On Showbiz – The Power of Turning A Blind Eye

Disclaimer: The above art is not mine, though it is gorgeous and I would happily pay for it and hang it on my wall if I could track down the artist who drew it.

In this post I wish to address something that I have already addressed before in a previous post, but under a different context. Some of you may know what prompted this, and others may not. Regardless, as a person who understands the business world, and the marketing and entertainment industries from the inside, I know from personal experience that my opinion on this matter is actually valid. Take it or leave it as you see fit.

In many, many activist circles (of which many are unfortunately Christian, and even Catholic), it is common practice to draw attention to poor behavior and then use it as a tool to explain why the behavior is poor. In a day and age before mass media and digital self-marketing, this could be (if tastefully done) a powerful teaching exercise. The problem in today’s society, however, is that using that method now only serves to advertise poor behavior.  A bit like using images of pornography as a prop to point at while trying to teach men that porn is a serious sin. Using images in this manner is far more likely to scandalize otherwise innocent minds than it is to educate them away from behaving in such a manner.

Yes, believe it or not it is possible for the minds of people in this culture to be innocent. I was led down the path of self-harm and suicide because I was just such an innocent and I turned to my fellow mental-illness sojourners for advice. What I was given, was personal stories from their lives—lives that were very interesting, but horrific examples to follow. It put images and concepts into my young, 16, 17 and 18-year-old mind that had never occurred to me.

And suddenly I was tainted.

I had no way to know I was walking into that trap when I purchased those books for purposes of self-help. I didn’t realize viewing art drawn by other depressed and bipolar people would lead me toward the precipice of grave sin and potential death.

I didn’t know.

But I most CERTAINLY did not need to be warned about it!

What I needed was someone to point out GOOD examples. To draw attention to the good, the true and the beautiful.

Which is precisely what many Christian and Catholic bloggers currently AREN’T doing.

Bishop Robert Barron’s approach to evangelization works because it refocuses society’s attention on the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. It doesn’t pretend that evil doesn’t exist. It simply takes the “wax-on-wax-off’ approach. “Yes, but what about this TRUE example of beauty?”

Show, don’t tell.

When we hold up art or entertainment and criticize it, we don’t do anything except draw attention to something that should be ignored. Things don’t go viral on social media because they are worth looking at. They go viral because they cause scandal and intrigue. And many, many things never gain attention because they are IGNORED. The hardest thing for an emerging artist to do, whether in the music world, the writing world, or the acting world, is “break-in” and be acknowledged. Because there are no “credentials” except your ability to generate a following and build a platform for yourself. Agents and editors can’t do that for you if you aren’t generating content that is worth attention.

So the best way in this culture to discourage poor behavior is NOT to draw attention to it, and instead focus on positive things. This is not “head in the sand” pollyanna-ism. It’s an example of highly intelligent business savvy. That which is evil will kill itself in time. Evil always self-destructs. I speak from unfortunate personal experience on that front as well.

Study history. In particular, study art and music history. The only reason Mozart is still famous today is he had a father who was brilliant at marketing and showbiz. Mozart was no more impressive than any other great composer. His achievements are only mind-boggling to people who cannot themselves compose in the classical style and sightread sheet music and improvise on the spot in front of an audience. Since I myself can do all three, I’m not impressed by him. I do find his music beautiful to listen to, but I greatly dislike his piano music. His forte was violin. Trust me.

In other news, I have read Michael O’Brien’s A Landscape with Dragons three times, and his Harry Potter and the Paganization of Culture once. While I appreciate the point he is making, and I agree with this concept, I strongly disagree with his methods. Drawing attention to poor art simply serves as “advertising.” It doesn’t take away popular art and entertainment. It only makes you personally look like a bigot, and it will alienate everyone who is a die-hard fan of whatever you’re criticizing and close their minds to the message of Christianity. A far better approach is to either point someone away from the poor art in question toward a better piece of art OR to highlight the Goodness, Truth and Beauty to be found within the art so that people learn to discern between Good and Evil in things they already have an attachment to.

I will elaborate on this more in future posts, however for now I have to go set up my church for music ministry tomorrow morning.

Take care, and God bless!

Kasani

Wake The Dawn

 

My post last week was of a rather somber tone. But sometimes somber is necessary. And sometimes God confirms that in bold ways, in-person, in real time. I experienced that today.

Yes, I will elaborate.

This past weekend I visited Edmonton for a wedding, and on Sunday (yesterday) I attended mass at 10:30am at St. Joseph’s Basilica with my piano instructor. She was still struggling with the loss of her elderly father to illness several weeks ago, but it was a gloriously beautiful Mass and it moved her a great deal. When I returned home yesterday evening, I read Janet Klasson’s post “For those who will die unprepared…” and found it a confirmation of the tone I took last week. (As a side note, her posts, and Mark Mallett’s, have been of immense help to me in my own spiritual journey. I highly recommend both of them though they are, perhaps, not for the faint of heart…)

This afternoon at my music history lesson, I happened to walk in moments after she had gotten off the phone with her daughter, who had called to inform her that her best friend’s brother died in a tragic accident last night, around the same time that I was reading Janet’s post. He was 19 years old and unbaptized. His 22 year old sister, the best-friend of my piano teacher’s daughter, was baptized this year after a powerful conversion experience that took place during the same week as my hospitalization this past February. My teacher was understandably badly shaken, and I spent the first fifteen minutes of our lesson praying the Divine Mercy chaplet while she called her daughter’s friend, then we prayed together for the young man’s soul and his family, and I offered her what comfort and reassurance I could.

To be honest, I wasn’t floored. These sorts of experiences have happened with such frequency in my life over the past year that while they usually take me off-guard, I find them comforting now rather than unnerving. I’m not a “seer.” I don’t receive visible apparitions from Our Lady like some people do. But I have experienced direct, internal communications in prayer on very rare occasions, and divinely inspired dreams (which occur which equal rarity and which I usually don’t share with anyone, since I often can’t interpret them properly until years later).

This evening, while beginning my daily family rosary, I experienced the soft, maternal touch I’ve come to associate with Our Lady and inwardly heard four words:

I need you here.

There is work to be done in this world. Heaven may be my eternal home, but God still has a purpose to fulfill with my life and if I wish to do his will, I have to be willing to accept whatever length of life he gives me.

I have no guarantees it will be a “long life,” but at the very least, I don’t anticipate I’m going to keel over tonight. Each and every person has a mission to fulfill with their life, whether they know it or not.

Are you aware of the mission God has given you?

When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!” The saying spread abroad among the brethren that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?” ~ John 21:21-23

None of us can know for certain (leastways not without direct divine revelation) how long we have to live. John (the above-mentioned “man”), ended up being the only Apostle not to die a martyr (or by his own hand, if you count Judas). Personally, I think his fate in this life was much more difficult to endure than the fates of the others. He lived to old age, and left us with a number of beautiful letters and the ever-puzzling, endlessly deep Book of Revelation. Don’t assume he “got off easy” because he was the “favourite.” To live a long life after knowing Jesus personally would have been immensely painful. Not only that, he lived through the loss of Mary as well.

No, a long life is not necessarily a “golden ideal.” But neither is a short life, necessarily. There are no “golden ideals” on this earth. This life is not “the point” of our existence. It is temporary. Yet our actions here, in this brief period in history, hold consequence for all eternity.

So it’s worth asking yourself on a regular basis:

How am I using my daily life?

Personally, I wish to use my life to bring hope and joy into the world, in accordance with God’s will for me. I wish to use the time I’ve been given to create as much beauty and love as I can, to help my fellow sojourners in their respective life journeys. For as long as I’m here, I will strive to “wake the dawn.”

Until next time, take care and God bless.

Kasani

How Do You Use Your Time?

Original Song: Bury Your Heart – Flyleaf

How are you spending your time?

As a devout Catholic, this is something I ask myself every day.

I may only be 23, but with my life experiences and mental illness, I think it’s safe to say that I am far more aware of my own mortality than most other adults, both young and old. I don’t assume that because I’m young I have a long life ahead of me. I could die in my sleep tonight. I could die on the drive to work tomorrow. I could be diagnosed with a life threatening disease next week and be dead within the month.

Whenever I make reference to that reality to any of the people in my life, they almost always brush it off and discourage that line of thinking as “negative” and “doom and gloom.” I’ve had people who know me less well quip comments such as “don’t be silly, you have you whole life ahead of you.”

Oh really?

Have you received a personal revelation from God that I’m going to have a long life?

Because in case you haven’t noticed, people my age die all the time.

I understand why the people who care about me dislike this subject, because they emphatically don’t want me to die. I also understand why people in general dislike this subject. It’s uncomfortable, isn’t it? Nobody wants to talk about death. Not until it’s staring one in the face. And even then, many people would rather run from it. Turn their back and flee from reality. Hide in the newest distraction—the next experience, gadget, book, hobby, job, educational endeavor, vacation extravaganza… you name it.

Run away. Just keep running. Don’t ever look back.

That seems to be the motto of the society we live in: Never. Acknowledge. Death.

To the point where we cover up murder with fancy names like “euthanasia” and “abortion” and claim they are “humane options” to “difficult problems.”

Here’s a difficult problem for you: You’re going to die someday, regardless of what life choices you make.

How does that make you feel?

This post is a rather dramatic switch from my usual tone, but it’s not intended to be depressing. It’s meant to be thought provoking. Because how you respond to the thought of death says a lot about how you are currently living your day-to-day life.

I actually look forward to death, and not in a suicidal way. Trust me, as someone with type 1 Bipolar Disorder, I do not take suicide lightly. I’ve been suicidal before. I couldn’t be farther from that place now. What I currently feel is homesickness for heaven. I long for a reality that cannot be fulfilled in this life. I long for my Lord and Savior. For complete union with Him in heaven. But my time here on earth isn’t finished yet, and in the meantime, I have to be patient. My greatest “fear,” if you will, is that I will, in-fact, have a long life and die of “old age” when I’m 101.

I do not want to be stuck here that long. I really don’t. And not because my life is bad. I have a very good life. I just know that as long as I’m on this earth, living this life, I will never be fully satisfied, and I yearn for more. I’m impatient.

That said, I would never, ever allow that impatience to rush me.

“For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” Philippians 1:21

As long as I am still breathing, God has a purpose for me to fulfill on this earth. And in my better moments I want nothing more than to fulfill that purpose. That awareness fills me with peace and happiness far more often than I am anxious or unhappy.

A very great deal of the anxiety and depression experienced within our society has nothing to do with “mental illness” and everything to do with “life choices.” And I don’t mean big choices like who your spouse should be, or whether or not to get cancer treatment (though obviously such choices will have a major impact on you). I mean daily decisions moment to moment. Where do your thoughts go when you first open your eyes in the morning? What’s your first choice when you get to the end of the day and want to relax? How do you approach the work you do for a living? What is your attitude? Why?

I don’t care of you’re Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Atheist… Really, I don’t. I know what I believe, and there’s nothing anyone can say to fundamentally change it. Though I must say, if you don’t have a faith or opinion on a belief system, you may want to do some serious thinking and research…. far better to do it now than put it off until you’re dying. Because you are going to die, whether you like it or not.

Most religions believe in a higher power of some sort that we have to meet when we die. If you’re a Christian, then you believe that “being” is a Good and Loving God in Heaven. But have you considered the fact that Heaven, by its theological definition is not a place, but a person?

Heaven is God. It’s a relationship with supreme Love.

If you haven’t started that relationship now, while you’re on earth… what sort of meeting do you expect with this “God” on the other side?

“Hey there. I know you gave me 23 years to start building a relationship with you, but there were just so many shows on Netflix to binge-watch I couldn’t be bothered to get around to getting to know you…despite the fact that you loved me into existence and died for me. Sorry bro.”

That really isn’t meant to be funny. It’s actually quite sad. Because it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that in my country, were we to be wiped out tonight in a nuclear war, most of my generation would be making a just such an excuse to their Creator.

So the next time you reach for a game on Facebook, flip open Pinterest, or open the browser on whatever electronic device you prefer, ask yourself this:

What am I doing? Why am I doing it? If this were the last 15 minutes I had to live… how would I rather be spending it? And why do I feel that way?

Until next time, take care and God bless!

Kasani

Our Lady of Good Council

Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Good Council in the Roman Catholic tradition. I myself I’m not especially familiar with the story behind this title, as Our Lady (the mother of Jesus) has many titles. But she has played an integral role in my own faith journey and is the main reason I am still alive today, despite my struggles with mental illness. I credit it all to her repeated interventions in my life, which have been numerous—some small, some mind-mindbogglingly large and difficult to explain.

My devotion to Mary was sparked by the Flame of Love Movement, which I highly encourage everyone to look into. It radically changed my life and the life of my family.

In other news, I had the opportunity to receive the sacrament of the Anointing Of The Sick today, praise God. I am in sore need of all of the graces I can get at the moment. Things are going well, but the next two weeks are looming large. I will type up another longer post later in May once I survive everything…

In the mean time, take good care of yourself, and God bless you!

Kasani

In My Room…

The end of another long day… But I’m hanging in there, praise be to God. Just have to survive the next two weeks and then all of my major commitments for the spring are done. Just have to keep trusting that He’ll give me the strength to get through each day.

Hope you are all hanging in there. As I’ve mentioned before, Savior.org can be found here.

Until next time, take care and God bless you!

Kasani

How To Cure Mental Illness

Yes the title is meant to be controversial. This is a controversial subject. In other news, the links I mentioned can be found here:

Peter Breggin, MD
Truehope – Mental and Physical Wellbeing

And I apologize for my previous post being blank. I am apparently still learning how to use technology… ^^;

I will keep you all updated on my progress with this new method of managing my life. Until next time, take care and God Bless!

Kasani

The Road to Recovery – Part 3: Ready or Not, Here I come!

Joan of Arc
This is a WiP (work-in-progress, meaning I’m not happy with it yet so it will be tweaked and uploaded on dA at a later date). Bonus points if you can guess who it is. (Hint: this is not a self portrait)

I’m currently working on putting together a cover of the above song. I have acquired myself a mic stand and microphone and will be experimenting in the near feature.

As for the below video, if profanity bothers you, she probably isn’t someone you will want to subscribe to. But I myself respect her immensely and get great entertainment out of her videos. To each their own.

And lastly, if you haven’t checked out my YouTube Channel and you want to get to know me extra ultra uncomfortably well, my “Music History 2 – Catherine Style” playlist is probably your best place to start. I may or may not do an (intentionally) terrible cover of the below song. And I enjoyed it immensely.

If your curious about why on earth I’m still alive after all of the crap I’ve been through in the past…well, my entire life… I encourage you to check out this website, and watch these videos. They changed my life forever, and I promise you they’ll change yours.

Until next time, take care and God bless!

Kasani

 

Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged

It’s fashionable among conservative Catholics to complain about our culture of Relativism. But have you ever considered the reality that evil destroys itself? Because it does. Lashing out at our “culture” with vitriol only spreads Satan’s kingdom of hatred.  Our goal as Christians should be to spread Christ’s kingdom of peace and love.

Next time you open your mouth to criticize someone, ask yourself this:

What will I achieve by saying this?

Do I truly know what this person is going through?

Do I know what it’s like to live as this human being every single day?

Do I know what sort of personal hell this person is living in at this moment?

And is what I’m going to say about to make things better, or am I simply pouring salt in a wound?

Even well meaning advice is sometimes the wrong answer. Sometimes there is no right answer, except surrender to God’s will and acceptance of his mercy. Sometimes that means falling apart. Sometimes keeping one’s “chin up” is impossible. We are weak, fragile human beings and we break under pressure.

The important thing is that we recognize the “break” is temporary, and we will emerge from the ashes like phoenixes reborn if we trust in God’s grace to rebuild us rather than our own frail willpower.

Sometimes the only right answer is a hug. A touch on the shoulder. Looking directly into another human being’s eyes and telling them “It’s all right. I still love you, even though you’re broken. I will always love you, even though it’s breaking me. For now, we can be broken together.”

Take good care of yourself, and others. And may God bless you. ❤

Kasani

Savior.org

I’m currently picking away at my novel at the end of a long day. It’s been a day of anxiety for me, though for reasons entirely self-inflicted and now beyond my control. A good day, but an anxious one. And I’m drawing great comfort from the ability to work in the living presence of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There is a site by the name of Savior.org at which a live webcam runs 24/7 on the Blessed Sacrament. I thought I would share it with you all, for it is a beautiful way of visiting Jesus in-person if you are unable to get to a church.

Take care of yourself, and God bless you! ❤

Kasani

The Road to Recovery – Part 2: Hospitalization

 

To be honest, I don’t think I can top my last post. I couldn’t be more honest than I was in that post. And sometimes, honesty has to be tactful. I don’t want to embarrass anyone other than myself with these, so this story will be told largely through other people’s words and art. It’s not for me to give away the secrets of others. I can only give away my own, if I choose.

Please love one another for me. ❤

dancinggirl

 

 

 

 

 

 

~ Kasani ❤