Christian/Catholic · Educate Yourself · feminism · For Women · The Bad & Ugly · today's society · youth

I’m Not Like (Those Other People)

One of my friends and I have been talking for some time about the “I’m not like those other girls” syndrome (let’s call it INLTOG, for short). We both had fallen prey to it, and sometimes, I think I sometimes fall into that trap still though I try to be more aware of my thoughts and actions.

Of course we are all unique. We all have our different quirks and talents and things we do. But when it comes down to it… are we really all that different from other people? We become like the people we spend time with. Anyway, why do we want to be so different from other people? As I’ve thought more about INLTOG, I’ve realized that part of my reasoning has come from all the times I have felt left out. Sometimes I don’t feel like a girl because I don’t know much about makeup or fashion and I don’t like to talk about boys all the time. Sometimes I’ve felt isolated by this fact because a lot of the girls around me always seem to be talking about something I don’t know much about. I’ve been excluded by a lot of them, too. But the truth is… A. Sometimes I am the kind of girl that’s more girly. It depends on my mood, but, more importantly, B. Does it really matter if I’m a stereotype? Doesn’t being a woman mean so much more than just the outside – or, rather, the artificiality that our society tries to create? In a world where girls are raised to cut down other women, to take pride in that “they’re not like that,” I think it’s important that we women stick together. And, no, I don’t mean in the radical feminist get-rid-of-all-the-men way. I mean in the way of being decent human beings and helping one another.

HOWEVER, another thought has occurred to me, and this is that this kind of thinking does not take place only among women, or only in secular society. It seems, sadly, to be a Continue reading “I’m Not Like (Those Other People)”

5 stars · a reader's life · Book Reviews · Books · Christian/Catholic · Classics · fiction · nonfiction · oscar wilde · Reviews · YA books

My Favourite Reads of 2017


Before anyone thinks that this is a list of books from 2017 that I liked – stop right there. I don’t read many new books. Ergo, the title is “My Favourite Reads of 2017” not “My Favourite Books of 2017.” See?? Alright, we can continue.


I definitely didn’t read as many books as I am usually prone to doing, but that means I can just move on up from here and read more next year!

Without further ado, here is my top ten list (the ordering could probably be shifted around a bit as always).

Continue reading “My Favourite Reads of 2017”

Christian/Catholic · Milo Yiannopoulos · the modernist church · today's society

RE: The Catholic Magazine Interview with Milo They Refused to Print

It’s no great secret that I’m a fan of Milo Yiannopolous. His charisma and his refusal to be afraid to mock political correctness delighted me, giving hope to a young woman who is still trying to learn not to be afraid to show the world who she is. I learned about him when I was going through a difficult time, still trying to figure myself out. (But that’s a story for another day.)

Unfortunately, I was recently very disappointed to see Milo, who had before proclaimed that he was against same-sex marriage, even though he was pursuing a homosexual lifestyle, change his mind recently. I still pray for him, of course. A Catholic priest remarked that Milo doesn’t have the usual obstructions to leaving his lifestyle that most homosexuals do, simply because he realizes the sin of his lifestyle. Therefore, I still have hope for him.

… which leads into our topic of the day. Milo just came out with a particularly zingy article and I just couldn’t help myself but post a short commentary on it.

Continue reading “RE: The Catholic Magazine Interview with Milo They Refused to Print”

Christian/Catholic · Homily/Sermon Notes · Ordinary Time

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost ~ homily notes


Feel free to listen to this heavenly version of “Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes” as you read through today’s homily notes. That’s what I’m doing. (Thanks for the song rec, Mariela!)


There are two lessons that can be taken from today’s Gospel reading. The first is this – we see that Christ doesn’t heal the lepers right away, but upon their request, gives them a command. The lepers show humility, and only upon their obedience are they healed. God wishes for our obedience and humility, even if we do not understand.

The other lesson is the important of gratitude. The person who keeps asking for favours, but never shows thanks, soon wears out his welcome. This is also true with God. When the one leper returned, we see that Jesus appreciated the gratitude of the Samaritan, and felt the ingratitude of the others keenly. Some commentators think that the leper left the schism of Samaritanism and became a Jew. Once the apostles started to preach the Gospel, he became a Christian and began to help spreading the Faith due to his gratitude of the favour Jesus had shown him. The other lepers were received back into society, but did not receive the spiritual graces the other did.

In a way, when we spread the knowledge of the Kingdom, God becomes indebted to us. He promises great happiness in Heaven for the little we do here on earth.



Christian/Catholic · Homily/Sermon Notes · Ordinary Time

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost ~ Homily Notes

Jesus healing the deaf and dumb man

(Father Shannon’s homily on Sunday, August 20, 2017)

In today’s gospel, Jesus uses words and actions to heal. We may ask why – since Jesus is God, He could have just willed it to happen. However, Jesus did this to use His human nature (although in a perfect way, unlike us) as well as for our benefit. As humans, we use our senses and God never acts against the human nature He created. If Jesus had not used actions and words to appeal to our senses, it might not have been obvious that the healing was due to Jesus’ powers.

The sacraments were also established by Jesus while taking our human nature into account. A sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to bring grace. In the sacrament of baptism, the pouring of water and the words are the outward signs which accompany the sanctifying grace. Our Lord did all things well in establishing the sacraments this way – appealing to our physical bodies and spiritual souls. Each sacrament is composed of matter and form. For example, in Confirmation, the matter is the holy oil. Form is always the words spoken.

All things are done well by God – and by knowing this, Catholics may come to know the infinite wisdom of God.

Christian/Catholic · Homily/Sermon Notes · Ordinary Time

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost ~ Homily Notes



Gospel: Luke 18:9-14

And to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despised others, he spoke also this parable: Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican. I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner. I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather than the other: because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted.


Notes taken from Fr. John Shannon’s homily on August 13, 2017

Humility is the virtue in which, realizing our own nothingness, we attribute all our good works to God. Everything we have has come from God.

Publicans often were guilty of extortion and adultery. The Publican was indeed a sinner, but we see him being truly sorry for his sins. Ironically, the Pharisee is guilty of the same sins he sees in the Publican. When someone becomes puffed up with pride, he or she falls into the same type of sin which he or she judges. The Publicans hid their extortion with religious hypocrisy… the latter sin of which the Pharisee is guilty. The Pharisee is also guilty of a kind of spiritual adultery.

It is important to remember that the only comparison that matters is that to Christ, the model of virtue. It is sometimes tempting to look down upon others, especially those who do not belong to the Catholic Church (or those who we deem to be more sinful than ourselves), but we must not fall into this trap.

Big Brother (Censorship and the Like) · Christian/Catholic · Current Events · Educate Yourself · Education · The Bad & Ugly

The Destruction of the Education System (Alberta and Beyond)

“Just a regular day for Alberta Christian schools…. gettin’ attacked for morality,” I started a Facebook post before continuing in earnest.

I grew up being told that I was lucky to live in Alberta because I could actually be homeschooled here. There was a couple of pesky teacher visits a few times a year, but other than that, my parents were mostly left alone with their decisions of how they would homeschool my sister and me. It’s been four years since I graduated and left homeschooling behind (until, perhaps, my own children down the road), but the changes that have happened since then are rather disheartening. For several years, Christian and Catholic schools have been under constant attack for pro-life and anti-homosexuality, anti-morality statements, etc.

And now this. (Go ahead, read the article. I’ll wait.)

Have we really gotten to the point where we have to censor books because something is offensive? It’s the same old story (pun intended). Even if we were to look at the Bible as just another piece of literature (well, a library of different types of literature, really), the same idea remains. This reminds me of hearing about the controversy over The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (one of my favourite novels ever). “This word is too offensive,” the anti-Huck people say. “We must censor this word out of the novel.” And yet, the entire point of the word ‘nigger’ appearing in Twain’s novel was to illustrate the power white slaveowners hold over their slaves.

I hear some schools use revisionist history textbooks; if this is the case, we’re doomed to repeat history. (We already see this with ANTIFA, calling people names and beating them up — sounds rather totalitarian, doesn’t it??) Junior High English no longer exists here – it’s called “Humanities,” and I have learned from parents and students I tutor that the “melding together of Social Studies and English” is just a way to all but remove literature from the schools. Not only does this harm the students in that they are left with a gap in their knowledge, entering high school with no knowledge of of grammar or reading comprehension of literature, …. but it’s a dumbing-down of the population. I was shocked to find out in university that most people had no idea how to write an essay. That was MY GENERATION. Imagine how much more stupid the children that are ten years younger, or the next generation will be (it’s not their fault – it’s ours, for letting it happen).

It’s morality and education that are at stake here. I’m begging my peers, my future teachers, my future parents who can complain at their schools – we need all the help we can get. Even if there’s nothing else you can do, at least pray.

I’ve grown up seeing way too many people just sitting on the fence, not caring to do anything. That was my parent’s generation, and the generation before. But I’ve also seen many young people starting to realize the problems in their political and social surroundings. It’s very heartening to see so many people of my own age taking the red pill.

But it’s not only being “woke,” as the kids these days say. We have to do something about it.

American Literature · Christian/Catholic · Emily Dickinson · Literature Analysis · poetry · Uncategorized

The Catholicity of Emily Dickinson’s Poetry


One of the major themes in my American Literature class this semester has been that of Providence and the conversion narrative – our major example being that of Mary Rowlandson, who trusts in God and sees Him as “weaning” her desires from life, family, even the skin on her own back to more fully “convert” her to a purer form of Christianity. I find the theme of trust in Providence very interesting – and perhaps a little more real – in the poems of Emily Dickinson.

Many of Dickinson’s poems have been called blasphemous by critics such as Helen Vendler. While it is true that Dickinson’s poetry does suggest that she fell often into the sin of Despair (e.g. #320 – “There’s a certain Slant of light”), the fact that religious elements are in so many of her poems, I argue, illustrates that while she struggled with faith, she did not entirely give up hope.

These are the days when Birds come back -
A very few - a Bird or two -
To take a backward look.
These are the days when skies resume
The old - old sophistries of June -
A blue and gold mistake.
Oh, fraud that cannot cheat the Bee.
Almost thy plausibility
Induces my belief,
Till ranks of seeds their witness bear -
And softly thro' the altered air
Hurries a timid leaf.
Oh sacrament of summer days,
Oh Last Communion in the Haze -
Permit a child to join -
Thy sacred emblems to partake -
Thy consecrated bread to break,
Taste thine immortal wine!


In poem #122, Dickinson writes of looking back not only to the “old sophistries of June,” but also the innocence and belief of childhood. Back then she was unable to “partake” of the “consecrated bread,” but then, at least, she had stronger belief. Dickinson wishes that she could experience that longing again. She realizes that having religious fervor is much better than being able to receive Eucharist with no belief, and perhaps this is why she never took Communion (x). I quite enjoy Ashok Karra’s analysis, in which faith, like a mustard seed, has not yet been planted in the ground. However, it is floating about in the air, ready to be grasped. Perhaps Dickinson is unable to reach for faith yet, but the fact that she is staring at it with wonder and longing is much more hopeful than one who rejects it and turns away.

Perhaps it is due to her church community, which viewed Dickinson as not yet “converted,” that she questions her lack of faith with such despondency. A more accepting community, in which Dickinson’s smaller faith would have still been appreciated as faith, would have produced much different poetry, that is certain. She knows that “This world is not conclusion” (#373), but apparently, according to her church community, she is excluded from the glory of the next. Therefore, Dickinson’s “Faith slips” as she sees only empty “Gesture, from the Pulpit” where they claim that their faith is superior to hers. Their joy in the Lord only makes her stumble (#312), and so she scorns their happiness because it makes them weak – only preaching, not practicing. In fact, perhaps it is Dickinson who has had the true conversion, for her hardship gives her a strength (#861) beyond any of theirs – it is an “imperial affliction” (#320) which leads her to God. She, like Mary Rowlandson, and unlike the hypocritical people of her church, “can wade Grief – / Whole Pools of it” (#312).

On days when her despair becomes too extreme, Dickinson wishes for “[t]he privilege to die – ” (#588), thereby provoking her theme of depression throughout her otherwise lighthearted or cynical poetry. With such a lonely life, it is not hard to see why Dickinson makes God her “Inquisitor” (#588).  However, Dickinson knows all too well that a person needs the pain of the “Augur” and “Carpenter” to become a properly-formed “Soul” (#729). She is “the vivid Ore” who, after being purified by her religious experiences, no longer needs “the Forge” of her Protestant church – “the designated Light [has] / Repudiate[d] the Forge – ” (#401). Therefore, even though her church has not deemed her to be “converted,” Dickinson has actually weaned her affections – or at least she claims to in her poetry, such as in #782 when she “let[s] go” of her love for  a person because she knows that the “Great Progenitor” (God) will not reject her, like human beings inevitably will. The words of those of her church are merely the “Contempts – of time – ” (#830).

Interestingly, Arthur McMaster believes that Dickinson’s poetry seems to express an interest in Catholicism. The Protestant, anti-Catholic environment surrounding Dickinson could explain why she struggled so much with faith – not faith as a whole, for she did seem to believe in God, but rather, which kind of faith she should choose. McMaster believes that Catholic ideas of free will and salvation would have appealed much more to Dickinson than the predestination of her upbringing. One can see Dickinson struggling with the idea of predestination especially in #706 (“I cannot live with You”), for she is unable to wean herself of her affections to her lover (and therefore opposing #830, but who says that one cannot change one’s mind later on??). Therefore, he is one of the Elect and she knows that she is “condemned to be / Where You were not.” Sarah Klein, however, states that Catholicism was foreign to Dickinson and therefore such theories seem incorrect. Whichever is the truth, it is unquestionable that her themes of faith are Catholic in essence.

For example, in poem #124, the question is raised whether “the meek members of the Resurrection” will rise to be with their Maker, but this is because all are nothing in the sight of God. When people on the earth are nothing but “Dots, / On a Disc of Snow” to the majestic Deity, one’s high status does not matter: “Diadems – drop – / And Doges – surrender – .” Life will go on (“Grand go the Years, / In the Crescent above them – “) when a person dies – all that matters is whether he or she will awaken to be with Christ.

In #232, Dickinson wonders whether to forgive the person who “forgot” her. Her mind wanders back to her Biblical background and she remembers how Jesus forgives Peter for denying Him three times. Therefore, she must follow her Saviour’s example – “Could I do aught else – to Thee?”

5 stars · Book Reviews · Christian/Catholic · Uncategorized · woman's fertility · Womanhood

Cycles & Spirituality {Book Review}

(This is my fifth review in exchange for a free book. You can find the other books I have reviewed here on my old reviews blog.)

Disclaimer: All material that follows is much more woman-friendly than for the men (sorry guys!), but men are welcome to learn as well.



Anna’s rating: 5 stars

When Alison approached me about reviewing her book, I was quite excited to find someone else who knows about the world of charting. Her book did not disappoint! While there was much information that I already knew (as a person with pcos who started charting in an attempt to reach fertility), I still learned quite a bit and this book also refreshed everything that I had learned before.

This book is specifically directed to Christian girls who are not sexually active; however, I think any woman could benefit from reading this book. Not only does one learn how to chart her cycles (and why it is wonderful to be able to do so), but also multiple ways of lessoning the symptoms of PMS, and why the Pill is so harmful. I loved how Alison Protz tied the woman’s cycle into Christianity and the way she described charting your cycles as really a way embracing womanhood.

All in all, it was a delightful read and a book that I would definitely recommend to any girls (or women!).

You can read more about the book here.