Saturday, April 30, 2005

Proud Mama

My oldest daughter has chosen to study the rigourous field of Theater at Indiana State University. Anyone will tell you that at the college level this is a very cut throat and demanding field of study. Though she has said she doesn't want to be an actor, as she prefers technical theater to onstage performance, she did have the opportunity this year to perform onstage twice; once for a class, and in another play written by a student. She also worked very hard as assistant stage manager for one of the Major productions that the department put on, as well as doing many other odds and ends jobs as they became available throughout the year.

Last night they held their end of the year banquet and awards ceremony and not only was she awarded the Best Assistant Stage Manager award, but she also received the distinction of Freshman of the Year. She was very shocked to receive this honor, and very happy as this was affirmation from the entire department that she is valuable to them.

I am so very pleased with her success. She really is good at what she does, and she has been doing this since she became the stage manager for her middle school production of Your A Good Man Charlie Brown because she didn't get an onstage part. While other kids were on stage getting the curtain calls, she was learning how to write line notes and light cues. She can do just about any task that needs to be done back stage and does them all with a smile. Just don't expect her to trust a surge supressor anymore. (inside joke)

I just had to let everyone know how happy I am to see how well she is using the gifts God has given her.


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

My Two Favorite TV Shows: Which Might Explain a Lot

This season there have been only two shows on television that I have not wanted to miss. Well three, but we won't count my guilty pleasure and if you are patient I will tell you what that is.

Those of you faithful readers who have been with me for a while know that I think that Joan of Arcadia is about the best show out there. I really hate to miss even a moment of an episode. This season's writing has been amazing and taken the characters in very interesting and multidimensional directions. My dream job would be to write for the producer of this show some day. I really hope now that the battle lines have been drawn between good and the evil one, this show is allowed to come back for another season. I would hate to think CBS would leave the faithful followers of Joan out on a spiritual limb like this.

My other favorite show, which may shock and surprise some of you is the show House on Fox. This show, about a drug addicted genius MD with serious personality issues, has what can only be classified as the funniest writing on a drama I have ever heard. The timing is amazing, and when you factor into that the understanding that the lead actor is pulling the entire thing off while suppressing his natural accent it makes it even more amazing.

I can't wait to see this show every week, and each week it doesn't disappoint. Though I was a bit upset by the Chi McBride storyline, which I think took too much time away from what the show did best: medical mystery. I am just crazy about how carefully they have revealed little bits and pieces of the back story of each of the major characters from week to week without making you feel as though you are sitting through some long stretch of exposition.

My greatest fear is that either one of these two shows will get the axe because they are just too good for the general public who are happy watching fluff like Joey and Survivor.

For now I am hoping I will get at least another season of each, and to that end I am planning to write my first ever letters to the heads of both Fox and CBS to let them know that I do enjoy these two shows and want them to stay on the air for another season.

I guess I am really lucky that they both aren't on at the exact same time.

Oh, I said I would let you know about my guilty pleasure, if you promise not to tell anyone. I do watch one reality show, I am almost embarrassed to tell you. Okay, here goes, I watch The Apprentice. I really want Tana to win this one, she is the first woman in three seasons who has deserved to win. What can I say, I am mesmerized by The Donald's hair, either that or I want to be Caroline when I grow up, I can't decide which it is.


Monday, April 25, 2005

When reality sets in

When I am confronted with a difficult siutuation in my life I will eventually need someone to help me to assess the situation and determine a plan of attack, so that I can move forward on a firm footing.

I will eventually need someone to look at the situation and help me to see how I could have used humility and patience and temperence and avoided the situation all together.

It would be nice to have someone to help me to see how I can use the hurt that I am feeling to grow into a better person.

But really, what I need in those first shocking moments as I am staring at the rubble of a disasterous outcome; when everything that I have come to believe to be true has crumbled around me, what I really and truly need is for someone to put their arms around me and just be there with me in my pain for a minute. Empathy is a great gift.

All those other things can wait, getting through the pain is really necessary, and only someone who is willing to be with you in that painful moment can really be of any help.

I am learning this about my own needs, and I am trying to learn how to be this kind of person for my friends. Not someone who fixes, or arranges, just someone who hugs, and wipes away tears, and listens. There are moments in life when there is no greater gift, I have found.


Friday, April 22, 2005

Graduated from the "Safe Check in Call"

As I dropped my son off this morning we were discussing his day. Our plans had changed and I was reminding him that he was to go somewhere else after work than his normal routine. Since this was different than his normal routine, and I was going to be out of town, I asked him to give me a "safe check in call" where he calls from his cell phone to my cell phone to let me know he has arrived safely at his destination. I told him that I would be in a meeting and he should just leave a message, but if I didn't have a message from him I would worry, because, you know, I am a mom, and that is what we do.

This afternoon when I checked my phone, sure enough he had left me a message. I quote: "Mom, it's me, I got here safely, and I intend to be safe for the remainder of the day, so you don't have to worry."

I guess I some times tend to forget that he is twenty years old. This will be the last safe check in call I will have him make. I really should be glad that he kept his sense of humor about the entire thing.

I hope he has enough patience to help me get through this letting go stuff.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Habemus Papam: We Have a Pope

After a puff of white smoke from the little chimney, and much waiting and anticipation, our new pope stepped onto the balcony in the Vatican.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who will now and forever be known as Pope Benedict XVI. "Dear brothers and sisters, after our great pope, John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me, humble worker in God's vineyard, . . . I am consoled by the fact that the Lord knows how to work and to act, even with insufficient tools, and I especially trust in your prayers." was his first statement as Pope. I, along with millions of other faithful Catholics will trust that the Holy Spirit knows our needs and has chosen well for our church.

While some of my friends are dismayed at this development, finding the new popes history to be one that is too hard line conservative, I will withhold judgment. One never knows what taking this job might do to a man. And at any rate even if I disagree with every decision he makes I won't be running for the nearest exit, because like Peter I must say "where can I go, You have the words of eternal life." It is only within the Church that I will find my own salvation.

For now, my salvation will be found under the watchful eye of Pope Benedict XVI, servant of the servants of God.


Sunday, April 17, 2005

Play a game with me!

Take the book that is sitting there on your computer desk, you know you have at least one within arms reach. If you don't have one that close go get one.

Open the book to page 23.

Count down to the fifth sentence on that page.

Post the sentence in the comment section of this blog.

Really, try it. I will show you how it works.

I just happen to have a few books here!!! HA, if you saw my desk you would laugh.

I just got back from a conference and bought some really cool books so I will use the one on the top of the stack:

Finding God in the Dark: Taking the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius to the Movies by John Pungente SJ and Monty Williams SJ

Page 23 Line 5:

When you note in your journal your consolations and desolations you also need to note where they lead you.

Okay, your turn.

(Thanks to Heather, what a great idea)

I'm really not trying to find out if anyone really reads my blog, Well maybe a little.


Friday, April 15, 2005

Who Will be our Next Pope?

Every news agency on the planet seems to have an opinion on this subject, even guessing as to which Cardinal has the highest percentage of backers going into the conclave. I will tell you exactly who is going to be our next pope, so listen very carefully.

Our next pope will be the man that the Holy Spirit chooses to lead the church. And chances are pretty fair that he has no idea at this moment that in a few days he will be called upon by his church and his brother Cardinals to assume the awesome role of leader of the world's Catholic faithful.

My prayers go out to these men whose job it is now to be open in prayerful, self-emptying discernment to the will of the Holy Spirit for the world.

Don't get me wrong; I do have my own short list of favorites, and I have done my share of table speculation over dinner or coffee in the last week. I would never presume to make public my opinion on this subject as though it carried any validity or weight in terms of the final choice. I learned a very long time ago that there is a God, and it ain't me. Thank God!

I will be prayerfully awaiting the white smoke like all the other faithful, along with every news media outlet in the world.


Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Just When you Think You Know it All . . .

I just finished one of my gradual school courses. I drove away from School on Sunday secure in the thought that I was done, complete, finito. Then on Monday evening I went online to check in at the school website and what do I find but the syllabus for my next class. I now have about 300 pages of reading to complete in the next two weeks.

Oh well, so it goes. This next class is very dissimilar from the class I just finished. Part of the reason I chose the courses in the order I did was because I wanted that diversity of form and subject. Last semester I was studying the Initiation Rites and Sacraments of the Catholic Church. This first summer term I will be studying the Gospel of John and other Johanine Pauline New Testament writings. Then later on this summer I will be studying the American Catholic Identity. Doesn't it all sound fun and interesting?

You know, when I look back on that last paragraph, in fact it does look very fun and interesting. I guess I will stay in Gradual School a little while longer, so long as I am still having so much fun after all.


Monday, April 04, 2005

A Lasting Influence

When every media outlet, even MTV reports about ones final hours there can hardly be any dispute that one has had a lasting influence in this world.

Pope John Paul II is such a man. The media coverage of his final days has been amazing. If one ascribes to the notion that no press is bad press then even the jokes about him on the Daily Show are good in some way.

I know for me, and a million other Catholics of my generation this man is the voice of reason in a crazy world. When everything we believed in was being ripped apart by the secular humanists, the Holy Father was standing up for our right to believe and be faithful to what we held to be true.

My mother was one of the Holy Father's biggest cheerleaders from early in his pontificate. I remember a conversation we had back when I was in college. The Pope had made his first purposeful trip to foreign soil and my mother said, "You watch, nothing will stop this man from speaking the truth throughout the world." Her words have been seen to be true. He spoke out for dignity of the human person, for respect for life in a culture of death, and he gave a voice to the voiceless, whether they were migrant workers or unborn children in the womb, or criminals on death row.

I think history will look well on this philosopher pope. John Paul the Great we will some day come to call him. And eventually we will even add Saint to that title.