So, I thought this was a joke. I was so wrong. I’m still spinning.
I work at que-doba. I love it, my co-workers are amazing, management is totally on our side, and usually the customers are fantastic. Know us by name, ask how our families are, bring us baked goods and know what we like. It’s fantastic. This, though. It happened in the first two weeks of starting working here. So! I’m on the line, tortilla press, getting rice and meats and passing it on. This woman comes up.
“Hi! How are y-”
“Give my a burrito. I want brown rice, no seasoning, not cooked.”
“Uhhh, sorry ma'am, what was that?”
“Are you stupid? Brown rice, no seasoning, not cooked.”
“I’m sorry, I cannot serve you uncooked food…?”
“IN THESE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, IN THIS UNION OF COLORADO, YOU HAVE TO GIVE ME WHAT I WANT. ITS THE LAW. DO I HAVE TO CALL MANAGEMENT ON YOU? THIS IS OBSCENE. THIS IS AMERICA. YOU WILL GIVE IT TO ME. YOU HAVE TOO.”
at this point I’m almost laughing. Like, this woman has to be joking. Like, yeah, by living in the us you get whatever you want. Totally. That totally is what happens. I want to not work. Guess where I am?
My coworker, bless her heart, runs over with uncooked rice in a bowl.
“Nice to see you again, here’s your rice. EVERYTHING you add will be 2$, no exceptions. What meat would you like.”
She turned to me and told me to go cut some avocados, and I did, totally shocked. She came back after the rush and told me she comes in every few months and causes hell, and the only way to deal with her is give her what she wants, charge her $19 fucking dollars for a burrito bowl, and make sure she leaves. If I ever see that woman again, I don’t know if I can serve her. Jesus Christ.
Celibacy has a long, honored history in the church. We associated it with Jesus and Paul, with Mother Teresa, and with thousands of dedicated brothers and sisters serving Christ in far-flung corners of the world. But there’s a problem. Christians throughout history have affirmed that lifelong celibacy is a spiritual gift and calling, not a path that should be forced upon anyone. Yes, permanently forgoing marriage is a worthy choice for Christians who are gifted with celibacy. But it must be a choice.
Matthew Vines (regarding gay Christians being pressured to remain chaste)
There’s this false rhetoric going around claiming that as Christians we don’t need to care about climate change because God will take care of it. It’s a statement of complacency to shift accountability that is trying to be justified with the use of religion.
There are two things that I want to say in response to that.
1. Climate change is a human problem, NOT a God problem. Climate change is an issue created by us humans, so it must be solved by us humans. The Earth is not ours to just randomly play with (Psalm 24:1). It belongs to the Lord and he allows us to dwell in it. To say that God will take care of climate change is similar to making a mess in the kitchen that is not yours. You cooked with all these cutting boards, knives, and bowls and left them all on the counter expecting the host to clean up after you. A person graciously lets you use their kitchen and you thank them with dirty dishes and a filled sink? God did not intend the Earth to be abused by our greenhouse gases. Earth is a place for our temporal bodies to physically thrive so that we may focus on God’s eternal will for us. That brings me to point number two.
2. We Christians are called to serve our Earth. One of the many things that we are told to do while being on this Earth is to protect it! Genesis 2:15 says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” In what is arguably paradise, God wanted us to be concerned with the Earth. He wanted Adam and Eve to rule over the animals and all creation and to be fruitful.
So let us not get things twisted and be accountable for what we have done. If we lose accountability we will lose our planet.
Romans 16:17-19 (NLT) And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people. But everyone knows that you are obedient to the Lord. This makes me very happy. I want you to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong.
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites.
Six sons and two daughters were born to Queen Margaret. Three of the sons, Edgar, Alexander, and the noblest of his family, David, were kings. Edgar was a pleasant and lovable man, like his kinsman King Edward in everything. He did nothing tyrannical, nothing harsh, nothing avaricious to his people, but governed his subjects with the greatest charity and benevolence. What is more, Alexander was humble and lovable to clerics and monks but dreadful beyond measure to his other subjects. [David] was a great-hearted man, extending himself beyond his powers in everything. He was educated, and he was extremely zealous in regulating the churches, in searching out the relics of saints, in making and arranging priestly vestments and sacred books. He was in fact so devoted to the poor that in nothing did he seem to take more pleasure than in receiving, washing, nourishing, and clothing them.
But we have digressed somewhat in the foregoing description of what we feel about King David. The sister of these men, Matilda, married the most glorious king of the English, Henry. Anyone who wants to write about her wonderful renown and her strength of mind, how assiduous and devoted she was at the divine offices and holy vigils, how humble she was, especially considering her great power, will show us another Esther in our own time.
The sister of this blessed woman, Maria by name, was given as wife to Count Eustace of Boulogne. Of this excellent and Christian queen [Matilda] was born Matilda, who first married the Roman emperor, then the noble count of Anjou, Geoffrey. Of Maria was born Matilda who was given in marriage to him who was then the count of Morocco; she is now the wife of Stephen, king of the English. By the arrangement of King Henry, King David took to wife Matilda the daughter of Count Waltheof and Judith, who was granddaughter of King William the First. From her he received his son Henry, a man gentle and devout, a person of sweet spirit and cheerful heart and worthy in every way to be born of such a father. I lived with him from the very cradle. I grew up with him, boys together, and even when we were both adolescents I knew him. To serve Christ I left him while he was stamping out the flowers of youth, as I did his father, whom I loved beyond all mortals, at that time illustrious in the flower of old age. I left them bodily, but never in heart.
These are the ones which survive from that holy generation. From the Empress Matilda you [Henry of Anjou] came, most illustrious man, whom we now hail as Duke of the Normans and of the Aquitainians, Count of the Angevins, and truly heir to England. Your brothers are Geoffrey and William, of whom we hope for good things, to whom we wish the best. From Queen Matilda and the devout King Stephen came William, count of Warenne and Boulogne. From Henry [of Scotland] came Malcolm, William, and David, heir to his grandfather’s name. May God have mercy on their childhood, and may you too be merciful, whom divine loving-kindness has established as the most noble head of your whole people. May your holy gaze, your loving heart, and your effective action be upon them in all their necessities. They are orphans, left to you by their grandfather, who loved you above all people; you will be a helper to these your wards, for you are in age more mature, in hands stronger, and in feeling more mature than they.
Aelred of Rievaulx, in his Genealogy of the Kings of the English, translated by J.P. Freeland.
I don’t usually quote at length on this blog but I’m being lazy tonight and thought I’d share this.
Ailred of Rievaulx, mostly famous for his spiritual treatises but also the author of several historical works, was born in Hexham, Northumberland, but spent much of his youth at the court of David I of Scotland, where he rose to the position of court steward. As he himself testifies, this meant growing up alongside David’s son, Henry of Scotland, and though he eventually left the Scottish court to enter Rievaulx Abbey, Ailred seems to have remembered both David and Henry fondly.
(Henry II of England)
In 1153, Ailred completed his ‘Genealogy of the Kings of the English’, which was the same year that David I died in his castle of Carlisle. The genealogy was dedicated to David I’s great-nephew Henry, Count of Anjou, and then heir to the English throne (he would succeed as king of England the following year). Through his maternal grandmother, Matilda of Scotland, David’s elder sister and the daughter of St Margaret, Henry II was descended from the House of Wessex, thus uniting both the old Anglo-Saxon ruling house of England, with the House of Normandy (Henry being descended also from William the Conqueror). As well as this, though, Henry had been knighted by his great-uncle David at Carlisle in 1149, and in his preface to the genealogy Ailred names Henry as the heir to David’s spirit, expressing his hope that he would mould himself in his great-uncle’s image.
As the genealogy was dedicated to Henry II, Ailred narrates his descent from St Margaret, among others, describing the virtuous lives of several of her children, three of whom became kings of Scots in their own right (as named above, Edgar, Alexander, and David). The other three sons, who are not named here, were her eldest Edward, who died alongside his father Malcolm III at the Battle of Alnwick, Aethelred the lay abbot of Dunkeld, and Edmund, whom William of Malmesbury claims was the only son of Margaret to fall from grace through his role in the death of his half-brother Duncan II and who may have been briefly regarded either as co-king or tanaiste by his uncle Donald Ban. The daughters meanwhile were Edith or Matilda, who married Henry I of England and was the mother of William the Atheling and the Empress Maud, and Mary, who married the Count of Boulogne, and was the mother of King Stephen’s queen, also Matilda. Henry II was the eldest son of Empress Maud, and was eventually named Stephen’s successor. After a period of civil war, hopes must have been high for the young but capable Henry to bring peace and order to the kingdom, and Ailred seems to give voice to these hopes.
(David I and his grandson Malcolm IV in the Kelso Charter)
Meanwhile in Scotland, David I had died in 1153. The previous year, his only son Henry of Scotland had beaten him to the grave, leaving behind several children by his wife Ada de Warenne. Malcolm, the eldest, was to succeed his grandfather as king of Scots at the tender age of twelve, and he himself would die young in 1165, having lived an apparently chaste and pious life. He was to be succeeded in turn by his brother William, who was of a very different character, though in 1153 both boys were still children and succession by primogeniture to the Scottish throne was far from certain, though fortunately for Malcolm IV he succeeded in comparative peace. Thus Henry II is charged- at least rhetorically- with protecting the interests and moral development of the boys, though in the end relations between Henry and his young cousins would not always be friendly. Also mentioned in the list of Henry of Scotland’s children is his posthumous son David, later Earl of Huntingdon and ancestor to the Balliol and Bruce kings, while Henry also had at least two daughters who survived to adulthood but are not named here- Margaret, Duchess of Brittany and later Countess of Hereford, and Ada, Countess of Holland.
The whole quote, though, I think is an interesting one from a man who had experience of both the English and Scottish kingdoms at a time when it may have seemed like relations between the two would be much friendlier than we usually assume in hindsight, and also as an indication of Ailred’s view of major figures of his time, particularly Henry II and David I and their relationship to a ‘holy generation’, as well as perhaps expressing hopes for the future that may well have been shared by many others in 1153.
(I skipped over the section where Ailred gives an anecdote relating to Matilda washing the feet of the poor, though it’s still of interest that he claims that David I was his source, but I didn’t want to go on for too long).
(Ailred of Rievaulx being presented to Edward the Confessor, in a fourteenth century copy of his life of that saint)
Hi! So, I'm a teenager who is apprehensive about the benefits of marriage. I just don't see the point. Many of the married people I know have been led astray by their partner or their partner's actions and have ended up further away from God than they were when they began. Most of the teenagers I know today are not Christian and I do not see a point in beginning a romantic relationship with any of them. Plus, I see lots of benefits to being single. What would you say are benefits to marriage
When both people in a marriage put God first, it’s a game changer. 100%. But that aside, keep in mind that not everyone is meant to get married. Not everyone has to get married. If it’s not for you, that is okay.
As for me, I love it. My husband is my best friend. Hands down. He’s always there for me. Always. Whether it be to talk me through a hard day/emotional breakdown, eat breakfast for dinner, make me coffee (because he hates it but knows just how I like it), walk the pups, go hiking, binge watch Parks & Rec or Game of Thrones. Whatever it is. He’s there. He makes me want to be a better person, and I the same for him. We’re growing closer to God and to each other each and every day because that is our goal together. Every day. He makes me laugh so hard sometimes that my stomach hurts. He amazes me, constantly. He protects me.
The benefit of marriage is having a built-in person, best friend, everything, who you can serve Christ with. The benefit of marriage is sharing this journey with another. The benefit of marriage is a love like no other.
Kevin is 23 and currently a dental hygiene student in Southern California.
He is also currently a dental assistant and auditioning to be part of Disney entertainment. He is part of his church’s beloved youth ministry.
Kevin and I are part of the same youth ministry. I’ve very often heard that some people, who were part of their church, decided to leave it, as well as God, behind due to the church’s negativity towards the LGBTQ community. But there are some, like Kevin and myself, who, despite being part of the LGBTQ community, are still very active in church and believe in God. Here’s Kevin’s story.
Also, yes, I did use the same questions I asked Joshua. Fight me.
Me: It’s June, therefore, it’s Pride Month. So, my first question is: What does Pride mean to you?
KL: Pride (not just as a month) means to embrace who I am entirely, not just part of me. I am Asian. I am Catholic. I am Gay. These are all parts of me, and all help to define who I am. Not just one part defines me. They all play a part and I think with Pride, I get to spread awareness that being part of the LGBTQA+ community does not make me less of a person or human. It’s part of who we are, and that part of us should be just as accepted as other parts of us.
Me: When did you realize you were gay?
KL: I still get confused with that. I had “tendencies” as a child- I liked Sailor Moon, I listened to the Spice Girls, and my brother said I would play with my mom’s wigs, but I don’t remember any of this. So I usually say that I realized that I was gay my junior year of high school. I had questioned my feelings for a good friend I had (a guy), and after acting on those feelings, it was obviously clear that I was romantically and physically attracted to the same sex.
Me: How did you come out to your family?
KL: Apparently it was a glass closet, as my family said they knew before I did. But I officially came out to my family at a Christmas party in 2014. It was pretty funny, actually. We were playing games and one involved me pretending to kiss my friend (a girl from Japan) and I yelled out “I kissed a girl, and I did NOT like it!”
Me: Was it hard to come out to your family and friends?
KL: It wasn’t hard for me. I didn’t have a sit-down conversation about it with anyone, it just kind of happened? Which I’m really thankful for. Now, I don’t go around announcing it everywhere I go, but if people do ask about my sexuality, I let them know that I’m gay.
Me: Who are some LGBTQA+ icons that you look up to?
KL: Some LGBTQA+ icons I look up to? Oh, I definitely look up to Ellen Degeneres, Frank Ocean, Tom Daley, and George Takei in the community. I feel like I can look up to them because, first and foremost, they use their celebrity status as a platform to show that we are no different in personality and humanity than others.
Me: How can one start feeling comfortable in their own skin?
KL: It’s hard to feel comfortable in your own skin when you don’t fit your typecast (your “aesthetic”, if you will). For example, I’ve been typecast that I should be the slim Asian gay that dances hip hop, or that I should be the twinky Asian that does drag. Yes, I’ve been told this and it’s horrible- not to say those typecasts are bad, they’re not, it’s just not me. But I think I found myself being comfortable in my own skin once I realized that I am beautifully and wonderfully made by God, in what He wanted me to be and it’s unique, as we all are unique in our own way. That should be more than enough for anyone who would want to be in a relationship with me.
Me: In what ways do you find most helpful to express yourself and show everyone who you are?
KL: I find that I express myself through my music, I love to sing. Everyone that knows me has probably heard me sing at church events, or outside for fun. But I notice, as a musician, for some reason my voice sounds so much better when I’m singing a song that has meaning in my life, such as “Let it Go”- which helped me understand that I have to let go of what people say about me because of who I am. Another way is with my clothes. Fashion definitely play a role in feeling confident, and my sense of style really shows what kind of person I am - simple.
Me: Being Christian and being active in the Catholic church, what were some struggles that you’ve gone through since being gay isn’t accepted in some Christian/Catholic communities? How have you overcome these obstacles?
KL: I have gone through the struggle of being asked WHY I’m still active in the church and my faith. Being told that I am seen as a sinner. (Newsflash, we were all born with sin and my sin of gay pleasures of the flesh is no worse than the heterosexual pleasures of the flesh. Not that I’ve seen in the bible anyways) I realize that the only person’s judgement that should matter to me is God’s. That alone helps me get through ignoring those extremists and haters. Matthews 7: 1-5 reads, “Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye."
Serving in the church, being disciples of love- this is what we are called to do as Christians. It was not specified that only a certain people can do this. We were put on this earth to love and to serve one another through Christ. That’s as simple as it is. Religion, especially ours, has been blown to several interpretations when our personal relationship with God and how we use our faith is what matters, and the criticism and negativity are trails for us- our cross to carry, as He did for us.
I used to think that people who persecuted me were bad and I honestly didn’t want to accept that I thought that way but I did until I realized that they just don’t know what they were doing either.
I’ve learned that God’s heart is for those who persecute you for doing good. He isn’t against them — He loves them and wants them to come to Him.
Paul the Apostle persecuted the church before he gave himself to serve Christ. This helps me to know that being persecuted for living godly in Christ isn’t a bad thing but is a part of the will of God for the goodness and glory of God.
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary - Feast Day: November 19th - Latin Calendar - November 17 - Ordinary Time
This young and delicate princess made herself the servant and nurse of the poor. Let her example teach us to disregard the opinions of the world and to overcome our natural hesitation, in order to serve Christ in the person of His poor.
The Charity of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
By Edmund Blair Leighton (1853-1922)
Saint Elizabeth is remembered for her charitable works, especially for the establishment of hospitals. Today, dozens of hospitals and medical centers are named for her, several of them founded by the Sisters of St. Francis. Elizabeth lived at a time when the combined disasters of climate, war, pestilence, and poverty caused great suffering, and she became devoted to helping those who had nowhere to turn.
Elizabeth was born in Hungary in 1207. Her short but fruitful life lasted 24 years; she passed away in Marburg, Germany in November 1231. November 19 is the feast day of Saint Elizabeth celebrated by the Church.
She began life as part of the Hungarian nobility, daughter of King Andrew II. At age 14, she married the 21-yer-old Ludwig IV, of Thuringia (Germany). He was appointed regent of Meissen and the East Mark and who soon became employed by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II as a soldier and diplomat.
Elizabeth was religious since her early years, and Ludwig supported her in this, including her acts of charity. While he was away for missions under Frederick II, Elizabeth took charge of local affairs and distributed alms in all parts of her husband’s territory.
To take care of those who were both sick and destitute, she had a small hospital built below the Wartburg castle, with twenty-eight beds. Her personal touch was evident there: she visited the patients daily to attend to their needs; at the same time she aided hundreds of poor people daily through giving food and other supplies.
Ludwig died on one of his military campaigns, succumbing to illness not war wounds. Their third child was born shortly after his death.
Elizabeth then became associated with the Franciscans. They established their first settlement in the region in 1221 and she obtained spiritual instruction from them. The ideals of St. Francis appealed to her: chastity, humility, patience, prayer, and charity. Because of her royal position, the vow of poverty that Franciscans took was not easy to pursue and her retention of funds made the charitable work she pursued more fruitful; over time she distributed everything she had. It was with her financial aid and spiritual support that the Franciscans in 1225 founded a monastery in Eisenach. Conrad of Marburg, who had been held in high esteem by Ludwig, became her spiritual adviser. It is said that he treated Elizabeth with all the severity of his nature, for which he had a considerable reputation, but through this led her to new levels of sanctity and charity; after her death he was very active in her canonization.
On Good Friday, 1228, in the Franciscan house at Eisenach, Elizabeth formally renounced the world; she received from Conrad the dress of the Third Order of St. Francis. In the summer of 1228 she built the Franciscan hospital at Marburg and on its completion devoted herself entirely to the care of the sick, especially to those afflicted with debilitating and disfiguring diseases.
Conrad had written in support of her canonization a letter, of which a portion is reproduced here:
Elizabeth was a lifelong friend of the poor and gave herself entirely to relieving the hungry. She ordered that one of her castles should be converted into a hospital in which she gathered many of the weak and feeble. She generously gave alms to all who were in need, not only in that place but in all the territories of her husband’s empire. She spent all her own revenue from her husband’s four principalities, and finally she sold her luxurious possessions and rich clothes for the sake of the poor.
Twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, Elizabeth went to visit the sick. She personally cared for those who were particularly repulsive; to some she gave food, to others clothing; some she carried on her own shoulders, and performed many other kindly services. Her husband, of happy memory, gladly approved of these charitable works. Finally, when her husband died, she sought the highest perfection; filled with tears, she implored me to let her beg for alms from door to door. Good Friday of that year, when the altars had been stripped, she laid her hands on the altar in a chapel in her own town, where she had established the Friars Minor, and before witnesses she voluntarily renounced all worldly display and everything that our Savior in the gospel advises us to abandon. Even then she saw that she could still be distracted by the cares and worldly glory which had surrounded her while her husband was alive. Against my will she followed me to Marburg. Here in the town she built a hospice where she gathered together the weak and the feeble. There she attended the most wretched and contemptible at her own table.
Apart from those active good works, I declare before God that I have seldom seen a more contemplative woman.
Before her death I heard her confession. When I asked what should be done about her goods and possessions, she replied that anything which seemed to be hers belonged to the poor. She asked me to distribute everything except one worn-out dress in which she wished to be buried. When all this had been decided, she received the body of our Lord. Afterward, until vespers, she spoke often of the holiest things she had heard in sermons. Then, she devoutly commended to God all who were sitting near her, and as if falling into a gentle sleep, she died.
Prayer to Saint Elizabeth
Almighty God, by whose grace your servant Elizabeth of Hungary recognized and honored Jesus in the poor of this world: Grant that we, following her example, may with love and gladness serve those in any need or trouble.
In the name and for the sake of and through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.