Saturday, December 27, 2014

Because the Christmas season hasn't ended in the liturgical year:

Christmas Time is finally here,
It only comes but once a year.
And it's a time to spread good cheer,
To those we love and hold so dear.

Christmas Time is a time of glee,
A time when peace and love run free.
A time for those like you and me,
To sit beneath the Christmas Tree.

Christmas Time is a time to share,
The passing of another year.
Birth of Jesus, a joyful prayer,
To show loved ones how much we care.

Christmas Time is a time for song,
A time for us to get along.
To make us feel Lord Jesus strong,
Forgive all those who did us wrong.

Christmas Time is a time to pray,
Put love and kindness on display.
Show compassion along the way,
Christmas Time should be everyday

(And also because this is the poem I am using for my families secret santa which is in like an hour....)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

The never-ending-semester has ended and I am back home in Maine. It was a bitter sweet end: lots of goodbyes to be said before I leave for Rome but I am also super excited for my upcoming adventures! A month from today I fly to London, and then Italy a few days later. Scary...

I miss my family a lot when I am gone and I am so glad to be home for Christmas to spend time with them. My sister and one (of many) cousins drove up  to VT to get me on Thursday and I am eternally grateful for all their help with moving me out. And they also made the trip more funny and entertaining than a bus ride would ever be. 

My family is great, but we don't always see eye to eye. And over vacation, there are many Christmas parties to attend to, especially the Christmas Eve party we have out our moms house. Tonight we saw so many people that we haven't seen in awhile and it was so much fun! But there was a lot talked about and a lot of things discussed that was controversial. When intense things come up in that are controversial I either want to aggressively defend my point of view or crawl into a hole and never come out,

SO I'm totally copying off this off another blog (link below) because I think that they are wonderful reminders during those stressful moments of pure annoyance at family holiday parties.  

Everybody makes mistakes. I don’t have to be perfect.
I can be happy even if I’m not dating anyone.
I’m satisfied with the way my life is and I don’t need anyone else’s approval.
I am a worthwhile, lovable, and valuable person no matter what. My worth isn’t based on my accomplishments.
My life doesn’t have to meet anyone else’s expectations.
I may be unhappy with some things in my life right now, but I’m working on them and I’m confident that in the future they will change.
I am still a good person even if other people don’t approve of my life.
My religious beliefs are still true even if my relatives disagree with me.
I don’t have to convert my relatives; God will change their hearts. I just have to love them and explain my beliefs to the best of my ability.

(http://lifeteen.com/can-we-leave-now-survive-tough-family-parties/?utm_content=buffere004a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffe)


Merry Christmas everybody! and Happy Holidays and have a wonderful, peaceful winter season to anyone who does not celebrate Christmas!


Peace and love,

SN 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Studying in Starbucks= Procrastination

I have been sitting in Starbucks for almost 3 hours, praying I will find the focus and inspiration to study. Alas, not a lot of luck. I would much rather be facebook stalking everyone I have ever had a crush on or starting research for my senior thesis (and I have done both within the last hour). Please someone stage an intervention. I don't know if this procrastination is the result of some confidence I have regarding my finals or if it has to do with the fact that I have almost completely checked out for the semester. 2 more days baby! 

This comes with a lot of conflict for me, considering I am studying abroad next semester. I am so excited but I am also so sad to be leaving my little college family (and my real family, but I have had a lot of practice being away from them). It's sad but liberating. I feel like I am in a time of transition, and I'm really just trying to accept it. That's hard. I have never been good at changes or transitions, but I feel like I might almost be setting myself up for more anxiety by looking at in that light. I am trying to see change and transition as good. Without it, life wouldn't be interesting and we would never become fully ourselves. But what does that even mean? I don't know. If you do, please let me know (or write a book because you'll probably make a fortune).

All I know is, I should be studying but my mind is occupied with philosophical questions about life. For instance, what does it mean to lose oneself in order to find oneself in God or to reach a greater connection with the universe? I'm thinking about like overcoming or being in touch with one's ego as one of the main 'goals (I guess?) of monastic life so that one can find a deeper union with God. 

SO those are my thoughts lately, what are yours? 


Peace, 

SN

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

(This was a post I meant to publish in October, but I totally forgot about it. So here it is)

Okay, so I didn't know if I want to write this post. But at the same time I want to, so since so few of of you read this, I will. Just a disclaimer: I will try my hardest not to offend anyone, but this is a controversial topic. I have some what of a rocky opinion, but an opinion nevertheless. All are entitled to their own opinion and who am I to judge if you are right or wrong. You may not agree with me and I may not agree with you, but who am I to condemn anyone for this?

If you are on social media or if you keep up with the news, you probably know about the young women who decided to end her life on November 1 using a dosage of lethal medicine that was prescribed to her. She was an advocate for the  Oregon Death With Dignity Act, an act that legalized aid in death (or more popularly known as assisted suicide).

So first of all, this death saddens me. The idea of DWD is super controversial, but there is something more than this. when I think of this women's death, I have nothing but sadness for her families lose. I am also sad that a life had to end so soon. This women was going to die from her terminal cancer, but she chose to die before the suffering became too great for her. Either way a life was lost,  a beautiful and precious life. This is what upsets me so much about her death. Yes, many more people die every day and this makes me sad as well. But since this death was more 'advertised' (if you will) because of the controversial issue that has been attached to it. This also upsets me. I am glad that this women stood up for something she believed in and try to do what she believed was right before she died. I just wish that more people would look beyond her method of death and mourn for the lose of life, rather than criticizes her decision.

Now, I don't think I could ever make this decision for myself or a loved one. For me, suffering is something I see as part of life. And I believe that ALL life is valuable and has purpose. I would hope and pray that if I was every in this position, God would give me strength. And I hope that I could be like Blessed Chiara and see it this way: “there’s only one thing I can do now: to offer my suffering to Jesus because I want to share as much as possible in his sufferings on the cross.” But I'm not sure I could do this either.

But I am not in this position but this women was. She did not chose what I would have, because she is not me. She was a strong individual with her own beliefs. I wish that people did not have to go through something so painful that they would be in favor of the Death with Dignity Act. But our world has this kind of pain. And we do not have the power at this point to rid the world of suffering (I don't think that we ever will). I understand the arguments behind the DWD, but I don't agree with it. But I also do think that people should have control over what they do with their bodies (contradictory, I know). SO if someone decides to get 'aid in death' who am I to judge? Ultimately, it is not my decision nor is it anyone one else's except the persons. Obviously, this is why it is so controversial: Do we give people the right to die as they wish in certain circumstances or do we try to preserve human life at all painful costs? I honestly don't know.

I wish that we could all see eye to eye and do all the right things all the time, but we can't because we're not perfect. I just hope that we can respect each other and live compassionately. I think that living like that will begin when we try as best we can to respect each other and understand perspectives that are different than ours.

I am not writing this to say which side of the issue is right or wrong. I was just very upset by the comments people were writing all over social media, condemning (sometimes in the name of God) this women's choice. This kind of ridicule, I can say very firmly, I do not believe in.