Learn How To Love


This post will be part blog and part spoken-word poem. I just want to process everything I’ve been hearing from the news and try to speak about what’s on my mind.


People are dying. I wish it could stop.

There is so much anger and hate in this world. Why can’t we learn to love?

Do we even know what love is? We say that love is love, but what is love?

I know that a lot’s been going on in the world. I hate hearing of police officers killing Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. I hate that 11 police officers were shot in Dallas. I know that a LOT of y’all are angry right now and nothing I can say will change that.

I wish in times like this we can choose to love instead of expressing our anger. It’s easy to be angry. It’s easy to demonize every police officer. It’s easy to say that “All Lives Matter” isn’t enough. I see so much anger as a reaction to this. We have a right to be angry. We are justified in our anger. Our anger is an expression of our hunger and thirst for righteousness and justice. But we cannot hold onto our anger and unleash it towards people we can’t even really see. We need to retaliate against violence with all the love we have.

So what is love?

Love isn’t indefinable. It’s not a feeling. It’s a choice. Love is wanting the greatest happiness for everyone, even the ones we hate. It means to speak out when police are killed just as much as when the innocent die at the hands of the police. It means that we acknowledge everyone, even the ones in Turkey and Iraq, as our brother and sister. I don’t care if you’re religious or not. I don’t care what belief system you have. We need to stop seeing those outside of our “circle of belonging” as a them. We are all an “us.”

I refuse to be angry over this. I’m more sad than I am anything else. I’m sad at all who are angry. I’m sad that it seems like this year is getting worse and worse. I’m sad, and yet in spite of it, I am trying to find little bits of happiness, tiny points of light that shine in this darkness. For me, compassion and mercy are that light. Through prayer, I let go of this anger and remember to choose peace instead.

Our universe is not an indifferent one, as strange as it may seem now. We are all part of a greater narrative. As Hamilton has said, we have no control who lives, who dies, who tells our story.

We won’t be remembered for our hashtags, but by how we retaliate and the actions we choose. History has its eyes on us. How do you want to be remembered? Will you be remembered for your anger? Or will you be remembered for how much you loved?

What Defines Gender?


I have a legitimate question for anyone and everyone who is arguing about bathroom policies and similar issues relating to the transgender movement:

How do you define gender?

All the other questions in relation to this topic are founded on this. How exactly is gender defined? Is it by how we feel we are or how we should be? How we perceive ourselves to be? What do we compare ourselves to when it comes to who we think we are and what we’re not?

Can gender be defined by science? What does science have to say about gender? Do you figure out the gender you perceive yourself as by the gender roles society dictates? Is it psychological? Is is sociological?

The point of this blog post is this: I want to know how you define whatever gender you perceive yourself to be. If we’re gonna argue about what bathrooms we think we should use, we have to have a better foundation for our arguments than whatever we feel like we are. Feelings are very fickle. Whatever arguments you have about gender need to be grounded in reason and logic.

While I have my own way of defining what gender is, I don’t want to say that right now. All I can say is there are some ways in which I do not define myself. I do not define myself by what my current society dictates a woman should be like because society has a lot of contradictory gender roles when it comes to women. I also don’t define myself just on my biological sex alone because it’s only part of who I am. I also don’t let other people who don’t really know me try to define who or what I am either because only those who are closest to me can help me with whatever I need.

So feel free to comment and answer me this: What is “gender” according to your standards?

An Open Letter About #FreeKesha


I am not a big fan of Kesha. I liked a couple of her songs and thought that she was doing well with her latest album.

But given the latest controversy surrounding Kesha trying to get out of her contract,I feel like I need to give my 2 cents about this.

As we all know, in the criminal justice system, people who are charged with a crime are innocent until proven guilty. This means that it’s up to Kesha and her lawyers to provide evidence of Dr. Luke allegedly assaulting her. Unfortunately, it’s hard to get hard evidence of assault and abuse.

One thing that I liked about Jessica Jones is that it captured the issues that lie behind rape and abusive relationships. It’s not just about non-consensual sex, but about the effects of manipulation and living with the fear of your mind and your body no longer being your own. The people of America pride themselves on being independent and free to do whatever they want. But the flip side of that mentality is a sense of entitlement, that they can have whatever they want as well.

Regardless of whatever you may think of Kesha’s music, she is still a person. If she wants to get out of working with Dr. Luke, she should be free to do so. She is not something people can use to make a profit. As a person, she should have the dignity to no longer associate with someone she doesn’t want to be around. In the very small chance that you are reading this Kesha, go work with those other producers who are making their offers. Don’t be afraid of Dr. Luke overshadowing you. I hate that Zayn got out of his contract so easily, but his contract is probably different from Keshas. A friend of mine said that Prince made a way out of his contract issued by releasing albums under “The Artist Fomerly Known as Prince.”

Sometimes, freeing yourself from abuse does not mean calling that person out on their actions, but just getting out of that situation altogether. I give Kesha applause for being brave enough to take action against the person who assaulted her. Very few people have that courage. On the other hand, it’s important to have proof. It’s hard to make a case when there is no evidence.

In spite of the ambiguity of this situation, I always believe that something good always comes out of something bad. No matter how far we fall into the darkness, a light shines through and it’s through that light that we start making our way out of the dark. On her Facebook page, Kesha said this:

I think about young girls today – I don’t want my future daughter – or your daughter – or any person to be afraid that they will be punished if they speak out about being abused, especially if their abuser is in a position of power.

Unfortunately I don’t think that my case is giving people who have
been abused confidence that they can speak out, and that’s a problem.

But I just want to say that if you have been abused, please don’t be afraid to speak out. There are places that will make you feel safe. There are people who will help you. I for one, will stand beside you and behind you. I know now how this all feels and will forever fight for you the way perfect strangers have been fighting for me.

Yes, I am very much a feminist, but more than that, I am a humanist. I believe in supporting my fellow human beings in being SAFE.

We’re all in this together. You are not alone.

I love you and thank you.

Now that kind of feminism, I can get behind.



The Necessity Of Prayer: Advent Week 1, Day 5


Photo courtesy of Rachel Penate from the Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship.

There are days that I just want to hide away inside a cloister and pretend that the outside world doesn’t exist. I usually believe in the best in people, but when tragedies such as the ones in San Bernardino and Colorado happen and with threats of ISIS and other acts of terrorism and all the hatred in the world loom all over the news like the perpetually gray December skies, I can completely understand why Thomas Merton chose to go into monastic life.

What makes me even sadder is when the world condemns those who say that they will pray. Has this world become so cynical that the mere idea of prayer has become offensive? I mean when a verse as lovely as Corinthians 13 sets off a “trigger warning,” what good is left in the world?

It calls to mind this scene from an episode of Buffy called “Lie to Me” in which Buffy deals with the fact that an old friend of hers chose to become a vampire in the hopes of escaping the fact that he has brain cancer.

Buffy: Does it ever get easy?

Giles: You mean life?

Buffy: Yeah, does it get easy?

Giles: What do you want me to say?

Buffy: Lie to me.

Giles: Yes. It’s terribly simple. The good guys are always stalwart and true. The bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and, uh, we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies and… everybody lives happily ever after.

Buffy: Liar.


Life isn’t easy. It’s messy and complicated and at first glance, prayers may seem like empty promises or a way for politicians to pay lip service to the voters.

But here’s the thing. There is power in prayer. I know this because I’ve experienced it. Prayers aren’t like wishes that magically undo the damages or instantly change the heart of a sinner. Saint Monica can testify that it took a long time for her prayers to finally change Augustine. It took Alessandro Serenelli a long time before he finally repented and admitted that murdering St. Maria Goretti was wrong. Prayers don’t work overnight. The point, however, is that they do work.

It’s easy to believe that the universe is indifferent. It’s easier to try and create our own meaning so that life can be whatever we see it. In the end, though, that kind of existentialist belief is no better than the prisoners in Plato’s cave, who create reality from mere shadows.

I know there are some cynics out there who will say that Christians are really the ones in the cave, creating realities from shadows. Yet look at the lives of people like Mother Teresa, St. Maximilian Kolbe, and Pope John Paul II. The saints all had to endure hardships, living in a world that didn’t make any sense. In spite of that, Mother Teresa was able to make life better for the poorest of the poor in Calcutta. St. Maximilian Kolbe saved the life of an entire family. Pope John Paul II changed an entire generation of people and continues to do so now.

Prayer changes lives, but never in the way that we expect. It is through prayer that we accept that the world is broken. It is through prayer that we can try and find a way to take what is broken and make things whole again. It is through prayer that we can be a light to the world and maybe change the hearts of others along the way.

God is the one who breaks the prisoners free and leads them out of the caves of their illusions. In this first week of Advent, let us keep hope alive through fervent prayer, especially for those who need God’s mercy the most. Pray for the souls of the people who died in San Bernardino. Pray for the conversion of the shooter as well as for the person who attacked the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. Pray for peace in this world. It may not seem like much, but it’s enough to help restore hope.

I’ll leave you with this poem that I wrote back in April:

Of Monsters and Men

Life is terribly complicated
Sometimes the best of friends
turn out to be people who stab you in the back
The bad guys are not easy to see
because many of these monsters
come in the forms of handsome men
There are battles you can never win
because you can’t stand on your own
There are good days and bad days
and some of them can never be saved.
And sometimes happily ever after
is the farthest thing from your reach.

But somehow, things always turn around
You heal the scars that run down your back
You find some monsters that turn out to be friends
Who help you fight the battles you can’t handle on your own
You look out at the sun as it dawns
and realized that every day starts out fresh and new
even if yesterday couldn’t be saved
And even if you don’t have a happily ever after
You start with what you have now
and find happiness there

All Lives Matter


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


I don’t usually like writing about hot-topic current events, especially stuff involving politics or violence. But sometimes, a girl’s gotta stand up on her soapbox and say “I CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”

Precautionary warning: If you don’t have anything nice to say, go elsewhere.


The videos released by the Center for Medical Progress that document the sale of organs from aborted babies disgust me. I felt like throwing up as I watched them. I was involved in my pro-life club in college, but this?

It feels like something out of a horror movie for me. I don’t want my taxpayer dollars going into this organization! Regardless of whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, there is something wrong when people are forced to pay for things they don’t support. I understand our tax dollars going to the military, even if I don’t support all the military action going on overseas because I still support the people who fight for our country. But this?

I cannot believe how cold and callous people can be when it comes to what they claim is just a “blob of tissue.” It’s about as bad as The Hunger Games! Lord have mercy. Pray for the souls of the unborn children and for these people to realize just how unethical their actions are.

This also disgusts me:

I am getting tired of police brutality. I don’t understand why they happen. I only pray for mercy on the officers. I’m also getting tired of hearing of another shooting. It’s getting to the point that The Onion turned these shootings and the attention the media gives them into a joke. As hard as it may sound, and believe me, I’m very certain some of you are ready to rage over this, but I want to forgive the people who committed these violent actions. I want to pray for whatever caused the police to attack people and for the shooters in the Louisiana movie theater. As I said before, I’m not a political expert. So I don’t know if gun control is the answer to ending the shootings. And I don’t know how people should handle the cops when it comes to situations like Sam Dubose. All I know is that as hard as it may sound, they are still people. Majorly broken people, but people nevertheless. And their lives matter just as much as the lives of those they killed.

Which means I also care about this as well

Pope Francis said in his encylical Laudato Si: “The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life.”

I know that people seem to give more attention to a dead lion and to police brutality and random violent shootings than to the violence of abortion, but honestly? All of them are connected. Cecil is as innocent as the victims of the Louisiana Theatre shooting, Sam Dubose, and all the victims of Planned Parenthood. These lives matter. But the lives of those who committed these violent acts? Their lives matter too. No matter how much we hate them, paint them as monsters or worse, they’re still people. As impossible as it may seem, I plead for mercy for them. Because ALL lives matter.

I Pledge Allegiance To…

Let’s talk about flags for a minute.


Trigger warning: You’re probably not gonna like this post. If you aren’t going to comment with civility, please go to Tumblr and complain there like everyone else.

Flags are symbols. They are both historical and current. They represent a country’s legacy or an idea.

Let’s start with the most controversial flag as of today:



I distinctly remember driving through Alabama and seeing this flag flying. I don’t have a picture of it, but I also don’t remember people being up in arms about it the way they were with South Carolina. To many people, this flag is a symbol of hate, dissent, and racism.

On the other hand, this flag has historical context, so it should be shown in museums and in historical-based games and on the Dukes of Hazzard merchandise because that flag is still a part of Southern culture.

Rebecca Frech says that the recent controversy over this flag is because the issue was brought up from people outside of South Carolina. “If they were left alone, they’d probably vote to move it elsewhere like we have. But once Yankees start pushing us ignorant southerners around, we dig in our heels and won’t budge an inch. I’m in favor of moving or removing the flag if the people of South Carolina want it moved. But I’m against Yankees coming in and telling them they should move it.”

I am a Yankee by birth. I was born north of the Mason-Dixon line and spent most of my childhood there. However, I’ve been living in Texas for almost ten years. I’ve seen the Southern pride as well as Southern hospitality. Heck, the Texas State Capitol currently flies another form of the Confederate flag to honor the Six Flags Over Texas. (Not the theme park.)

The Confederate Flag can be found right next to the Texas state flag.

The Confederate Flag can be found right next to the Texas state flag.

So while I understand the controversy, I feel like people have gone too far in the name of political correctness.

Speaking of politics, let’s move onto the next flag…


This flag represents an idea. And it’s been all over my news feed because of the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision to make same-sex marriage legal nationwide. My college was ironically located in the gay district of Houston so if you drove up the block, you would see these flags all over. I’ve been seeing rainbows everywhere on my social media. It honestly feels like a Skittles factory exploded all over my laptop!

I have a good number of LGBT friends. I have friends who support gay marriage. This is for y’all:

I love you. We are still friends. I may not agree with you with where you stand on this issue. I’m still trying to understand what it means to be gay/lesbian/bi/etc and work it into my faith. I also believe that sexuality is part of who you are, but it is not the whole of who you are. We are so much more than our gender/sexuality/race/etc. This “something more” comes from our Divine creator and it reaches out beyond the tangible. I hope that y’all are open to dialogue about ways to be more compassionate towards those on the LGBT spectrum beyond government oversight.

Speaking of government…


There are days that I love my country. And there are days that I wanna get off this planet altogether. I don’t know if I can say that I am proud to be an American right now because of how people are going to extremes in the name of political correctness. Riots break out in cities over racial issues that never seem to go away. People are taking out historically significant pieces of literature in the name of “safe spaces” on college campuses. We distrust our cops when they shoot African-American young adults, but cheer when a “cop killer” gets caught in New York. In the words of one of my favorite musicals: “How do you document real life when real life’s getting more like fiction each day?” I’m distrustful of politicians in general, especially the blatant opportunists. I want to believe that there is still good in this nation. However, maybe these events and people’s reactions to them remind me that there is a line between patriotism and nationalism. I love the ideas that this nation stands for, but the message is being distorted in the name of entitlement.


Today is the feast day of Sts. Peter and Paul. This flag would not exist without them. This flag is also covering my face on both my Facebook and Instagram profile pictures. Why do I choose to “pledge allegiance” to this flag as opposed to the other flags I showed here?

Because before anything else, I am a Catholic. I’ve said before that I see being Catholic as something bigger than myself. It transcends beyond my gender, my race, the kinds of people I find attractive, and even the fandoms that I obsess over. The Catholic Church is the glue that binds the pieces of me together. Like Peter, I have a horrible tendency to let my passions overrule being sensible, which ends up with me coming off like a thick-headed idiot. I have the best of intentions, but end up falling short because of the actions I choose. And yet, Jesus chose Peter to be the head of his Church, the foundation that would give way to an entire legacy of popes and bishops and priests who worked hard to make the Church what it is today.

The Church is by no means perfect. Neither am I, for that matter. But through Christ, the Church and I continue to improve and grow. Like Paul, we are filled with a zeal that drives us to go around the world proclaiming the Gospel. We have a missionary spirit that can’t be stopped. We may not say what everyone likes to hear, but at the same time, these things need to be said. Jesus chose Paul, a man who spent time persecuting and killing Christians thinking he was doing the right thing. After his conversion, Paul preached compassion, but he also preached about having integrity.

So when you see this flag over my face, know that I am not doing it to set up some kind of us against the world dichotomy. I’m doing it to show who my heart ultimately belongs to. I pledge allegiance to the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.

*Mic drop*