXIII and John Paul II. And that’s just naming a handful of feasts! November may have All Saints Day, but so many famous saints have their feast days in October. It almost makes me wish that October was dedicated to the saints.

2) Halloween

Of all the holidays on the calendar, Halloween is still my favorite. Horror movies, nostalgic Halloween specials, costumes, and candy! What’s not to love? Oh yeah, the fact that a lot of Christians see Halloween as associated with the devil and the occult. I’ll be doing a post about the Dos and Don’ts of Halloween later this month. But for now, all I’ll say is that for me, Halloween is the day of revelry. I learned in college that there were days devoted to merry-making as a reminder to not take ourselves seriously. And for me, Halloween is that day. Not everyone can go to conventions, after all.

3) Rosary Month

October is also the month of the Rosary. I have been praying at least a decade every day since the month started. I still remember watching a children’s movie centering on Our Lady of Fatima and the children of Fatima. In all honesty, I still struggle with praying the Rosary. But praying a decade every day is a good start.

4) So. Many. Birthdays. 

Today is my dad’s birthday. I’ve been busy celebrating Dad’s big 6-0 all weekend. Some of my relatives from the East Coast came to visit. It was my aunt’s birthday as well. On my Mom’s side of the family, we’re going to be celebrating my grandmother’s big 99th. My grandfather on my mother’s side, God rest his soul, was also born in October.

5) TV Specials and Movies

Aside from the awesome Halloween Specials, many TV shows sometimes premiere in this month. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing Supergirl for the first time. I’m also catching up on The Flash as best as I can. A lot of movies are also premiering this month. While I’m tentative about Goosebumps and Hotel Transylvania 2, Bridge of Spies and Steve Jobs are intriguing me. And btw, whatever you do, avoid Jem and the Holograms. It’s not gonna be worth the price of admission.

6) Special Drinks

While I avoid anything with the Pumpkin Spice label due to my allergies, the cooler weather allows me to enjoy some dairy free hot chocolate courtesy of Burnham and Mills Silly Cow Farms Hot Chocolate Drinks. I also make more tea during this time of year. My personal favorite is English Breakfast Tea.

7) Cooler Weather

After living in Texas for almost a decade, I have learned that there are just two seasons in my side of Texas: rainy season (starts around October thru February or March) and hot/humid (the rest of the year). It took me a while, but I eventually became what you call a pluviophile, a lover of rain. It’s a peaceful sound, especially during this time of year. Things are starting to cool down here. Mornings have become cool and eventually, things will be cool throughout the day. And while I sadly don’t get to watch the leaves changing color like I did as a kid, feeling a cool breeze in the morning has become my new favorite thing.

8) Baseball/Football

October is the time of the playoffs and world series for baseball. Currently, the Houston Astros are doing surprisingly well. They’re gonna face off against the Yankees tonight. I’ll be rooting for both teams, but I’m honestly hoping the Astros will get to go all the way. They were the first team I got to watch live, after all.

Football, of course, is also going on. It took me a while to actually like it. In all honesty, I love high school and college football as opposed to the professional stuff. And I still don’t understand fantasy football. But there is something about watching a local football game. There’s still a little bit of Miss School Spirit in me, after all.

9) Local Festivals and Plays

In Texas, there is a lot more than Oktoberfest going on. Back when I lived on-campus, there were a lot of festivals going on. Many parishes hold fall festivals around this time of year. My college hosted an Italian Festival and the Greek Orthodox school next door holds Greek Fests every year. My school’s drama department also premiers its fall play around this month. Last year, I got to see them do Romeo and Juliet. Check out your local university’s drama department to see what they’re showing. It’s always good to support local theatre.

10) My Buffyversary

It all started two years ago. I had an anxiety attack. My first one in months. I needed to watch something, anything, to take my mind off things. I opened my laptop, picked a show about a blonde girl with the power to fight vampires, and clicked “Play.” October was when I first watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I haven’t been the same since.

So, starting today, I’ll be posting a recap of my Top 10 Favorite Buffy Episodes. With rumors of a new Twilight book being released, it’s time that people learn what real vampires are really like.

So why should you check out my recaps and watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Because it’s not really about the monsters or the magic. It’s about dealing with problems that come with growing up. It’s about the characters you love and love to hate and wish you were real. It’s about the emotional catharsis that this show gave to me and many others.

There will be fangirling and feels in the days ahead. You have been warned.