Pity Party

Today was my first day in class after Thanksgiving break, I woke up sick with a sore throat,headache, and ear ache, I’m exhausted, and finals are next week with several exams this week too….. my life sucks.

 

^That was the easy way out, here is how I long to approach each struggle the Lord has handed me.

Today was my first day in class after thanksgiving break. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to spend time with my family and friends for the holiday. I am thankful for safe travels in spite of snow storms and for quality time with the ones I love.

I woke up sick this morning, probably because my immune system was down after a few days of relaxing over break. Yes this is challenging but I know that I have God on my side. One of my favorite quotes perfectly illustrates this.

“I know God wouldn’t give me anything I cannot handle, I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.” ~Mother Teresa

I have a lot of exams in the coming weeks. I thank the Lord that I have the chance to get an education and to be in classes which are preparing me for my future career. Plus, what comes after finals? I get a whole month off to celebrate the coming of Christ with my family and friends. I think it will be worth the two weeks of learning, The feasting is always better after the waiting…it is Advent after all.

I must try to grasp the idea that the Devil is going to continue to pull me towards the side of self pity and doubt, but what do I have to feel bad about? I have God. “I know who goes before me//I know who stands behind//The God of Angel armies// Is always by my side!”

“By the anxieties and worries of the life, Satan tries to dull man’s heart and make a dwelling for himself there.” ~ St. Francis of Assisi

I am challenging you all to not let Satan find a dwelling place. Be like the innkeepers of Bethlehem towards Mary and Joseph. Wherever Satan tries to creep in,  slam the door in his face by glorifying God.

Sorry Satan, there is no room for you here.

God Bless,

Lucia J. Francisco

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Winter Modesty

As winter has been steadily approaching, I have been anxiously awaiting a time when ladies typically dress more modestly. However, to my surprise, this has not happened. As you may or may not know, I am a Freshman in college. I have experienced quite a bit of culture shock since coming to my new school. One of those is the amount of immodesty. Here are a few tips on what to avoid in the colder months (really in all the months) to honor your body and to require others to honor you as well.

1. No Leggings

I can not stress this enough. LEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS!!! If you are wearing leggings they should only be worn when it is also proper to wear tights (especially since leggings are really just thicker versions of tights). If you are not sure, play it safe and throw on a pair of skinny jeans (not too tight of course). I know that this can be a tough one for people, but ladies you need to understand that when you wear leggings, you are exposing the entire outline of your body. Keep your body sacred and show that you respect it by dressing appropriately.

2. No Bare Midriffs

This one has been a bit of a shock to me. Come on girls, exposing your bare midriff isn’t modest, let alone it’s not smart in this weather. If you want to wear a cute crop top then layer! I personally love wearing a crop top with a camisole underneath and a pair of high-waisted jeans.

3. No Transparent/Cut-Out/OpenKnit Tops

If you can se your skin underneath your shirt and its not on your arms, shoulders, or just below the collarbone, then you need to go change right now. This probably seems pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many women think this is appropriate attire. Again, if you want to wear it, layer it with a camisole or tee!

4. Common Sense

You’ve probably realized by now that everything I’ve said so far has been conditional. So what exactly does that mean? We can still be fashion forward and modest! (Beware it is mighty difficult sometimes, but God will give you the Grace to do so!) My final tips are to layer, because it keeps you warm and modest, and finally to use your common sense. If you are questioning if something is immodest, it probably is. So either go change or find a cute way to make it a modest outfit.

If you have any questions, comments, or want more posts about fashion and modesty be sure to let me know!

God Bless!

Lucia J. Francisco

Catholic YouTubers

Let’s face it, we all have those days where we spend hours on YouTube going from video to video to get a good laugh. But what if some of this time were spent growing in your understanding of the Faith? Here are some of my favorite YouTube channels to get you started. Feel free to comment your own favorites and to check out http://newcatholicgeneration.com/ for a wide range of other young Catholics.

RebornPure

I have been following her channel for quite some time, I have to say I really enjoy listening to what she has to say. Her passion really comes through in her videos and she covers a wide variety of topics ranging from apologetics to the Latin Mass, etc. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkOymBVsy8iNAuFw5hTOkyw

SheSpeaksWithWisdom

One of my newer favorites is SheSpeaksWithWisdom. She does a great job in keeping you updated on her discernment, which is helpful for anyone thinking about their vocation. My favorite video though is “Keeping the Faith in College”, probably just because its so applicable to my life right now! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgphczmerhnCAWw2riZc1xA

YourFaceIsCatholic

These two sisters are awesome. They make video on their devotions to different Saints and so much more. Their background knowledge and understanding of the writings of the Popes and Saints is well beyond their years. They definitely encourage me to keep digging into my faith! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjeGXXgpVIQf73VgCGx-2oQ

Steubenville Conferences

If you want to watch a talk by Mark Hart, Leah Darrow, Jackie Francois, or another great Catholic speaker, this is an all in one stop. It has talks from all these speakers at different conferences. My favorites are watching the Women’s Sessions by Leah Darrow and Jackie Francois! https://www.youtube.com/user/SteubenvilleYouth/featured

Jason Evert

You’ve probably already heard of Jason and Crystalina Evert, but I just had to include this channel anyways. Tons of great videos on chastity and Theology of the Body! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1LQwQZqwhPUwEbCqy-vLhA

Word on Fire

If you are in the mood to focus on a video with a greater amount of theology then I would suggest videos by Fr. Barron. This priest focuses on different issues in society, movies, Pope Francis, etc. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcMjLgeWNwqL2LBGS-iPb1A

I hope you enjoy these channels! And remember there are so many more!

Comment with some of your favorite videos and channels!

God Bless!

Lucia J. Francisco

 

 

My Musical Conversion

As someone who has spent the majority of her life involved in choir and band, music has been a big part of my life. Like many people I constantly have the radio on in the car, earbuds in at the gym, and music blasting in my room.

Who doesn’t right?

Growing up I never had a particular taste in music. Like many other aspects of life, I saw music preference as a way to “fit in” with a particular group of people. So my “favorite” songs were often the exact ones listed on the weekends Top 40 or iTunes Top 10.

Right about now you may be asking, “What’s wrong with popular music?”

The answer is twofold:

1. The Message

Sadly, in today’s society, music is used to reflect the deteriorating morals. Crude language and sexual phrases send the message that these sins are perfectly okay, and even normal. Young kids often grow up not really understanding what certain lyrics mean, but their innocence is still obliterated because they slowly develop a lack of respect for true beauty and purity. Of course this rule is not without its exceptions. Many songs which portray a good message have become popular over the years, yet the majority have grown increasing worse in terms of the message they send.

2. Fear of Unacceptance

Secondly, in a many cases, our taste in music is often shaped by the secular world. For me, I was constantly trying to listen to the stations and songs all my friends listened to so I could “fit in.” As I grew older and became more confident with myself, I began to listen to more of the songs I liked. I switched from Pop and Rap to Country, and eventually to Praise & Worship. Yet I was still embarrassed and would quickly switch the station whenenver someone else joined me in the car.

I have come along way in how I view myself. Rather than feeling the need to conform, I am my own person. I listen to what I like, and what I like is Praise & Worship. (Accompanied occasionally by other genres).

Why do I like Praise & Worship so much?

1. Focus on God

As we go through out our busy days, it is so easy to forget about living our lives for God. Hearing songs praising the Lord keeps me focused in what us truly important in life, God.

2. Calming

As someone who often suffers from anxiety, I find great peace in worshiping God. So when I get to be overwhelmed I just turn on one if my favorite Pandora stations and continue on with what I’m doing, often in a more relaxed manner.

3. Mood

When I listen to a song that is uplifting and glorifying God, I am bound to be in a better mood than if I were listening to a song that was degrading and immoral.

Now I do not judge people who don’t share my live of Christian music. I have simply found that it helps me to live a more theocentric lifestyle. It’s that constant reminder when I’m driving, working out, studying, etc that all I really need to worry about is pleasing God.

Thanks for Reading & God Bless!

Lucia J. Francisco