Saturday, December 1, 2012

GUEST BLOGGER: From The Mind of a Teenage Catholic

I am pleased to announce that today we have a guest blogger.  I would like to introduce you to Kateri S., who offers her insights as a Catholic teenager and pro-life warrior.
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                                              From the Mind of a Teenage Catholic
                                                                   by Kateri S.

Tomorrow morning I’ll get up and head to the best celebration ever.  It’s a banquet, a feast of heavenly proportions.  Millions go to it around the world every day.  It’s called the Mass.  I love it, I live it, I seek it.  It is the central part of my Faith, the Catholic Faith.

My faith shapes my life.  It brings me peace.  Sends me hope.  Leads me to Eternity in heaven.  Is it always easy to stay true to it, though?  I wish I could say yes . . . but the answer is honestly no.   Sometimes I think it could be easier to act like I don’t care about religion.  To just do whatever I want, not have to worry about anything, but even just thinking that makes me feel sad.  I liken my life without faith to a candle that can’t be lit.  Useless.  So, I try to keep my light burning as brightly as I can.  The choices I make every day will either make me shine or fade.  Having faith in God makes making the right choices easier.

One of my favorite things about being a Catholic is all the awesome role models I have.  All I have to do is look to the saints to find ways to become a better person.  They all have such amazing stories.   Some of my favorite saints are St. Catherine Laboure, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Benedict, St. Patrick, St. Athanasius, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Rose of Lima, Bl. Mother Teresa, St. Anthony, St. Augustine . . . sorry, I’m rambling on aren’t I?  I guess I don’t just have a few favorite saints.  I love them all!

I forgot to mention one saint up in the above paragraph.  Or was it intentional . . . ?  Either way, she’s St. Gianna.  I really like her story because of the pro-life connections it has.  She was pregnant and diagnosed with cancer.  The treatment needed to save her life would have killed her baby.   She decided to postpone treatment until the baby was born.  She died less than two weeks after her child was born.  She made the ultimate sacrifice for her child.

I mention this story specifically because of the close connection the Catholic Church has with being pro-life.  We truly believe that life starts at conception and should be protected through all stages.  A couple years ago I got involved in the pro-life movement through my mom.  She started a pro-life club in my homeschool group . . . and the rest is history.  I love learning more about how the faith I know and love is connected to the pro-life cause.  It is a beautiful thing.

To close this rambling post written far too late at night to be trying to write coherently . . . I thought I’d share one of my favorite prayers.  I say it often and it never fails to make me feel secure.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.  Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created.  And you shall renew the face of the earth. 

O, God,
who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations.  Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

CATHOLIC VIDEO WEEK WINNER

I am pleased to announce that the winner of the Roses of St. Therese video competition is "Those That Never Were", a heartfelt testimony to the unborn, a heartbreaking video tribute and love song to "those who never were" allowed outside of the womb.  If you have not already seen the powerful video for this wonderful song, I highly recommend that you visit my earlier post below:

http://rosesofsttherese.blogspot.com/2012/09/catholic-video-week-video-3-those-who.html

Congratulations to Lindsey Thompson, the singer of this beautiful song, her husband, Will, who wrote it, LiveWorshipMusic, and anyone else involved in the project!  :)

Honorable mention goes to the creators of the Religious Freedom videos, who were in second place.  Many thanks to starmediapro and theblackstonefilms for standing up for their faith and the basic rights of all people!  Thanks also to those who attended the rallies depicted in the videos or, in some other way, fought for this worthy cause.  ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

Pax Christi,
The Little Rose

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Shower of Roses: A Song for St. Therese

I haven't seen the film THERESE, but I recently listened to the theme song and found it to be beautiful.  Here is a version of the theme, "Shower of Roses", which, given the title, was likely played at the end of the film.




Pax,
The Little Rose

Friday, October 19, 2012

Catholic Video Week Poll: Vote for your favorite video!

I apologize for my delay in posting the poll. 

You have the opportunity to vote for your favorite Catholic video from Roses of St. Therese's Catholic Video Week.  The video with the most votes will be recognized in a special post. 

Please note that, although there are two sections of the poll (far right, above and below the Blog Archive), there is only one distinctive poll.  In other words, please only vote for *one* of the seven videos (or video categories, in the case of Religious Freedom Day).

Voting commences today and will end in six days.  Please vote for your favorite video within that time period. 

Thank you, and happy voting!!  :)

Pax,
The Little Rose

Monday, October 1, 2012

Feast Day of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

Happy Feast Day to the Little Flower.  <3  We love you!  You are truly an inspiration, as the name of this blog attests.  Thank you for your continual prayers up there in Heaven for those of us on Earth.
 
"May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.”
― St. Thérèse de Lisieux
 
 
                                          (Photo credits: The Divine Mercy facebook page)

St. Thérèse said, "When I die, I will send down a shower of roses from the heavens.  I will spend my heaven by doing good on earth.”  During times of discernment, novenas to St. Therese are often said with the request that a rose be sent as a sign. 


Saint Thérèse, the Little Flower of Jesus, please
pick a rose from the heavenly garden, and send it
to me with a message of love.
I ask you to obtain for me the favors that I seek (here mention your request).
Recommend my request to Mary, Queen of
Heaven, so that she may intercede for me, with you,
before her Son, Jesus Christ.
If this favor is granted, I will love you more
and more, and be better prepared to spend eternal
happiness with you in heaven.
Saint Thérèse of the Little Flower, pray for me.


 “For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.” 
- St. Thérèse of Lisieux
 
Caritas Christi Urget Nos,
The Little Rose

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Support a Catholic Speaker Month 2012: Eduardo Verastegui



I was first exposed to the strong presence of Eduardo Verastegui in 2007 when watching the beautiful pro-life film Bella.  I remember being amazed by how he could convey so much with a single facial expression . . . a look in the eyes that held so much meaning.  Now that I think about it more, this expression, this look, was rooted in a deep commitment Eduardo had made in recent years: to do God's will rather than that of society.

After watching the movie, I remember visiting a comprehensive fan-made website and scrolling through photos taken at Medjorgorje and even one with our beloved Pope John Paul II not too long before his passing.  I became more curious about the man behind "José".  I learned how he had once been the stereotypical "Latino bad boy" and how his heart had changed through a re-affirming of his Catholic faith, inspiring him to instead promote a positive image of Latinos in film . . . and to advance positive media in general.  He vowed to only take roles that would glorify God, never those that would compromise his morals.  The more I learned, the more Eduardo Verastegui earned my admiration and respect.  As a result, I felt honored upon hearing that I would be blogging about him for Support a Catholic Speaker Month 2012 (http://brandonvogt.com/scsm12).

Although I unfortunately was unable to interview Eduardo Verastegui for this post, I have prepared a video that highlights the profound influence he has had as a role model for Catholics (and, truly, all people) in a less-than-moral world.  I have also included two videos at the end which emphasize his role as a pro-life speaker.  Please feel free to share this post with others.


                                                   The Story of Eduardo Verastegui
                                                             by The Little Rose

video
 
 If you are having difficulty viewing my video or would prefer to see it in a larger format, please visit the youtube link at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSKF78XQjGs&feature=plcp .


                                                         Catholic Speaker Videos: 
                          Eduardo Verastegui at the 2007 Celebration of Life (Parts 1 and 2)
 
 
 
 



In addition to his role in BELLA, Eduardo Verastegui plays Blessed Anacleto Gonzalez in FOR GREATER GLORY, a film that chronicles the religious persecution of Catholics in Mexico in the 1920s.

(Photo credits: FOR GREATER GLORY facebook page)

Pax Christi,
The Little Rose

Monday, September 24, 2012

Inspirational Quote from St. Therese

"I can, then, in spite of my littleness, aspire to holiness."
- St. Therese of Lisieux

CATHOLIC VIDEO WEEK: Video #7 - Life: Imagine the Potential Spot 3 (CatholicVote.org)

I apologize for my delay in posting.  Here is the final video for Catholic Video Week . . . short, but powerful.  Very thought-provoking . . .


 
Pax vobiscum,
The Little Rose

Friday, September 7, 2012

CATHOLIC VIDEO WEEK: VIDEO #6 - "Friends in High Places"


A lovely "tribute to some of the Church's most beloved saints" featuring music by Francesca Battistelli . . . 

As the video creator said, "Isn't it nice to think of the Church as one big family on Heaven and Earth?"  :)
 

Veritas Christi,
The Little Rose

Thursday, September 6, 2012

CATHOLIC VIDEO WEEK: Religious Freedom Day (#5)

In light of recent events in the United States of America concerning religious freedom, three videos will be featured on the topic.  This matter greatly affects Catholics, as well as anyone who values First Amendment rights.  Our fundamental rights, our basic freedoms, are at stake.   

VIDEO #1:  The HHS Mandate
   
A short video that I made in response to the HHS Mandate that also serves as a celebration of all things Catholic

"People throw rocks at things that shine, but they can't take what's ours."
 
 
 
VIDEO #2:  Stop the HHS Mandate (Official Promo)
 
This video highlights the issues involved and includes clips from the religious freedom rallies.
 
 
 
VIDEO #3:  Stand Up for Religious Freedom - Official Video
 
A beautiful music video that includes audio and visual clips from the religious freedom rallies.  This one made me tear up . . .
 
 
 
As the Cristeros who fought for religious freedom in Mexico (1920s) once said, "¡Viva Cristo Rey!"
- The Little Rose

CATHOLIC VIDEO WEEK: Video #4 - "Call Your Mother"


~ A video tribute to the Blessed Mother ~
"Where would we be without Mary's "yes"?  Her intercession?  This is a contemporary love song to the Mother of God and our Heavenly Mother."

 
 
Pax,
The Little Rose

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

CATHOLIC VIDEO WEEK: Video #3 - "Those Who Never Were"


A beautiful, yet heartbreaking, video that serves as a tribute to the forgotten angels lost to this world through murder in the womb.  The song is not saying that aborted children "never existed or don't exist at all, but rather that their destinies 'never were' (as in lost or forfeit) in this life as we know it" (video comment).  They were never able to fulfill the great purpose that God set before them.  Each individual is unique; there will never be one person exactly like another.  And each of these lives is beautiful.

Life is Beautiful. ♥
 

 
 
 

Pax vobiscum,
The Little Rose

Monday, September 3, 2012

CATHOLIC VIDEO WEEK: Video #2 - "Where I Land" (Eucharistic Adoration)

A lovely video on the beauty of the Blessed Sacrament with a focus on Eucharistic Adoration.
 
 
 
Pax Christi,
The Little Rose

CATHOLIC VIDEO WEEK: Video #1 - "We Are Catholic"

I thought that this video would be a fitting start to Catholic Video Week.  As the title suggests, it is a tribute to our beautiful faith.  The video is very upbeat, and it is my hope that it will get everyone energized for this epic week. 

We are Catholic, and proud of it!  :)
 


 
Veritas Christi,
The Little Rose

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Catholic Video Week

As a kickoff for this blog, next week will be devoted to videos relevant to Catholics.   Each day, a new video will be posted.  At the end of the week, readers will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite video via an online poll.  The winning video will be mentioned in a special post, as well as the videos in second and third places. 

If you would like to recommend a video for next week, please comment on this post.  It may be a video that you have created yourself or simply one that you have found and believe will be beneficial to viewers.  Videos featured may either be specifically Catholic (ie. video on Eucharistic Adoration) or adhere to Catholic teachings (ie. pro-life video without known Catholic affiliation).

Pax Christi,
The Little Rose

Sanctuary: Moments of Joy, Peace, and Truth

Unexpected moments of joy can often arise from any number of circumstances.  Yet, for me, there are also certain places and things that automatically, and usually instantaneously, make me happy.  I have of late been pondering this matter, and how it is truly remarkable.  Three examples in particular come to mind.

I love Adoration.  As my church has a perpetual Eucharistic Adoration chapel, I feel truly blessed. Whenever I go there, it is as if a large weight has been lifted, as if I am finally home.  I feel the greatest form of joy . . . peace. God's peace.  True Peace.  As I gaze at the Blessed Sacrament, I know that He is with me . . . and prayers quietly unravel themselves, threads that may gently tiptoe, or, perhaps, tumble forward, to reach the Great Tapestry.  An inexplicable beauty surrounds me.  No, perhaps, not inexplicable.  But so difficult to explain because of its intensity.  Yes, I am home.  Life suddenly seems to make more sense.  I may not receive the answers to my prayers, spoken or unspoken, in that moment, but I leave this world away from the world with peace, peace and some level of understanding I cannot quite comprehend---but know exists---and everything suddenly seems beautiful.  Everything is beautiful.  Life is beautiful.

Perhaps it is just that.  The places and things and situations that give us the most joy are those in which we feel the presence of God so strongly.

For me, the sea is another special place.  It is my "sanctuary".  When I catch my first glimpse of the sand-scattered shore, of the tumbling waves laughing and dancing and being, I know that I have come home.  It's as if this place, this world, were waiting for me.  And I suddenly come to understand that I have been waiting for this return every moment of my existence, even when I do not recognize it as such. I have a close connection to this place.  I am an Ocean Girl.  Although it may be difficult to explain, I sense God's presence especially strongly there.
I feel joy . . . peace . . . love.  I gaze at the waves before me and see Truth . . . eternity at a glance.  I feel freedom.  I feel like a child again.

My last example in this reflection is rather different, as it is not a place . . . per se.  It is a thing, but so much more than a thing.  It is a symbol, a piece of God's creation, and, as such, is Beauty that may be viewed as a world unto itself. 
It is an elegant maze known as the rose.  For some reason, whenever I am handed a rose, I immediately feel happy.  Its presence gives me instant joy.  If I'm in a bad mood, it improves.  If I already was feeling great, I feel even better. There's something about a rose that is just special to me.  Beauty found in simplicity that is really not simple at all but complicated . . . but the complicated receives its beauty through the lens of simplicity.  (Yes, I realize that that may make little sense.  But, hey, if a rose is a maze, then perhaps my description of it should likewise be "maze-like".)

Yet roses took on even more meaning for me as I embarked on a difficult road that eventually led to a beautiful---and completely unforeseen---miracle.  For, along the way, God showed me hope . . . hope in the form of a rose.

One day, when things were particularly difficult, I found myself slipping on a scapular prior to leaving for my destination.  I silently prayed, "God before, God behind me, God above me, God around me" as I walked forward.  That day, a rose was given to me in seemingly the most random of circumstances.


On the scapular that I wore was the image of Mary surrounded by roses.   

My difficult day was suddenly filled with hope.

To some, this instance would seem coincidental.  Yet I saw it as a sign of hope from God.  I somehow just knew that it was.  I thought briefly of the "rose" scapular that I had started to wear that very day . . . but thought of it even more in the days that followed.

For, in the days that followed, roses---whether a "real" rose or in some other form--- began to appear right around when things got especially difficult, when I was feeling especially discouraged or upset. The timing was impeccable.   And, eventually, the rose reached full blossom and I was delivered from a seemingly impossible situation.

Perhaps the symbol of the rose was especially fitting . . . not only because it has always, unbeknownst to most, been special for me, but because it is also the symbol of our Lady.  Christ's mother was praying for and with me.

May the roses in your life be ever present.
- TLR

Welcome to Roses of St. Therese!

This blog was inspired by a reader's comment that my writing reminded her of that of St. Therese of Lisieux.  I was honored to receive such high praise (although hardly deserved), and aspire to make this blog worthy of The Little Flower.  But why roses specifically?

Roses have always been special to me, especially since they are connected to the Blessed Mother.  I combined this sentiment with my love for St. Therese and steadfast desire to always write for Christ as St. Therese has shown. 

It is my hope that you will enjoy my posts as much as I enjoy writing them.  :)
The Little Rose